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Music History: Home

Encyclopedias and Dictionaries

Browsing for Scores

One of the best ways to find scores in the library is to browse. At Wright State, we use Library of Congress classification. This means that music materials have call numbers that begin with M. You'll find the M section in the Bound Periodicals area on the second floor of Dunbar library.

Music materials are organized as follows:

  • M – Music scores
  • ML – Music literature (books about music, including: dictionaries, books on music history, composer biographies, books on musical instruments, books on vocal music)
  • MT – Music instruction and study (including: music theory, and instrumental and vocal techniques and methods)

If you're looking for a score, look in the materials that have an M followed immediately by numbers:

  • M2 – Collections of scores (historical, regional)
  • M3 – Collected works of composers
  • M6-175 – Music for solo instruments [M23 - Piano sonatas]
  • M180 – Duets
  • M300 – Trios
  • M400 – Quartets
  • M1000 – Orchestra
  • M1495 – Vocal music
  • M1497-1998 – Secular vocal music
  • M1503 – Opera scores
  • M1999-2199 – Sacred vocal music
  • M2000 – Oratorios

For a more thorough overview of how scores and books about music are organized, see the Library of Congress Classification Outline for Music or Sourcebook for Research in Music (Reference ML113 .S46 2015), pp17-23.

About Collected Works and Historical Sets

Collected works are complete musical works of a composer and are usually multivolume, well researched collections (e.g., The Byrd Edition [M3 .B992]). The library has the collected works for many of the major composers.

Historical sets and monuments are anthologies illustrating a history or representing a genre, region, or instrument (e.g., Historical Anthology of Music [M2 .D25 H6], The English Madrigalists [M2 .F413], L'art Musicale in Italia [M2 .T67 A7 1968], and Corpus of Early Keyboard Music [M2 .C8].

To browse collected works and historical sets, visit the M2 and M3 sections of the library. To find out what pieces are where in a composer's collected works or an anthology, use Collected editions, historical series & sets, & monuments of music: a bibliography [Reference  ML113 .H55], Historical sets, collected editions, and monuments of music: a guide to their contents [Reference  ML113 .H52], or Oxford Music Online.

About Foreign Language Terms and International Characters

As you search for music resources, you may need to use terms like Opera Omnia, Sämtliche Werke, Gesamtausgabe, or Oeuvres Complètes. For a good list of foreign language terms used in music, see Sourcebook for Research in Music [Reference ML113 .C68 2015] pp 8-14.

You'll probably come across some terms, titles, or names that use international characters (e.g., Die schöne Müllerin). When searching the library catalog, leave out international characters. "Die schone Mullerin" will get you the same results as "Die schöne Müllerin." If an alternate spelling is acceptable in place of an international character, use whichever spelling is standard. For example, Arnold Schönberg's last name most often appears as "Schoenberg"; use that to search. If you are unsure which spelling is standard, combine your search terms using "or" (e.g., schonberg or schoenberg).

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