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Research in Music: Home

Books for Music Research

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.

Find Scores and Recordings

Search the catalog:

Advanced Catalog Search

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.

Find Reviews of Recordings, Concerts, and Editions

Career Resources

Useful Library of Congress Subjects include:

Getting materials we don't have in our library

Note: When you use the Find It! button and it can’t find a full-text version, it doesn’t mean that we don’t have the actual hard copy of the journal in our library. Check the box that lists Dunbar’s holdings. Then look up your journal title and check the dates to see if it’s here. You can’t check out an entire volume, but you can make copies of the articles.

Interlibrary Loan: delivery time depends upon availability.

  • If you’ve never used Interlibrary Loan before, you need to click "First Time Users Please Click Here to Register" and fill out all the required information.
  • If you have an Interlibrary Loan account, enter your login information.
  • For an article, click "Request an Article" and fill in all information, being especially careful to list all inclusive page numbers.
  • Once you’ve created an Interlibrary Loan account, from any database Find It! page, you can click "Request via Interlibrary Loan" and it will automatically populate the important fields for you. You should still check page numbers to be sure it lists all the page numbers you need.

OhioLINK: usually takes 3-5 working days

  1. From your search screen (including screens with no results), click OhioLINK Central. This will now run the search in the OhioLINK catalog.
  2. From the OhioLINK record, click Request Item. You will be prompted for your identification information and a pick-up location.

Where can I get this?

Document Process
An article that is not available full-text in the database I’m using. Click the “Find It!” button to see if it’s available in a different database. If so, click the link. If not, see the record for print holdings.
An article that is not available full-text in a database but is available in a print journal in Dunbar Library. Visit the Journals area on the second floor of the library and make a copy.
An article that is not available full-text in a database but is available in a print journal located at the SW Depository. Request the article using Interlibrary Loan.
An article that is not available full-text in a database and is not available in the library. Request the article using Interlibrary Loan.
A book that is not available in our catalog but is available in the OhioLINK catalog. Request the book from OhioLINK.
A book that is not available in our catalog or the OhioLINK catalog. Check WorldCat and request the book from Interlibrary Loan.

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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 2005] 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).

Find Theses and Dissertations

Useful Links