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*Music: Music Searching Tips

Landing page and directions to all music LibGuides

General Guidelines for Music Searching

Because music scores and recordings are often published in sets or in foreign languages, careful searching technique is even more important to make sure you are finding everything that is available to you.

  1. Remove any language-specific terms.

    Suite for Unaccompanied
    Cello, No. 1 in G Major, BWV 1007

    Symphony No. 104 in D Major “London”

  2. Use a composer’s (or performer’s) last name only.

    Beethoven             Bach            Chopin


    1. Limit using the various drop down menus (material type, location).


    1. Separate words with AND, OR, & NOT.

    Schubert AND song

    Beethoven AND symphony

    Mass OR misse

    Bach NOT Johann


    1. Truncate words with an asterisk that may have multiple endings

    Symphon* - will find symphony, symphonies, symphonien

    Bach AND cantat* - will find cantata, cantate, cantatas, cantaten

    Rachmanino* - will find items listed as Rachmaninov and Rachmaninoff

    1. Group words to make do several searches at once.  Just like math!

    Schubert AND (song* OR lied*) – will find song, songs, lied, lieder

    Mozart AND sonat* AND (piano or klavier)


    1. Use catalog or opus number of larger work rather than individual song name

    Bach AND “BWV 61”             Beethoven and “Op. 37”

    Mozart AND “K. 427”            Brahms and “Op. 115”

    Verdi and Aida                        Menotti and “The Medium”


    1. Search for a specific title by putting it in quotation marks. 
      You will have the best results when searching for a title in its original language.

    “Ave Maria”             Le quattro stagioni”

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