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Finding Music Materials

How to find music materials in using the online catalog

How Music is Described in the Online Catalog

Music titles come in two broad categories: Generic and Distinctive. There is a much smaller third category called Collective.

Generic Titles include the name of a type of music composition or genre, hence GENERIC


  • Eroica symphony
  • Piano concerto no. 5 in E-flat
  • 3 sonatas for violin and piano, op. 12

These pieces, no matter how they are described on the item or are otherwise commonly known, are always identified according to a specified, predictable pattern: genre, instrumentation, numbering, and key (as appropriate)

  • Eroica symphony = Symphonies, no. 3, op. 55, E♭ major
  • Piano concerto no. 5 in E-flat = Concertos, piano, orchestra, no. 5, op. 73, E♭ major
  • 3 sonatas for violin and piano, op. 12 = Sonatas, violin, piano, op. 12

Distinctive Titles normally are given just as they appear on the item. Sometimes they also have to be supplied by the library because their original title form as given by the composer does not actually appear on the item.

  • Fidelio
  • An die ferne Geliebte
  • Consecration of the House = Die Weihe des Hauses

Collective Titles are used to describe a small number of items in the catalog such as large collections

  • Piano music
  • Violin, piano music. Selections
  • Selections

Keep these titles in mind as you proceed to the next section, How the Catalog Works

And remember: any time you have a question about how to find material in the library or have any other question about how to use the library ask one of our librarians (see Research Assistance)


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