Orwig Music Library -- Finding Scores & Recordings

FINDING SCORES AND RECORDINGS OF CLASSICAL MUSIC AT BROWN

Using Josiah

Easy to find: operas, works with distinctive titles, or works of lesser known composers

  • Best searches: by title (e.g. Tosca), by composer (e.g. Partch, Harry -- but not Bach, Johann Sebastian!), or author/title (author: Crumb; title: ancient voices)

Harder-to-find: works with generic titles (e.g. symphonies, concertos, sonatas)

  • Best searches: words from titles/subjects (E.g. to find Mozarts "Haffner" Symphony, K.V. 385 do a "words from titles/subjects search": symphon* 385 [NB the asterisk is a wild card here to catch symphony, symphonie, symphonies, etc.]

Finding works for specific combinations of instruments (know your subject headings)

  • Technique 1: Find a work you know has the right combination - look at its subject heading(s) E.g. If you're looking for works for bassoon clarinet and oboe and you know that Jacques Ibert's Cinq pieces en trio is for that combination, search the title: Cinq pieces en trio - NB that the subject heading is: Woodwind trios (Bassoon, clarinet, oboe) . Search under it for similar works - or simply click on it to "re-direct" the search.

  • Technique 2: Use "Words from titles and subjects" search: bassoon clarinet oboe - NB results are fuzzier, but more comprehensive.

Limiting your result set: Once you've done your search, look for the "Limit this search" button at the top (or bottom) of the screen. By clicking it, you can filter your results by one or more of the following (NB: you can only do this once, so be sure to get all your limits in place the first time):

  • Words in Author: If you initially searched by title or keywords, you can narrow your search with the composer's name (or in the case of a recording, the performer)
  • Publisher: Here's where you can indicate which publisher (or record label) you seek
  • Format of material: Here you can choose to limit your results to scores or music records

Using call numbers (best for browsing the stacks, NOT for finding something specific)

  • Find call numbers by using the Library of Congress M Class Schedule (Grey or Red volumes kept in Orwig Reference next to the Atlases) look up the subject in the index. NB: Look for call numbers beginning with M for scores and recordings. E.g. Looking under Horn, one finds Instrumental music M80-, with orchestra M1028-, with string orchestra, M1128- and with piano M255-

  • Or, use the Library of Congress Subject Headings (set of five red volumes in Orwig Reference next to Atlases): Find the subject heading, note the LC lcass number. Subject headings for musical works are often musical "forms" or genres (e.g. Symphonies, Concertos, Operas, Cantatas, Waltzes, Sonatas), ensembles (e.g. String quartets, Wind trios, Choruses, Piano trios, etc.) or in the case of solo and duet repertoire, simply the names of the instruments (e.g. Piano music, Violin and piano music, Flute and continuo music, Violin music (Violins (2)), Flute and guitar music). Most works for voice and piano are simply given the heading Songs.

Special Cases:

Songs/Piano music in collections (often songs and shorter piano works are not published separately and must be found in collections or anthologies)

Searching for Songs (in Josiah): Search by title or by "words from Content Notes" (E.g. under title: Erlkönig AND also search under "words from Contents Notes": Erlkönig -- NB you get different results!)

There are a number of indexes to songs in collections (most can be found at Orwig Ref. ML128.S3). Here are two of the better ones (and a useful website):

  • The Song Index of the Enoch Pratt Free Library (Orwig Ref. ML128.S3 L665 1998)
  • Song Index by Minnie Sears (Orwig Ref. ML128.S3 S31 1926)
  • Index to Arias and Art Songs in Collections (University of Washington Music Library)

Searching for an Opera aria?: Usually the easiest way to find an aria is to find it in the vocal score for the opera of which it is a part. If you don't know what opera it's from, look it up in Appendix B of the New Grove Dictionary of Opera (Orwig Ref. ML102.O6 N5 1992 v. 4)

Harris Collection - The Harris Collection in the John Hay Library collects American plays and poetry including musical comedies and musical settings of American poetry. If you are seeking song settings of American poets or songs from Broadway musicals, the Harris Collection is an excellent place to start. Keep in mind that it is a "special collection" and therefore, its collections are non-circulating.

Searching for Piano music (in Josiah): Piano music, like songs, can sometimes be found by searching in Josiah for its title or by searching "words from contents notes" (e.g. search title: bagatelles and words from contents notes: bagatelles)

Piano works in collections can often be found in Piano Music in Collections: an Index by Rita M. Fuszek (Orwig Ref ML128.P3 F87 1982)


FINDING SCORES AND RECORDINGS BEYOND BROWN

NB: With the following web catalogs one can use many of the same search techniques used in Josiah. Most US libraries use Library of Congress subject headings, so any one finds in Josiah can be used elsewhere as well. However, while most US Libraries also use Library of Congress call numbers, the exact call numbers will necessarily vary from library to library.

WorldCat: World cat includes a powerful search interface allowing one to search for scores or recordings of musical works by author, title, subject, and publisher.
Borrow Direct: Searching Borrow Direct gives one access to music collections of Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, University of Pennsylvania, Princeton and Yale.
Other music catalogs on the web:

Repertoire lists (or bibliographies): In general these are available in the Orwig Reference Collection under the call number ML128. X , where X is the alpha-numeric abbreviation for the instrument or ensemble. E.g.:

ML128. C4 H5 1978 The Piano in Chamber Ensemble
ML128. G8 J36 1989 Classical Guitar Music in Print
ML128. S3 E8 1977 Repertoire for solo voice (bibliography of songs)
ML128. W5 P8 1997 Woodwind Music in Print

» Ned Quist