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Conducting: Scores & Parts

Find a specific piece of music

Find Scores and Recordings

sample catalog search for 'tropic winter nathaniel dett' limited to Printed Music (All); results show catalog record with library location and call number

In the Allen Library

  1. Open the library catalog.
  2. Search the title and composer's name.
  3. Limit the format to Printed Music, Sound Recordings, or Videos
    (depending on what you need).
  4. Find a catalog record for the piece you need.
  5. Use the location and call number to find it on the shelf.

Image: Catalog search with the format limited to Printed Music, and search result showing location and call number.


Can't visit the library? Use our guides to Music Scores Online or Streaming Audio & Video to find online score & recording sites, then search for the piece you need.

Get help

Searching for music can be tricky! If you can't find what you need, ask a librarian for help.

Find any piece for a specific ensemble

Browse the Shelves

young man looks at library shelvesMusic in the library is arranged by call numbers, which are assigned to each item based on instrumentation/genre. Browsing the shelves is a great way to discover music if you don't have a specific piece in mind!

Use these call numbers to browse ensemble music in the library:

Call Number Genre
M6 – M990
    M6 – M175
    M180 – M299
    M400s, M500s... M900s
Solo and chamber ensembles
    Quartets, quintets...through nonets
M1000 – M1075
    M1005 – M1042
M1100 – M1160
    M1105 – M1142
String orchestra
M1200 – M1270 Band
M1470 – M1473 Chance & electronic music
M1497 – M1998
    M1500 – M1508
    M1530 – M1610
Secular vocal
    Operas & musicals
M1999 – M2199
    M2000 – M2007
    M2010 – M2017
    M2020 – M2101
Sacred vocal
    Church services (e.g. Masses)

Use a Repertoire Guide

Repertoire Guide: A list of music for a specific instrument or group. Often describes style, difficulty, or musical features.
Here are a few selected guides in the Allen Library:

Find more repertoire guides

Browse the shelves or Reference section by call number:

Call Number Topic
ML128 B2 Band music guides
ML128 C48 Choral music guides
ML128 N8 Orchestra music guides

Browse the catalog by subject:
Band music > Bibliography
Choral music > Bibliography
Choruses > Bibliography
Orchestral music > Bibliography

Browse the Catalog for Music

If you're not looking for a particular piece, browse the catalog using subjects, for example:

Band music
Orchestral music
String orchestra music

You can find even more subjects in individual catalog records. Find a piece of your desired ensemble/genre, then click on a subject to find more materials with that subject:

catalog record with Subjects section circled, text to the side reads 'click on to find more materials with the same subject'

How do I choose the right format?

person with question mark Here are some of the most common formats for printed music:

Shows all instruments

Miniscore/study score
Small version of the full score

Vocal score
Piano and vocal line(s) only

Individual pieces for each instrument

You can determine the format by looking at the catalog record, in the Subjects or Description section:

catalog record showing 'vocal scores with piano' under Subjects and '1 vocal score' under Description

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