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Vocal Music (Solo): Scores

Find a specific piece of music

Tips for Vocal Music

info iconIndividual songs and arias aren't always listed in catalog records.
This is especially true for songs from a larger work (opera, song cycle, etc.).

So how do you find song scores?
You can always try searching the song title and the composer's last name.
If that doesn't work, try searching the composer's name with the title of the larger work.

Not sure if your song is from a larger work?
Search the song title and composer's name in Google to determine the larger work.

Need help? Ask a librarian!

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 to the format you desire.
  4. Find a result for the piece you need.
  5. Use the location and call number to find the item.

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 in a certain genre

Browse the Shelves

young man looks at library shelvesBrowsing is a great way to discover new music if you don't have a specific piece in mind!
Use these call numbers to find solo vocal music:

Call Number Genre
M 1503 Operas (vocal scores)
M 1508 Musicals (vocal scores)
M 1611 - 1626 Secular solo songs
M 1670 Spirituals
M 2003 Oratorios (vocal scores)
M2102 - 2114.8 Sacred solo songs

Browse the Catalog

Browse the catalog for vocal music by using subjects, for example:

Musicals > Vocal scores with piano
Operas > Vocal scores with piano
Song cycles
Songs (High voice)
Songs (Medium voice)
Songs (Low voice)
Vocal 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'

Use a Repertoire Guide

Repertoire Guide: A list of music for a specific instrument or group. Often describes style, difficulty, or musical features.
Use a guide to find the composer and/or piece title you want, then use the above method to locate a score or recording.

Online Guides
Guides in the Library

Find more repertoire guides

Search subjects in the catalog:

Songs > Bibliography
Songs > Indexes
Vocal music > Bibliography

Browse the shelves:

Most repertoire guides are in the reference section!
Browse call numbers beginning with ML128 S6 (songs) or ML128 O61 (opera).

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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