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Vocal Music (Solo): Scores

On this page, you'll find tips and resources for finding vocal music scores.

Jump to: Find a specific piece of music | Find any piece in a certain genre

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

Find a copy online

Can't visit the library? Use our COVID-19 Response guide to find online score & recording sites, then search for the piece you need.

Find a copy in the Allen Library

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

  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.


Request a copy from another library

worldcat search example limited to Musical Scores, result showing ILL linkIf we don't own a copy, you can often get a copy from another library through Interlibrary Loan:

  1. Open WorldCat.
  2. Search the title and composer's name.
  3. Limit the format to Musical Scores, Sound Recordings, or Visual Materials (depending on what you need).
  4. Find a record for the piece you need.
  5. Click the title to open the full record.
  6. Click the link to ILL this with ILLiad@H.
  7. Log into ILLiad or create a new account.
  8. Wait for the form to auto-fill, then click Submit at the bottom of the page.

Image: WorldCat search with format limited to Musical Scores, and resulting record with ILL link.

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. Click on one 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.

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 figure out the format by looking at the catalog record, in the Subjects or Description sections:

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

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