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Music Research Guide: Finding Songs

Resources helpful for locating information in music

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Finding Songs

While you can find songs published individually, they can be published in anthologies or are part of a larger work such as a song cycle, opera, or cantata.  In most cases, all that's needed is a keyword search to locate a score of a song. 

Here are some steps to help you find scores of songs.

I. Catalog:

A. Use a keyword search in the catalog (i.e. "Gute Nacht").
B. Enter the composer name in one of the other text boxes (in this case, it would be Schubert).  Select "Author" from the drop down box labeled "Any field."

C. Select "Music Score" from the "Resource type" drop down box.
D. If you know that the song came from a larger work such as an opera, song cycle, cantata or oratorio, then search under the title of that larger work instead(in this case, it would be Winterreise)
.  Select "Title" from the drop down box labeled "Any field."
E. Select "Music Score" from the "Resource type" drop down box.  

II. If you are having trouble determining whether or not a song came from a larger work, try the following:

A. Search Grove Music Online (Oxford Music Online) by composer and locate the song in the works list if possible.
B. UTK Song Index- http://www.lib.utk.edu/music/songdb/. Keep in mind that this resource will link to the University of Tennessee resources, not the ones here at the University of Montana.
C. When you find a song in a collection, write down the title of the anthology and look it up in the Mansfield Library’s online catalog.
D. Don't hesitate to contact Tammy Ravas, Music Librarian, for more help! 

Finding Songs in Print Indexes

You can consult printed song indexes if you can’t find a copy of a song, or its larger work, in the catalog. When consulting these individual song indexes, be sure to look at the preface to learn how to look up your song. In most of these books, the front of each song index will have a listing of the anthologies it indexes. The rest of the book is comprised of individual song titles with a reference back to the anthology. Please be sure to write down the title of the anthology or collection and look it up in the Mansfield Library’s online catalog in order to locate the work.  Please also bear in mind that many of these titles are in library use only.