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Tutt Library Research Guides


MU227 Musicals in American Culture: Getting Started

Looking for a musical?

Use a TITLE search.  You can limit your search in the following ways:

  • VIEW ENTIRE COLLECTION-you'll bring up scores, recordings, videos, and any books, or chapters in books, etc. about your musical.
  • MUSIC LIBRARY-you'll bring up everything located in the Music Library-mainly scores and audio/video recordings.
  • AUDIO/VIDEO-you'll bring up any audio/video recordings available in both libraries

Try the above techniques as you search for the musical SOUTH PACIFIC.

If you want to find musicals by a composer, do an AUTHOR search in the Tiger catalog.  This will bring up anything she has created (scores, recordings, writings, etc).

If you want to find out about a composer, do a SUBJECT search. 

IMPORTANT!!  You must use the convention of Last Name, First Name when using AUTHOR or SUBJECT searches!

Many contemporary composers have websites with sound files and biographical information.


  • You'll find books about music in Tutt Library.
  • You'll find music works (scores, media) in the Music Library.

Browsing Shelves-Ah, Serendipity!

BROWSE THE SHELVES!--You'll find sources you weren't expecting!

Libraries shelve like topics together; browsing will help you find something surprisingly useful that you may not have noticed in Tiger catalog. Try the following call number ranges in both libraries (althought Tutt is your best bet):

  • ML102 Music encyclopedias
  • ML1711 Musical theater
  • ML2054 Music social aspects
  • ML410 Biographies of composers are located here, A-Z, by last if you're looking for Richard Rodgers, check in ML410 under the Rs.

Libraries also shelve similar types of musical works together.  Search for these in the Music Library.

  • M1503-Scores to musicals are located in this area, by last name of composer, A-Z.
  • Audio/Video recordings are best found in TIGER. Ask a staff member for help searching...we will pull these materials for you.

I can't find it in Tiger!

You can use Prospector to widen your search, including items that aren't owned by CC libraries or are checked out.

  • Access to materials (scores, books, CDs, DVDs, etc.) throughout Colorado and Wyoming
  • Materials arrive in 3-5 business days

To further extend your search, use WorldCat.  This is often the best way to find obscure items. Items typically arrive within 2 weeks.  Materials you find inside Colorado are better ordered through Prospector.

Music Library Services

Best Bets

Best Bets for your assignments:

        Oxford Companion        This text in print in Reference area

  • Proquest Historical Newspapers.  Use the link below to search for reviews and comments about musicals.


  • Groves Music Online. Part of the Oxford Music Online suite, this is the most important English-language resource for music. Use this resource to locate background information on musical instruments, peoples, and regions or nations.  Contains excellent bibliographies, illustrations,links to related articles within Groves, and links to other Internet resources. Includes some articles from the upcoming second edition of the Groves Encyclopedia of Musical Instruments.


RILM covers all types of publications on music, in all media: books, journals, online resources, research-based sound recordings and films, dissertations, and more (see a complete list of document types). Publications represented in RILM originate from 151 countries, from Albania to Zimbabwe.  Articles in many languages with English titles.  Not much full text, but very comprehensive coverage-and articles may be linked to other sources for full text-otherwise you can order through interlibrary loan.  Try this!

These resources are a great way to

  • Brainstorm ideas
  • Narrow an existing topic
  • Glean keywords for catalog and database searches
  • Leverage bibliographies for the next stage of your research


Searching the Tiger catalog

SUBJECT HEADINGS are a great way to widen your search, leading you to information about a musical-not just a score or recording of a musical.

The best way to find suitable headings is to look in a record you pull up during a search.

 Here's a good way to mine SUBJECT HEADINGS:

  • Start with a WORD search first, selecting VIEW ENTIRE COLLECTION.
    • NOTE:  you can also search by TITLE or AUTHOR, select different collections-then use the same process below.
  • When you find something useful...scroll down and take a look at the SUBJECT HEADINGS on those that interest you, to extend your search. (will broaden or narrow your search)
  • A WORD search will usually reveal more results than a SUBJECT search.

               Compare these searches:

                    musical* United States  514 results.

An asterisk is a truncation device that allows you to search for all letters coming after the root word you're using: musical* searches musical, musicals, etc. 

Major hint:  Perform a SUBJECT SEARCH, selecting VIEW ENTIRE COLLECTION, on the term "Musicals".  You'll find an extensive list of subjects relating to musicals. Click on these links to discover more resources.

Useful headings from this list:

There are many more to choose from!




Music Librarian

Daryll Stevens's picture
Daryll Stevens
The fastest way to reach me is via the "Email Me" link above. You may also reach me at 389-6126, or 389-6560
Tutt Library, Colorado College      Research Help Desk: 719-389-6662, Texting: 719-387-5441, E-mail: