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Tutt Library Research Guides


FYE/ITL320/MU227-Word, Sound, and Drama in Italian Culture-Music Guide: Find Scores

Looking for a composer?

If you want to find works 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. 

For both of these searches, use this order-last name, first name:


Wagner, Richard

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

Search Tips


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


Use a keyword search in Tiger, selecting View Entire Collection-- and the most specific information that you have, such as key,  a distinctive title (name of song or work), opus number, or thematic index number of  piece:

Verdi Nabucco


Topic Subject Searches


  • Use the plural for examples of musical works:



  • Use the singular for information about a musical work:         



Use the uniform title of a work to discover all versions of the work.


You can use Prospector to order materials that are either checked out or not owned by the campus libraries.

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



To view the largest number of resources available, use WorldCat to locate scores that we don't own.  You can order these through interlibrary loan.

Finding Scores

In short, when searching for a musical work (score or recording) it's best to use a KEYWORD search, using the composer's name and the name of the work-using the most specific information you have for the work's title.  For this course, you will probably be searching for works that have distinctive titles--like Don Giovanni or Nabucco--so a simple title search may suffice.

This is the short on if you're braveAlways remember--ask us to help you find a musical work for you if you come up with no results--this can be quite tricky!

Beethoven's 5th Symphony, for example, could be more completely named Symphony No. 5 in c minor, Op. 67.  You'll get results in Tiger if you search under Beethoven's 5th Symphony, because this work is very popular and we have lots of examples.  But, let's assume it's not as well known.  If I have the full title, I could search with these terms, "Beethoven Op. 67".  Composers' works are often organized by opus numbers (abbreviated as op.) thereby assigning each work a distinctive number, identifying that work alone.  In principal an opus number is the most specific piece of information I have about a title.

Scores can be difficult to find because composers often use a generic title, such as "concerto" or "symphony", which refers to the genre of the musical work itself.  Composers often produce many works using the same title, such as string quartet No. 1, string quartet No. 2, etc.

To help your searching, librarians use a uniform title to bring together all the arrangements and editions of a particular work.

For example, the uniform title of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony is Symphonies, no. 5, op. 67, C minor.  Click on this link and you'll see that we have several editions of this work.

Many works, particularly vocal pieces, have distinctive titles that are not the name of a musical form. Librarians have adopted uniform titles to gather these together as well.

Searching for a part of a work can be challenging.  An aria from an opera or a song selection from a musical is cataloged as a part of the work.  Best results will require that you discover the title of the work your selection is from.

Finding popular song titles is particularly dependent upon verifying "official" titles.

Ask us!  This can be complicated; we're happy to help you!




Collected Works

You will find collected works of many composers as well as monumental sets and series (works by various composers, eras) in our non-circulating area, call numbers M1-M3.  These editions are authoritative, scholarly editions of musical works, appropriate for music research.  

Score and Sheet Music Databases

  • Online Resources for Music Scholars
    "provides a basis for beginning electronic research on a wide variety of topics in music, including historical musicology, ethnomusicology, music theory, composition, and performance practice. It collects links to archival collections, online scores and sound recordings; article indexes, discographies and bibliographies; scholarly societies; musical reference works; and a miscellany of useful websites."

  • Digital Librarian: Scores
    A collection of internet resources reviewed by librarians for their authoritativeness and usability.

  • Choral Public Domain Library
    Free, public domian choral/vocal scores, texts, translations, and other useful information.

  • Orchestral Music Online
    A great reference resource on symphonic literature, containing about 6700 works by 900 composers. This is the online version of David Daniel's classic print resource. This database is searchable by timings, instrumentation, available editions, soloists, and choruses.

  • IMSLP Petrucci Music Library
    A digital music library, free printing allowed. It aspires to collecting all public domain music, as well as music by living composers willing to share their works. It's a Canadian site, so adheres to stricter copyright regulations than the United States.  This site also includes information on publishers, etc.  In a manner similar to Wikipeida, but a tad more reliable.

  • Sheet Music Consortium
    A huge collection of digitized sheet music collections from many universities and other sources.

  • Theme Finder
    Themefinder provides search access to a database containing tens of thousands of short melodies and musical incipits, allowing you to identify common themes in Western classical music, Folksongs, and latin Motets of the sixteenth century.

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: