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Tutt Library Research Guides


MU 211 Miles Ahead: The Miles Davis Years: Getting Started

Looking for a jazz artist?

If you want to find performances or works by an artist, perform an AUTHOR search in the Tiger catalog.  This will bring up our holdings of anything she has created (scores, recordings, writings, etc).

If you want to find out about a jazz figure, perform a SUBJECT search. Everyone is a SUBJECT!

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

  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 performer.
  • 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 works by and information about Miles Davis.

Many contemporary performers 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 the Tiger catalog. Try the following call number ranges in both libraries (althought Tutt is your best bet):

  • ML102 .J3 Jazz Bio-bibliographies
  • ML3508-9 Popular music. You'll find books about jazz in this area.
  • ML419 Biographies of jazz performers are located here, A-Z, by last if you're looking for Miles Davis, check in ML419 under the Ds.
  • MT68-Search in this area to find sources for learning how to play jazz.
  • MT-Jazz, Anaylsis and appreciation of musical works.

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

  • We have a limited collection of jazz scores. It's difficult to find these by browsing.  Ask a librarian for help.
  • Jazz Audio/Video recordings are generally shelved by last name of the performer. Ask a staff member for permission to browse this collection.

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:

  • The Music Library has many recordings of Miles Davis and his contemporaries, found in the Tiger catalog. You'll also find some useful recordings, available 24/7, in Music Online. For help using both these resources see the above tab, Finding Recordings/Videos.
  • Use the tabs above, Find Books and Find Scores, for help in locating these resources.

  • DownBeat magazine-We have this magazine available in print in the Music Library (1978-present) and earlier on microfiche (1937-1979) at Tutt Library.  Use this to gather all kinds of information (record and concert reviews, commentary, interviews, etc) on Miles Davis.  You can thumb through magazines in the Music Library, or use an article database like Academic Search Complete or Music Index to guide you to a particular volume, thereby finding what you need more quickly. 


  •   JSTOR is a scholarly journal archives with many music titles. It's a great place to find full-text scholarly articles on jazz topics.  It's best not to limit your search to music journals; you will find articles about jazz in journals principally devoted to other disciplines.

    If you are doing some interdisciplinary work involving music, you may want to check out suggested databases for other disciplines.

    Also, check out Academic Search Complete. Coverage: 1865 - current. It's a large database with extensive full text access to journals, in addition to abstracts and indexing. Subject coverage is general and broad. If you click on Choose Databases at the top of the search fields you can select many database to search at once.

If you are doing some interdisciplinary work involving music, you may want to check out suggested databases for other disciplines.

  • 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.  Includes articles on jazz. 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.
  • The Oxford Companion to Jazz, ed. by Bill Kirchner. Contains a multitude of readings on jazz topics.


  • The many jazz encyclopedias by Leonard Feather:


  • Jazz Research and Performance Materials by Eddie S. Meadows-An excellent resource from the predigital age.


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:

    • SUBJECT search:

      Jazz History  Leads you to a list of subjects, which reveals a more appropriate heading:  History and Criticism. This yields 112 results.  ImportantHistory and Criticism headings are also broken down chronologically by decade, for more specificity:  Jazz -- 1961-1970 -- History and criticism

    • WORD search:

                    Jazz* Histor*  416 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. 

Check this out:  Perform a SUBJECT SEARCH, selecting VIEW ENTIRE COLLECTION, on the term "Jazz".  You'll find an extensive list (21 pages) of subjects illuminating various aspects of Jazz.  Click on these links to discover more resources.




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: