Skip to main content

MU 182B Emotion and Meaning in Music: Getting Started, Jazz

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 Dexter Gordon, check in ML419 under the Gs.
  • 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 the Catalog!

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

For more information, see the Introduction to Jazz courseguide

Best Bets for your assignments:

  • 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.
  • Proquest Historical Newspapers.  Use the link below to search for reviews and comments about jazz artists and their performances.
  • 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 Catalog

SUBJECT HEADINGS are a great way to widen your search, leading you to information about a jazz artist or genre-not just a score or recording/video of a jazz musician/style.

The best way to find suitable headings is to look in a record you pull up during a search in the Books & Media catalog.

 Here's a good way to mine SUBJECT HEADINGS:

  • Start with a KEYWORD search first.
    • NOTE:  you may also search by TITLE or AUTHOR for more specificity.
  • When you find something useful in your results list, open that record and.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:

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