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* Music Resources: Books

This guide is a starting point for research in the field of music

Library Catalogs

Search Tips for Library Catalogs

It is usually more efficient to start with a keyword search and use the results to discover the Subject Headings listed in the book records. The Subject Headings will be hot-linked to take you to similar results.


Keyword Search

Uses natural language. The search engine will search the book record for those words in the title, author, subject headings and table of contents.

  • TIP: Put quotation marks around phrases or names to perform a phrase searchExample: "ludwig van beethoven" 
  • TIP: use the word AND to connect 2 or more ideas (retrieves fewer results). Be sure to capitalize the whole word so the search engine knows you're using AND as a tool instead of searching for the word itself. Example: musical AND history
  • TIP: use the word OR to search for related, narrower, or broader ideas. (always retrieves more results). Be sure to capitalize the whole word. Use also for variant spellings.  Example: "great britain" OR "united kingdom" OR england  Example: theater OR theatre
  • TIP: To search for multiple words that share a root word, add an asterisk to the root. Example: music* retrieves results for music, musical, musicology, musicologist, musician and musicians. This is called truncation.

Subject Search

Requires precise, specific Library of Congress Subject Headings. The words have to be typed in the exact order used by Library of Congress

       Examples of Library of Congress Subject Headings  

  • Church music -- Protestant churches.
  • Musical analysis
  • Music -- Psychological aspects
  • Debussy, Claude, 1862-1918. -- Criticism and interpretation
  • Musical films -- History and criticism
  • String quartet -- Bibliography