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Music Education: Search tips!

This guide covers basic sources useful to music education students.

Helpful search hints!

Don't forget --

  • Use KEYWORD searching initially to ID relevant records.
  • Use QUOTATION MARKS around terms that you wish to be searched in a particular order, e.g., "first steps in music."
  • Use SUBJECT or DESCRIPTOR headings to find additional resources on the same or similar topics.
  • Use TRUNCATION (i.e., shortening a word to its root or base form using a designated symbol, such as ?, * !, $) for words that might:

*Have more than one significant form, e.g., symphon? = finds symphony, symphonie, symphonien, symphonic, symphonies.

*Have alternative spellings (type as much as you KNOW is correct!)., e.g. Stravinsky or Stravinski

What to know when searching for scores ...

To find a score or recording of a particular musical work in the Butler Libraries' online catalog, WorldCat, or Naxos Music Online, the following pieces of information will be helpful:

Composer’s [full] name:

Also, remember to consider alternate spellings for names that are derived from a language that uses a non-Roman alphabet, ex. Russian, Hebrew, Chinese, etc.


Title of the work in its original language

For example:  Jeux d'eau (Fountains) / Ravel; Kinderszenen (Scenes from Childhood) / R. Schumann.


Alternative titles or nicknames

For example:  "Moonlight Sonata"/"Mondschein-sonate" (Piano Sonata no. 14 in C-sharp Minor, op. 27, no. 2) / Beethoven

You can find more info in A Dictionary of Music Titles by Adrian Room (REF ML 102 .T58 R6 2000).  N.B., Searching only by a work's nickname may cause you to not find certain things.  Not all publishers of scores or recordings use nicknames in the titles they provide.


Name of larger work from which piece comes (if applicable).

For example, a particular movement, such as "Clair de lune" ("Moonlight") from Suite bergamasque by Debussy.

Nationality of the composer.  This can help determine the language of your search terms.

For example:  piano = Klavier (German) = clavier (French, technically, "keyboard") = pianoforte (Italian) or sonata = Sonate (German) = sonate (French) = sonata (Italian)  N.B. Klaviersonate (sing) and Klaviersonaten (pl.) are compound words in German

**For more info, consult:  International Vocabulary of Music by Stephen Dembski et al (REF 108 .I49 1984)
 

Numbers associated with the work, such as sequence, opus, or thematic catalog numbers.  Examples of some common thematic catalog numbers include:

  • "BWV" = Bach Werke Verzeichnis (J.S. Bach)
  • "D" = Deutsch (Schubert)
  • "Hob." = Hoboken (F.J. Haydn)
  • "K" = Kochel (Mozart)

**You can often find thematic catalog numbers using the Butler Libraries' catalog, WorldCat, or the "works" section at the end of composer entries in The New Grove Dictionary

Key signature

Instrumentation (or original instrumentation of work).

Score format that you desire.

For example:  full score or conductor's score, mini-score, vocal score, piano reduction

Right-Sizing Your Search!

Remember!  You can focus your topic (or search) by adding terms that limit by:

  • Genre or Form
  • Time Period
  • Geographical Location 
  • Key Terms or Concepts

Need research or academic technology help? Visit or contact the InfoCommons

Contact Information Commons by comming into the Irwin Library or Center for Academic Technology (JH 037) or through Email at: infocommons@butler.edu or through chat.

CONTACT

Email Butler University Libraries
Irwin Library: 317-940-9227
Science Library: 317-940-9937
CAT: 317-940-8575

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