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Singers' and Choral Directors' Bible

Resources for the classical singer, including how to find repertoire, translations, pronunciations, and pedagogical works. Choral music resources also are included.

LC Classes & Subjects/Descriptors

At Butler University, all of the libraries use the Library of Congress (LC) Classification System.  For those accustomed to the Dewey Decimal System, the LC System may look strange because it combines letters and numbers. Every LC call number begins with a letter or letters which designate the general subject of the material and knowing helpful classification numbers will help you browse the catalog and the stacks for related material.


Solo songs with orchestra

M 1613 - Full scores
M 1614 - Vocal scores

Solo songs with piano

M 1600-M 1990's - various collections of songs, folk-songs, etc.
    M 1619 - Collections by more than one composer
    M 1620 - Collections by one compoers:

M 1620.B - Brahms
M1620.F - Faure
M 1620.I - Ives
M 1620.S - Schubert, Schumann, Strauss

M 1621 - Separate songs
M 1621.4 - Song Cycles

Operas, musicals

M 1500 - Full scores
M 1503 - Vocal scores
M 1507 - Operatic anthologies
M 1508 - Selections from musicals, operas


M 2000 - Full scores
M 2003 - Vocal scores

Other useful numbers

M 1530 - Secular choruses, mixed voices with orchestra, full scores
M 1533 - Secular choruses, mixed voices with orchestra, vocal scores
M 2010 - Masses
M 2011 - Masses, unaccompanied
M 2020 - Sacred choruses, mixed voices with orchestra, full scores
M 2023 - Sacred choruses, mixed voices with orchestra, vocal scores

Literature (a selective list)

ML 46-ML 54.8 - Librettos, Scenarios (includes operas, oratorios, art songs, etc.)
ML 102 .06 - Opera dictionaries, encyclopedias (most in "reference")
ML 410 - Composer biographies
ML 420 - Singer biographies
ML 1400-ML 3275 - Vocal music
ML 1460 - Vocal technique
ML 1500-ML 1554 - Choral music
ML 1600-ML 2881 - Secular vocal music
ML 1700 - Dramatic music (opera, musical theatre, etc.):
    ML 1711 - United States
    ML 1711 - France
    ML 1721 - Germany
    ML 1731 - British Isles
    ML 1733 - Italy
ML 2500-ML 2862 - Songs
ML 2600-ML2770 - Part songs
ML 2633 - Madrigals
ML 2800-ML 2862 - Solo songs:
    ML 2811 - United States
    ML 2827 - France
    ML 2829 - Germany (Lied)
    ML 2831 - British Isles
ML 2900-ML 3275 - Sacred vocal music:
    ML 3000 - Christian (general)
    ML 3002-ML 3095 - Roman Catholic
    ML 3100-ML 3188 - Protestant
    ML 3195 - Jewish
    ML 3197 - Islamic

Instruction and study:

MT 820 - General singing and voice culture
MT 821 - Physiology, hygiene
MT 823 - History of vocal pedagogy
MT 825-MT 850 - Systems and methods
MT 883 - Pronunciations, diction, etc.
MT 885 - Studies and exercises

Items in the catalog are assigned Subject Headings in the catalog.  Subject Headings are meant to capture the most essential themes and content of the material (books, recordings, eResources, etc.).  When you search by subjects, you are able to find a smaller collection of items that share the same essential subject matter.  In catalog records, subjects are hyperlinked so that you can click on related subjects to browse related groups of items. You can also combine subjects in searches to get narrower results.

The subjects listed below are intended to help you brainstorm your topic. Think about it! Write down key terms, concepts, and the names of key people whose thinking or work is relevant to your search. Be sure to include synonyms of key terms and concepts. Also, consider important geographic locations and time periods (i.e., geographic and chronological limiters).

Useful LC Subject Headings for Voice Students


Acting in opera

Acting--Psychological aspects

Dramatic music--Performance--Psychological aspects

French language--Dictionaries

French language--Phonetics

French language--Pronunication

German language--Phonetics

German language--Pronunciation

Humorous Songs

Italian language--Phonetics

Italian language--Pronunication

Music acoustics and physics

Music--Instruction and study

Music--Performance--Psychological aspects

Musical accompaniment

Musicals--Excerpts--Vocal scores with piano

Musicals--Vocal scores with piano


Opera--Interpretation (Phrasing, dynamics, etc.)

Opera--Production and direction

Operas--Excerpts--Vocal scores with piano


Operas--Vocal scores with piano

Oratorios--Excerpts--Vocal scores with piano

Oratorios--Vocal scores with piano

Phonetic alphabet

Sacred songs

Sacred songs--Bibliography



Singing diction

Singing--Instruction and study

Singing--Interpretation (Phrasing, dynamics, etc.)

Singing methods

Singing quotations, maxims, etc.

Singing--Psychological aspects

Solo cantatas, Sacred (High voice)--Vocal scores with piano

Solo cantatas, Secular

Song cycles

Songs--16th century

Songs -- Analysis, appreciation


Songs, English

Songs, English--Canada


Songs, French

Songs, French--History and criticism

Songs, German

Songs, German--History and criticism

Songs, German--Translations into English

Songs (High voice)

Songs (High voice) with piano

Songs -- History and criticism


Songs, Italian

Songs (Low voice)

Songs (Medium voice) with piano

Songs (Medium voice) with organ

Songs, Sacred (Medium voice) with piano

Songs, Secular (Low voice) with piano


Spirituals (Songs)

Vocal duets

Vocal duets with piano

Vocal music--Bibliography


Voice culture

Libraries play a key role in describing content so it can be discovered through the use of metadata.  Academic libraries use the Library of Congress Classification scheme to assign subject terms to books, articles, and media so the end user can find these materials in library catalogs.  While the classification system is continually being updated to accommodate new areas of scholarship, perspectives, and identities, the process take time. 

For examples of evolving subject headings, consult the Cataloging Lab's - Problem LCSH page.  This provides a crowdsourced compilation of Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) that are considered problematic (for a variety of reasons).  

The Butler Libraries has an ongoing harm-mitigation project to create local subject headings to replace existing outdated and potentially harmful subject headings. If you find a troubling subject term(s) in our catalog, please submit it through the below form with a suggestion(s) of an alternative term(s).  


When reading a catalog record, you can find Library of Congress Subject Headings after the ISBN:



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Irwin Library: 317-940-9227
Science Library: 317-940-9937

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