Music Research Guide: Scores

Librarian-selected resources for students of music.

Library Databases Containing Scores

NEIU users can download scores from Library Music Source.

Also try  Naxos Music Library for sheet music.

Naxos requires you to install software to download and print music, but this free service is worth the trouble!


WorldCat Local

Steps for Successful Keyword Searching for Scores

Many music titles are comprised of generic terms such as sonata, trio, concerto, etc.  Those terms vary country to country (e.g., Sonata vs. Sonate or Trio sonata vs. Sonata a tre).  To complicate matters even further, distinctive titles usually reflect the language of the composer (e.g., Prelude a l'apres-midi d'un faune vs. Prelude to the afternoon of a Fawn)

Here are some tips for helping you use keyword searching effectively in a library catalog:

  1. If the title consists of a generic term, search using the English form (sonata vs, sonate)
  2. If the title is distinctive, search it in it's original language if known (Prelude a l'apres-midi d'un faune vs. Prelude to the afternoon of a fawn).  If the title is too long, choose words in the title that are the most unique
  3. Always include the composer's last name
  4. If the piece has an opus number or thematic catalog number (e.g., BWV numbers for Bach), include that number as a keyword (e.g., Bach concerto BWV 1062).  If you do not know the opus/thematic catalog number, go to Oxford Music Online and find it in the composer's list of complete works.  You can also search Wikipedia by composer for opus/thematic catalog numbers found in the list of composer's works.
  5. If you are looking for a  specific edition (e.g., Henle) or editor, include that term, name, etc.


Need help?

Joan Schuitema's picture
Joan Schuitema