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Sing It!: Locating scores & recordings

Resources for Singers, Choral Directors, and Vocal Music Researchers

Helpful Hints

Use KEYWORD searching initially to identify relevant records.

Use SUBJECT/DESCRIPTOR searching using terms you find on relevant records.

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.
  • Have alternative spellings (type as much as you KNOW is correct!).

Music Streaming

Search Tip

When searching for a piece in MaagNET, do an AUTHOR search for the composer (lastname, firstname) and you will get a list of all the compositions (including those within a CD or score) in alphabetical order.

If the piece is contained in a larger work, there will be a link to that larger work.

Finding Scores & Recordings

To find a score or recording of a particular musical work in MaagNET, the OhioLINK Catalog, WorldCat, or Naxos Music Library, you will need the information below:

  1. Composer’s name:
    • Last, first, and middle (or middle initial) if at all possible.
    • Think about alternative transliterations if the name comes from a language that uses an alphabet other than the Roman alphabet, e.g., Cyrillic, Hebrew, Chinese, etc..
  2. Title of the work in its original language, e.g., The Marriage of Figaro = Le nozze di Figaro, B Minor Mass = Messe in H-Moll, Quartet for the End of Time = Quatuor pour la fin du temps.
  3. Alternative titles or nicknames, such as "Moonlight Sonata" or "Jupiter" Symphony. 
  4. Is the piece part of a larger work?  For example, an aria from a particular opera, e.g., "Quando m'en vo" = "Musetta's Waltz Song" from Puccini's La Boheme OR "No One Is Alone" from Sondheim's Into the Woods.
  5. Nationality of the composer.  This helps determine your search terms, for example:
    • piano = Klavier (German) = clavier (French, technically, "keyboard")
    • violin = Geige (German) = Violon (French)
    • viola = Bratsche = alto
    • double bass = Kontrabass (German) = Contrebasse (French)
    • bassoon = Fagott (German) = basson (French) = fagotto (Italian)
    • oboe = hautbois (French)
    • percussion battery = Schlagzeug (German) = batterie (French)
    • string quartet = Streichquartett (German) = quatuor a cordes (French)
      **For more info, consult: International Vocabulary of Music by Stephen Dembski, et al. (ML 108 .L49 1984)
  6. 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)
    • "R" = Ryom (Vivaldi). 
    • **You can often find thematic catalog numbers using the Maag Library catalog, WorldCat, or the "works" section at the end of composer entries in The New Grove Dictionary.
  7. Key signature or voice type/range.
  8. Instrumentation (or original instrumentation of work).
  9. Score format that you desire, e.g., full or conductor's score, mini-score, vocal score, piano reduction.

Where Can I Find Information About a Musical Work?

You can find these pieces of information using various library resources:

MaagNET: Search by title, author, or keyword.

OhioLINK Library Catalog: Search by title, author, or keyword.

WorldCat: Catalog of books and other materials held by libraries worldwide. Use the InterLibrary Loan Book Request Form for materials not available in MaagNET or OhioLINK.


When using research databases off campus, you will be asked to authenticate with your name and YSU ID#. For a complete list of available databases, visit the A-Z Research Databases list.

Grove Music Online: Gateway to Grove Music Online, with access to The Oxford Dictionary of Music and The Oxford Companion to Music. Authoritative resource for music research with over 52,000 articles written by nearly 9,000 scholars charting the diverse history and cultures of music around the globe.

New Grove Dictionary of Music & Musicians: Eighth edition of Grove’s Dictionary of Music and Musicians. Contains articles commissioned specifically for the site as well as articles from New Grove 2001, Grove Opera, and Grove Jazz.

Oxford Music Online: Portal for Grove Music Online, The Oxford Dictionary of Music, and The Oxford Companion to Music. Authoritative resource for music research with over 52,000 articles written by nearly 9,000 scholars charting the diverse history and cultures of music around the globe.

RILM Abstracts of Music Literature: Index and abstracts of articles, books, dissertations, conferences, and other literature on music.


ArkivMusic.com: Find useful information about specific compositions.