Skip to Main Content

Music (SUBJECT GUIDE): Getting started

A comprehensive resource guide for music research


The Listening Lab (145 Center for the Arts) contains Albums, CDs, Cassettes, VHS tapes, DVD's, and Musical Scores. Anything from Classical, Jazz, to Modern Rock.

Murphy Library houses various formats of musical materials, including:

  • Reference books, including dictionaries, encyclopedias, indices, and bio-bibliographies - located in the Reference Collection on the main floor.
  • Books - located on the 2nd floor, in the M, ML, & MT sections.
  • DVDs - located in the Multimedia Center just past Murphy's Mug.

The Library also provides the following facilities and services relating to music:

  • Computer Workstations (Macintosh, with Garage Band, etc.) - located on the main floor
  • Copiers  - located in the middle of the main floor by the printers and also in the back by the elevator
  • Microfilm Reader-Printers - located in the Microforms area in the basement
  • Listening/Viewing Facilities - located in the Multimedia Center
  • Personal Audio Headsets - can be obtained at the Circulation Desk. 
  • Specialized Reference & Research Assistance - available from the Access Services Librarian or the Reference Librarian on duty

M - Music Scores

M 1.A1-5000   MUSIC SCORES

M 2-2.3   Collections of Musical Sources, including Monuments

M 3-3.1   Collected works of individual composers


M 6-175         Solo instruments

M 177-990      Music for two or more solo instruments

M 180-298.5      Duets

M 300-386         Trios

M 400-486         Quartets

M 500-586         Quintets

M 600-686         Sextets

M 700-786         Septets

M 800-886         Octets

M 900-986         Nonets and larger combinations of purely chamber music

M 990               Chamber music for instruments of the 18th century and earlier

M 1000-1075            Orchestra

  M 1001                     Symphonies

  M 1004                     Overtures

  M 1010-1011        Piano concertos

M 1100-1160            String orchestra

M 1200-1269            Band

M 1366                     Jazz ensembles

M 1376-1420            Instrumental music for children

M 1473                     Electronic music

M 1497-5000   VOCAL MUSIC

M 1497-1998         Secular vocal music

M 1500-1527.8         Dramatic music (including operas and musicals)

  M 1500                     Full scores

  M 1503                     Vocal scores with piano accompaniment

M 1611-1624.8         Songs for one (1) voice

M 1627-1853            National music

M 1990-1998            Secular music for children (useful for music education)

M 1999-2199      Sacred vocal music

M 2000-2007         Oratorios

M 2010-2017.6       Masses

M 2020-2036          Cantatas, choruses, etc.

M 2101-2114.8      Songs for one (1) voice

M 2115-2146         Hymnals

LC Classifications

Murphy Library uses the Library of Congress Classification Scheme (LC) to determine the location of its materials.  The LC system is an alpha-numeric system.  This means that the call numbers contain letters and numbers.  The letters tell the user the general subject matter of the material; the numbers provide more specific information about the material.

M = Music or Scores

ML = Music Literature and/or Music History

MT = Music Theory and Pedagogy

Below are some important range designations for Music Research in the LIBRARY of CONGRESS system:


ML 48-54.8         Librettos

ML 100-109         Dictionaries & encyclopedias

ML 111-158         Bibliography

ML 113               Guides to historical sets, series, complete works, etd.

ML 134               Composers catalogs, thematic catalogs, A-Z (guides to research)

ML 159-3797      History & criticism

ML 162-197          By Time period

  ML 193                 General Baroque

  ML 194                 1600-1700

  ML 195                 1700-1800

  ML 196                 1800-1900

  ML 197                 1900-

ML 385-429       Biography

  ML 410                 Composers, A-Z

ML 430-455        Composition

ML 460-1354     Instruments & instrumental music

ML 1100-1165         Chamber music

ML 1200-1270         Orchestral music

ML 1300-1354         Band music

ML 1400-3275     Vocal music

ML 1500-1554         Choral music

ML 1600-2881         Secular vocal music

ML 2900-3275         Sacred vocal music


MT 3                     History of Music Education

MT 6-7                  Music Theory

MT 40-67              Composition

MT 70-71              Orchestra & orchestration

MT 73                   Band & instrumentation for band

MT 90-145             Analytical guides

MT 170-810         Instrumental techniques

MT 728                  Chamber music instruction & study

MT 730                  Orchestral music instruction & study

MT 733-733.6         Band instruction & study

MT 740-810         Instruction & study for children

MT 820-949      Singing & voice culture