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Music Scores and Sheet Music

How to find music scores and sheet music at UCLA or online: classical, jazz, popular music, etc.

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Matthew Vest

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Matthew Vest
Subjects: Music & Dance

Locating Western Cannonical Music

The UCLA Library Catalog lists everything in the Music Library. There is always more than one way to find something. Here are two good ways.

1. This method is useful for items with specific titles or identifying numbers.

Use a: Keyword Search. Set the Quick Limit to: Music Scores (sheet music).

Enter specific words in the search box. Here are some examples:

  • bach bwv 1029
  • stravinsky rite spring piano
  • adams atomic
  • berlioz fantastiqe

The disadvantage of this search is that you find only the scores identified by what you enter. "stravinsky rite spring piano" won't find scores identified only as "sacre du printemps", or "Vesna svi︠a︡shchennai︠a︡"!

2. This method is useful for symphonies, concertos, sonatas and works with generic titles.

Use an: Author and Title List search. (Don't set a Quick Limit.)

Enter the composer's name followed by words in the title in title order. You can also just enter the composer's name. Here are some examples:

  • brahms johannes
  • bach weinen klagen
  • shostakovich symphonies
  • haydn symphonies 104

The advantage of this search is that you get all of the works by the composer with the title you entered in an an ordered list. The disadvantage is that recordings and scores all appear together in the list, and you must put the generic title word first.

Locating Popular Songs

The UCLA Library Catalog lists everything in the Music Library. Here is the best way to find popular songs, show songs, movie themes, etc. You can also use this technique for specific individual songs of any kind (art song, lieder, folk song).

Use a Keyword Search.Set the Quick Limit to: Music Scores (sheet music).

Enter the essential words from the song's title. If the song has only common words in the title put them in quotatation marks in the same order as in the title. You can also add a composer's name, if you know it.

Here are some examples:

  • sophisticated lady ellington
  • "ferne geliebte"
  • "i love you" cole porter
  • "love me tender" elvis presely

The results will show anthologies and song collections with the song you are looking for. Note: Items with the location "Performing Arts Special Collections" do not circulate and cannot be photocopied.

For further information and resources on finding songs in anthologies, see this page on the Music Library website: Other Indexes and Databases.

UCLA Library Digital Collections

Sheet of Music with Guitar

Pablo Picasso "Sheet of Music with Guitar" (1912-1913)

This image is courtesy of the UCLA Library Digital Collections; it is part of the Art History Visual Resources Collection