Music: Overview


Welcome to the Music guide. Throughout the guide's sections you'll find our suggestions for key resources and information in this subject area.

I can offer help with finding and searching for literature, referencing and more... Use the tabs to navigate.




You may also find it useful to browse the following for performance reviews and feature articles on contemporary composers and musicians :

To get you started, here are the key shelfmark areas for your subject. The book collection for Music is located on the second floor; print journals will have the same shelfmark but all journals are on the third floor.

Subject Shelfmark
Biographies ML385 - 429
Individual composers A-Z ML410 - 418
Composition and performance ML459 - 1380
Electronic and computer music ML1092
Opera ML1700
Popular music ML3469 – 3541
Jazz ML3521
Rock ML3534
Music trade ML3790 - 3792
Musicology ML3797
Philosophy of music ML3800 - 3923
Criticism ML3880
Music and education MT1 - 960
History and theory MT3 - 6
Instrumentation and orchestration MT70 - 74
Conducting MT85
Analysis and appreciation MT90
Instrumental techniques MT170 - 728

Locating music scores

  • Check composer name (if music score) or title (if an anthology)
  • Check the opus number (op = no.)

All of the music scores are located together on floor 2. They are located in a separate section to the book stock and are arranged firstly in order of the composer and then secondly in a Library of Congress sequence. So, for example, all of Berg’s works are collected together in class mark order followed by all of Berio’s works, then Berlioz, Bernstein and so on.

Each score has a label composed of a three letter code referring to the first three letters of the composer’s surname. Where composers have written several works of the same type – e.g. concertos, string quartets, symphonies – these share the same Library of Congress number and are given an opus number to distinguish individual examples, such as:

MUSIC SCORE M1000 B1 1954 MOZ Op.3

Adjacent to the music score shelving are 3 flat cabinets where we store oversize scores that are too large for the normal shelves. If a score is located in the cabinet there will be a note on the library catalogue referring you to this particular area.


Collections including works by more than one composer are kept together at the end of the sequence and are labelled as follows:


The code at the end of the label refers to the title of the anthology, in the above case it is ‘Folk Song of the Americas’. When the title begins with a number it is filed as if the number is spelled out. So '20th Century Americans' would be labelled as follows:


Search Library resources

Our discovery tool will look for books, journal articles and more in one quick easy search - a great place to start your research. For a more comprehensive search, individual databases offer greater functionality and give full access to a tailored suite of resources for your subject.

Search for books, articles, and electronic resources:

Search for books only (does not include all electronic books):

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Search or browse for journals/periodicals:

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Support during Coronavirus outbreak

Your Academic Liaison Librarian will still be available to support you online. You can get help with:

  • Finding and using Library resources
  • Literature searching
  • Referencing and referencing software
  • Troubleshooting access to resources
  • Finding data

Please feel free to get in touch by email or LibChat. We can also arrange online consultations. 

Or you can take a look at one of our online guides include our Library Guides or Library webpages

You can also look on our Library webpages to get updated information on the Library opening hours and borrowing during this period. 

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