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Music Guide: Finding scores and online scores

Find books and articles on music, CDs, DVDs, etc., online audio or video, and scores.

Distinctive titles: operas, ballets, etc.

Use keywords in Roger to combine the composer name and the title word(s), such as:

     puccini and tosca

Generic titles: symphonies, concertos, sonatas, etc.

For famous composers, add more keywords to avoid scrolling through long lists. 

1)  Add the featured instrument(s) if any

 2)    If known, add an opus or other number commonly associated with the work (e.g., the "K" number for Mozart)

3)  Use “*” to truncate the generic title word to catch both singular and plural cases in Roger 

  • mozart and concerto* and piano and 467
  •  prokofiev and symphon* and  44

Popular music

Popular songs are usually published in anthologies.  Use a keyword search  in Roger with the song title, and if known add the band or songwriter name.  Folk song anthologies often do not have all of the song titles listed in Roger.  

Score Basics

In UCSD's Roger catalog, “score” can refer to any kind of printed music, including a set of parts like the four parts for a string quartet. For symphonies and other orchestral works we have study scores, not part sets.  For operas or musicals we have study scores and/or piano-vocal arrangements.   For ensembles of nine players or less we have part sets and sometimes study scores as well.

Most of our scores circulate, the main exceptions are the M2 and M3 collected works, the large bound volumes that serve as reference scores.

The Music Scores Collection is located in the Geisel Library West Wing 1st Floor, on the north end next to the music books.

If you want to eliminate recordings from a search result so it's scores only:  click the "Modify Search" button, then limit the Material Type to "music scores."

Online scores

Music Online: Classical Scores Library  Icon  a series of four volumes containing scores of contemporary and canonical works. The collections contain over 50,000 thousand scores, encompassing all major classical musical genres and time periods from the Middle Ages to the 21st century. 

New Music USA Online Library   Icon a digital database that contains over 57,000 works by more than 6,000 contemporary composers, and includes over 14,000 media samples (recordings and scores).

Open Music Library  Icon The Online Music Library contains over 200,000 scores, many of which are from the 20th and 21st centuries. Searching for Works will display everything in the database related to a particular composition - possibly including scores, facsimiles of manuscripts, sketches, etc. 

 

Many public domain (expired copyright) scores have been digitized at various sites.  These are useful in particular if you want to print out a shorter piece such as an aria or piano etude.

Looking for parts to play, or a piano/vocal score?

These usually include the word "parts" or "vocal score" in Roger.  You can also add those terms to a keyword search.

  • puccini and tosca and vocal score

Subject Guide

Peter Mueller's picture
Peter Mueller
Contact:
Geisel Library
(858) 534-7629
pmueller@ucsd.edu
Subjects:Music

Want to browse?

The score call numbers enable browsing. For example, works for solo clarinet are under M72, then subdivided by composer. So you can also browse the shelves for similar works.

This chart shows the general call number breakdown.