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Music: 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 UC Library Search to combine the composer name and the title word(s), such as:

     puccini and tosca

Popular music

Popular songs are usually published in anthologies.  Use a keyword search  in UC Library Search 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 UC Library Search.

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. 

Score Basics

In UC Library Search, “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.


When using UC Library Search you want limit your search results to scores only:  after performing your initial search, in the Refine Your Results column, select the pull-down menu Resource Type . From that, select scores. If you are looking for a set of parts or a piano/vocal score, add the word Parts or Vocal Score to you initial search. For example:

Elliott Carter Quartets Parts


Most of our scores circulate, the main exceptions are the majority of 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 East Wing 1st Floor, on the north end next to the music books.

Online scores

BabelScores Icon digital library of musical scores entirely devoted to contemporary music. The company was established in 2009 and provides a platform for the circulation and promotion of music written in the last 40 years.

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

Recent Researches in Music Online (RRIMO)  Icon  A collection of seven series of critical performing editions of music. The series fall into two The series fall into two basic categories: editions that span the history of Western music, and editions with ties to specific cultural milieus. Most editions in Recent Researches in Music are devoted to works by a single composer or in a single genre.

Score Follower  Icon Videos of contemporary music scores that turn pages along with accompanying recordings. Over 1000 works from 1912 onward, with an emphasis on music of the past 10 years.



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.