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last updated: 3/29/2012

FAQ - IUCAT (Music Library)



Cook Music Library Brief Guides, No. 20



Where Things Are:

First Floor: Call numbers A–LX, M1–244; Reference Collection (including the Index Table); current journals

Second Floor: Call numbers M245–; miniature scores

Third Floor: ML (including bound journals); MT, MZ (IU dissertations); oversize items


       -- All items in the Reference Collection are on the first floor, regardless of call number; they

cannot be checked out.

       -- Reserve items are in the Reserve Room on the first floor (right next to the Circulation Desk).

       -- If IUCAT says an item is in the Frontlog, ask for it at the Circulation Desk (first floor).

       -- All sound recordings and videos must be requested at the Circulation Desk; they

cannot be taken out of the library. Note: sound recordings on the Variations digital library are available on computers in the Music Library and remotely to students registered in classes that require Variations.

For more information on accessing materials, go here.



Restrict your search by Library

If you are searching from an IU Music Library computer, IUCAT’s Basic Search will automatically search only the Music Library collection (see image below).

If you are not on a Music Library computer, you can choose this option from the Collection menu, or choose to search the collection of any or all IU libraries.


Restrict your search by Format

This function allows you to find only items in the format you want: for example, scores but not recordings, or books but not scores. Select your desired format from the Format menu:


Refer back to this image to see the various search functions referred to throughout this guide.


Restrict your search by format: choose Musical Scores from the Format menu.

The best way to find scores is by Keyword searching.  Enter keywords in the Keywords Anywhere box, generally separated by the operator “and.”  (For other operators, see under Advanced Searching Strategies below.)  The order of your keywords does not matter.

When using searching for a specific genre, such as symphonies, sonatas, or cantatas, use the plural form of the genre.


            mozart and figaro

            sonatas and bassoon and continuo and barenreiter

            fake book and whistle a happy tune

            concertos and flute and orchestra and arranged        

            songs and high voice and piano or continuo


Note to cellists: the standard term for cello that appears in the catalog is “violoncello.” When performing keyword searches, use this term to find works for your instrument.  



Looking for a Bach cello suite?

            bach and violoncello and suites



Restrict your search by format: choose Books from the Format menu.

If you are not sure of the EXACT title of a book or name of an author, perform a Keyword search, or check your information online.


Search for books by TITLE

If you know all or part of the EXACT title of a book, enter it in the Title box.


            on russian music

            cambridge companion to mahler

            garland encyclopedia of world music


Search for books by AUTHOR or COMPOSER

If you know the exact name of an author, editor, or composer, enter it in any order in the Author box.


            taruskin richard

            peter burkholder

            johann quantz

            stanley sadie

            berlioz hector


Search for books by KEYWORD

Use the same keyword searching methods given above for scores to find books.


            mahler and la grange

            burkholder and western music

            playing the flute and quantz



Restrict your search by format: choose Sound Recordings from the Format menu.


Search for recordings by KEYWORD

Keywords for finding recordings include names of composers, names of performers, work titles, album or concert titles, instruments, genre, and format (CD, LP, streaming, etc.)


            callas and verdi and 33 1/3

            evelyn glennie and compact

            beethoven and violin and concertos not naxos


Note the exclusion of Naxos in the last example: you could also include it, or search the Naxos database itself.


Finding recordings in Variations:

To find recordings in the Variations digital library, include http as a keyword.


            violoncello and recital and http

            student composition recital and 2009 and http


Search by Subject

From the Basic Search window, choose Advanced Keyword Search from the box on the right.

To search by subject, type your keywords in the Subject box.

Subjects can be topics, musical genres, or people.


oboe players united states

felix mendelssohn

hip hop los angeles

harpsichord music



There are three kinds of title:

            1) Title as found on a book, score, or recording

            2) Uniform titles

            3) Titles of periodicals


(1)  Title as found on a book, score, or recording

In Basic Search, enter whatever words of the title you know.  In the Format menu, select your desired format, such as Books, Musical Scores, or Sound Recordings.


(2) Uniform titles are used in library catalogs to link every version of a particular piece, regardless of how the title is worded on the edition or recording. You can click on the uniform title in a catalog record to see a list of all items cataloged under that title.


 There are three kinds of uniform title:

Generic titles

Distinctive titles

Collective titles


Generic titles are used when a work is in a genre, such as a concerto or sonata. In this case, the uniform title includes the name of the genre (almost always plural), followed by instrumentation, identification number, key, etc.  For example:

Symphonies, no. 5, op. 67, C minor

Concertos, piano, orchestra, K. 488, A major

Sonatas, flute, continuo, H. 564, G major

Sonatas, violoncello, piano, op. 7, B minor


Distinctive titles are used when a work was given a unique name by the composer. Distinctive titles are in the original language. The initial article (“a” or “the” in any language) is omitted.  For example, whether a score of Mozart’s The Magic Flute is printed with the English title, the original German title Die Zauberflöte, or the Italian title Il flauto magico, the uniform title in the catalog is always Zauberflote.

            The uniform title is also used to distinguish between different versions of a piece (full score, vocal score, piano reduction, arrangement, selections, etc.) as well as translations.  For example,

Zauberflöte.  Vocal score.  English


More examples of distinctive titles:

            Brandenburgische Konzerte

            Suite bergamasque. Clair de lune       

            Symphonies d’instruments a vent


Note: only works with such names given by the composer are considered distinctive titles. If you are unsure, conduct a keyword search using the name in question. An example: Beethoven’s Piano Sonata Op. 27, no. 2 is commonly called the Moonlight Sonata, however, this was not Beethoven’s name for the work, so it has a generic title:

 Sonatas, piano, op. 27, no. 2, C sharp minor.


Collective titles are used for collections of works, and tell you what those works have in common. Examples:

Violin, piano music     [any genre]

Sonatas, violin, piano  [only sonatas]

Songs. Selections

Chamber music, winds


(3) Title of a periodical (journal or magazine)

From the Basic Search window, choose Periodical Title Search from the box on the right. If you are sure of the exact title, click the Exact radial button; otherwise, click the Keyword radial button and enter any words you remember.


Boolean operators

As well as the common “and,” you can use other operators such as “or” and “not” in your search.  “Not” is used to eliminate a word.  For example, if you want a full score rather than a vocal score, you could include “not vocal” in your search.  “Or” is used when you want to combine a search term with either of two other terms.  For example:

            concertos violin and (mozart or haydn)

This search will give you concertos by both composers.



You can use a dollar sign as a truncation sign in any keyword search. This allows you to search for multiple forms of a word, for example:

sonat$ will find: sonata, sonatas, sonate, sonatina, sonatinas, etc.

symphon$ will find: symphony, symphonies, symphonic, symphonietta, etc.


Stop words

IUCAT ignores stop words if you enter them in a keyword search.  Stop words include: a, an, as, at, be, but, by, do, for if, in, is, it, of, on, the, to. 


To search for a stop word as a word, put it in quotes (“ “).  For example:

            mozart and piano concerto and k488 and “a” major

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last updated: 3/29/2012