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Choral Music

Help finding scores, recordings, and videos of choral music, as well as information on the history, teaching, and directing of choral music.

Search for Scores and Sound Recordings

Romeo and Juliet

How to Find Music in the Library

1.  To find music in the libraries, go to the library's homepage, and in the main search bar, type in as much as you know about the music. For example, you can include title, key, opus number, publisher or performer information. Hit enter.

2. In the results, click the link on the bottom of the "Books & Media" box to "view all results".

3. Use the filters on the left to refine your search. You can specify that you want printed music (score), sound recording, or video recording. You can also specify if you want to limit to only online resources under "availability". Under "Resource Type" you can select "scores" for printed music, or "audio" for sound recordings and more.

4. Once you have found the piece you're looking for, click on the result and look directly under the title where the "uniform title" is listed. The uniform title is how the library catalogue refers to works with more than one possible title, including works whose originally titles are not in English or works with generic titles like "Symphony" or "Sonata." Click on the uniform title to find all items with that title, and filter again for the resource type you want (e.g., scores, audio, etc.). Now you can search editions, score types, and recordings and find the exact item you want.


***Try using the English plural of a generic title, such as symphonies or sonatas, instead of the singular version of the term. 

***Check the catalogue record for scores for publisher, date, score type, and other relevant information to make sure it is the type of score you want. For example, the study score in the image above won't work for you if you need a conductor's score!

***You can use the same method for finding the uniform title for a piece to find the library's preferred spelling for composers' names (see above: Tchaikovsky).

***If you use connector words, such as AND, OR, be sure to capitalize them in this search.


Finding Music in Historic Editions

Locating music in historic editions, often published in large collections, can be tricky. These large sets usually consist of music by one composer (Complete works = Gesamptausgaben) or in monuments of music (Denkmäler), which include works by many composers. Try these steps to locate specific pieces within these collections.

  1.  Oxford Music Online: Find the article on the composer, and look for the link on the left that says "Works." At the end of every composer article is a works list listing each composition and where to find it in the collected editions.
  2. Composer Catalogs (Verzeichnis): If there is a catalog for the composer, often the location of each work in a monumental, collected, or historic edition is indicated. To look up composer catalogs at Temple University Libraries,  go to Library Search, do a keyword search for your composer, and add the phrase "thematic catalogs," keeping the quotation marks. Or, you can just visit the library shelves at ML134, where almost all of the thematic catalogs are arranged by the last name of the composer.  
  3. Index to Printed Music: Database that indexes collected, historic, and monumental editions. You can look up music by composer, geographic area, time period, anthologies, and more.
  4. Look up the music in the following indexes in the library:

Collected Editions, Historical Series & Sets & Monuments of Music: A Bibliography, by George R. Hill and Norris L. Stephens [Berkeley: Fallen Leaf Press, 1997].  

Historical sets, collected editions, and monuments of music : a guide to their contents.  This is the predecessor to the Hill and Stephens work compiled by Ann Harriet Heyer.  


Call Numbers for Choral Music - Printed Music

Choral Music - Scores

  • M1495: Collections, mixed sacred and secular
  • M1497-1998: Secular vocal music
  • M1500-1526: Dramatic music-operas, ballets, musicals
  • M1530-1546.5: Choruses with orchestra or other ensemble
  • M1546-1610: Choruses, part-songs, etc., with accompaniment of keyboard or other solo instrument, or unaccompanied
  • M1609: Unison choruses
  • M1610: Cantatas, choral symphonies, etc., for unaccompanied chorus (secular and sacred) with or without solo voices
  • M1999-2199: Sacred vocal music
    • M2000-2007: Oratorios
    • M2020-2036: Choruses, cantatas, part songs, etc.
    • M2060-2101.5: Choruses, part-songs, etc., with accompaniment of keyboard or other solo instrument, or unaccompanied
    • M2115-2146: Hymnals, hymn collections
    • M2147-2188 Liturgy and ritual of various denominations (graduals, propers, antiponaries, offices, etc.)

***Hint: Call numbers of full scores of works with chorus and large instrumental ensembles usually end in "0." If the accompaniment is reduced for keyboard, the call number will end in "3." Examples:

  • Opera: full score: M1500; piano reduction: M1503
  • Oratorio: full score: M2000; piano reduction, M2003


Online Scores

What used to be music printed on paper is often now available online.  Explore the following sites for online sources of music!

* indicates access by Temple Accessnet username and password only.  

Search Music Online!