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Music : Finding Music

Everything you need to know about music resources and how to find them in the ECU library

Finding Music (is Different to Finding a Book)

ECU Library has a number of different collections where you may find music:

  • Our Main Collection is predominantly text-based, with items on Music History, Music Criticism, Libretti, etc. These items are organised by the Dewey Decimal Classification system. E.g. German music criticism in the late eighteenth century: Aesthetic issues in instrumental music by Marry Sue Morrow sits on Level Four at 781.170943 MOR

  • Vinyl and CD recorded music sits in our Music Collection with X and Y prefixes respectively. E.g. Hamilton: Original Broadway cast recording is on Level Two at Y20269

  • Our Sheet Music collection is also part of the Music Collection, however it is shelved separately by the British Catalogue of Music (see our guide to the BCM). Jazz Violin by Matt Glaser (Transcriber) and Stéphane Grappelli (Transcriber) is on Level Two at SPMHX/AF GLA

A collection of music is also uniquely different to a library of books. A single musical work can exist as an array of scores, formats, recordings, excerpts and arrangements for different instruments, ensembles, keys and performance levels. Printed music differs between publishers, editions (critical, collected, monumental) and editorial markings and sound recordings are in LP album, CD and streaming format.

Searching for music is difficult because composers are more prolific in their published works than authors and there may be collaboration with other persons responsible for the work (composer/s, arranger, recording artists, librettists) and there obstacles of language, multiple titles, manifestations and format.

Finding music depends on the known information about the piece and keyword searching is the best strategy to find music. Use the limit filters and to display the search results by material type of Music Scores, eMusic or Music CD.

However, for Classical works, locate a catalogue number, or Uniform Title (see the page for Finding Classical Music for details).

Getting started

Finding Music

1: Search & Filter

  • Type in the known information about the work, composer name, title into the search box and search
  • Use the Filters down the left of the screen to narrow your results:
  • Choose Library: Edith Cowan University
  • Select Format: Music, eMusic, Music CD or Musical Score
  • See Library Essentials for more detail

2: Results & Description

  • Revise your search if required by adding information (opus number, etc.)
  • You can get more information about an item by clicking its title, and the Description or Editions & Formats tabs.
  • NOTE: You can find different editions and arrangements in the Editions & Formats section.
  • Uniform Titles bring together all the variations of a work, regardless of form, change in title or language, etc. For example, for Moonlight Sonata search Uniform Title: Sonatas, piano, no  14, op  27, no 2, C# minor (see the page on Finding Classical Music for details on discovering Uniform Titles)

3: Editions & Formats

  • The Editions & Formats tab will help you find different editions, as well as arrangements, sets of Parts, etc.
  • It is important to differentiate Editions of musical scores, as each different Edition may affect the piece.

4: Subject Headings

  • You will also find Subject Headings in the Description tab, click these to do a Subject search on the particular topic, for a far more specific set of results than a general Keyword search
  • Subject Headings are very precise, it is often a good idea to search for items around your topic, and "triangulate" using multiple Subjects rather than seeking the one, perfect heading.

5: Finding Subject Headings

  • You can do a search of all Subjects at OCLC searchFAST (the providers of ECU Worldsearch)

6: Advanced Search

  • You can combine Subjects together, or with Authors, Keywords, etc.

7: Advanced Search & Boolean Operators

  • Of course, you can use the Advanced Search function of Worldsearch to do the same kinds of searches
  • Combine with the Boolean Operator “AND”

8: Browsing

  • Browse Items by Shelf Number! Often you will get to know where your instruments are on the shelf, and just want to know what else is around.
  • Type NU:Shelf number in the search box to find everything beginning with that code (needs at least three letters), and remember to filter by Musical score.

Finding Songs

Many songs can be found via ECU Worldsearch via a keyword search (though not by a title search, the title will only include the title of the whole collection), however, sometimes the catalogue record does not include a full list of songs.

In general, using the Internet will help you to locate the collection, or the show a particular musical theatre number is from, etc.

I can't find what I need?

There may be times when you can't find what you need and there are several options available.

  • Visit the Wigmore Music Library (UWA) features a collection of classical music, including orchestral, chamber and vocal music and you can take your ECU student card as ID and apply in person at the Wigmore Library to become a reciprocal borrower. Phone: 6488 2055

  • Visit the State Library Music Collection, Alexander Library Building, Perth Cultural Centre, and join for free. This library has an extensive collection of classical music and sheet music of songs. Phone 9427 3111 to check what you need to bring to register as a borrower.