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Scores and Sheet Music

On the Web

Scores and sheet music for works in the public domain (not copyrighted) may be available on the web for free downloading. Here are a few recommended sites:

In the Library


When you don't have a particular piece of music in mind, browsing the Library shelves, either in person or by using the call number option in the HSU Library Catalog Basic Search may give you ideas. Here is some information about music call numbers:

Music is one of the few sections of the Library of Congress Classification in which the call letters stand for the subject. Music scores are in M (music); books about music are in ML (music literature); books about studying or teaching music are in MT (music teaching).

  • Collected editions of the works of individual composers are in M3.
  • Instrumental music is in M6-M1490.
    • Music for solo instruments is in M6-M175.
    • Music for chamber ensembles is in M180-990.
      • Duets are in M180-M298.5.
      • Trios are in M300-386.
      • Quartets are in M400-M486, etc.
    • Orchestra music is in M1000-M1075.
    • Band music is in M1200-1269.
    • Music for jazz ensembles is in M1366.
    • Electronic music is in M1473.
  • Vocal music is in M1495-M2199.
    • The most general collections are in M1495.
    • Secular music is in M1497-M1998.
      • Operas, musicals, and excerpts of these are in M1500-M1509.
      • Miscellaneous popular vocal music collections are in M1630.
    • Sacred music is in M1999-2199.

When you have a particular piece of music in mind, you can find out if our library has a score by using the HSU Library catalog or an index to published collections of music. If our Library doesn't have the piece, you may be able to locate a copy to borrow on Interlibrary Loan.

Searching in the HSU Library Catalog

If you have a known song or opera title or want to find all of our scores by a particular composer, you may want to do a Keyword search in the HSU Library Catalog.

Keyword searching is quick, but you may get irrelevant results, or too many. If a keyword search is unsuccessful, try one of the methods described below, or ask a librarian for help.

To search by composer:

To search for a particular piece of music:

To find scores for a particular type of music:

Using Score and Song Anthology Databases and Indexes

On the Web

Here are a few recommended song indexes on the Web. These were created at other libraries, and the call numbers given for the anthologies are not for the HSU Library. Look up the anthology title in the HSU Library Catalog to see if we have it. If we don't, look it up in WorldCat (see below) and make your interlibrary loan from there.

We have created a searchable database that lists songs in many anthologies in the HSU Library by title and composer. We are adding to it continually. Here is the link:

In the Library

The HSU Library Catalog lists many large collections of scores, such as the complete works of composers, but the individual pieces in these are not listed. To help you locate individual works in these, use Historical Sets, Collected Editions, and Monuments of Music: A Guide to Their Contents (ref ML 113 H52 1980 v. 1-2), complied by Anna Heyer. A librarian can help you.

Scores for individual songs may not be listed in the HSU Library Catalog. Song indexes list songs by composer, title, and sometimes by subject, and they indicate the anthology or collection which includes the individual song. When you have found the title of a collection containing your song, check the HSU Library Catalog to see if we own it. If we don't, you can borrow it on interlibrary loan.

Some of the printed song indexes in our Reference Collection are listed here. If you need help using them, please ask a librarian.

Sources for Interlibrary Loan

Interlibrary Loan is available to HSU students, faculty, and staff. Other residents of Humboldt County should contact the public library. To identify sources for interlibrary loan of scores, you may use one of the indexes described above, an electronic catalog such as the HSU Library Catalog, WorldCat, one from the Other Libraries listed on the library homepage on the Quick Search tab, or other sources on the Web.