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Music

This is a research guide to support undergraduate Music research

General Info on Sheet Music & Scores

A note on terminology: "sheet music" and "music score" are often used interchangeably, although "scores" can also be used to refer to sheet music that is bound together and contains multiple parts on one page (e.g., vocals and instrumentals all printed together). On this guide, I will primarily refer to "sheet music" as the more generic form.

Searching CLIO for Sheet Music

  • All sheet music will be either in the Columbia Gabe M. Wiener Music & Arts Library, or from offsite locations
  • Limit the Format to "Music - Score"
  • Use the composer's last name; no initials or punctuation
  • State generic titles in English, and use the plural (like "symphonies" or "concertos", not "sinfonia" or "konzert")
  • Use an opus number or serial number if known, and use standard abbreviations (like op. 5, no. 6, or BWV 427)
  • State unique titles in their original language (like "Nozze di Figaro" not "Marriage of Figaro")
  • Check the preferred titles list for alternate terms
  • If a piece is part of a larger work (such as an aria in an opera), try searching for the larger work as well
  • Use the search term "parts" to find chamber or performance parts sets

What happens if I need a piece of sheet music that isn't at Columbia or Barnard?

Copyright

Many sources of online music scores have become available over the internet in recent years.  Please be aware that copyright laws vary a great deal in different countries with regard to digitized works; take care to follow the laws that are relevant to your particular situation.
The website "Copyright Term and Public Domain in the United States" can serve as a starting place for determining the copyright situation for the materials you wish to use, but keep in mind that this only applies to the U.S.

Sheet Music in Print

All print sheet music & scores are located at Columbia's Gabe M. Wiener Music & Arts Library.

What happens if I need a piece of sheet music that isn't at Columbia or Barnard?

Music Indexes

Music indexes are the best way to find where (and if) a piece of music has been published.

Digital Sheet Music

These databases also contain some digital sheet music/scores, but in addition to other document types.