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Music Research - finding the score

How to locate music scores for research and performance at Trexler Library.

Composer information

Enter the composer's full name (last name first) in Encompass Search. 

  • If you are sure of the correct spelling, enclose the name in quotes or enter the name following an author search prefix (Like this: au:Berlin, Irving ) for more accuracy.
  • If you aren't sure of the spelling, enter as much of the name as you are sure of and truncate the search by adding an asterisk. 
    • For example: Stravinsk* or Rachmanino*

Remember to consider alternate spellings for names that are derived from a language that uses a non-Roman alphabet (for example Russian, Hebrew, Chinese, etc.)  

Russian names, such as Rachmaninoff, Stravinsky, and Tchaikovsky can be especially tricky. For example:  Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's last name can also be spelled as Chaikovsky, Chaikovskii, Tschaikowsky, or the fully Anglicized version: Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky. 

To help with searches of this type, use TRUNCATION to search for the variant forms of the name.

Also remember: some composers come from prolific families of composers. For example, the Bach family included Johann Sebastian, Johann Christian, Wilhelm Friedemann, and Carl Philipp Emanuel, among others.  In this case--four composers with the same last name--it's important to know a first name or first and middle name.

Some important sources for composer's names include:

This can help determine the language of your search terms.  Any good biographical dictionary should note the composer's nationality.

For example, if we know that Mozart was Austrian, we can presume that many of his works were originally titled in German.  Thus it might help to search for the title using the German words. 

So, when searching we would need to know the word for a piano sonata:

  • Piano = Klavier (German) = clavier (French) = pianoforte (Italian)
  • Sonata = Sonate (German) = sonate (French) = sonata (Italian) 

Thus we would search : "Klaviersonate AND Mozart"

(Note that Klaviersonate (singular) and Klaviersonaten (plural) are compound words in German)

For more translations of common musical words, see:

Search tips

Don't forget --

Encompass Search uses KEYWORD searching, so your search will locate records with all of your search terms anywhere in the record, and not necessarily in the order you want.

  • To search for a KNOWN TITLE, enter your search in quotes.  This will force Encompass Search to locate the terms together in the order you specify. 
  • You can combine terms using boolean operators like AND, OR, and NOT (be sure to capitalize them!)
  • Once you have run your basic search, use the FILTERS on the left-hand side of the results page to narrow your results by FORMAT, AUTHOR, LANGUAGE, or TOPIC.
  • Use the SUBJECTS hot links found within the item record under the "View Description" drop down. These are Library of Congress SUBJECT headings, and can be used to find additional resources on the same or similar topics, or of a similar GENRE.
  • Use TRUNCATION (i.e., shortening a word to its root or base form using a designated symbol) for words that might have more than one significant form, OR for terms that might have alternative spellings.​​

For more information on Truncation or other Advanced Searching Techniques in Encompass Search see our "Guide to Encompass Search"