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Music Research - finding the score

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

Title information

Many musical works have specific titles in the composer's native language.

For example: 

  • "Fountains" by Ravel is originally titled "Jeux d'eau" (in French)
  • "Scenes from Childhood" by R. Schumann is originally titled "Kinderszenen" (in German)
  • the "Well tempered piano" by J.S. Bach is originally titled "das Wohltempierte Klavier" (in German)
  • "The Marriage of Figaro" by Mozart is originally titled "Le nozze di Figaro" (both the opera and its title are in Italian)

Some works are more commonly known by alternate titles or 'nicknames'. 

For example: 

  • Beethoven's Piano Sonata no. 14 in C-sharp Minor, op. 27, no. 2 is more commonly known as the "Moonlight Sonata" (or "Mondschein-sonate" in German)
  • The tune played on the bells in Muhlenberg's Haas Center tower is commonly known as Brahms' "Academic Festival Overture" (it's actual title is the Overture op.80 in C minor)

Note: If you search only by a work's nickname you may not find all versions or copies of a work.  Not all publishers of scores or recordings include nicknames in the titles they provide.

You can find more information on original/alternate titles in the following references:

Sometimes a piece you are searching for was originally written as part of a larger work.

For example, Debussy's "Clair de lune" (or "Moonlight") is actually a movement from his Suite bergamasque.

Grove's Dictionary will show you the relationships.

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"