Searching for Music Scores

The University of Nevada, Reno Libraries have access to thousands of music scores in print and on the web, but it is not always easy to find them through the Library Catalog. If you are looking for a piece that has a unique title like Verdi’s Il Trovatore, for example, Advanced OneSearch on the library homepage is a good place to start. 

Screenshot of the "OneSearch" search box. "Advanced OneSearch" is enclosed in a red rectangle to show its location on the page. In addition to the "OneSearch" tab, there are also tabs for "Library Catalog," "Databases," and "Journals." There is also a blue button with the word "Search" in white letters inside the button.
Screenshot of the "OneSearch" search box. "Advanced OneSearch" is enclosed in a red rectangle to show its location on the page. In addition to the "OneSearch" tab, there are also tabs for "Library Catalog," "Databases," and "Journals." There is also a blue button with the word "Search" in white letters inside the button.

When searching, follow these steps:

  • Choose Author from the Fields drop-down list and place the composer’s name in the search box (e.g., Verdi).
  • Choose Title from the Fields drop-down list and place the title of the piece in the search box (e.g., Il Trovatore). Click Search on the bottom left side of the page.
  • Scroll through the choices in the Show content type box and choose Music Score and Sheet Music. The search results should now show only the formats you selected.
Screenshot of the "Advanced Search" page. The "Author" and "Title" search options are enclosed in red rectangles to indicate their location on the page. The "Content type" filter is enclosed in a red rectangle, and under that is a list of content types with a checkmark in the box before the "Music Score" content type. The page includes other filter options: "Discipline," "Language," "Limit to," "Exclude from results," and "Expand your results." There are also links titled "click to search" to the right of the "Content type" and "Discipline" filter boxes. Before the links are two blue "magnifying glass" icons.
Screenshot of the "Advanced Search" page. The "Author" and "Title" search options are enclosed in red rectangles to indicate their location on the page. The "Content type" filter is enclosed in a red rectangle, and under that is a list of content types with a checkmark in the box before the "Music Score" content type. The page includes other filter options: "Discipline," "Language," "Limit to," "Exclude from results," and "Expand your results." There are also links titled "click to search" to the right of the "Content type" and "Discipline" filter boxes. Before the links are two blue "magnifying glass" icons.

If you are searching for a piece that has a generic title (i.e., the name is based on a musical form) and may include an opus (or other identifying number) like Chopin’s Prelude Op. 28, no. 10, it is sometimes more effective to use a broad search in the OneSearch box.

For example,  instead of inserting “Chopin Prelude op. 28, no. 10” in the OneSearch box, include the composer’s name and pluralized form name with the opus number (e.g., Chopin preludes op. 28).

Screenshot of the "OneSearch" search box. In the "Search for Terms(s) box is "Chopin preludes op. 28" which is enclosed in a red rectangle. In addition to the "OneSearch" tab, there are also tabs for "Library Catalog," "Databases," and "Journals." There is also a blue button with the word "Search" in white letters inside the button.
Screenshot of the "OneSearch" search box. In the "Search for Terms(s) box is "Chopin preludes op. 28" which is enclosed in a red rectangle. In addition to the "OneSearch" tab, there are also tabs for "Library Catalog," "Databases," and "Journals." There is also a blue button with the word "Search" in white letters inside the button.

When looking at your OneSearch results, you’ll see many different formats listed under Content Type. If you do not see Music Scores and/or Sheet Music click on More

Screenshot of the "Content Type" filter box in OneSearch. The content type "Music Score" is enclosed in a red rectangle and has a green checkmark next to it to indicate it is selected. The link "More…" is highlighted in yellow to indicate this is where you click if you want to see the entire list of Content Types.
Screenshot of the "Content Type" filter box in OneSearch. The content type "Music Score" is enclosed in a red rectangle and has a green checkmark next to it to indicate it is selected. The link "More…" is highlighted in yellow to indicate this is where you click if you want to see the entire list of Content Types.

Select Music Scores and Sheet Music (if available) and click Apply at the top of the list. The search results should now show only the formats you selected.

Visit the Music Library Guide for more information and assistance on searching for music scores.