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Call Numbers for Books and Scores

The Library of Congress Classification System is used by the Music/Media Library at Woodruff.   Call numbers for music start with:

M for scores
 for music literature
 for instruction and study.

For browsing in the books and scores stacks, you may wish to use the link above to identify areas of interest by call numbers.

Call Numbers for Media

Media call numbers start with

CD for compact disc
DISC for LP (vinyl) phonodiscs
DVD for DVDs

CDs and DVDs in the lending collection check out to students for 3 days.

Basics for Finding Western Classical Music in the Catalog

When searching DiscoverE or any other library catalog for scores or recordings

  • Use plurals for sonatas, symphonies, and other nondistinctive titles, even when searching for only one piece.

    sonatas no. 5
    symphonies no. 3
    ballades no. 2

    Why?  You'll usually miss some holdings when using the singular form.  This has to do with uniform titles, described below.
  • Use the original language for works with distinctive titles:

    Matthauspassion for St. Matthew Passion
    Zauberflöte for Magic Flute
    (Drop initial articles in foreign languages—e.g.,  Die Zauberflöte.)

    Why? So you don't get an incomplete list of holdings.  The section below explains how to find the best terminology.

  • For more thorough searching, or if you can't find the work
    • Search for collections containing the piece—e.g., all sonatas by the composer.
    • If it's part of a larger work, look for the title of that work.
    • Find out if Emory has the complete works of the composer.
    • Ask for help.

Uniform Titles - A Brief Introduction

Uniform titles provide consistent, standardized ways of identifying individual compositions and groups of compositions. This makes it possible to find works all scores and recordings of a work without having to look up every conceivable title the piece might have been called.  A library catalog record gives both the work's Title—meaning the title used by the publisher—and its Uniform Title.  See the examples in Indiana University's excellent tutorial, Using Uniform Titles.

Works with Distinctive Titles

If the work's title is distinctive, the uniform title consists of its original title (from the manuscript or first edition) in the original language. 

Examples of distinctive titles:

Daphnis et Chlöe

Quatuor pour la fin du temps (Quartet for the End of Time)

Mer (for "La Mer": initial articles are dropped.)
Symphonie de Psaumes
Wohltemperierte Klavier (Well Tempered Clavier)
Missa Solemnis
Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute)

Otello (Italian equivalent of Othello)

Zhar-ptitsa (The Firebird)

Works with Form or Genre Titles

If the composer's original title is simply a form name or genre (with or without key and number), the title is considered nondistinctive.  The first word of the uniform title is the form or genre, and it's always in the plural except when the composer wrote only one sonata, nocturne, etc. 

Examples of form and genre terms used in uniform titles:




Pieces (also Stücke, if the title was German)


The instrumentation, number (ordinal, opus, and or catalog number) and key are often added to the form name.

Collections of Works in the Same Medium

This type of uniform title is used when one recording or score consists of various types of pieces that are all for the same medium.


Choral music

Guitar music

Violin music

Vocal music

Complete Works of Individual Composers

The uniform title Works is used for a set of the complete works of a composer.  Note that many editions of complete works are still in the process of being published—volume by volume.  Look atLocations/Call Number in the DiscoverE record to see which volumes are actually in the library's collection.