Music Resources

Music Resources

 Dictionaries & Encyclopedias

Dictionaries & Encyclopedias will provide you with basic information about your topic. Specialized music reference books in the Mickel Library include:

  • Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of Musicians (6 vols. – 2001), Index Table (Biographies)
  • The Harvard Concise Dictionary of Music & Musicians (1999) (Terms & People) (Index Table)
  • The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (29 vols.- 2001), Index Table & Online (Articles about virtually all things musical!), Online through Oxford Music Online
  • The New Harvard Dictionary of Music (1986) Index Table (Terms)
  • Oxford Music Online (includes Encyclopedia of Popular Music, Grove Music Online, Oxford Companion to Music, Oxford Dictionary of Music)
  • Oxford Reference (includes music-related titles such as Concise Oxford Dictionary of Opera, Dictionary of Opera Characters, Grove Book of Opera Singers, Grove Book of Operas, Oxford Companion to Music, Oxford Companion to the American Musical)

The Online Catalog

The Online Catalog will help you locate books, scores, recordings, videos and journal titles. You can search the online catalog by Author, Title, Subject, Keywords, Dewey Decimal Call Number, and Library of Congress Call Number. For help with searching the online catalog, refer to the handout, “Tips for Using the Online Catalog.”

For items not found in the Mickel Library, please consult the PASCAL Delivers catalog or order through Interlibrary Loan (ILL), using the “Interlibrary Loan/PASCAL Delivers” link on the Mickel Library landing page. Many books and scores not found in the Mickel Library may be obtained through PASCAL Delivers, the SC academic library consortium. PASCAL is delivered daily by courier. Any books, scores, articles, recordings, or videos not found in the Mickel Library may be requested through ILL.  Books, scores, recordings and videos obtained through ILL are delivered by U.S. mail, and may take up to 2 weeks for delivery. Articles obtained through ILL are sent via email.

Periodical and other Music Indexes

To access periodical and other databases for music, go to the Mickel Library page, click E-Resources, and then click Music. If you perform these searches off-campus, you will be required to enter your first and last name and library barcode number to access online databases.

We have a large number of music-related journals located in the Mickel Library, either in print format, microfiche, microfilm, or online. Any articles not available in the Mickel Library may be ordered through Interlibrary Loan (ILL), and will be sent via email. Please complete a “Journal Article Request” form found through the “Interlibrary Loan/PASCAL Delivers” link on the Mickel Library landing page.

  • Periodical Indexes will help you locate articles in scholarly and popular journals.
  • Music & Performing Arts Collection Full-text of 300-ish American and international journals in these two fields; citations and abstracts for articles in hundreds of additional journals.
  • JSTOR Music Collection Online Contains complete back runs of 113 dedicated to scholarly research and theory in the field of music.
  • RILM Abstracts of Music Literature [Répertoire International de Littérature Musicale] Index Table & Online In addition to journals, RILM also indexes selected dissertations, Festschriften, and congress reports.
  • Naxos Music Library – This is a subscription-based digital music library featuring recordings of classical music, but including jazz, folk, blues, pop and rock, international music, and spoken word.”
  • Musical Theatre Songs – This is a subscription-based database for musical theater repertoire. It searches thousands of titles spanning 150 years of shows, custom-tailor your search using up to 20 different parameters and over 100 descriptive tags, get direct links to sheet music and recordings.

Browse the Shelves

All books in Mickel Library are cataloged in, and shelved according to, the Dewey Decimal Classification system. If you wish to browse through the music book collection, the following table will be useful.

The Dewey 780’s (Music):

  • 780 Music (Generalities/ Research) ex. 780.924 = Biographies
  • 781 Music Theory (Harmony/ Melody/ Composition)
  • 782 Dramatic Music (Secular) (Opera/ Theater music/ Ballet)
  • 783 Sacred Music (Oratorios/ Choirs/ Hymns)
  • 784 Voice and Vocal Music (Folk Songs/ The Voice)
  • 785 Instrumental Ensembles & Their Music (Symphonies/ Orchestras/Concertos/ Chamber Music)
  • 786 Keyboard Instruments & Their Music (Harpsichord/ Piano/ Organ)
  • 787 String Instruments & Their Music (Bowed, ex. Violin/Plectral, ex. Harp)
  • 788 Wind Instruments & Their Music (Brass/ Woodwind)
  • 789 Percussion, Mechanical, Electrical Instruments (Drum/ Cymbals/ Electric Guitar/Music Recording)

Music – Instrumental

M6-19 Organ
M20-39 Piano
M40-44 Violin
M45-49 Viola
M50-54 Violoncello
M55-58 Double Bass
M60-64 Flute
M65-69 Oboe
M70-74 Clarinet
M75-79 Bassoon
M80-109 Brass
M115-142 Plectral (ex., harp, guitar)
M145-176 Percussion








Nonets; Larger Chamber Ensembles

Orchestra; Band

Music – Vocal



Literature, Instruction and Study

Literature on Music

Musical Instruction and Study

Tips For Using The Online Catalog

Music Searches

Go to On the library’s landing page, under the heading “Books (and DVDs, scores, CDs, etc.),” click on the link “in Converse College’s Mickel Library.”

The next screen will give you a search box with the following drop-down options: “Keyword, Author, Title, Subject, Dewey Call Number, LC Call Number, Local Call Number, & ISBN.”

For music searches, in most cases, the best choice will be “Keywords.” Keyword searching includes the contents of each item. With “Keywords,” you can type in the title of the piece as well as the composer or artist. You can also choose what type of item that you are looking for by clicking “Advanced Search” & choosing a Location or Material Type, or you can wait to make those choices on another screen.

In typing the item that you wish to search, remember to spell correctly! It is often beneficial to put an asterisk after a word or word base so that all tenses of the word will be searched.

Ex. By using “concert*” you can check for concerto, concertos, concerti, etc.

On the next screen you will find the results of your search. Icons on the left indicate the type of item, such as a score or CD. In the middle of the screen, there is brief bibliographic information about the item & its call number. Check-out status is listed on the right of the screen.

If your search results in a large number of entries, you may want to click on “Modify Search.” This screen will give you several useful options. “Location” has options such as “Music Library-CDs” & “Music Library-Mini-Scores.” “Material type” gives choices such as “Printed Music” & “DVD.”  After making your choices, click on “Submit” to complete the search.

Once you find the desired item, you may click the title of the item to get to more extensive bibliographic information.

More Tips for Using The Online Catalog for Music Searches

It is often helpful to use the original language when searching for a piece.

Ex. A keyword search for “Brandenburg Concerto” will give 49 entries. A keyword search for “Brandenburgische Konzerte” will give 62 entries.

If you are not certain of the spelling of a piece in the original language, type in what you know, and the original language title may appear.  Then, start your search again using the original language title.

It is also helpful to include all tenses when searching for a piece.  By adding an asterisk after a word, you can search for all possible suffixes.

Ex. A keyword search for “Brandenburg Concert*” will give 72 entries.

When searching for a recording by a particular performer, you may use either “author” or “keyword.”

Ex. A keyword search for Rampal will give 104 entries. An author search for Rampal will give 82 entries.

Ask yourself this question.  Do I want to find something about the composer or by the composer?  In searching for biographies, you will want to do a keyword search, because the name of the composer will be in the title.  However, if you want a book or score by the composer, you should perform an author search because the composer is the author.

Ex. In searching for Gottschalk, a keyword search will give 54 entries, and an author search will give 124 entries.  However, the biographies of Gottschalk will only appear in the keyword search because those books are about him, and not written by him.

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