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String Instruments Guide


Searching the Library Catalog for Scores

To locate printed music for a specific instrumentation, you may use the subject search in the OPAL Catalog.   Each resource has been tagged with specific subject headings that describe its content.   For comprehensive repertoire lists for ensembles, see the Bibliographies & Repertoire Guides tab in this guide. 

Subject headings for printed music typically use the name of the instrument(s) followed by the word music (e.g. piano music, flute music).  Limit the search by the material type "music score."  To find duets for two distinct instruments, use the the following form:

  Subject headings for string ensemble music will be listed under typical terms.  However, if the ensemble consists of the same instrument, use the plural form of the instrument's name.

Call Numbers

Books and printed music are arranged according to the Library of Congress' Classification System. The library has circulating and non-circulating (reference) collections. Each collection is divided in to three sections.

  • M = Printed music/scores (organized by instrument/genre)
  • ML = Books about music and musicians
  • MT = Books on music theory, pedagogy, and technique

The Jones Music Library has distinct collections for music education and music therapy resources.  A complete description of the library's collections may be found here.

Important Call Numbers

The following table outlines important call numbers for solo and ensemble repertoire for string instruments.

  Violin Viola Violoncello Double Bass
Orchestral excerpts M 40.5 M 45.5 M 50.5 M 55.5
Solos and etudes M 40-44 M 45-49 M 50-54 M 55-58
Solo with piano M 217-223 M 225-228 M 229-236 M 237-238
Concertos/full orchestra M 1012-1013 M 1014-1015 M 1016-1017 M 1018
Concertos/string orchestra M 1112-1113 M 1114-1115 M 1116-1117 M 1118


Piano Trios M 312     String Trios M 352 - 354
Piano Quartets M 412     String Quartets M 452 - 454
Piano Quintets M 512     String Quintets M 552 - 554
Octets M 852


CD Sheet Music

CD Sheet Music provides access to public domain scores which have been scanned in PDF form.  Sheet music pages may be printed out or downloaded. The following collections related to the violin are accessible at the Jones Music Library Circulation Desk.

Classical Scores Online

There are a wide variety of public domain scores available on the Internet.   The Loeb Music Library at Harvard University provides a more comprehensive list of digital scores collections available on the web.    This is a list of more substantial collections.