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Music Theatre: Scores & Librettos

A Library Research Guide for Music Theatre students. This guide is designed to help you navigate the wide variety of Music Theatre resources available through the Jones Music Library.

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.

Searching the Library Catalog for Scores

Typically, vocal music and music theatre repertoire is published in collections (e.g. Broadway Songs of the 1940s) or within a complete work (Rodgers/Hammerstein. Carousel).    The library collection also includes anthologies of songs published for specific tessituras and/or specific genres (e.g. Singers Musical Theatre Anthology).   The Jones Music Library includes a modest collection of musical librettos.

Use the following guidelines when searching OPAL for vocal repertoire.

Searching for... Keyword Search Alternate Keyword search Limited to material type
Popular song/Lieder Composer's last name AND song title (original language) Composer's last name AND "songs" (or title of larger work) music score
Aria/song from opera/musical Composer's last name AND song title (original language) Composer's last name AND Title of opera/musical music score
Complete opera/musical Composer's last name AND Title of the work (original work) Composer's last name AND Alternate title music score
Libretto  Title of the work AND "librettos" Librettist's last name AND "librettos" or "lyrics" book

Important Call Numbers

Call Number Genre
M 1500 Operas/Musicals - Full scores
M 1503 Operas/Musicals - Vocal scores
M 1507 Anthologies
M 1572 Film music
M 1619 Songs & lieder (printed music)
M 1620 Anthologies with piano
M 1621 Collections with piano (one composer)
ML 48-50 Librettos

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.