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Music: Books

A research guide to finding books, articles, and other resources in Music

Library of Congress Classification

Books are shelved according to Library of Congress Classification. In this system, the library is divided into twenty-one broad subject areas, each of which is assigned one letter of the alphabet.

Books about music are assigned the letter M. Within this classification are three subclasses:

  • M -- Sheet music
  • ML -- Literature on music
  • MT -- Instruction and study


For details on how books are arranged within these subclasses, see this PDF guide:

Locating books on the shelves

Find books using the search box on the library homepage. When you see a physical book in your search results, write down the book's call number, and then go to the shelves.

To use call numbers, read them from the top down.

A label on the spine of a book, displaying the call number PR 8875 .P46 1999

For example, here's how you'd find this book:

  • First, follow the alphabet to the PR section of the library.
  • Next, within the PR section, look in numerical order for 8875.
  • Next, within the books numbered 8875, look in alphabetical and numerical order for .P46.
  • (1999 is the year the book was published.)

Interlibrary Loan

Try using Interlibrary Loan. It's free!

If Simpson Library doesn't have the item that you're looking for, you can have it sent from another library. Articles and book chapters are delivered electronically. Books are sent through the mail for pickup at Simpson Library.

Cooperative Borrowing Program