Navigation Aids

Research Guides


Main Content

Searching Music Materials on Franklin

Search Options


Use when you want to see what music is held by a particular composer or what recordings are available by a particular artist. This search retrieves all types of materials--scores, recordings, and videos.

  • For personal names, enter last name first, then first name. For orchestras and other ensembles, type in the first few words of the name:
    • mozart wolfgang
    • gould glenn
    • philadelphia orchestra
  • Results are organized by author and then alphabetically by title.


Use when you know the exact title of a book, score, or recording. Omit initial articles.

  • new oxford history of music
  • art of the recorder
  • wicked

Tip: By using the "Quick Limits" beneath the search box, you may limit your search to music scores or sound recordings:

  • Select "Music Scores" as a Quick Limit
  • Type daphne to search for all scores with a title beginning "daphne"

Punctuation MAY be omitted; the following all produce the same result:

  • concertos, harpsichord, no. 1
  • concertos harpsichord no. 1
  • concertos harpsichord no 1

Author/Title Keyword

Use when searching for a work by a prolific composer. Include the composer's last name and a work or two from the title:
  • strauss rosenkavalier
  • bach kunst fuge
  • adams nixon

Subject heading

Uses terms exactly as found in the Library of Congress Subject Headings. Omit punctuation:

  • violin and piano music arranged
  • ethnic music recordings afghan
  • bach johann sebastian

Subject heading keyword

Use when the exact subject heading is not known:

  • mozart figaro
  • zimbabwe music
  • trios clarinet piano violin

Call number search

Enter as much of the call number as you know, including punctuation:

  • ml410.b
  • m1500
  • vic. 10852 cd
  • music microfilm 1005
  • 780.6l998

Keyword Searching

Use to search on a combination of words or phrases. The words and phrases may be selected from any data found in the Franklin record--the author's name, the title, the subject, the publisher, and so forth. There are two types of keyword searches, "Keyword" and "Keyword Expert."


  • and is automatically added between the search terms. (If you need to use or or not Boolean operators, use the Keyword Expert search below.)
  • Select distinctive words. Example: taruskin history music
  • Use ? for truncation Example: sibelius symphon? will retrieve entries containing either "symphony" or "symphonies"
  • You may limit your search by using the "Quick Limits" below the search box. (This is a quick way to limit searches to music scores or to sound recordings.) For more options for limiting searches, click the "All Search Limits" button to the right.
  • Place quotation marks around words to be searched as a phrase Example: "free jazz" coleman
  • Results are ranked according to relevance (determined by a relevancy algorithm)

Keyword Expert

  • Use Boolean operators (and, or, not) between terms (Ex.: rap or "hip hop")
  • You may combine Boolean operators, using parentheses to indicate which terms belong together Example: (jazz or blues) and "kansas city"
  • must use quotations around phrases
  • You may limit a search term to a particular element of the record, such as the author, title, subject, or publisher. Consult the table of Field Codes for a list of possible codes. Example: nkey mozart and tkey giovanni and publ barenreiter to find the Bdrenreiter edition of Mozart's Don Giovanni.
Examples of Keyword Expert searches
  • Find scores of Mozart's symphony K 504
    • Set "Quick Limits" to "Music Scores"
    • Search term: nkey mozart and opus 504
  • Find vol. 22 of the series Studies in Musicology
    • Search term: "studies in musicology" and seri 22
  • Find the Dover edition of the full score to Tristan und Isolde
    • Search term: nkey wagner and tkey tristan and publ dover
    Find New World Records 293
    • Search term: publ "new world" and pub# 293
    Find all audio and video recordings of Verdi's Aida
    • Set "Quick Limits" to "DVD/Videos"
    • Search term: tkey aida
    Find proceedings of conferences on Mahler
    • Search term: conf mahler
    find a CD of Haydn's Creation sung in English
    • Click the "All Search Limits" button.
    • Under "Language:" select "English" and under "Item Type:" select "Musical Sound Recording"
    • Search term: tkey creation and nkey haydn and compact
    find a vocal score of Tosca with an English translation
    • Set "Quick Limits" to "Music Scores"
    • Search term: tkey tosca and italian and english and vocal

Note: Use of the language limit can be problematic for scores and recordings since only a single language code is assigned to a catalog record (representing the primary language of the item), but many scores and recordings are multi-lingual. Unless you are searching for a large-scale work in a single language (as in the Creation example above), it is best to include the name of the language in the keyword string rather than limiting to a specific language on the "search limits" screen.

For more information

For more detailed information on searching Franklin, see the Franklin User Guide.