Resources for Music Composition Students
Our Library's Catalogs
This is our on-line computer catalog, as well as being a gateway to other resources, including subject indexes, other libraries' catalogs, and research information.
The UO Library's Catalog includes all of the library's musical scores and recordings. For books, films, etc. purchased and cataloged before 1975, consult the card catalogs on the second floor of the Knight Library.
Access to our catalogs are by Author, Title, Keyword, Call Number and Subject. If you are looking for specific song titles, see "How to Find Individual Songs in Recordings or Sheet Music" at http://library.uoregon.edu/music/researchguides/songs.html.
The following subject headings may be of use in searching for books and resources on composing:
Instrumentation and orchestration
Musical intervals and scales
Musicals--Writing and publishing
Popular music--Writing and publishing
Twelve tone system
Other Libraries' Catalogs:
The following lists some of the important music libraries' catalogs, providing access to scores for study. They are arranged in the order of accessiblity for you as a UO community member.
This database is available by choosing U on the The UO Library Catalog's non-web catalog, or choosing the SUMMIT button in the web version of the UO Library's catalog.
SUMMIT is a database combining the collections of 31+ member libraries into a single online catalog. The member libraries include Oregon and Washington state universities, as well as numerous private universities in Washington & Oregon.
Another member of SUMMIT is the Center for Research Libraries, whose catalog provides unique resources for research. It uses the same search capabilities as the UO Library's catalog.
One of the nice advantages of SUMMIT is that you can request an item from another institution in the consortium, even if our copy is checked out, and you should receive it in about three working days.
This database provides access to over 6 million books, journals, maps, musical scores, manuscripts, recordings, etc., held by libraries from around the world. Searching capabilities include access by individual songs, as well as by performer, composer, lyricist, and publisher. Material identified in Worldcat which is not owned by the UO Library may be requested through interlibrary loan if you are a UO library card holder. In general, recordings can't be borrowed through Interlibrary Loan.
Limitations: As libraries become members, their older databases may or may not be added to the WorldCat.
WorldCat is especially good for searching items within a collection, if the catalogers have included that information in the contents notes.
You can order ILL through the system by clicking on the ILL button and filling out the order form.
Other University Music Libraries
While you don't have direct Interlibrary Loan capabilities, these do provide you with more searching possibilities for obscure scores. A larger selection of library catalogs is available through UO Library's web catalog, under Other Catalogs.
- Indiana University William & Gayle Cook Music Library
- Rice University
- University of California - San Diego
- University of Virginia
- Washington University, St. Louis, MO Gaylord Music Library
- Wesleyan University
Music Information Centers
Music information centers are also excellent sources for information about the music of specific countries. Find a directory for specific countries at IAMIC, the International Association of Music Information Centres.
As an example of the services they offer, see:
- Canadian Music Centre at http://www.musiccentre.ca/
- Norwegian Music Information Centre at http://www.mic.no/english
- The American Music Center at http://www.amc.net/
- Centre Pompidou at http://www.centrepompidou.fr/
Periodical Resources for Composition
Note: To find out whether we also have an online copy of these journals, search the Journal Title in the Advanced catalog search, off the main UO Library web site. You will find the Journal search box in the middle of the screen. When you type in the title, the catalog should display the journal's entry, with a FindText button at the top right hand side. If you click on this button, the Library's access to various versions of this resource will be displayed.
Balungan : a publication of the American Gamelan Institute. [MUSIC ML 1 .B34] and online at http://www.gamelan.org/balungan/
Computer Music Journal [MUSIC ML 1 .C857] and online (March 1997-present, go to catalog to see full text availability)
The Cue Sheet /Film Music [MUSIC ML 2074 .C83]
Ex-Tempore [MUSIC ML 1 .E88]
IMA Bulletin (Int'l Midi Asso.)(1991-1993 only) [MUSIC ML 1380 .I42]
Leonardo music journal : LMJ : journal of the International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology. Recordings to accompany this journal are available in the Douglass Listening Room's Circulating Collection at COMPACT DISC CX2366. [MUSIC ML197 .L37] and online (Dec. 1997-present, go to catalog to see full text availability)
The Music forum. (Ceased in 1987) [MUSIC ML1 .M85]
Organised Sound: An International Journal of Music Technology. [MUSIC ML1379 .O74] and online (Jan. 1996-present, go to catalog to see full text availability)
Perspectives of New Music [MUSIC ML 1 .P109]
Theory and practice [MUSIC ML 1 .T24]
Indexes to Articles on Composition
Use the following resources to find articles about composition:
- The Music Index: Available from 1949 to the present in print form; also available on the web (for 1979 - to the present)
- RILM:Available through the UO Library's web site in Databases & Indexes- and in the Music Reference section in paper form from 1966 to the present.
- Arts & Humanities Citation Index: Searchable from the UO Library's catalog under the Database & Indexes section. Allows you to search by cited source to find out who they cited, and who cited them.
Copyright Information for Composers
- Music Library Association Copyright Page is comprehensive and available at http://www.musiclibraryassoc.org/copyright/
Music Publishers' Information Sites
- Pepper Music Network The Pepper Network offers an online, electronic version of Pepper and European American Music catalogs. http://www.jwpepper.com
- Music Publishers Association is available at http://www.mpa.org/
- A small sample of music publishers' sites is at
- ASCAP (one of the music publishing rights agencies) is on the web at http://www.ascap.com/
- BMI (the other rights agency) is available at http://bmi.com/
- One source not on the web, but in the UO Library's Music Reference collection is The Japan Federation of Composers' Catalogue of Publications. This resource lists scores published by composers, with a biographical sketch of each composer at the beginning, for every year, since 1972. The call number of this resource is ML 390 .N615. A similarly-entitled resource, Works by Japanese Composers, is also published by the Japan Federation of Composers, and is located at ML 120 .J3 W67. Both of these publications are in Japanese as well as English.
- For paper copies of publishers' catalogues, see the Music Index table in the Music Reference area, where there are files of catalogues for music and recordings.
Resources of the Music Services Department & the Douglass Listening Room
Along with the many recordings owned by the UO's Knight Library, we have an annotated copy of the listening list for doctoral composition/theory students that includes score call numbers as well. This list is available on the web at:
Also of interest to composers is the BBC Sound Effects Library, which is a 60-volume compact disc collection allowing sampling. The call number of this set is Compact Disc CX1804 and there is a detailed index with the set.
And finally, new to the University of Oregon, is the Database of Recorded American Music (DRAM), which is an online streaming audio database of the archives of the New World Records, Composers Recordings, Inc., and other composer-based labels. To access this resource (which is limited to UO faculty and students), click on the Videos & Music site, in the UO Library's web site on the left-hand side of the page, and scroll down to Audio Resources Online. There you will find connections to DRAM and to the Smithsonian Global Sound resource.
Other resources on the web, compiled by the Music Services staff, include:
- Scoreography of Women Composers Music, on the web at
- Discography of Women Composers Music, on the web at
- Ethnomusicology Guide to the Knight Library
- World Music Discography, on the web at http://library.uoregon.edu/music/Discographies/worlddisco/worldisco.html
One other resource on the Music Services Web is the Electronic Music Guide at
Listservs and Forums for Composers
Listservs provide another outlet for discussion on various topics. They are a way of establishing an "invisible college" to people in your subject areas.
Some listservs for composers include:
- Finale Users: Finale Forum
- International League of Women Composers
- Lilypond Users Listserv
Specific Composers' Listservs (A very small sampling!):
- SILENCE John Cage Mailing List Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
- AWILDER Alec Wilder's Life & Work Address: AWILDER@cressida.cs.trinity.edu
Composition Resources on the Web
- Ancient Future.
Among other things, the site offers information about educational material on world music, especially rhythm training. Of special interest are the site's online MIDI groove tracks of the music of Africa, Bali and India. It is available on the web at http://www.ancient-future.com
- MOLA Guidelines for Music Preparation
Outlines steps for making scores and parts legible and practical for conductors and orchestra musicians. Available in plain text on the Major Orchestra Librarians' Association (MOLA) website and in pdf.
Oregon Resources on the Web