University of Oregon

Index for this guide:

Searching in the UO Local Catalog
Searching in Music Collections
Information on Songs, Songwriters, etc.
Lyric Sources
The UO's Sheet Music Collection

Research Guides

How to Find Individual Songs in Recordings and Sheet Music at the University of Oregon


I. Finding Individual Songs In The UO Library's Catalog:


A. Search the UO Local Catalog by KEYWORD.


Type the title of the song and click on the Submit Search button. This will get you a list of recordings and scores that list the titles of that song in their contents notes.
If you wish to view just recordings, select Music, Record in the Material Type pull-down menu.
If you wish to view just scores, select Music, Printed in the Material Type pull-down menu.

    B. Search the AUTHOR section:


    If you know the composer of the song, try searching the AUTHOR for collections of his/her songs.
    Look under the composer's name and, using the window to the right of the lower note: Locate in Results, type in the heading "Songs" or "Songs. Selections" and you should reach that part of the listing where the collections reside.

    • Example: use: Berlin, Irving. [Songs.] to get a collection of his songs (including "Blue Skies", "White Christmas" , etc.)


      C. Use the TITLE section to look up larger works.

      If the song is part of a musical, motion picture score, or an opera, you can look up the title of that larger work under its TITLE.

        D. Use the SUBJECT section to look up types of music.


        If you are looking for a particular type of song (e.g. BALLADS, etc.) use the SUBJECT search.

          E. Search Other Library's Catalogs


          Search SUMMIT (the catalog of the Orbis/Cascade Alliance) by Keyword to find the titles of songs in collections.

          Search WorldCat by song title to determine what collections may have been cataloged at other libraries with the individual songs listed.
          If we don't own the collection, try the Eugene Public Library- or request the collection through Interlibrary Loan on WorldCat, if you want the printed music.

          • If the UO doesn't own it, and it is printed music, you can request it online from SUMMIT!


            II. Finding Popular and Classical Songs in Printed Collections:


            A. The Library's catalog sometimes doesn't provide a list of the songs that are found in a printed collection that we own. Therefore, it may be necessary to look up the song title in the following indexes to songs in collections and anthologies.


            De Charms, Desire. Songs in Collection.
            [MUSIC REF. ML 128 .S3 D37]

            Havlice, Patrice. Popular Song Index.
            [MUSIC REF. ML 128 .S3 H4 (& 3 supplements)]

            Luchinsky, Ellen. The Song Index of the Enoch Pratt Free Library.
            [MUSIC REF. ML 128 .S3 L665 1998 2 vols.]

            Sears, Minnie. Song Index.
            [MUSIC REF. ML 128 .S3 S3 (& 1 supplement)

            You can look songs up by first line, as well as title in most of these sources.

              B. Look up the titles of the collection(s) in the beginning of the anthology to see if the Library owns them.

              We have annotated the lists with our call numbers. Anything that has a 0 next to it is not owned by the UO.)

              If we don't own an anthology, you can borrow it through Interlibrary Loan by requesting it through SUMMIT or finding an entry in WorldCat.

                C. Alternatively, use the catalog to search the song title as a keyword.

                If the contents of an anthology are listed in the catalog, you can find the title and call number of the anthology. Although contents are not listed for every collection, many of them have this information online.

                D. Or use the Oberlin College/Sing Out Folk Music Database to search the song titles in collections.

                You can find this at

                Follow the same steps that you used in A to find out if we own the anthology indexed.


                III. Finding Information on Songs (Composers, Dates, Lyricists):


                The following sources, located on the Music Reference shelves, are useful in determining who the composer and/or lyricist is; who published and/or recorded the song; in what larger works the song is contained; and when the song was popular. This information may help you find songs in our collection by using the previous methods described in this guide, once you've got the "big picture".


                Kinkle, Roger D.
                The Complete Encyclopedia of Popular Music and Jazz, 1900 - 1950. 4 vols.
                [MUSIC REF. ML 102 .P66 K55]


                Lax, Roger and Smith, Frederick.
                The Great Song Thesaurus.
                [MUSIC REF. ML 128 .S3 L4 1989]

                Lewine, Richard and Simon, Alfred.
                Songs of the Theater.
                [MUSIC REF. ML 128 .S3 L55 1984]

                Shapiro, Nat.
                Popular Music: An Annotated Index of American Popular Songs.
                [MUSIC REF. ML 120 .U5 S5]

                Suskin, Steven.
                Show Tunes, 1905 - 1985.
                [MUSIC REF. ML 390 .S983 1986]


                  IV. Sources for Lyrics:


                  If you just need the lyrics of songs, the previous sources will help you, but you may also want to try the following printed library sources and web sites.

                  Printed Sources:


                  Lieder translations are located in the main music stacks-as well as a select few in the Music Reference shelves. (And don't forget recordings of these songs, as many include libretti and lyrics in their program notes.)

                  A sample of a few of these include:


                  Lieder line by line, and word for word.
                  [MUSIC REF. ML54.6.P55 L5 1996]

                  Masters of the French art song : translations of the complete songs of Chausson, Debussy, Duparc,
                  Faure & Ravel.

                  [MUSIC REF. ML54.6 .M33 1991]

                  Phonetic readings of songs and arias.
                  [MUSIC REF. MT883 .P5 1982]

                  The ring of words; an anthology of song texts.
                  German, French, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Norwegian, and Swedish, with English translations.

                  [MUSIC REF. ML54.6 .M5R5 1973]

                  Schubert, the complete song texts : texts of the Lieder and Italian songs.
                  [MUSIC REF. ML54.6 .S39 W53 1992]

                  Their words are music : the great theatre lyricists and their lyrics.
                  [MUSIC ML54.6 .T35]

                  Word-by-word translations of songs and arias.
                  Pt. 2. Italian.
                  [MUSIC REF. ML54.6 .W65 pt.2]

                    Popular and Folk lyrics books include:


                    Downhome blues lyrics.
                    [MUSIC ML54.6 .D69]

                    Lyrics of the Afro-American Spiritual.
                    [MUSIC REF. ML54.6 .L96 1993]

                      Opera and musical librettos (which include the words and some staging to these works) are located in the ML 50 section of the collection- and are arranged by the composer of the work.


                      Web Sites for Lyrics:


                      The Lied and Art Song Texts Page at

                       The Aria Database at


                        V. Finding Songs in Our Sheet Music Collection:


                        The University of Oregon's Knight Library has a sheet music collection of about 26,000 songs from all eras. This collection is housed in the Douglass Listening Room, and is listed in a computer-produced printout that is available at the Douglass Listening Desk. Listings of the songs are by composer, title, publisher, librettist, performer, date (in decades), as well as cover subject and broad subject headings (such as Rivers).

                        The Digitized Sheet Music Collection is available from the Music Services web site at The collection is in two parts: Oregon Music Collection and Women Composers. Both of these are available for downloading and printing. All we ask is that if you are using these in a report, you give UO Libraries credit for the images.

                        Limitations for the print collection: These are only available to look at through filling out a request form (available at the Douglass Room Desk), as each item must be paged. They are only for viewing in the Douglass Room. If the item is out of copyright (over 95 years), and if you want a copy, Image Services can make you a digital copy for $6.00 a page.


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                          Created by ashaffer on Jun 18, 2012 Last updated Jul 24, 2012
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