Due to the complexity of organizing sheet music, we have designed a variety of ways to search for songs, books, and scores. This guide includes different ways to search. You might have to try different strategies to find what you're looking for.
Special note for Covid-19 closure: For tips on finding jazz lead sheets online while the library is closed, see this guide.
- Enter your search terms (e.g. artist & song title)
- add the phrase: ("lead sheet" or "fake book" or "real book") to your search if you're looking for lead sheets or fake books.
- Results include more than just sheet music.
- Scroll down to the "Limit To" section on the left and select "Music Scores Only" to narrow the search to just sheet music.
- Select an item from your narrowed search.
- Look for the song title in the "Content Notes" to confirm it is in the book.
- Note the Location and Call Number to find it on the shelf.
Not every song is listed in the catalog entries for genre and artist anthologies, so we have a separate search tool to capture the items located in fake, real, or lead sheet books that the other search tools might have missed.
***Be sure to note the "Call Number" in order to find it on the shelf***
Most of our scores are only available in print. However, here are some websites and databases where you can search for electronic sheet music. Hover over the info icon to read descriptions.
Our libraries organize physical items using the Library of Congress Classification system. Items are organized by subject, genre, author, and date and given a "Call Number" in order to shelve similar items together and provide a way for you to find items on the shelf. Here are some important tips on how to read a call number.
Title: 200 of the Best Songs from Jazz of the 50s
Call Number: MP1630.28 .A124
1. Call numbers include letters, whole numbers, and decimal points.
2. Read each section of a call number in order from left-to-right or top-to-bottom.
3. Each section is separated by a decimal point
4. Letters indicate a subjects or author and are organized alphabetically (e.g. ML before MP)
5. Whole numbers (e.g. 1630) are before a decimal point and organized numerically (e.g. 16 is before 1630)
6. Numbers after a decimal point are read as decimal numbers and organized numerically (e.g. .28 is before .3)
7. Some call numbers include a year at the end to identify different editions of the same title.