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Music Education

Searching for Scores and Recordings in Scout

More Search Tips

Formatting Names:

  • Use full names for composers with common surnames 
  • Use standard English-language spellings (e.g., "Rachmaninoff" instead of "Rachmaninov")
  • Avoid abbreviating names (e.g., J. S. Bach)

Searching for Vocal Music:

  • To specify vocal range in your search, indicate high, medium, or low voice 
High voice Medium voice Low voice
Soprano Mezzo Soprano Alto
Tenor Baritone Bass
  • You can add vocal range to some subject headings, like "Songs (High voice)" OR you can simply search "high voice" as a keyword

screenshot of advanced search, showing subject heading search for "songs (high voice)"


  • Avoid using keys in your search terms (such as "C" or "G minor")

Finding recordings by format:

  • For CDs, add a keyword search for "compact" or "CD"
  • For LPs, add a keyword search for "LP"
  • For streaming media, add a keyword search for "electronic"

Basic Subject Headings for Music

Subject Heading Type of Composition(s)
Symphonies Symphony
Concertos Concerto
Sonatas Sonata
Operas Opera
Oratorios Oratorio
Masses Mass
Songs Aria; Art Song
Suites Partita; Suite
Piano trios Piano, violin, and cello
Piano quartets Piano, violin, viola, and cello
Piano quintets Piano, 2 violins, viola, and cello
String trios Violin, viola, cello
String quartets 2 Violins, viola, and cello

Digital Scores