Answered By: Chris Pollette
Last Updated: Jun 02, 2015     Views: 38

For popular music and jazz:

Sound recordings and scores (sheet music) are cataloged in discoverE. If you don’t find what you need, please call the Heilbrun Library staff at 404-727-1777 or e-mail us

  • Find composers or performers with an author search.
  • Find titles of albums, musicals, and other major works (not songs) with a title search.
  • Find recordings of songs with a search everything search.

To search the words as a phrase:
Use the adjacent operator between words: moon adj river
Put quotes around the title: "moon river"
(slightly less precise search)

  • To find just CDs, scores, etc., use search limits.
  •  Find different types of music by using subject searches. Below is a sample of subject headings used in library catalogs. (Punctuation not needed in searches.)

    Blues (Music)Bop (Music)
    Cool jazz
    Country music
    Gospel music
    Heavy metal (Music)
    Motion picture music [used for film music]
    Rap (Music) [Hip-hop is used for books about the topic, not for music.]
    Rhythm and blues music
    Soul music 
    Tango (Dance) [Finds books on Tango]
    Tangos [Finds recordings and scores of Tangos]
    Zydeco music
  • Make your searches more precise by using operators and truncation.

For classical music:

Searching music in the catalog can require specialized knowledge. Feel free to contact us for assistance. Call (404) 727-1777 or e-mail us at

Basic Concepts

  • Use Advanced Search to combine terms such as author and title. (Composers and performers are treated as authors.)

Finds Beethoven’s piano sonatas edited by Erwin Ratz.

  • In Basic Search, use and when combining author with title.
    copland and rodeo GOOD SEARCH
    copland rodeo WON'T FIND EVERYTHING
  • Use plurals for sonatas, symphonies, and other nondistinctive titles, even when searching for only one piece.

       sonatas no. 5
       symphonies no. 3
       quartets no. 15 

Why? You’ll usually miss holdings when using the singular term. Learn about uniform (standardized) titles here. They’re critical to effective music searching.

  • Use the original language for works with distinctive titles.

        Matthauspassion for St. Matthew Passion
        Zauberflote for the Magic Flute
        (Drop initial articles—[Die] Zauberflote—in foreign titles.)

Why? So you don't retrieve just partial holdings. Get familiar with uniform titles and you’ll be able to find the “correct” form easily. Read about uniform titles.

  • For more thorough searching, and if you can't find the work—
  1. Search for collections containing the piece—e.g., all sonatas by the composer.
  2. If it’s part of a larger work, look for the title of that work.
  3. Find out if we have the complete works of the composer.
  4. Ask for help.

Related Topics

Chat with a Reference Librarian:


Call the Library Service Desk at (404) 727-6873.

Text us a question to (404) 994-3366.