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Library update: Recent database changes

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To begin, enter keywords in the search box in the online catalog. Set the pull-down box to left to "All fields" in order to retrieve keyword results. Set pull-down box at the far left to "MSU Collection" to limit search results to items only available at MSU.


To further limit search results, check the boxes along the left-side to check which elements to include or exclude from your results. 





Using Advanced Search 



Advanced Search Tips for Finding Music

Do not include common grammatical conjunctions like "and", "or", "in", "of", in your search.

AND is assumed when searching a string of keywords together. 

Use the truncation symbol * at the end of a term to search for all variant spellings. For example, pian* finds piano, pianist, pianism, etc. It is best to place the * as further to the end of a word as possible to retrieve narrower results.


Variant spellings of a composer's last name 


(retrieves "rachmaninov" and "rachmaninoff")

Variant spellings of a title      


(retrieves "sonata", "sonatas", "sonate", "sonaten")

Combination search

Handel* opera*

(retrieves "Handel", "Handel's", "opera", "operas", "operatic")                      


Use quotation marks around keywords to retrieve results with the exact phrase. Searching 'piano sonata' without quotation marks will find items in the library that mention 'piano' and 'sonata' anywhere in the title or other part of the library record.

Find items with the exact phrase "piano sonata"

Search by subject:

On the Advanced Search page, select "subjects" from a search box's dropdown menu.

Use keywords in the plural when searching for specific music forms or genres; e.g. "sonatas", not "sonata"




Music -- 19th century -- History and criticism

Search subject headings by medium of performance. To do that, enter the plural form of the music genre (e.g. sonatas) and the instrument(s) without parentheses in a "subjects" search box.

Sonatas (Piano)

Choruses, Sacred (Women's voices)

Band music

Songs (High voice) with piano

Reading the Catalog Record


Mississippi State University Library uses the Library of Congress (LC) Classification System to organize its materials. Click here to see the Full LC Classification Outline for Music. LC call numbers contain letters to indicate the general topic and numbers to provide more specific information about the material.

= Music or Scores 

ML = Music Literature and/or Music History

MT = Music Theory and Pedagogy


Below is an outline of the LC classification system for music which will help you narrow your search to a particular topic when either browsing the shelves or searching our online catalog by call number range.


M 1.A5-3.3   Collections of Musical Sources

M 3-3.3   Collected works of individual composers


M 6-175.5         Solo instruments

M 177-990      Music for two or more solo instruments

M 180-298.5      Duets

M 300-386         Trios

M 400-486         Quartets

M 500-586         Quintets

M 600-686         Sextets

M 700-786         Septets

M 800-886         Octets

M 900-986         Nonets and larger combinations of purely chamber music

M 990               Chamber music for instruments of the 18th century and earlier

M 1000-1075            Orchestra

M 1001                     Symphonies

M 1004                     Overtures

M 1100-1160            String orchestra

M 1200-1270            Band

M 1366                    Jazz ensembles

M 1375-1420            Instrumental music for children

M 1473                    Electronic music

M 1495-2199   VOCAL MUSIC

M 1495-2199         Secular vocal music

M 1497-1998         Dramatic music (including operas and musicals)

M 1500                   Full scores

M 1503                   Vocal scores with piano accompaniment

M 1611-1624.8         Songs for one solo voice

M 1627-1853            Folk, national and ethnic music

M 1990-1998            Secular vocal music for children 

M 1999-2199      Sacred vocal music

M 2000-2007         Oratorios

M 2010-2014.5       Masses

M 2020-2036          Cantatas, choruses, etc.

M 2101-2114.8        Songs for one solo voice

M 2115-2146           Hymnals and hymn collections

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