Finding Repertoire for Piano

Find a Known Piece of Music


Check the Helpful Hints on our main Finding Repertoire page - or consult our PIANO HANDOUT in PDF.

Browsing the Shelves for Music

Some useful call numbers for browsing on the shelf are:

M 20-32 --  (original music for the piano)

Some of the more useful classifications are:

M 22  -- (collections by one composer) 
M 23  -- (sonatas by one composer) 
M 27  -- (theme and variations, one composer)

M 200-213  -- (one piano, three or more hands)
M 214-216 --  (two or more pianos)

M 1010 -- (piano concertos, etc. -- full scores)
M 1011 -- (piano with piano reduction of orchestral part)

M 1110 -- (piano with string orchestra, concertos,etc.
M 1111  -- (piano + pno. reduction of the string orchestra score)

MT 220-258 -- (studies, methods, technique,etc.

Library of Congress/Class M, Music Classification
(George F. De Vine Music Library, Univ. Tennessee, Knoxville)

A SUBJECT search is NOT the same as a KEYWORD search.   Library of Congress Subject Headingsare assigned by cataloguers.  Words or terms from Subject Headings are searched  during a KEYWORD search...BUT a Subject Search will retrieve more "specific" results.


Most music will be found under the Subject Heading for a specific genre:



CONCERTOS (PIANO) [ full scores and recordings ] 


Other useful Subject Headings include:







If you use the Subject "PIANO MUSIC"you will find miscellaneous solo works only!

Piano Music Found in Collections -- Collected Sets, Complete Works, anthologies, monumenta and Denkmäler, etc.

Examples are the important collections Le Trésor des pianistes (23 vols.) and The London Pianoforte School 1766-1860 (20 vols.) For access to this significant body of literature consult the Music Library's printed handout Collected Sets, Complete Works, etc.

The contents of many publishers' series are listed in this reference work:

Fuszek, Rita M.Piano Music in Collections: An Index. Detroit: Information Coordinators, 1982. [Ref ML 128.P3 F87]

This work should be used in conjunction with Heyer or New Grove, as it does not list contents of collected sets, etc.

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Piano Music Found in the Solo Music Reference Collection

Much unusual and twentieth-century music for the piano may be found in the Solo Music Reference Collection housed in the Choral/Band/Orchestral Music Library. The general classification number for piano music in the SMRC is MUS 4020

Ensembles Using the Piano

For information on this topic, consult the handout Piano Ensembles.

Finding Music for Harpsichord

For harpsichord and other keyboard music, follow the techniques described above.

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Suggested Sources for Repertoire Lists

Also, the following reference guide is helpful in identifying appropriate Canadian repertoire for the piano:

Canadian Music Centre. Catalogue of Canadian Keyboard Music=Catalogue de Musique Canadienne à Clavier. Toronto: CMC, 1971- . [Ref ML 128.P3 C26 + suppl.]

Lists Canadian works for piano, harpsichord, and organ on deposit at the CMC, which are available for loan or purchase.

Periodicals for Pianists

The UWO Music Library subscribes to many periodicals of interest to pianists. Included are:

Piano -- Periodicals

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History of the Piano and Piano Music

A Subject search will retrieve all books owned by the UWO Music Library on the topic of the history of the piano:

Piano History

Also, much valuable information about the piano and its history will be found in:

New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians Ref ML 100.G8 2001-on the Dictionary Table and on the www - for UWO-affiliated users only] 

New Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments Ref ML 102.I5 N48 l984]

These encyclopedias contain detailed and scholarly information on the history of the piano, piano construction, piano playing and piano repertory.  The extensive bibliography lists additional books and articles on the topic -- the Music Library has many of the books and articles cited. N.B. Be careful to distinguish between books (titles ALWAYS listed in italics) and periodical articles ("titles ALWAYS listed in quotation marks") as they appear in bibliographies. Call numbers for books may be found by searching by Author or by Title in the catalogue while call numbers for articles may be found by searching for thetitle of the periodical (do NOT try and search by the title of the article!!) in the Western Libraries Catalogue.

Other valuable sources include:

Palmieri, Robert.Piano Information Guide: An Aid to Research.Music Research andInformation Guides, 10. New York: Garland Publishing, 1989.[Ref ML 128.P3P34 1989]

The Vienna Urtext Guide to Piano Literature.Valley Forge, Pa.: European AmericanMusic Corp., 1995. [Ref ML 700.U53 1995]

Recommended for all piano teachers and serious piano students, this contains in-depth discussions of sources, critical sources, historical background, indexes of musical incipits (by composer) and suggestions for interpretation for those piano works published in urtext by Schott and Universal Editions.

Gordon, Stewart. A History of Keyboard Literature: Music for the Piano and its Forerunners. New York: Schirmer Books, 1996. [ML 700.G65 1996].

A survey of keyboard music from Renaissance to modern times, with a portion of the final chapter devoted to Canadian composers. Discusses composers' outputs, styles, influences and places them in context with their contemporaries. Includes references to women composers and a chapter on 20th-century Spanish, Portuguese and Latin keyboard music. 'Required reading' for students and teachers alike, and great value.

Pollens, Stewart. The Early Pianoforte. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994.[ML 655.P65 1994]

This is the first comprehensive historical and technological study of the pianoforte based on important primary source material.' For pianists with an interest in fortepiano and/or harpsichord, this title is well worth investigating.

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Performance Practice

The New Grove Dictionary (either edition) article on "Performing Practice" is a great place to begin; browsing the shelves at ML457 is also recommended. Following are several recent books of interest to keyboard players:

Rowland, David. A History of Pianoforte Pedalling. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press,1993. [MT 227.R72 1993]

Examines the history of pedalling technique and describes the transition from harpsichord and clavichord to the piano. Includes documentary accounts of early pedalling, and translations of three chapters on pedalling--from piano tutors by Milchmeyer (1797), Adam (1804) and Steibelt (1809). Also includes a chapter on 'Mozart and his contemporaries.

Witten, David, ed.Nineteenth-century Piano Music: Essays in Performance and Analysis.New York: Garland, 1997.[ML 706.N58 1997]

Contains essays about the piano works of Beethoven, Hensel, Mendelssohn, Chopin, Schumann, Schubert, Liszt and Brahms.

Komlós, Katalin.Fortepianos and their Music: Germany, Austria, and England, 1760-1800. Oxford: Clarendon, 1995. [ML 720.3.K66 1995]

Examines the instruments, the solo repertory and its dissemination, and the performers of the period. Contemporary accounts of performances are included, as are discussions of several contemporary methods and treatises on keyboard teaching and performance.

Hudson, Richard. Stolen time : the history of tempo rubato. Oxford : Clarendon Press, 1994. [ML 437.H83 1994]

Traces the development of tempo rubato from its beginnings (1723) to the present day, with explanations of the earlier' (pre-1723) and 'later' (romantic) styles of the device. Modern rubato is discussed with reference to Bartok, Orff, and Copland, and with reference to American popular music and jazz. Chapter five is devoted to tempo rubato in keyboard music. Contains bibliography, discography and an index. Highly recommended for performers and teachers alike.


Recordings of Piano Music

Finding CDs, LP recordings and videos

Lisa Rae Philpott
Music Reference / Collections / Instructional Librarian
UWO Music Library
Last updated: 2012-01