Finding Repertoire for Voice

Find a Known Piece of Music

Check out the Helpful Hints on our main Finding Repertoire page or download the Voice Handout PDF.

Use "Collective Titles"

The Library buys composers' songs in collections and enters them under "collective titles".

Examples of collective titles:
Collective Title Description
[Songs] ALL of a composer's songs
[Songs. Selections] SOME of a composer's songs
[Works] All of a composer's works (includes his songs)
[Works. Selections] Some of a composer's works
[Nozze di Figaro. Selections] Not everything, but you're not getting any "hints" either

To find such collections in the Music Library (e.g. a Peters edition of Schubert songs for medium voice) use the "Keyword Search" on Western Libraries Catalogue and type "songs Schubert Peters medium".

Browse the Shelves for Music

Solo songs with piano

Useful call numbers for solo songs with piano
Call Numbers Description
M 1619 Collections (more than one composer)
M 1620 Collections of songs by a single composer
M 1621 Single works by one composer
M 1621.3 Single works with additional or obbligato instrument
M 1621.4 Song cycles

Sacred songs with piano or organ

Useful call numbers for sacred songs with piano or organ
Call Numbers Description
M 2110 Collections (more than one composer)
M 2112 Collections by a single composer
M 2113 Single works with additional or obbligato instrument
M 2113.4 Sacred song cycles

Arias from operas

Useful call numbers for arias from operas
Call Numbers Description
M 1500 Full score of operas
M 1503 Piano-vocal scores of operas
M 1505 Operatic excerpts (full scores)
M 1507-8 Operatic excerpts (piano-vocal scores)

Arias from oratorios and cantatas

Useful call numbers for arias from oratorios and cantatas
Call Numbers Description
M 2000 Full scores of oratorios
M 2003 Piano-vocal scores of oratorios
M 2020 Full scores of sacred cantatas
M 2023 Piano-vocal scores of sacred cantatas
M 1613 Full scores of secular cantatas
M 1614 Piano-vocal scores of secular cantatas

See also Yale University's helpful page: Class Numbers for Solo Vocal Music

Search by Subject

A SUBJECT search is NOT the same as a KEYWORD search.

Library of Congress Subject Headings are assigned by cataloguers. You must use the EXACT same Subject Headings to find music in specific formats/combinations.

USE THE PLURAL OF THE GENRE to find printed and recorded music. The singular form of the genre will find you books ABOUT that genre (e.g. books about the Oratorio, or about Opera, but NOT the oratorios/operas themselves)!

Once you find one desired item, check its Subject Headings. You can then click on those Subject Headings to find similar works (i.e. those works with the same instrumentation, or which are written in the same form/genre).

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

Words or terms from Subject Headings may be used in KEYWORD searching, but not vice-versa.

Music for Voice and Instruments, in Addition to Piano

For information on this topic, consult repertoire lists for voice and repertoire lists for the various orchestral instruments.

Vocal Music Found in the Solo Music Reference Collection

Much unusual and twentieth-century music for the voice may be found in the Solo Music Reference Collection housed in the Choral/Band/Orchestral Music Library. The general classification number for vocal music in the SMRC is MUS 4000.

The Song Index (now defunct)

Nearly all of the Western Libraries' older multi-composer collections were indexed in the Song Index (housed in the Music Library's Seminar Room). Also included were popular songs, folk songs, operatic arias, art songs, and songs from musical theatre. Over many years, we have systematically added "contents notes" into the Shared Library Catalogue. This means that titles which were once buried in song anthologies are now searchable by a KEYWORD search.

Use Shared Library Catalogue keyword search to find songs by title. You must search by keyword. If you use a regular title search, you are guaranteed to miss the songs you seek. Be sure to enclose your title in quotation marks to keep your title phrase intact.

e.g. "gretchen am spinnrade" AND high

Suggested Sources for Repertoire Lists

Click on these Subject Headings to find repertoire lists for voice:

Texts and Translations

Do not overlook record jackets and CD booklets for translations of obscure texts. It is worth checking translations with the aid of a dictionary to ensure that emotional emphasisis placed on the correct note.

Some useful collections are found under the Subject Heading Songs Texts.

Diction and Phonetics - IPA

Books concerning the diction of different languages and phonetics are shelved at MT 883. Be sure to check the Reference Area as well. Many of these books are practical, using well-known song texts as examples. We also have a copy of Karen Jensen's CD-ROM, Singer's Guide to the IPA, at the Circulation Desk.

For the convenience of singers, we have placed the most commonly used foreign-language dictionaries together on the Dictionary Table rather than in the Reference stacks. These dictionaries remain as reference and non-circulating. As a courtesy, please return these titles to the Dictionary Table after you have finished using them.

If you wish to borrow a dictionary, note the basic classification / call number from the Music Library's copy and visit The D.B. Weldon Library. They have circulating copies of dictionaries. Be sure to choose a recent one, which may be more likely to contain IPA.

Periodicals for Singers

History and Background

You may find it helpful to visit our Research Guides, particularly our Singers' Resources guide.