Finding Repertoire for VOICE

Find a Known Piece of Music

View the VOICE handout in PDF.

Check the Helpful Hints on our main Finding Repertoire page. 

 Browsing | Subject Searching | Ensembles | Repertoire | Periodicals | History | Recordings

Use "Collective Titles"

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

[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 simply type "songs Schubert Peters medium."

Browse the Shelves for Music

a. Solo songs with piano:

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

b. Sacred songs with piano or organ

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

c. Arias from operas:

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)

d. Arias from oratorios and cantatas:

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

Search by Subject (Library of Congress)

A SUBJECT search is NOT the same as a KEYWORD search. Library of Congress Subject Headings are prescribed by LC, and assigned by cataloguersYou must use the same Subject Headings; once you find one desired item, check its Subject Headings. You can then CLICK on those Subject Headings to find similar works.









N.B. 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 Music Library's 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 Western Libraries Shared Library Catalogue - which means that titles that were once-buried in song anthologies are now searchable by a KEYWORD search:

Use Western Libraries 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.

Top of page

Suggested Sources for Repertoire Lists

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

Vocal Music Bibliography

Song Bibliography

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 following Subject Heading:

Song 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, too!] 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 - just be sure to choose a recent one, which contains IPA!

Periodicals for Singers

Opera periodicals

Where Do I Begin? // HISTORY & Background of vocal music

You may find it helpful to visit our "Resources by Subject" pages, particularly our Singers' Resources page.

Library resources for singers, coaches, and accompanists: an annotated bibliography, 1970-1997. [Ref ML128.V7M45 1998]

New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians [Ref ML 100.G8 2001-on the Dictionary Table]

The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians [online] Updated regularly. UWO-ONLY -- Provides access to the full text of The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 2nd. ed.


Finding CDs, LP recordings and videos
Hints on the most efficient ways to find recordings in our library.

If you are taking the "Introductory Vocal" class, you will need to find CDs of singers whose voice-type matches yours (e.g. soprano, mezzo-soprano, contralto, countertenor, tenor, baritone, or bass). Have a look at our handout SINGERS-on-CD - which offers names of singers, categorized by voice-type. Use KEYWORD to search for desired CDs, remembering to use COMPACT as one of your keywords

Lisa Rae Philpott
Music Reference / Collections / Instructional Librarian
  Music Library - Western University
Last updated: 2016-05-10