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Research Guides

Eastern Washington University Libraries

Music Education

Find Books

Want to browse the music books?

See the Library of Congress Classification Outline for M.

Click on the instrument category or percussion or voice on the bottom left to see the call numbers for sheet music or scores and books.

Can't find the book you want?

Search Techniques & Requesting Materials

Simple Search

A simple search, or keyword search, will search for the terms you've entered in every aspect of every catalog record. If you don't know exactly what you're looking for, this is a great way to get started - it's flexible and will allow you to shape your search as you go. Enter any terms you can think of into the simple search bar, and use the facets under "Refine My Results" on the left side of the results page to narrow your search.

For an in-depth written description of catalog features click here.

Simple search screenshot


Advanced Search

Advanced searching is helpful when you have a specific idea of what you need, and don't want to sift through the thousands of results that may be returned in a simple search to find it. Advanced searches allow you to search using specific elements of catalog records, including: 

  • Title: If you know the title of an item you need (or even some of the title), perform a title search. Use quotes around known titles - this searches the title as a whole phrase, rather than a string of independent words. 

  • Author/Creator: This includes authors, editors, composers, and performers. Names can be in any order (first last; last, first)

  • Subject: Refers to what the item is about, and searches subject headings assigned by catalogers.

For an in-depth written description of catalog features click here.

Advanced search screenshot


Requests Through Summit

You may run across items in the catalog that are not physically held by EWU - these items have orange text which reads "Check request options - held by Summit libraries". You are still able to check these materials out, they just need to be requested from one of our partner libraries. It takes about 4-8 days for Summit items to be sent from their home library to EWU. You will receive an email notification of its arrival, and it will be kept for you at the circulation desk in the lobby of the library. 

How to submit a Summit request: 

  1. Find the "Get It" section in the record for the item you wish to request
  2. Make sure you're signed in
  3. Click "Place Summit Request"
  4. Wait for a notification email, then pick your request up at the circulation desk in the main lobby

Summit request screenshot

Requests Through Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

If you can't find materials at EWU or through Summit, you can still access them through an ILL request. There are several ways to submit an ILL request:

  1. Through the EWU WorldCat catalog
    • This catalog contains records of items available from libraries around the world
  2. Through the EWU Library catalog
    • ​​This option is for journal articles. The process is similar to a Summit request - make sure you're signed in!
  3. Manually fill out an ILL Request form
    • You will need bibliographic information like author, title, publication information, page numbers (for specific book chapters or journal articles)

Plan ahead! ILL requests take up to 5 days for articles and 1-2 weeks for books, scores, and A/V materials

How to Submit ILL Requests

1) EWU WorldCat

  1. In the item record page (screenshot below), navigate to the "Find a copy in the library" section for the ILL request button
  2. Tip: Before you click "Request", double check the EWU library catalog to make sure an item isn't available in an online version or through Summit. They're both faster than an ILL request.
  3. Wait for a notification email, then pick your request up at the circulation desk in the main lobby

ILL book request screenshot


2) EWU Library Catalog 

  1. Find the "Get It" section in the record for the item you wish to request
  2. Make sure you're signed in
  3. Click "Request using ILL loan"
  4. Wait for a notification email, then pick your request up at the circulation desk in the main lobby

ILL article request screenshot


3) ILL Request Form

  1. Login to the Interlibrary Loan request form page
  2. Select request type (article/book chapter, book, or DVD/Video/Audio)
  3. Fill out as much of the form as possible - fields marked with an asterisk (*) are required
  4. Click submit - you should be sent an email regarding the success and status of your request

Manual ILL request screenshot


Call Numbers

Materials at EWU are shelved using the Library of Congress (LC) classification system. Each item is assigned a call number, which consists of a combination of letters and numbers which represent the location and content of an item. Each call number contains multiple lines of letter/number combinations. 

Music Call Numbers & Browsing Locations

Music materials are divided into three main subject classes, listed below. The Library of Congress Classification Outline provides a more detailed look at music subjects, which you can use to browse the shelves in the library. 

M (Music)

  • Lower Level: Scores, A/V materials

ML (Literature on Music)

  • Main Level: Reference books (encyclopedias, dictionaries, bibliographies)
  • Upper Level: Circulating books (biographies, history and criticism, books on genre, research guides, etc.)

MT (Instruction and Study of Music)

  • Main Level: Reference books (diction guides)
  • Upper Level: Circulating books (music theory, music education, techniques, analysis, etc.)

Reading Call Numbers

Call numbers are read from left to right, top to bottom, and contain the following:

  • Letter Line (e.g., ML): Defines the subject
    • Single or multiple letters
    • Read alphabetically (G comes before P, ML comes before MT)
  • Classification Number (e.g., 410):  Defines the topic within the subject
    • Whole numbers
    • Read numerically (12 comes before 300)
  • Cutter Number (e.g., .M9): Represents the author's name, title, or sometimes publisher
    • Decimal point (usually), followed by letter(s) & number(s)
    • Read one space at a time
      • .T18 is read as "T - one - eight", not "T - eighteen"
      • By reading one space at a time instead of whole numbers, .T18 comes after .T172
  • Second Cutter Number (e.g., N413): Not always present, refers to author's name, title, or sometimes publisher
    • There is no decimal point in the second Cutter number line, but treat it as if there were
    • Read one space at a time
  • Publication Year (e.g., 2007): Indicates the year an item was published - this is useful when searching for specific editions
  • Volume (e.g., v.2): Only present for multi-volume sets
  • Copy (e.g., c.5): Only present when a library owns multiple copies
  • Opus number (e.g., op. 47): Often present on scores - refers to the opus number assigned to that work 


Mozart: The First Biography cover      Mozart: The First Biography call number

Mozart: The First Biography, Franz Xaver Niemetschek 

ML Letter Line/Subject (ML = Literature on Music)
410 Classification Number/Topic (410 = Composer biographies)
.M9 Cutter number - in this instance, the first Cutter number refers to the title of the work (.M9 = Mozart). 
N413 Cutter number - in this instance, the second Cutter number refers to the author's last name (N413 = Niemetschek)
2007 Publication year

On the Shelf




















































Call number labels may not appear in this exact line-by-line format. A common challenge you will face is the combination of two Cutter numbers combined into one line. As in the picture below, you may see S93A4783 - look for the letters to help split this into ".S93" followed by "A4783"

Photo of bookshelf call numbers