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Pacific Lutheran University

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Music Reference - Start Here

Search the Library Catalog

The library catalog is your best option for finding composer biographies, musicological studies, scores, and music recordings.

For best results, try these strategies:

  • For books about music, search by time period (such as "17th century"), geographic location, work type (such as "orchestral music"), or descriptive terms (such as "history", "criticism", or "appreciation").
  • For books about composers, search on the composer's name. Use the Book format limiter to filter out articles and other materials.
  • For recordings, enter the composer's name and use the Music format limiter.
  • For scores, enter the composer's name or a few words from the work title, and use the Musical Scores format limiter.

Not finding what you need? Search WorldCat Discovery, expand your search to Libraries Worldwide, and take advantage of Interlibrary Loan.

Reading Music Call Numbers

All music call numbers start with the letter M. Easy to remember! But there are different kinds of music resources, denoted by their call number letters:

  • M alone: A music score, recording, or video performance.
  • ML: Literature about music; musicology, biography, music history, etc.
  • MT: Literature about music education, exercise books, and teaching materials.

If the library is closed, or for your own convenience, you can place a hold for print items from the catalog. Then, pick them up from library staff.

Music Articles

Accessing and Downloading Articles

There are three main ways that you can access articles in full text through the library. Most of our journals are in digital format, but these methods work for print, too.

Directly from the database you're searching: Look for a PDF or HTML link.

Via "Check the PLU Library for full text": If you see this link, click it. The Article Linker will show you all the ways that article is available, including whether it's part of our print collection.

Via Interlibrary Loan: If this is the only option the Article Linker offers you, don't worry! We can get almost any article, at no charge to you. Most are delivered online within a few days of your request. (It works for books, too!)