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Oxford Music Online

Music Online


Searching for Music Performances

Use the VCU Libraries Search box to find books, recordings, scores, DVDs, and other music collections of VCU Libraries. 
Music materials can be located by:
title, composer, performer, instrumentation, type of composition, recording label or number, publisher number, or material type.

Advanced Search offers the best option for music search success:

1.  Limit your search by Material Type, but remember that limiting by format may also exclude other formats. 

  • Formats include Scores, Audio & Video

  • Limit results to Show Only=Access Online for streaming media

Tip: for results which includes scores, recordings, and videos, search by title and author keywords.

2.  Avoid "Author/Creator" or "Title" limiters for comprehensive music searches. 

  • Musical works and musicians may be listed within the "Contents" section of the bibliographic record, not within the "title" or "author" section.  This is particularly important for short works, Jazz, or popular music!

3.  Truncation.  The * character (asterisk) can be placed at the left, right or middle of a portion of a word. 

  • Spelling:  If you are unsure how to spell something, get the first part right, then use the truncation symbol.
    Example:  Shosta* for Shostakovich

  • Plural and singular and multiple languages in one search with an * at the end of the root term.
    Example:  symphon*  results in symphony, symphonies, symponium, and sympnonien

4.  Break generic titles into a number of keyword elements

  • Example:  Pachelbel's work titled "Canon, violin (3), continuo, in D major"  can be searched using different elements of the title.

Pachelbel AND canon results in 115 hits; Pachelbel AND canon AND violin results in 53 hits.

5.  Music opus or work numbers: search with and without the number; or try searches with both numbers. 
Also, look for the number within a sequence or collected works collection.  Remember, an opus number is not the same as the work number. 

  • Example:  Beethoven's Symphony no. 9 is his opus no. 125. 

6.  Search foreign titles in both English and their original language (uniform title).

  • Example:  Vivaldi's Cimento dell'amrmonia e dellinventione (Italian) finds more productions: The four seasons (English), Le quattro stagioni (French), and Die vier jahreszeiten (German) productions

7.  Language Limiter features can assist in searching for translations or alternative arrangements of scores, performances or librettos. 

  • There is a pull-down box for English and our most popular languages.  You can also use Refine My Results / Language.

Music, Copyright & Public Domain

When sheet music is in the public domain, you can freely:

record it, remix it, copy and distribute it, perform it in public

The public domain consists of all the creative work to which no exclusive intellectual property rights (copyrights) apply.
Those rights may have expired, been forfeited, expressly waived, or may be inapplicable. 

Music News and Reviews

In addition to art and design databases, try these newspaper and magazine databases 
to find reviews or criticism about contemporary art and design.

Music Collection Suggestions

Suggest materials to add to VCU Libraries Music Collections

Resources Beyond VCU Libraries

If you can't find the book, article, or dissertation that you want at VCU, try these resources to find what you need.