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Music Research


ALICE catalog is simply a list of materials owned by Ohio University libraries statewide. Keep in mind that what you are looking for might not be at the Music & Dance Library, but at Alden Library or at another OU campus. In the case of the latter, click on , found near the top and the bottom of the page, in order to have it sent to the Music & Dance Library.

If you don't find what you are looking for, don't forget to

How to use ALICE

The best way to find scores is by Keyword searching in Advanced Search. Enter keywords in the search boxes, generally separated by the operator "AND." (For other operators, see the Advanced Search Strategies tab.) The order of your keywords does not matter.

When searching for a specific genre, such as symphonies, sonatas, or cantatas, use the plural form of the genre.

Search phrases by putting them in quotation marks.


  • mozart AND figaro
  • sonatas AND bassoon AND continuo AND barenreiter
  • "fake book" AND "whistle a happy tune"
  • concertos AND flute AND orchestra AND arranged
  • songs AND "high voice" AND piano OR continuo

Narrow your search by choosing Music Scores from the Material Type menu.

Search for books by Title

If you know all or part of the exact title of a book, enter it in the search box under the Title tab. Or, enter it into the search box under the Keyword tab and choose Title from the dropdown menu to the left of the search box.


  • on russian music
  • cambridge companion to mahler
  • garland encylpedia of world music

Search for books by Author or Composer

If you know the exact name of an author, editor, or composer, enter it in any order in the search box under the Author tab. Or, enter it into the search box under the Keyword tab and choose Author from the dropdown menu to the left of the search box.


  • taruskin richard
  • peter burkholder
  • johann quantz
  • stanley sadie
  • berlioz hector

Search for books by Keyword

Use the same keyword searching methods given for scores to find books.

Search phrases by putting them in quotation marks.


  • mahler AND la grange
  • burkholder AND western music
  • "playing the flute" AND quantz

Narrow your search by choosing Book from the Material Type menu.

Search for recordings by Keyword

Keywords for finding recordings include names of composer, names of performers, work titles, album or concert titles, instruments, genre, and format (CD, LP, streaming, etc.).

Search phrases by putting them in quotation marks.


  • callas AND verdi AND 33 1/3
  • "evelyn glennie" AND compact
  • beethoven AND violin AND concertos NOT naxos

Note the exclusion of Naxos in the last example: your could also include it, or search the Naxos database itself.

Format can also be chosen by selecting Music Recording or Videos from the Material Type menu.

Search by Subject

To search by subject, choose the Subject tab and type your keywords in the search box.

Subjects can be topics, musical genres, or people.


  • oboe players united states
  • felix mendelssohn
  • hip hop  los angeles
  • harpsichord music



There are three kinds of title:

  1. Title as found on a book, score, or recording
  2. Preferred titles
  3. Titles of periodicals

1) Title as found on a book, score, or recording

In Advanced Search, enter whatver words of the title you know into the Title search box. In the Material Type menu, select your desired format, such as Books, Music Scores, or Music Recordings.

2) Preferred titles are used in library catalogs to link every version of a particular piece, regardless of how the title iw worded ont he edition or recording. In the catalog record, the first line in the Title area is the preferred title. Use the preferred title in a Title search to see a list of all items cataloged under that title.

There are three kinds of preferred title:

  1. Generic titles
  2. Distinctive titles
  3. Collective titles

Generic titles are used when a work is in a genre, such as a concerto or sonata. In this case, the preferred title includes the name of the genre (almost always plural), followed by instrumentation, identification number, key, etc. For example:

  • Symphonies, no. 5, op. 67, C minor
  • Concertos, piano, orchestra, K. 488, A major
  • Sonatas, flute, continuo, H. 564, G major
  • Sonatas violoncello, piano, op. 7, B minor

Distinctive titles are used when a work was given a unique name by the composer. Distinctive titles are in the original language. The initial article ("a" or "the" in any language) is omitted. For example, whether a score of Mozart's The Magic Flute is printed with the English title, the original German title Die Zauberflöte, or the Italian Il flauto magico, the preferred title in the catalog is always Zauberflöte.

The preferred title is also used to distinguish between different versions of a piece (full score, vocal score, piano reduction, arrangement, selections, etc.) as well as translations. For example,

  • Zauberflöte. Vocal score. English

More examples of distinctive titles:

  • Brandenburgische Konzerte
  • Suite bergamasque. Clair de lune
  • Symphonies d'instruments a vent

Note: only works with such names given by the composer are considered distinctive titles. If you are unsure, conduct a keyword search using the name in question. An example: Beethoven's Piano Sonata Op. 27, no. 2 is commonly called the Moonlight Sonata, however, this was not Beethoven's name for the work, so it has a generic title: Sonatas, piano, op. 27, no. 2, C sharp minor.

3) Collective titles

A collective title is a generic title used to collect works by a prolific writer or composer. This applies, for example, to the collected works of individual composers and uses the preferred title "Works. [date of beginning of series]".


Boolean operators

As well as the common "AND," you can use other operators such as "OR" and "NOT" in your search. "NOT" is used to eliminate a word. For example, if you want a full score rather than a vocal score, you could include "NOT vocal" in your search. "OR" is used when you want to combine a search term with either of two other terms. For example: concertos violin AND (mozart OR haydn). This search will give you concertos by both composers.

Subjects: Music