Find Music in discoverE

Find Popular Music and Jazz

Sound recordings and scores in discoverE

  • Find composers or performers with an author search.
  • Find titles of albums, musicals, and other major works (not songs) with a title search.
  • Find recordings of songs with a search everything search.

Searching tips

  • Use the adjacent operator between words: moon adj river
  • Put quotes around the title: "moon river" (slightly less precise search)

To find just CDs, scores, etc., use search limits.

Find different types of music by using subject searches. Below is a sample of subject headings used in library catalogs. (Punctuation not needed in searches.)

  • Blues (Music)Bop (Music)
  • Cool jazz
  • Country music
  • Gospel music
  • Heavy metal (Music)
  • Jazz
  • Motion picture music [used for film music]
  • Musicals
  • Rap (Music) [Hip-hop is used for books about the topic, not for music.]
  • Rhythm and blues music
  • Soul music
  • Tango (Dance) [Finds books on Tango]
  • Tangos [Finds recordings and scores of Tangos]
  • Zydeco music
  • Make your searches more precise by using operators and truncation.

If you don’t find what you need, please call the Music and Media Library staff at 404-727-1777 or e-mail us at

Find Classical Music

Search Strategies

  • Use Advanced Search to combine terms such as author and title.
  • Composers and performers are treated as authors.

Searching Sonatas & Symphonies

  • Use plurals for sonatas, symphonies, and other non-distinctive titles, even when searching for only one piece.
  • Why? You’ll usually miss holdings when using the singular term.
    • examples:
      • sonatas no. 5
      • symphonies no. 3
      • quartets no. 15
      • etudes

Example Search: Find Beethoven’s piano sonatas edited by Erwin Ratz

  • In basic search, use “and” when combining author with title.
    • searching “copland and rodeo” are good search terms
    • searching “copland rodeo” won’t find everything

Original Language Titles

  • Use the original language for works with distinctive titles.
  • Why? So you don't retrieve just partial holdings. Learn more about uniform (standardized) titles below.
    • Examples:
      • "Matthauspassion" for St. Matthew Passion
      • "Zauberflote" for the Magic Flute
      • (Drop initial articles—[Die] Zauberflote—in foreign titles).

If you can't find what you're looking for...

  • Search for collections containing the piece—e.g., all sonatas by the composer.
  • If it’s part of a larger work, look for the title of that work.
  • Find out if we have the complete works of the composer.
  • Ask for help: Call (404) 727-1777 or e-mail us at

Use Uniform Titles

Uniform titles provide consistent, standardized ways of identifying individual compositions and groups of compositions. This makes it possible to find works all scores and recordings of a work without having to look up every conceivable title the piece might have been called. A library catalog record gives both the work's Title—meaning the title used by the publisher—and its Uniform Title.

Works with Distinctive Titles

If the work's title is distinctive, the uniform title consists of its original title (from the manuscript or first edition) in the original language.

Examples of distinctive titles:

  • Daphnis et Chlöe
  • Mer (for "La Mer": initial articles are dropped.)
  • Messiah
  • Missa Solemnis
  • Otello (Italian equivalent of Othello)
  • Quatuor pour la fin du temps (Quartet for the End of Time)
  • Symphonie de Psaumes
  • Wohltemperierte Klavier (Well Tempered Clavier)
  • Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute)
  • Zhar-ptitsa (The Firebird)

Works with Form or Genre Titles

If the composer's original title is simply a form name or genre (with or without key and number), the title is considered nondistinctive. The first word of the uniform title is the form or genre, and it's always in the plural except when the composer wrote only one sonata, nocturne, etc.

Examples of form and genre terms used in uniform titles:

  • Divertimenti
  • Quartets
  • Arias
  • Duets
  • Quintets
  • Lieder
  • Impromptus
  • Sonatas
  • Songs
  • Nocturnes
  • Suites
  • Motets
  • Pieces (also Stücke, if the title was German)
  • Symphonies
  • Masses

The instrumentation, number (ordinal, opus, and or catalog number) and key are often added to the form name.

Collections of Works in the Same Medium

This type of uniform title is used when one recording or score consists of various types of pieces that are all for the same medium.


  • Choral music
  • Guitar music
  • Violin music
  • Vocal music

Complete Works of Individual Composers

The uniform title Works is used for a set of the complete works of a composer. Note that many editions of complete works are still in the process of being published—volume by volume. Look at the bottom of the discoverE record to see which volumes are actually in the library's collection.

Limit Search Results by Resource Type (audio, video, scores, etc.) or Location

  • From the entry screen in DiscoverE, search for a title.
  • For DVDs in the lending collection only, type DVD-LEND after the title of your initial search.

In the Results page, choose to limit the results in the “Refines Search Results” left sidebar. The "Resource Type" option on the left helps to refine your search.

  • Choose Resource Type “Audio” for CDs and other media.
  • Choose Resource Type “Scores” for music scores.
  • Choose Resource Type “Video for films in any format.
  • Choose “Library” find items in a specific library.
  • Choose “Language” to find items in a specific language.

Refine Searches with Operators and Truncation

Search operators are used in keyword searches to get more specific results. However, you can use them in any field in advanced search (author, title, etc.) provided you have not specified a "Browsing" or "Exact" search. If you do not enter any operator between search words, the system automatically supplies the operator "same."

Searching with Operators

  • and both terms must appear somewhere in the specified fields
  • or either one or both terms must appear somewhere in the specified fields
  • not the second term must not appear, but the first term must
  • xor either one or the other term, but not both, must appear in the specified fields
  • adj terms must be adjacent in the order that they were entered
  • near terms must be adjacent in any order
  • with terms must be in the same sentence in the same field
  • same terms must be in the same field (author, title, contents, etc.)

Using quotes to search

To search an operator as a word, put it in quotes.  This will also search the words in order as they appear in the quotes.

For example, searching "The Sopranos" will pull any record with these two words in order.

Truncation Symbol ($)

Use the truncation symbol $ to find variant forms or spellings.

For example, searching “perotin$” finds both Perotin and Perotinus.