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Library Resources for Singers: Tutorials

Searching for Keywords

If you're looking for a specific work and want to find it quickly in Catalog (VuFind Catalog), select Keyword from the pull-down menu and type some words from the title; you can also type the composer's name.  This is sometimes a faster way than browsing through a long list of a composer's works.  If you're looking for song collections, type the composer's name and the word "songs." 

VuFind Catalog Search Screen

Browsing a Composer's Works

If you know the name of the composer of the work you're seeking, go to the Libraries Home Page (https://www.ulib.niu.edu), and click on "Catalog Home."  

Library Home Page

On the next screen, click on "Classic Search."

VuFind Catalog Screen

Select Prolific Author/Composer from the Search by menu and type the composer's name.  Type the last name first.  You can fill in as little of the first name as you like; just the first letter is sufficient.  Click on Search.

Prolific Author Composer Search

The online catalog will show you an alphabetical list of the composer's works; you can click on next to move forward through the list, and previous to move backward. If the title is not a link, it means that piece may be listed under a different name in the catalog (perhaps in the original language, etc.). If you click "See Also", it will take you to the official name of that piece in the catalog.

Prolific Author Composer List

Browsing the Shelves

NIU uses the Library of Congress classification system for its call numbers.  Here's a brief outline of how vocal music is arranged in this system:

M1497-2199: Vocal music


M1497-1998       Secular vocal music

M1500                  Opera full scores

M1503                  Opera vocal scores (accompaniment arranged for piano)


M1530-1546        Secular choruses with ensemble accompaniment

M1547-1600        Secular choruses with piano or unaccompanied

M1611-1624        Secular songs for one voice

M1619                  Song collections (two or more composers)

M1620                  Song collections (one composer)


M1990-1998         Secular music for children

M1999-2199         Sacred vocal music

M2000-2007         Oratorios

M2020-2036         Sacred choruses and cantatas (with ensemble accompaniment)

M2060-2101         Sacred choruses with piano or unaccompanied

M2101-2114         Sacred songs for one voice

M2115-2146         Hymnals

Hints

If the work you are looking for is part of a longer work (such as a song from a song cycle or an aria from an opera), try searching for the title of that longer work.  Also, keep in mind that if the work was originally written in a foreign language, the title will probably be entered in the catalog in the original language.

Subject Searches

If you don't have a specific composer in mind, try searching for Subject terms.  NIU uses the Library of Congress Subject Headings system for its catalogs.  Here are some possible headings to try:

  • CANTATAS
  • CHORUSES
  • FOLK SONGS
  • MADRIGALS
  • POPULAR MUSIC
  • MUSICALS
  • OPERAS
  • PART-SONGS
  • SACRED VOCAL MUSIC
  • SOLO CANTATAS
  • SONGS
  • VOCAL DUETS
  • VOCAL MUSIC
  • VOCAL NONETS
  • VOCAL OCTETS
  • VOCAL QUARTETS
  • VOCAL QUINTETS
  • VOCAL SEPTETS
  • VOCAL SEXTETS
  • VOCAL TRIOS
  • VOCALISES
  • ZARZUELAS

Hints: A piece of music is always listed under the most specific heading possible.

Arias and other excerpts from operas are listed under OPERAS--EXCERPTS.