Johnson: Wounded Drummer Boy (ca.1865)


This guide is designed to help you find information about, and music for, percussion. Use this as a starting point, or browsing tool. As always, consult our catalog and the catalogs for complete holdings information, and when uncertain, ask at the Reference Desk!


Finding percussion repertoire


Suggested call numbers for browsing our catalog or the shelf

Below are general call number ranges. For specific call numbers, consult the Library of Congress Classification Schedule in the book at the Reference Desk, and/or our catalog.


solo drum [kettledrum (timpani), side drum etc.


solo bells, glockenspiel, etc.


solo other [xylophone, marimba, vibraphone, etc.]


one percussion instrument with piano 


duets which may include one or more percussion instruments 


concertos with orchestra 


concertos with orchestra (arranged) 


concertos with string orchestra 


concertos with string orchestra (arranged) 


Studies and methods


Studies and methods for drums, children


Studies and methods for xylophone and similar instruments, children

For trios, quartets, and other ensembles, see the Chamber Music guide.



Subject headings for percussion music

Below are examples of some useful subject headings for use in our catalog.  For complete listings of headings, consult the Library of Congress Subject Headings (red books).


Headings for our catalog

Headings for LP catalog

timpani* music

timpani and [trumpet, horn etc.]

timpani with [band, orchestra etc.] 

sonatas timpani 

concertos timpani

concertos timpani solo with piano 


percussion ensembles

percussion music

Under “timpani”: 










* “timpani” is as an example. “snare drum”, “xylophone,” etc. can also be used.



Print resources for percussion repertoire

Bajzek, Dieter. Percussion: An Annotated Bibliography with Special Emphasis on Contemporary Notation
          and Performance. Metuchen, NJ : Scarecrow Press, 1988. Ref. ML128 .P23 B165 1988

Girsberger, Russ. Percussion Assignments for Band & Wind Ensemble. 2 vols. Galesville, MD: Meredith
          Music, 2004. Ref. ML128.B23 G528 2004

An Annotated Bibliography of Percussion Music Publications. Lewiston, N.Y.: E. Mellen Press, 
          2005. Ref. ML128.P23 L334 2005

An Autobiographical Bibliography of Percussion Music. Lewiston, N.Y.: E. Mellen Press, 2006. 
          Ref. ML419.L334 A3 2006

Percussive Arts Society. Solo and Ensemble Literature for Percussion. Knoxville, TN: Percussive
          Arts Society, 1978. Ref. ML128 .P23 S6 

Siwe, Thomas. Percussion Solo Literature. Champaign: Media Press, 1995. Ref. ML128.P23 S62 1995

Percussion Ensemble Literature. Champaign: Media Press, 1998. Ref. ML128.P23 S624 1998

Toner, D. Thomas. A Listing of Mallet Quartets, Quintets and Larger Ensembles. Urbana: Percussive
          Arts Society, 1980. Ref. ML128.P23 T5


Online resources for percussion repertoire

In-print commercial sources (searchable)

J.W. Pepper

Theodore Front


Finding information about percussion


Grove Music Online:

 Holland, James and Janet K. Page. “Percussion.” Grove Music OnlineOxford Music Online. Oxford 
           University Press, accessed January 3, 2014,


Suggested call numbers for browsing the shelves or our catalog  


Percussion bibliographies


Books about percussion


Studies and methods


Studies and methods for drums, children


Studies and methods for xylophone and similar instruments, children


Selected print resources on percussion

Barnhart, Stephen L. Percussionists: A Biographical Dictionary. Westport: Greenwood, 2000. 
                    Ref. ML399.B262 P42 2000

Beck, John H., ed. Encyclopedia of Percussion, 2nd ed. NY: Routledge, 2007. Ref. ML102.P4 E56 2007

Bill Moyers Narrates the Story of Percussion in the Orchestra [sound recording]. Holcomb, NY: 
                    Nexus, 1992. Recordings Stacks CD 6160 

Blades, James. Percussion Instruments and Their History. London; Boston: Faber and Faber, 1984. 
                    Ref. ML1030 .B632P 1984 

A Practical Guide to Percussion Terminology. Ft. Lauderdale, FL : Meredith Music, 1998. 
                    Ref. ML102.P4 G528 1998

Holland, James. Practical percussion: A Guide to the Instruments and Their Sources, rev. ed. Lanham,  
                    MD: Scarecrow, 2005. ML1030.H735 P8 2005

Larrick, Geary. Bibliography, History, Pedagogy, and Philosophy in Music and Percussion. Lewiston, 
                    N.Y.: Edwin Mellen Press, 1999. ML1030.L334 B58 1999

Meza, Fernando A. Percussion Discography: An International Compilation of Solo and Chamber 
                    Percussion Music. NY: Greenwood, 1990. Ref. ML156.4.P4 M61 1990 

Peinkofer, Karl. Handbook of Percussion Instruments: Their Characteristics and Playing Techniques, With 
                    Illustrations and Musical Examples from the Literature. (translated from the original German 
                    by Kurt and Else Stone) London; NY: Schott, 1976. Ref. ML1030 .P377H 1976

Skei, Allen B. Woodwind, Brass, and Percussion Instruments of the Orchestra: A Bibliographic 
                    Guide. NY: Garland, 1985. Ref. ML128 .W5 S632 1985 

Related works may be found by searching the subjects: percussion instruments, drum, drummers 
(musicians), electronic percussion instruments, marimba, timpani, xylophone.




Instrumentalist  ML1 .I59
Modern Drummer  ML1 .M683
Percussion News  ML1 .P4292
Percussive Arts Society NYS Chapter, Newsletter  ML1 .P4295N
Percussive Notes  ML1 .P429N
Percussive Notes, Research Edition ML1 .P429N
International Musician Current Periodicals, Microforms of older issues: Film 1832)

Current issues of periodicals are found alphabetically in the current periodicals room (third floor). For call numbers of older, bound issues, look in the Sibley Library Serials list (found on quick reference shelves).


Online percussion resources 

Percussive Arts Society
Drummer World



Compiled by P. Ponella, 7/95, Rev. 7/97; Rev. by Jim Farrington 7/99; 11/03; 10/05; 2/06; 5/06; 9/08 ; Rev. by Jeff Weeks 1/14