Searching Songs

Eakins: The Concert Singer (1892)

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


Suggested Call Numbers for Browsing Shelves for Editions

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

Secular Vocal Music

M1528 – M1529.5 duets, trios etc., for solo voices 
M1611 – M1626 songs for one voice
M1627 national songs 
M1628 – M1677.8 United States
     M1630.18       Popular songs 

 Sacred Vocal Music

M2018 – M2019.5 duets, trios etc., for solo voices 
M2102 – M2114.8 songs for one voice


Suggested Searching Strategies 

Below are examples of some useful search strategies and subject headings for use in Voyager. For complete listings of subject headings, consult the Library of Congress Subject Headings (red books). Also, do not forget to search the Card Catalog for LPs.

1. Using Custom Search/Boolean. This is the default search tab when initiating Voyager. In the “Search for:” box type any distinctive words from the title of the song and the last name of the composer (if known); from the “any of these” drop down menu, select “all of these”; leave the box that says “search anywhere” alone.

2. To Decrease the number of items retrieved. Use the Limit button. Some kinds of searches can be Limited by Date of publication (exact or by range), Type of material (e.g. scores or recordings), Location (e.g. Sibley library), Language (e.g. only English), and other parameters.

3. To Increase the number of items retrieved. Try typing only the title of the song, and select “as a phrase” from the drop down menu. Or, type the composer’s name and “songs” and limit by Type and location (often collections of songs are not completely indexed, and you might have to look through the items on the shelves if a Table of Contents tab does not show for an individual bibliographic record).

4. Use an Index. Many song collections that are not indexed in Voyager have been indexed by various books of indexes (a list of which are on the other side of this page). Find out in which collection a song is located, then search for the title of the collection.

5. Using the Record Card Catalog. If looking for a specific “art” song, search under the composer’s name, and then under [Songs. Selections] to find anthologies. Contents may or may not be listed. 


Selected Bibliography of Repertoire Lists and Indexes

Bradley, Carol June. Index to Poetry in Music: A Guide to the Poetry Set as Solo Songs by 125 Major
          Song Composers
. NY: Routledge, 2003. Ref. ML128.S3 B811 2003

Carmen, Judith E, William K. Gaeddert, and Rita M. Resch. Art Song in the United States, 1759-2011:
          An Annotated Bibliography. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow, 2013. Ref. ML128.S3 C287 2013

Coffin, Berton. Singer’s Repertoire. NY: Scarecrow, 1962. Ref. ML128 .V87 C675.2

_______. Word-by-Word Translations of Songs and Arias. NY: Scarecrow, 1972. Ref. ML54.6 C675W
          (See other translation books in the ML54 section of reference)

De Charms, Desiree and Paul F. Breed. Songs in Collections: An index. Detroit: Information Service,
          1966. Ref. ML128 .S3 D293

Doscher, Barbara, ed. and annotated by John Nix. From Studio to Stage: Repertoire for the Voice.
          Lanham, MD: Scarecrow, 2002. Ref. ML127.V7 D717 2002

Emmons, Shirlee and Wilbur Watkin Lewis. Researching the Song: A Lexicon. London: Oxford UP, 2006.
          Ref. ML102.S6 E54 2006

Eslinger, Gary S. Classical Vocal Music in Print. Philadelphia: Musicdata, Inc., 1986.
          Ref. ML118 .M988 vol.4s, 1986

Espina, Noni. Repertoire for the Solo Voice: A Fully Annotated Guide to Works for the Solo Voice Published
          in Modern Editions and Covering Material from the 13th Century to the Present. Metuchen, NJ:
          Scarecrow, 1977. ML128 .S3 E77

Ferguson, Gary Lynn. Song Finder: A Title Index to 32,000 Popular Songs in Collections, 1854-1992.
          Music Reference Collection, no. 46. Wesport, CT: Greenwood, 1995.
          Ref. ML128.S3 F352 1995

Gargan, William and Sue Sharma. Find that Tune. NY: Neal-Schuman, 1988. Ref. ML128.R6 F494 1988

Goodfellow, William D. SongCite: An Index to Popular Songs. NY: Garland, 1995.
          Ref. ML128.P63 G65 S69 1995

_______. Where’s that Tune?: An Index to Songs in Fakebooks. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow, 1990.
          Ref. ML128.P63 G65 1990

Goleeke, Thomas. Literature for Voice. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow, 1984. Ref. ML128.S3 G625 1984

Havlice, Patricia Pate. Popular Song Index. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow, 1975. Ref. ML128 .S3 H38,
          plus supplements 1978, 1984, 1989, 2005

Kagen, Sergius. Music for the Voice: A Descriptive List of Concert and Teaching Material, rev. ed.
          Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1968. Ref. ML128.V87 K11 1968

Leigh, Robert. Index to Song Books. NY: Da Capo Press, 1973. Ref. ML128.S3L529 I

Luchinsky, Ellen. The Song Index of the Enoch Pratt Library. 2 Vols. NY: Garland, 1998.
          Ref. ML 128.S3 L936 1998

Pollock, Bruce. The Rock Song Index. NY: Schirmer, 1997. Ref ML128.R6 P776 1997

Whitter, John and Ruth Watts. Song Index: Popular Songs and Where to Find Them. London:
          Association of Assistant Librarians, 1981. Ref. ML128.S3 W62 1981


Sibley Library maintained a card-file index to its vocal collection that can still be useful. Look in the small set of card-file drawers near the Alec Wilder Reading Room.


Internet Resources

The Aria Database 
Index to Arias and Art Songs in Collections 
The Lied and Song Texts Page 
Popular Song Database 
UTK Song Index

Compiled by Jim Farrington 10/99, rev. 5/05, 5/06, 9/13