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Vocal Music

A guide to help navigate special resources and searching challenges for vocal music

Finding Individual Songs

Finding individual songs for your voice lessons and performances can be difficult. Here are the steps to take if you are looking for songs in the Performing Arts Library or through Interlibrary Loan. Also feel free to contact the Performing Arts Librarian for further help.

Search Music Scores

  1. Search the name of the song or aria in Library Search (above).

    • If you are not using the widget above, limit the results to musical scores after each step.

  2. If there are no results, check to make sure you have the correct spelling of the song.

    • Google the song title to make sure that it is correct; foreign spellings are tough!

      • Punctuation is important, particularly apostrophes in Italian and French.

    • Search Library Search again with the correct name of the song/aria.

  3. If your song or aria is from an opera or musical, search for the name of the opera or musical.

    • You only want a vocal score with piano accompaniment, not a full score that shows the full orchestration; just make sure that the result does not have a M1500 call number or says “full score” in the results.

    • If no results, see step #2. Make sure the opera or musical is spelled correctly.

  4. Your song or aria may be from a collection or anthology of songs.

    1. Use WorldCat to search for the song title. 

      • Limit to the results to musical scores (one of the choices on the left-hand side of the screen).

        • If the song is in an anthology or collection, search the title of the collection or anthology in Library Search.

        • If there are no results in Library Search, use the information to request the song via ILL; this may take a few days to complete, but should be relatively quick.

        • If there are no results, and you have the spelling correct, then your song has likely never been published in score format (it does happen), or it has never been purchased or a cataloged by a library.

          • Check with your teacher to see where they have their copy from

          • Search a sheet music website, like Sheet Music Plus or Hal Leonard

          • If the song is by a living composer, search for the composer's website to see if you can purchase a copy from them.

  5. Your song may be in the Public Domain, meaning it was published before 1923. Many of these songs can be found in IMSLP or CPDL, though they may be in very old editions. This can work if you need a quick copy regardless of quality. However, make sure you and your pianist can read all of the clefs.