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Voice and Searching Songs: Home


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


Boldini: The Mondona Singer (1884)

New Grove article

Phonetic transcriptions

Recommend a Purchase

You can recommend purchases of voice-related scores, audio/video recordings, or books. Please notify Music Librarian Jon Sauceda with recommended titles.

Sibley Music Library


Miller Center, 27 Gibbs St. (across the street from Eastman School of Music) 2nd – 4th floors

Phone (Library Office): 585-274-1350
Phone (Reference): 585-274-1320
Phone (Special Collections): 585-274-1335
Phone (Circulation Desk): 585-274-1300
Fax: 585-274-1380

Hours During School Terms

Monday – Thursday 8:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.
Friday 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Sunday 1:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.

Call number browsing

Secular Vocal Music


 Songs (including arias and solo cantatas): Orchestral Accompaniment

     M1611  Collections: full scores
     M1612  Collections: piano-vocal scores
     M1613  Separate works: full scores
     M1613.3  Separate works: other accompaniment
     M1614  Separate works: piano accompaniment
     M1615  Arrangements: Collections: full scores
     M1616  Arrangements: Collections: piano-vocal scores
     M1617  Arrangements: Separate works: full scores
     M1618  Arrangements: Separate works: piano accompaniment


 Songs: Other accompaniment or no accompaniment

     M1619  Collections (more than one composer)
     M1620  Collections: one composer
     M1621  Separate works: piano accompaniment
     M1621.2  Separate works: unaccompanied
 Separate works: accompanied by piano and one other instrument
M1621.4 Song cycles
M1622  Vaudeville, music-hall songs, etc.
     M1623  Accompaniment of one other instrument: Collections
     M1624  Accompaniment of one other instrument: Separate works
     M1625–1626  Recitations with music
     M1627–1853  National songs (solo songs and part-songs)

 Songs (solo songs and part-songs) of groups and schools or about

special subjects

     M1990–1998  Secular music for children


Sacred Vocal Music

     M2018–2019.5  Duets, trios, etc., for solo voices
 Songs with orchestra, etc. accompaniment  
     M2102  Collections
     M2103  Separate songs: Full scores
     M2103.3  Separate songs: Other accompaniment
     M2104  Separate songs: piano-vocal scores
     M2105–2108  Arrangements
 Songs with piano accompaniment  
     M2110  Collections (more than one composer)
     M2112  Collections (one composer)
     M2113  Separate songs: accompaniment of one instrument
     M2113.2  Separate songs: unaccompanied
     M2113.3  Song cycles
     M2114  Special texts: By religion or denomination
     M2115–2146  Hymnals: By religion or denomination
     M2190–2196  Sacred vocal music for children


Singing and Vocal Techniques

     MT820   General works
     MT821  Physiology and care of the voice
     MT823  History of vocal instruction and study
 Systems and methods  
     MT825  American
     MT830  English
     MT835  French
     MT840  German
     MT845  Italian
     MT850  Other
     MT853  Systems using audio-visual aids
 Special techniques  
     MT855  General works
     MT860  Chanting
     MT870  Sight-singing
     MT875  Chorus and part-singing
     MT878  Breathing
     MT882  Tone production
     MT883  Pronunciation; diction
     MT885  Studies and exercises
     MT890  Instructive editions; teaching pieces
     MT892  Interpretation, phrasing, expression
     MT893  Self-instructors
     MT898–916  Vocal techniques for children


Classification Numbers for Books about Vocal Music

     ML128 .S2  Sacred vocal music bibliographies
     ML128.V7  Vocal music bibliographies
 Vocal music  
     ML1400  General works
     ML1402–1451  Vocal music (arranged by period then region or country)
     ML1460  Vocal technique
 Secular vocal music  
     ML1600  General works
     ML1602–1651  By period then region or country
     ML1700–1751  Forms and types (general works; by period then region or country)

 Cantatas and songs: works about both solo songs and part-songs

(arranged by period then region or country)

     ML2600–2670  Part-songs (arranged by period then region or country)
     ML2800–2854  Solo songs (arranged by period then region or country)
     ML2880–2881  Christmas songs
 Sacred vocal music  
     ML2900  General works
     ML2902–2951  By period then region or country
     ML2999–3197  Individual religions and denominations
     ML3201–3275  Forms and types(oratorio, cantata, chorale)


Finding Songs: Searching Strategies

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.

Eastman Voice/Opera Resources

Further Resources

To locate repertoire by Black musicians, please see the Library Guide Music From People Of the African Diaspora. 

To locate repertoire by women musicians, please see the Library Guide Women In Music.

Harvard Dictionary of Music entry

Ask a librarian

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Rick McRae
he, his, him
Sibley Music Library
27 Gibbs St.
(585) 274-1370

Ask Another Librarian

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Jim Farrington
27 Gibbs St.
Rochester, NY 14618