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    What is this Score Edition?

    Musical scores can be issued in numerous ways. If you need a specific edition, here's how to identify each type.

    Facsimile – An exact copy of a musical manuscript. These are often digitized copies of original musical manuscripts (with notations) found in archives or personal collections.

    Historical Edition - The term "historical edition" may be applied to any music publication devoted to a past repertory. 

    Manuscript/Holograph – A document wholly in the handwriting of its author. These are considered to be original, primary sources. They are often found in archives and personal collections and may include notations or other comments.

    Performing Edition – An edition of a score usually prepared from a secondary source, to which the editor (sometimes a well-known performer) adds performance notes and articulations that are indistinguishable from those of the source. An example is a piece of music or score that is used by a conductor for a specific performance or set of performances. Individual musicians will also have performing editions.

    Urtext – A score prepared on the basis of a critical evaluation of all known primary sources, this class of edition is designed to present the most authoritative and authentic version of a musical work. Editorial material such as analysis or comments may be added but will be clearly distinguished from the original work.

    Finding Songs, Pieces, and Concerts

    If you are looking for a specific piece or concert, gather as much information as you can about it. Any piece of this information can not only help you find the work, but the information can also be used as keywords when you are looking for more information about the work or production.

    • Title
    • Composer, Musician, or Scorer
    • Date or Approximate Date (of specific piece or production)
    • Artist, Symphony, or other Production Company
    • Location of Production (Country, City, etc.)

    Song Indices and Catalogs

    For a vocal performance or audition, you may need a specific song or aria. To locate these works, you may need to look at an index or catalog.

    To use an index or catalog, look up the title of the work. Next to the title, there will be a string of letters or numbers or a combination of the two. Use this code to look in the front of the volume to find the collection or anthology. Some collections also index by composer, country of origin (this is handy for folk music!), or other ways. The more information you know about the specific work you need, the easier it will be to find.

    Contemporary Works

    Music is always being created and shared. It probably won't be possible to find scholarly information about contemporary works, but that doesn't mean there is no information available. 

    If you need to find information about a living playwright or current production, try a few of the following techniques:

    • Visit the musician or composer's personal webpage, Instagram, or Twitter
    • Contact the musician or composer directly (Never hurts to try!)
    • Search for the musician, composer, or production on Google or Wikipedia (This is one instance where these are great tools!)
    • Look for the musician, composer, or production in their hometown or local newspaper
    • Search contemporary music blogs, magazines, websites, or other information outlet


    When you search for articles, books, and other information, you need to use keywords. Below is a list of keywords or categories of keywords that could be used in the library databases. You can use this on their own or mix and match them to narrow your results.

    • Brass
    • Choral or Chorus
    • Classical
    • Composer or Musician Name
    • Composition
    • Criticism
    • Ethnomusicology
    • Folk Music
    • Hip Hop
    • Hymn
    • Jazz
    • Lyrics
    • Music Education
    • Music History
    • Music Industry
    • Musical Theater (or Music Theatre)
    • Musicology
    • Percussion
    • Popular Music
    • R&B
    • Rap
    • Religious Music
    • Reviews
    • Score
    • Sheet Music
    • Vocal or Voice
    • Woodwind