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Resources for Song Searches

The Music Department in the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh houses an extensive collection of all kinds of songs which can be found in our songbooks, in special sheet music collections, and recorded on music CDs. In some cases, finding these songs can be very simple; sometimes it can require detailed research. Since no single approach is foolproof, a number of different search strategies are listed for finding the scores and recordings of songs.

A librarian will be happy to assist you with any of your questions at the Music Department reference desk.

Phone: 412.622.3105
Email: musicdept@carnegielibrary.org

 

Using our Online Catalog

Use Advanced Keyword to find a song title:

  • Leave the search drop down box as "Any Field"
  • Type your song title inside quotation marks, for example "my funny valentine."
  • Choose Material Type - Musical Score for the sheet music; Music CD for a recording
  • Click Submit
  • Click on individual titles in your Results List

If your title is long, or if you’re uncertain about the exact wording of the title, you can shorten the word string within quotation marks. For instance, typing "stairway to paradise" will find "I’ll build a stairway to paradise."

If your song title is a single word, try combining title with the songwriter or performing artist’s name: a search using the words lennon imagine or lennon and imagine (no quotation marks) will find John Lennon’s song "Imagine." A search using if bread will find among its results the song "If" performed by the musical group Bread.

It’s best to begin your song title search using Advanced Keyword, as the Title button searches only for a songbook’s title, not its complete contents.

 

Other Song Searches

If your song search in the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh online catalog is unsuccessful, you should continue looking in the following ways:

Search in WorldCat, the online catalog database for thousands of libraries throughout the country and abroad. The techniques used in an Advanced Keyword search of the Carnegie Library catalog will work here as well. You can request material that you find here using an Interlibrary Loan (ILL) form.

To find just song lyrics, you can perform an Internet Search by entering lyrics + song title in the Google or Yahoo! dialogue box.

 

Music Department Indexes

Song Index Card File
A card file which indexes songs by composer name, lyricist, title, first line and chorus, listing nearly 50,000 songs of all styles. Carnegie Library call numbers are listed in the upper right-hand corner of each title card.

Sheet Music Card File
A composer name and song title card file which lists nearly 10,000 individual pieces of sheet music, and is especially strong in American popular music of the mid-20th Century.

Songbook Indexes
Near the reference desk is a set of books which collectively locate thousands of songs found in the Music Department’s songbooks and anthologies, indexed by title, composer, first line of lyrics, and chorus.

Pittsburgh Sheet Music Collection
A unique collection of over 1000 titles of sheet music published in Pittsburgh or nearby since the early 19th century which is indexed online by composer, title, publisher and date.

 

Other Online Indexes

Libraries that have especially comprehensive songbook collections with their own web-based indexes include:

Naxos Music Library Sheet Music
View and download classical and jazz sheet music. Accessible through the Music Department’s database page, this database requires the Freehand Solero Viewer plug-in to download and view sheet music.

Schubertline
A comprehensive library of songs by Schubert and numerous other composers, including many popular classical favorites. This commercial database requires Sibelius Scorch software to download and print sheet music.

Sheet Music Collections
This site directs song seekers to a list of nearly 100 public and academic library music collections throughout the U.S., with links to their online catalogs, their web-based indexes to special sheet music collections and, on some of the sites, digitized images of original sheet music.

 

Online Music

Check these websites which are available at the Library or through remote access with a Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh library card:

Remote Access (CLP card)
African American Song is now a part of American Song! To listen to historical recordings of African American music, visit American Song or Music Online Plus.
Remote Access (CLP card)
This site contains over 12,000 tracks (with more added regularly) that illustrate our country’s history through music. Songs by and about American Indians, miners, immigrants, slaves, children and many others are included. Of particular interest is the index by historical event.
Remote Access (CLP card)
Listen to classical music online
Remote Access (CLP card)
A new addition, this site aims to be one that “delivers the sounds of all regions from every continent.” Currently this constantly growing site features over 8,000 tracks of music from around the world.
DRAM Online
Digital Recordings of American Music
NO Remote Access
CLP-Main ONLY. A scholarly resource of recordings, including liner notes and essays, from New World Records, Composers Recordings (CRI) and other labels such as Albany, Frog Peak, Mode, and XI.
Only available within the Main Library of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
This site provides access to approximately 3 million songs, including Sony Music's catalog of legendary artists. Download three free music tracks (MP3 format) from popular artists each week with no software to download and no digital rights management (DRM) restrictions.
Remote Access (CLP card)
With over 130,000 tracks and featuring labels such as Fantasy and Prestige, Jazz Music Library is one of the largest collections of streaming jazz online.
Remote Access (CLP card)
Explore all of our Alexander Street Press music databases via the Music Online Plus interface. This portal lets you search and use materials from American Song, Classical Music Library, Contemporary World Music, Jazz Music Library, Opera in Video and Smithsonian Global Sound without having to jump from database to database.
Remote access (CLP Card)
Listen to classical, jazz and world music online.
You must use the log out button when exiting this database, or future log-ins may be unsuccessful.
Remote access (CLP Card)
Listen to streaming audio of jazz music.
You must use the log out button when exiting this database, or future log-ins may be unsuccessful.
Remote Access (CLP card)
Opera in Video allows library cardholders to watch opera on demand and free of charge. This frequently updated database contains streaming video of great operas from the Baroque period through the 20th century as well as interviews and documentaries focusing on opera.
Remote Access (CLP card)
Listen to world, folk and traditional music online.

>> More Music Resources...