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Music: Books, Scores, & Recordings

This guide covers finding music and scores at the OSU Library as well as using audio and scores databases and music research databases

Overview on Books, Scores, and Recordings at OSU Library

Books on music, instruments, musical theory, genres, thematic catalogs, and studies on composers are in the 780s on the 4th floor of the Edmon Low Library along with scores in print.  Use keyword searches in the library catalog search box to search for books.

The OSU Library also provides music scores in various formats, from sheet music to complete, multivolume editions of the works of composers.  For orchestral scores, some are full scores with all the parts for different instruments together on the same page; these are also known as study scores.  Miniature scores show all the parts on a page, but in a very small format.  Performance scores come as separate, individual scores for each part (instrument).  In general, the Library does not collect performance scores with individual parts.  We also have vocal scores and piano reductions of orchestral scores.

Here are some tips to find scores:

  • If you have a work number or an opus number, or the key if you know it, add those to the keyword searches (for example, use  Beethoven string op. 127 to find his String Quartet no. 12 in E flat major, op. 127)
  • If the work has a popular title, use that (for example, Dvorak New World symphony)
  • For complete works or collections with multiple works, they will often be listed in the Contents (which are picked up in keyword searches)
  • Most online scores in Classical Scores Library and HathiTrust are included in the catalog. 

Below is an example of how to search for scores using the library catalog. Enter the keyword terms on the search box on the Library homepage, and click search. Results are below: 

NOTE: This image shows what the search results looked before the December 2023 update. I'll grab a new one after break, that actually shows what it looks like now. First I have to figure out how to work the new platform, ha! ~KE, 12.18.23 

Get It has more information about the availability of a print score (checked out or on the shelf--"loanable").  View It is used for online scores, online musical audio tracks, streaming videos, etc.

The OSU Library also has musical recordings on CDs, DVDs, and other formats.  For recording tracks and scores available online from the Library, see the Music Audio and Scores Databases tab in this guide. Your returns may also list Audio CDs and other physical recordings (most of which are in Room 105 of the Library).


WorldCat (for books, scores, or media, not articles) is a catalog database of library holdings worldwide.  Use it to search for books NOT necessarily at the OSU Library.  Use the "Borrow from another library" link when viewing a book/media record to access the Interlibary Services loan form to request the book from other libraries; that service is free to OSU students, faculty, and staff, but the other library determines how long you can keep the item.