The Music Collection is located on the 3rd floor of the Reid Library, and contains predominantly Western Art Music scores, in a variety of formats and editions, to serve a diverse number of study and research purposes:
Editions matter. A 19th or early 20th century edition of a Beethoven sonata is important for analysing the performance practice of the time for your history research, or for checking fingerings by the editing pianist, but is not always an appropriate edition to use for your end of year exam.
Particularly for pre 20th century music, discuss with your instrumental teacher or lecturer about what type of edition you may be expected to use, or ask a librarian for assistance.
Click on the tabs on this page for tips on searching and browsing for music scores in OneSearch with the above purposes in mind.
See the Online scores page for selected online collections and composer digital archives beyond the UWA collection.
Some search tips:
To search for music scores in our collection, it is often easier to use the Advanced Search function in OneSearch.
For example: you are looking for the performing score (clarinet and piano reduction) of Mozart's Clarinet Concerto for your recital.
Mozart was a prolific composer, so use unique identifying features where possible, such as the work number (in this case, K. 622).
For step-by-step screenshots to find the exact score you need, see Finding a scholarly performing edition of Mozart Clarinet Concerto (clarinet with piano reduction)
On this page:
The Music collection uses an adaptation of the British Catalogue of Music Classification for arranging music scores on the Reid library shelves. (This is different to Dewey Decimal system used for books, DVDs and videos.)
First, scores are arranged on the shelves in alphabetical order by the composer's surname. Each composer is assigned a Cutter number. For example:
B415 = Beethoven
B813 = Brahms
M939 = Mozart
Then, the Music Classification letters are used to collocate genre and/or instrument types within the composer's works. For example:
C = Operas
Q = Piano
All of Beethoven's operas will be shelved together at:
and Beethoven's piano solo scores will be shelved together at:
Where a score contains more than one composer, the Music Classification is prefixed with B/. For example:
The score entitled Australian piano music (a collection of piano works by different composers) will have the Shelf Number:
Tutors, technical studies, etc are prefixed with A/. For example:
Modern viola technique will have the Shelf Number:
A more extensive list of classifications used can be downloaded here [PDF]. Copies of this list are available with the music scores on the 3rd floor of the Reid Library and at the Reid Library's Information Desk. Below is a selected list of Music Classification codes.
|Tutors subdivided by instrument
|Collected Editions, historical sets, monuments of music
|Scores of the same genre by several composers
|Operas and operettas
|Choral Music, religious
|Choral Music, secular
|Miscellaneous, chance compositions
|Single Voices in combination
|Chamber music, ensemble music for less than 10 performers
|Electronic music and eletrophones, pendulum music
|Individual Instruments and Ensembles of same instrument
|Q - Z
There are four types of score collections in the Music Library. They will be described in OneSearch as:
Scores are available for loan, and are shelved using the Music Classification system described above.
Collected Ed. collection
Also described as Monumental Sets, these are collected works of composers and significant publishers' series and anthologies. They are scholarly editions, often with critical commentary, and may contain facsimiles of handwritten manuscripts. They are shelved using the Music Classification system described above.
Scores from this collection are used to compare notes with a modern performing edition or other historical editions.
These scores are for use in the Library only (not for loan).
Choral set collection
Sets of multiple copies of choral works for use by choirs. These are arranged in a numerical sequence with the prefix CS----.Only the first available copy of the set is kept onsite. The sets can be requested through OneSearch and be available within 48 hours.
Performing Set collection
Sets of music for large instrumental ensembles which are arranged in a numerical sequence with the prefix PS----
(These are kept in offsite storage and should be requested a minimum of three days before borrowing them - to prepare parts and check if they are needed by the Conservatorium of Music for their rehearsal and concert programs. Contact the Library for requests to borrow.)
Sometimes you need to use alternative languages to find scores in our collection. Scores are catalogued in the original language of the publication. We have publications from France, Italy, Germany, England, USA, Hungary, Russia, etc.
For example: you are looking for the score of Bartok's Bluebeard's Castle... an important and popular opera by Bartok.
Many song titles are not searchable in OneSearch because many OneSearch records do not list the contents of individual song titles.
This is less the case with newer scores, but for older scores, you will need to know the score's collection title, or browse through a composer's works on the library shelves.
For example: you are looking for "Salley gardens" by Benjamin Britten.