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Music: Keyboard


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Library Catalogs

Beyond UCSB

In Melvyl, UCSB students and faculty can request books and scores from other UC campuses, including items held by UCSB but checked out. Look for this button:

Requests normally arrive in 3-5 days and may be picked up at the UCSB Library. 

Journal Articles

To search for articles on keyboard literature, use the following databases:

UCSB only

Library Tip: Getting Articles

When you find an article you want but you don't see a direct link to it, don't give up!  Click the UC-eLinks icon:

SFX Link

This will give you one or more links to the article if it is available online.  If it's not online, the library may have a print version, so search in the UCSB Library Catalog.  Need help?  Ask a librarian! 


Below is a selective bibliography of reference sources on keyboard literature, history, and pedagogy. Most of these books are in the reference section of the music library (Ref).

Dubal, David. The Art of the Piano: Its Performers, Literature, and Recordings. 3rd ed. Ref ML105 .D8 2004

Bedford, Frances. Harpsichord and Clavichord Music of the Twentieth Century. Ref ML128 .H35 B39 1993

Comeau, Gilles. Piano Pedagogy: A Research and Information Guide. Ref ML128 .P3 C66 2009

Gustafson, Bruce. A Catalogue of French Harpsichord Music, 1699-1780. ML128 .H35 G75 1990

Hinson, Maurice. Guide to the Pianist's Repertoire. 4th ed. Ref ML128 .P3 H5 2014

Hinson, Maurice. Music for Piano and Orchestra: An Annotated Guide. Ref ML128 .P3 H53 1993

Hinson, Maurice. The Pianist's Bookshelf: A Practical Guide to Books, Videos, and Other Resources. ML128 .P3 H534 1998

Hinson, Maurice. The Pianist's Dictionary. Ref ML102 .P5 H46 2004

Hinson, Maurice. The Pianist's Guide to Transcriptions, Arrangements, and Paraphrases. Ref ML128 .P3 H536 1990

Hinson, Maurice. The Piano in Chamber Ensemble: An Annotated Guide. 2d ed. Ref ML128 .C4 H5 2006


Palmieri, Robert, ed.  Encyclopedia of Keyboard Instruments.  3 vols.  Ref ML102 .K5 E53 1994

Palmieri, Robert.  Piano Information Guide: An Aid to Research.  Ref ML128 .P3 P34 1989



Browse for Scores: M

Finding keyboard music

  • You can find music for piano and other keyboard instruments by simply knowing where to browse the shelves in the music library.  In the Library of Congress system, used in American academic libraries, call numbers of scores begin with the letter M, followed by a number that designates the medium of performance.  Some important numbers for piano music are M22 (collections of works by one composer), M23 (sonatas), M24 (suites), M25 (separate pieces), M1010 (concertos, full scores) and M1011 (concertos, with orchestra reduced for second piano).  Within most numbers, scores are in alphabetical order by composer.  For example, to find piano sonatas by Beethoven, look under M23 B.  The M class numbers for piano given below also include works for other keyword instruments (harpsichord, clavichord, etc.). 


    • M6 -- Collections, arranged and original works
    • M7 -- Collections, original works
    • M8 -- Sonatas
    • M9 -- Suites and variations
    • M10 -- Fugues, with and without preludes
    • M11 -- Separate pieces

    Solo piano

    • M21 -- Collections by more than one composer
    • M22 -- Collections by one composer
    • M23 -- Sonatas
    • M24 -- Suites
    • M25 -- Separate pieces
    • M26 -- Left hand only
    • M26.2 -- Right hand only
    • M27 -- Variations
    • M30-32 -- Dances

    Piano, four hands

    • M201 -- Collections
    • M202 -- Sonatas
    • M203 -- Suites, variations
    • M204 -- Separate pieces
    • M209 -- Orchestral works, arranged

    Two pianos

    • M214 -- Original works
    • M215 -- Arrangements

    Solo with string orchestra

    • M1124 -- Full scores
    • M1125 -- Piano reductions

    Chamber music

    • M312, 412, 512 -- Piano trios, quartets, quintets
    • M317, 417, 517 (etc.) -- Trios (quartets, quintets, etc.) for piano plus two (three, four, etc.) wind instruments
    • M322, 422, 522 (etc.) -- Trios (quartets, quintets, etc.) for piano plus two (three, four etc.) string(s) plus wind(s)

    Solo with full orchestra

    • M1010 -- Full score
    • M1011 -- Two-piano score

    Solo with string orchestra

    • M1110 -- Full score
    • M1111 -- Two-piano score

    Browse for Books: ML and MT

    For biographies of pianists and books on keyboard construction, literature, and interpretation, call numbers begin with ML.  Pedagogical works, including studies and exercises, have call number that begin with MT.


    • ML397 -- Collective biography of pianists
    • ML417 -- Biographies of individual pianists
    • ML550 -- General books on the organ
    • ML650 -- General books on the piano
    • ML651 -- Early keyboard instruments
    • ML652 -- Construction
    • ML700 -- Literature and interpretation


    • MT220 -- General piano pedagogy
    • MT222 -- Schools, systems, methods
    • MT224 -- Instruction and rudiments
    • MT225 -- Studies and exercises

    Finding Music in UCSB Library Search

    Browsing in Library Search

    You can also browse the library's scores and books by call number using the Browse Search.  From the library homepage, select  "Browse Search" under the main search bar. Or, from the Advanced Search page, click the word "Browse" at the top of the screen. 


    Select the "Library of Congress Call Number" option from the dropdown menu. 

    Type one of the M, ML, or MT numbers above into the search box. 

    Finding specific scores and recordings

    To find a specific title for a musical work, always use Advanced Search.


    Click "Resources in the Library." Then type in the composer and title, and select Scores or Audio Visual from the "Types of Material" dropdown menu:

    You can use Author searching not only for authors and composers but also for performers and ensembles:


    To find a work with a generic title, such as sonata or concerto:

    • Type in the composer's name under Author
    • Type in sonatas piano or concertos piano, etc. under Title
    • Select exact phrase instead of "contains." 
    • Then select Scores or Audiovisual from the "Material Type" dropdown menu.
    • Limit to Audio Visual if you are looking for a sound or video recording in any format (CDs, vinyl records, DVDs, or an online recording database like Naxos):

    When you get the results, click on the one that seems closest to your search. In this case, the closest result is "The complete piano sonatas" by Franz Schubert:

    Next, choose the preferred edition or result from among the different "versions:"

    If works by other composers come up in the results, use the menu on the left-hand side to limit composer results again: 

    Still stumped? Final tips: 

    • Are you sure you're spelling the composer and title of the work correctly? We only have correct spellings in our database, so the search usually won't work if there's a typo.
    • Read this guide on "Using Preferred Titles" to find out how to refine your search when looking for a specific work.
    • Play around with the facets on the left-hand side menu.
    • Don't be shy - ask someone who works at the Music Library for help! 

    Music Library

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    Music Library


    To find books on the history, construction, and literature of the piano and other keyboard instruments:

    • Use Advanced Search 
    • Change the field to Subject in the dropdown menu
    • Search using the following Subject terms
    • Many - but not all - of the books you'll find with these subject words are shelved under the ML numbers shown. 

    Replace piano with other keyboard instruments to find books on those instruments.

    ML397, ML417

    Piano music -- Bibliography
    ML128 .P3
    Piano -- Construction
    ML651, ML652
    Piano -- History
    (various call numbers)
    Piano -- Performance
    (various call numbers)
    Piano music -- Bibliography
    Piano music -- History and criticism
    ML650, ML700-ML747


    To find materials related to piano pedagogy:

    • Use Advance Search
    • Change the field to Subject in the dropdown menu
    • Search using the following Subject terms
    • Many - but not all - instructional works with these headings are shelved under the MT classes indicated:
    Piano -- Instruction and study
    MT340, M342
    Piano -- Studies and exercises
    Piano -- Methods


    Final tip: 

    See also: Gilles Comeau, Piano Pedagogy: A Research and Information Guide (New York: Routledge, 2009).  Ref ML128 .P3 C66 2009

    Oxford Music Online

    UCSB only

    Includes Grove Music Online, the most extensive and authoritative English-language music encyclopedia available.  Provides detailed work lists for composers and extensive bibliographies.

    Search Oxford Music Online


    UCSB only

    The Music Library has nearly 16,000 CDs and over 27,000 LPs.  You can listen to any of these in the library's listening rooms over stereo speakers.  Use the UCSB Library Catalog to find the CDs or LPs you want, and then request them at the Music Service Desk. 

    You can also listen to thousands of recordings from these databases:

    What is a preferred title?

    Have you noticed that musical works very often have two titles in the UCSB Library Catalog?  The one in square brackets is called a "uniform title":

    In library catalogs, most musical works each have a unique, standardized uniform title.  Whereas the title of the same work can vary on different scores and recordings, its uniform title in library catalogs is always the same.  Therefore, if you know a little bit about uniform titles, you can use them to search for music more effectively. 

    To lean more, see the tutorial Using Uniform Titles from the music library at Indiana University. 

    What is a preferred title?

    In library catalogs, musical works each have a unique, standardized preferred title (also known as "uniform title"). Whereas the title of a work can vary on different scores and recordings, its preferred title in library catalogs is always the same. Therefore, if you know a little bit about preferred titles, you can use them to search more effectively. 

    For example, the uniform title Mozart's first piano concerto is:

    • Concertos, piano, orchestra, K. 488, A major

    Uniform titles are indexed in our catalog record. That's why it's helpful to use "sonatas" or "concertos" as a title when searching for a sonata or a concerto. 

    To learn more, see the tutorial "Using Preferred Titles" from the Cook Music Library, Indiana University.

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