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Music: Viola

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UC Library Search

Searching by LC class number

You can browse the Music Library's scores and books by call number using UC Library Search.  Go to Advanced Search, and select the Call Number (LC) option from the menu.  Then type one of the M, ML, or MT numbers into the search box.  In the search shown below, can you tell how many scores of solo unaccompanied viola music the Music Library has?

 Finding scores and recordings

To find a specific work, in Advanced Search enter the composer and title, and select Scores, Compact Discs, etc. from the Limit-by-format menu:

To find a work with a generic title, such as a sonata or concerto, search on the composer's name and on sonatas viola (or concertos viola, etc.) for the title.  If the composer wrote only one work in that genre, search on the genre in the singular.  Your search may be more effective if you select YES for the Word(s) as Phrase? option.  Then select Scores, Compact Discs, etc. from the format menu:

Add an opus number or thematic catalog number (such as the K numbers for Mozart) for a more precise search:



What is a uniform title?

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

In library catalogs, most musical works 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. 

Magazines and Journals

The Music Library has subscriptions for Journal of the American Viola Society (ML900 .J68) and The Strad (ML1 .S77).  For the latest issue, check the library's current periodical display shelves.  To search for articles, use the following databases:

Bibliography and History

Ref = located in Music Reference area

Bibliographies of viola music

Ewald, Konrad.  Musik für Bratsche: Das reiche Viola-Repertoire von Aaltonen bis Zytowitsch.  4th ed.  Ref ML128 .V36 E95 2013

Jappe, Michael.  Viola Bibliographie: Das Repertoire für die historische Bratsche von 1649 bis nach 1800.  Ref ML128 .V36 J35 1999

Williams, Michael.  Music for Viola.  Ref ML128 .V36 W53

Zeyringer, Franz.  Literatur für Viola.  Ref ML128 .V36 Z5 1976


Riley, Maurice W.  The History of the Viola.  ML900 .R43



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 UC Library Search to find the CDs or LPs you want, and then request them at the Music Library Service Desk. 

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

Browse for Scores: M and MT

Finding viola music

  • You can find music for viola by simply knowing where to browse the shelves in the music library.  In the Library of Congress system, used in academic libraries, call numbers of scores begin with the letter M, followed by a number that designates the medium of performance.  Important numbers for viola are M47 (solo unaccompanied), M226 and M228 (viola solo with keyboard), and M1015 (viola concertos, piano reduction).  Within most numbers, scores are in order alphabetically by composer.  For example, to find a scores of Hindemith's sonatas for solo viola, you would look under M47 H. Below are the M numbers for viola, in more detail.  Exercises and instructional materials are shelved under MT, where the important numbers for viola are MT285 and MT286:

    Solo unaccompanied

    • M45 -- Collections of original and arranged works
    • M46 -- Collections of original works
    • M47 -- Separate works, original
    • M48 -- Collections of arranged works
    • M49 -- Separate works, arranged

    Solo with piano

    • M224 -- Collections of original and arranged works
    • M225 -- Collections of original works
    • M226 -- Separate works, original
    • M227 -- Collections of arranged works
    • M228 -- Separate works, arranged

    Solo with full orchestra

    • M1014 -- Full scores
    • M1015 -- Piano reductions

    Solo with string orchestra

    • M1114 -- Full scores
    • M1115 -- Piano reductions

    Chamber music

    • M286, 287 -- Two stringed instruments
    • M351 -- String trios
    • M452, 552 (etc.) -- String quartets, quintets (etc.)
    • M312, 412, 512 (etc.) -- Piano trios, quartets, quintets (etc.)

    Orchestral music

    • M1001 -- Symphonies
    • M1002 -- Symphonic poems
    • M1003 -- Variations, suites
    • M1004 -- Overtures

    Instruction and Study

    • MT285 -- Studies and exercises
    • MT286 -- Orchestral excerpts

    Browse for Books: ML

    For biographies of string players and books on stringed instrument construction, literature, and interpretation, call numbers begin with ML.  Biographies are arranged alphabetically by the subject of the book. 


    • ML398 -- Collective biography of string players
    • ML410 -- Biographies of composers
    • ML418 -- Biographies of individual string players
    • ML750 -- General books on stringed instruments
    • ML755 -- Construction and repair of stringed instruments
    • ML900 -- Viola (general)

    Subject Terms

    In the UCSB Library Catalog, search using the following Subject terms that relate to the viola.  Many (but not all) of the materials you will find with these subject words are shelved under the ML or MT numbers shown.  In the catalog, select Subject Keyword in Basic search, or Subject in Advanced search.  You can also do subject searches with these same terms in Melvyl:



    Viola -- Bibliography

    ML128 .V

    Viola -- Studies and exercises


    Viola -- Orchestral excerpts


    Viola -- Methods

    MT282 etc.

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