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MUSI5300: Research Techniques: Books & Media

Search Books & Media

Search the Cheng Library online catalog for books and media. If you need journal articles, go to our Databases page.

Where is the Music???

Have you gone upstairs looking for music books or scores, only to find that our collection jumps from L to P?

Because of the specialized nature of our Art (N) and Music (M) collections, these resources have been separated from the rest of our books, and are available along the front of the building, on the second floor.

Music Classification

The Library of Congress system classifies music using the M call number range.

  •   Music (Scores/Sheet Music)
  • ML  Literature on Music
  • MT  Instruction & Study (Theory/Technique)

Within these sections, music is usually organized by genre/instrumentation, THEN by composer.  

It takes a little getting used to, but ask if you're not sure where to find something.

Finding Books

Books & Media at the Cheng Library

When looking for books or media (videos or recordings), the Online Catalog is the place to start.  Use the Books & Media tab on the library homepage to find books and other materials owned by the library.  Enter simple terms or concepts, rather than long phrases and questions; for example, “improvisation” or “twelve-tone” instead of "How is the clarinet used in jazz music?". 

For more specific searches, combine multiple concepts (i.e., author and title) to narrow your results. 

Depending on the number of results you get, you may wish to use the Narrow Search options to the right, to limit to specific formats, locations, or subject areas.

Keep in mind that the Library also offers a growing collection of eBooks and streaming video titles that may also be of use to your research. 

See below for more detail on searching the Online Catalog.

Dissertations: See the instructions in the Finding Dissertations section.

Finding Books & Media at the Cheng Library

To find books and media that our library owns, use the Books & Media tab on our homepage, or search for everything with the Search All option.

Start with one or two keywords, adding quotation marks ("") around concepts with more than one word: for example, "middle school" or "autism spectrum disorder"... quotes are not needed for single words, such as education or science.

Narrow your results using the limits on the right side of the results page.  You may see a lot of non-book items, so be sure to limit the Resource Type category to Books, if that's what you're looking for.

When you've found a book (or ebook!) that looks interesting, click the title to learn more about it, or (if it's Available), write down the location and call number and head to the shelves to get it!

If you see 'Available Online', the book or media is available online!

Living Jazz Archive

One of the great resources available on the William Paterson University campus is the Living Jazz Archive, which houses a collection of scores, recordings and other jazz-related artefacts.  Many of these items can be found in the Online Catalog, by limiting your search results to "Living Jazz Archive" from either the main search page or the results screen. 

Make arrangements with Dr. David Demsey (973-720-2320) to visit the Living Jazz Archive in College Hall.

Other Remote Online Catalogs with Large Music Holdings

Other Notable Library Catalogs

When conducting comprehensive research in music, your goal is to find as many resources on your topic as possible.  To do so, it can often be helpful to look in the online catalogs of other institions.  Especially those with well-known music programs. 

Below are a list of libraries whose catalogs you may want to explore: