Finding Music Materials

This guide covers search tools for finding music materials.

Getting started

Anyone can access music-related materials like recordings and scores through the University Libraries - you don't need to be a music major! All members of the campus community can borrow the Music Library's books, scores, journals, and recordings, and digital resources like streaming audio and video, and digital scores are available to use on- and off-campus with a UMN Internet ID and password. Our materials are also available to our wider community of the general public for in-library use when you visit the Music Library in person, and non-UMN users can borrow many of our books, scores, and recordings via Interlibrary Loan through a local public library branch. The tabs on the right side of this guide feature information and links to a number of resources, and instructions on how you can get started with using them.

Questions? Need help? If you need help, please contact Music Librarian Jessica Abbazio ( or the Music Library staff (

What's in the Music Library?

We focus on Western classical music and world music, and we have thousands of items you can use for music-related research:

  • Books: We have books that you can borrow in print or view online, reference materials that normally stay in the library for everyone to use, and some non-circulating books that are rare and/or fragile.
  • Journals: The Music Library offers print and digital access to many different music-specific journals. Visit our Current Periodicals and Bound Periodicals sections to browse in person, or use the University Libraries catalog to search our digital subscriptions.
  • Scores: We offer access to thousands of scores for every kind of ensemble - full orchestras to solo performers. We also lend parts for chamber music (groups up to about 10-12 members), but unfortunately don't offer parts for larger ensembles.
  • Recordings: Borrow from our collections of over 30,000 recordings - CDs, DVDs, LPs, and more. Most of our audio and video recordings circulate for a period of seven days, but not all materials can leave the library. Check with our staff about what you can check out and take home!
  • Special collections and other materials: The Music Library offers some materials on microfilm, as well as other materials that require special handling. You're welcome to use any of these resources, and our Music Library staff will be happy to help you get started.

The Music Library also has some materials on popular music, including scholarly books on popular artists. If you are interested in beginner's guides to learning an instrument, we suggest checking your local public library or searching through interlibrary loan. Please don't hesitate to contact the Music Library staff at with any questions about our holdings and how to access these materials.

Last Updated: Feb 8, 2024 4:16 PM