Instrument and Voice Guides

Call numbers for viola music

  • M45-M49: Viola alone
    • M45: Collections (more than one composer)
    • M46: Original works - collections (one composer)
    • M47: Original works - separate works
    • M48: Arrangements - collections (one composer)
    • M49: Arrangements - separate works
  • M224-M228: Viola with piano accompaniment
    • M224: Collections (more than one composer)
    • M225: Original works - collections (one composer)
    • M226: Original works - separate works
    • M227: Arrangements - collections (one composer)
    • M228: Arrangements - separate works
  • M286-M287: Duets for two stringed instruments (of all kinds)
    • M286: Collections
    • M287: Separate works
  • M290-M291: Duets - one stringed and one wind instrument
  • M294-M295: Duets - one stringed and one plucked instrument
  • M310-M314: Piano and two stringed instruments
  • M320-M324: Piano, one stringed, and one wind instrument
  • M330-M334: Piano, one stringed, and one plucked instrument
  • M349-M353: Three stringed instruments
  • M360-M364: Three stringed and wind instruments
  • M370-M374: Three stringed and plucked instruments
  • M380-M384: Three stringed, wind, and plucked instruments
  • M450: Quartets - collections (more than one composer and medium)
  • M451: Quartets - collections (more than one composer)
  • M452: Quartets - two violins, viola, violoncello
  • M452.2: Quartets - four violins
  • M452.4: Quartets - other combinations of stringed instruments

Quartets, quintets, sextets, septets, octets, and nonets follow similar patterns (in the M400s, 500s, 600s, 700s, 800s, and 900s, respectively).

Concertos and similar pieces:

  • M1014: Viola with orchestra - full scores
  • M1014.5: Cadenzas for works for viola with orchestra
  • M1015: Viola with orchestra - piano reductions
  • M1114: Viola with string orchestra - full scores
  • M1114.5: Cadenzas for works for viola with string orchestra
  • M1115: Viola with string orchestra - piano reductions

Studies and methods:

  • MT280: General works
  • MT282: Systems and methods
  • MT285: Studies and exercises - general works
  • MT286: Orchestral studies (excerpts)
  • MT287: Bowing
  • MT288: Positions
  • MT289: Chords
  • MT290: Harmonics
  • MT291: Other techniques
  • MT292: Two violas
  • MT294: Teaching pieces
  • MT295: Instructive editions - two or more composers
  • MT297: Instructive editions - one composer
  • MT298: Self-instructors

Subject headings for viola music

Use this list of subjects to get started searching in the Libraries catalog:

Solo viola music: 

  • sonatas (viola)
  • suites (viola)
  • variations (viola)
  • [fill in this blank with the genre of composition you're looking for] (viola)
  • viola music

Viola and piano music:

  • rondos (viola and piano)
  • sonatas (viola and piano)
  • suites (viola and piano)
  • variations (viola and piano)
  • [fill in this blank with the genre of composition you're looking for] (viola and piano)
  • viola and piano music


  • viola (2)
  • violin and viola music
  • cello and viola music
  • flute and viola music
  • etc.


  • trios (violin, viola, cello)
  • trios (flue, violas (2))
  • trios [use this subject heading to search for various combinations of instruments]
    • trios (viola, bassoons (2))
    • trios (percussion, violin, viola)
    • etc.

Quartets [follow this pattern for quintets, sextets, septets, octets, and nonets]:

  • string quartets
  • suites [this subject heading will return a list of various combinations of instruments]
  • variations [this subject heading will return a list of various combinations of instruments]

Viola and orchestra:

  • concertos (viola)
  • concertos (viola solo with piano)
  • viola with orchestra
  • concertos (viola with string orchestra)
  • rondos (viola with orchestra)
  • [fill in this blank with the genre you're looking for] (viola with orchestra)


Find viola-specific scholarship online and in print through the Music Library

Want an overview of viola-related publications and lists of repertoire? 

Browse these call number ranges in the Music Library's Reference section (located on the low shelving in the front of the Library, across from the circulation desk) and General collections. If you need help locating any of these materials, just ask at the circulation desk!

  • ML128 .V36: Viola bibliographies
  • ML900: General works
  • ML901: Construction
  • ML905: Music and playing

Also, make sure to check out these specific titles:

  • Baron, John H. Chamber Music: An Research and Information Guide. 3rd ed. Routledge Music Bibliographies. New York: Routledge, 2010.
    Reference ML128.C4 B37 2010  
  • Horne, Aaron. String Music of Black Composers. Music Reference Collection 33. New York: Greenwood Press, 1991.
    Reference ML128.B45 H7 1991  
  • Jappe, Michael, and Dorothea Jappe. Viola Bibliographie: Das Repertoire für die historische Bratsche von 1649 bis nach 1800, kommentiertes thematisches Verzeichnis. Winterthur, Switzerland: Amadeus Verlag, 1998.
    Reference, ML128.V36 J3x 1999  
  • Lawrence, Ian. The Twentieth-Century String Quartet: An Historical Introduction and Catalogue. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2001.
    Reference ML128.C4 L37 2001  
  • Parker, Mara E. String Quartets: A Research and Information Guide. 2nd ed. Routledge Music Bibliographies. New York: Routledge, 2011.
    Reference ML128.S68 P37 2011
  • Ping-Robbins, Nancy R. The Piano Trio in the Twentieth Century. Raleigh, NC: Regan Press, 1984.
    Reference ML128.C4 P55 1984  
  • Rangel-Ribeiro, Victor, and Robert Markel. Chamber Music: An International Guide to Works and their Instrumentation. New York: Facts on File, 1993.
    Reference ML128.C4 R3 1993  
  • Toskey, Burnett R. Concertos for Violin and Viola: A Comprehensive Encyclopedia. Seattle, WA: B.R. Toskey, 1983.
    Reference ML128.V4 T68 1983  
  • Wilkins, Wayne, ed. The Index of Viola Music. Magnolia, AR: Music Register, 1976.
    Reference ML128.V36 W5 1976
  • Williams, Michael D. Music for Viola. Detroit Studies in Music Bibliography 42. Detroit: Information Coordinators, 1979.
    Reference ML128.V36 W53 1979


Interested in browsing viola- or string-specific journals? Check out these periodicals (current periodicals are just past the circulation desk in the rack on the wall, and older issues of print periodicals are located to your right when you first enter the Music Library):

  • American String Teacher
  • Strings
  • Journal of the American Viola Society​​
  • Die Viola
    • ​​​​​​​Available in print (1983-1986, 1991-1994) at the Music Library, Periodicals section (ask at the Circulation Desk if you need help with this!)


Websites to help with viola research:

Want to learn more about finding and accessing music materials like books, scores, and recordings?

Last Updated: Jun 8, 2022 1:08 PM