Shatford Library

Shatford Library

MUSIC 21: Music Appreciation

1. Library Catalog - Finding Books, Reference books And Media

PCC's online library catalog is a database of books, media (audio and video recordings), and course reserves located in the library's collection.

The library catalog also includes the PCC Music Lab and Library's extensive collection of musical scores, records, CDs, DVDs, videos, Instructors' reserved materials, music text books and music reference sources such as music dictionaries and encyclopedias. (The Music Lab/Library is temporarily located in V203)

To find resources in the library by subject, you will need a call number which is based on the Dewey Decimal or Library of Congress Classification System and leads you to the specific item on the shelf. To find the call number, use the library catalog. (

Basic Search

  • Use the Basic Search to look for an item using keyword anywhere or in a specific field (eg. title field or subject field).
  • Search by title to locate a composer's work or a specific piece of music:

    To search for a title you have two options: 1. select title from the drop down menu (to search by title keyword) or 2. select title browse from the drop down menu, to search by exact title wording. (Skip the first word of the title if it is an article, e.g. 'a', 'an' or 'the').

  • Search by Author to locate music by a specific composer, use the composer's name as an author.

    To search by author, select the Author tab, then type in the author's last name, first name, e.g. Mozart, Wolfgang.

  • Search by Subject to find information about a composer or musician.
        Use Basic Search within Subject Browse (select from the drop down menu).
  • Search by Subject to find information on a topic. You can use your keyword search results to identify library subject headings or you can select the Subject tab and type in a library subject heading.

Examples of subject headings:

  • Orchestral music
  • Music appreciation
  • Music - History and criticism
  • Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus

Check related subjects too     (narrower/broader) :

  • Music - 18th Century
  • Coral music
  • Instrumental music


Advanced Search

If Basic Search is unsuccessful use Advanced Search to combine topics.

You can also use Advanced search to limit to Collections: Music Lab and/or to limit by Format: Sound Recording

Examples of combined searches:

Search for: Mozart [all of these],
Search in: [Author name]
Select Format: Sound Recording


Select Location: Music Lab

Search for: Music appreciation [as a phrase], Search in: [Subject]
Search for: Mozart [all of these], Search in: [Keyword Anywhere]

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2. Reference Books

Basically, there are two kinds of reference books: general resources, which are broad in scope and deal with all fields; and specialized resources, which deal with specific disciplines such as music. The titles cited below are only a representative sample of many specialized reference books that are available in the library and in the Music Lab/Library (V203).

Specialized Dictionaries and Encyclopedias

    • New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians   REF 780.3 G 1-5
    • Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians   REF 780.922 B 6
    • Garland Encyclopedia of World Music  REF 780.9 G 5
    • Harvard Concise Dictionary of Music   REF 780.3 R 1
    • Oxford Dictionary of Music  REF 780.3 O 2-2

Concert Reviewing

    • The New York Philharmonic Guide to the Symphony  REF 784.2015 N 1
    • A Modern Guide to Symphonic Music  REF 785.2015 F 1
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3. Databases - Find Articles

Academic research is required for this class.  Use the following online resources available through the library website to located articles and reference material for this class.  A search in Google will not find the same results. 

    To access databases from the main library page, look for Browse Databases by Name |  by Subject (  [Off campus access requires a current PCC IIN (or Network ID) and PIN.]

    • Use Proquest, to find concert reviews and articles about music and musicians published in periodical articles (magazines, newspapers and scholarly journals). Use the Advanced or Publications tab in Proquest to access articles and reviews of local concerts specifically in the Los Angeles Times. Place the publication title in quotation marks eg. "Los Angeles Times".
    • Oxford Music Online   Reference resource for all aspects of music. Use for the concert report assignment.
    • Classical Music Library is the world's largest multi-label database of Classical music recordings for libraries. It consists of over 87,000 tracks for listening and searching and is supplemented by extensive reference materials.
    • Use Biography in Context  to find information on composers and performers. You may select Occupation above the search box and type: Composer, Musician, Cellist, etc.
    • Encyclopedia Britannica Online will also provide biographical information, as well as explanations of musical terms and historical topics.
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5. Resources on the World Wide Web

Finding reliable information on the web can be difficult.
Use the ipl2 subject directory or see recommended websites below.

Allmusic can be used to look up an out-of-print recording, to get our take on a new release, or simply to explore the world of music.
Classical Music Navigator
We have compiled information on important classical music composers and their works and arrayed these data in a fashion making it easier for the novice or casual listener to identify additional materials related to the work.
NPR Music The site includes concerts, interviews, news, profiles, reviews, and studio sessions covering various genres of music. A link under "Discover Songs" allows users to identify and listen to music used between stories on NPR.
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last updated: 05/06/2014 by P. Johnson revision #3