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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Keyboard Resource Guide

Keyword Searching in the Catalog

When using a keyword search, every entry in the library's catalog will be checked for the terms you entered into the search bar to see which materials match the search terms. A keyword search will look for the search terms among all aspects of the entries, including the titles of the materials in the catalog, the subject headings for each entry, and the table of contents for each entry. This is the easiest method of searching the catalog and is usually best to use for general searching and/or at the beginning of the research process.

By default, when you search the library catalog, you are conducting a keyword search. Here is an example of a keyword search:


Piano Subject Headings and Subject Searching in the Catalog

By using a subject search, you can use a prescribed set of terms for library materials known as a controlled vocabulary in the form of subject headings in order to increase the precision of your search. By doing so, you can reduce the number of results that are potentially irrelevant to your search and find more materials that fit your research needs.

Below is a list of searches using subject headings that may prove useful when searching for piano materials in the library catalog. Using quotation marks will return results containing the exact phrasing of the subject heading.

For Piano Scores and/or Recordings:

Sonatas - Piano Suites - Piano Concertos (Piano)
Piano Trios Piano Quartets Piano Quintets
Piano Music (4 Hands) (yields piano duets) Piano Music (Pianos (2)) (yields music for 2 pianos) Piano with Orchestra
Studies and Exercises - Piano Piano - Instruction and Study Piano Music – Jazz
Jazz Piano Trio Instruction and Study Piano – Jazz  

For Scholarship on the Piano:

Piano Piano Music Bibliography Piano Dictionaries
Piano – Performance Piano – Instruction and Study Piano – Methods
Piano – Periodicals Piano – History Piano Music – History and Criticism
Piano Music – Analysis, Appreciation Piano – Construction Piano - Tuning
Piano – Maintenance and Repair Piano Music (Jazz)  – History and Criticism Pianists
Pianists – Biography Piano Makers Piano Makers - History

Here is an example of a subject search:

First, click on the advanced search button, located just to the right of the search bar. 


Once in the advanced search, go to the "any field" drop down menu and select subject. 


For more information on how to locate materials in the library and how to narrow your search for specific types of materials, such as scores and recordings, please see our guide Finding Music Materials under the tab How-To Guides on the page for Music Research Resources.

Identifying Subjects in Catalog Records

If you want to find more items that share the same subject headings as an item in the catalog, then you can click on the subject headings listed in the topics area of the catalog entry. These act as a hyperlink that will bring you to a results page for other items in the catalog that share that same subject heading. Using these hyperlinks can be an important method for finding related materials in the catalog.

Here are where the topics area in a catalog record for an item is located:

Author Searching in the Catalog

You can use an author search in order to find materials by a specific author. However, a specific composer or performer of certain materials is not always listed as the author of those materials in the catalog. The name used for searching the catalog can be in any configuration during the search (e.g. first and last name or last name, first). However, an author search can yield different results based on different spellings for a name.

Here is an example of an author search:

Piano Call Numbers

The following chart of call numbers for piano materials may serve as a useful tool in your searching and browsing.

For Scores and Recordings:

Subject Library of Congress
Sonatas - Piano M786, M23
Suites - Piano M786, M24
Piano Music (4 Hands) (yields piano duets) M200 - M212
Piano Music (Pianos (2)) (yields music for 2 pianos) M214 - M216
Piano Trios M310 - M344
Piano Quartets M410 - M449
Piano Quintets M510 - M549
Piano with Orchestra M1010
Concertos (Piano) M1010 - M1011
Studies and Exercises - Piano MT220 - M248
Piano Music – Jazz M20 - M32

For Books:

Subject Library of Congress
Piano ML649.8 - ML 747
Piano Music Bibliography M128.P3
Piano Dictionaries ML102
Piano – Performance ML70 - ML742
Piano – Instruction and Study MT220 - MT255
Piano – Methods MT222
Piano – History ML650 - ML697
Piano Music – History and Criticism ML700 - ML749
Piano Music – Analysis, Appreciation MT140, MT145
Piano – Construction ML652 - ML697
Piano – Maintenance and Repair ML652
Pianists ML397 - ML417