A word about terminology: "printed music" is used here to refer to contemporary printed editions of music scores. "Sheet music" usually refers to historic printed music (generally popular, but sometimes "classical") from the 19th and early 20th centuries. For more information about historic sheet music, see Illinois' own historic sheet music collections.
Scores come in different types or formats. The online library catalog record for an item will give you clues as to the format of the item. You can include terms like "vocal scores," parts, or libretto in your keyword search. All score formats listed below are shelved together on the second floor of MPAL, with miniature scores and oversized scores having their own shelving areas.
There are different types of editions for printed music and which you choose depends upon what you need it for. You might need more than one edition of a work for comparison purposes.
The Library now has access to Music Online: Classical Scores Library. These online scores can also be found through the library catalog.
The Details section in a catalog record provides important information about the format of the printed music, specifically the Genre and Format sections.
shows all instruments/voices in a work of music.
Shows all instruments/voices in a work of music, but produced in a small size. Call numbers start with "MM" and are shelved separately from the other scores in our collection.
for operas or other choral/orchestral works; provides the vocal parts and presents the instrumental parts in a piano reduction or accompaniment.
For chamber music (2 or more players/singers) the printed music may be a score, showing all parts together, and/or include separate parts, one for each performer and their voice/instrument.
Usually for concertos, presents the soloist's part and and presents the orchestral parts in a piano reduction or accompaniment.
when a work is originally written for one instrument or instruments and is arranged for another instrument or instruments.