> Use quotations marks to keep phrases together.
> Use * (called truncation) to find various forms of a word. Symphon* finds symphony, symphonies, and symphonien
Other useful phrases found in subject headings to use in searches include "criticism and intepretation" which can be combined with a composer's name such as Brahms "Criticism and interpretation," "history and criticism" and "analysis, appreciation" which can be combined with a genre such as Operas--Analysis, appreciation.
Use the online catalog to search for books.
If you know the name of the book you need, simply perform a title search in the library catalog. Use quotes around phrases for the best results.
If you're not sure of the exact title, perform a keyword search with the words you know (and the author's last name if you know it.
At some point you will need to search for books about your topic.
There are several ways you could approach this. You can perform a simple keyword search, or you can try a narrower subject search. This will search the LC subject headings catalogers have assigned to an item. Subject headings tell you what an item is about. This is especially helpful if you want to narrow your results to items about a composer and not items by the composer.
For example, to get books about music and popular culture we'll use a search like this (quotation marks keep phrases together) (use the "Limit to Format" option for books at the bottom of the screen):
If your search is not narrow enough, you can use the "Topics" list along the right side of the results screen.
Once you find an item that looks promising, click on its title to open the full record. Use the topics in the record and words from the summary/ table of contents to refine your search if needed.