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MUS 221: History of Western Music (Annandale)

This guide supports students in MUS 221 hosted by the Annandale campus. For questions, see Crystal Boyce,

Need Help?


For individual research help, schedule an appointment to meet with a librarian.

Finding Books by Browsing

Browsing Books in the Library

College libraries use the Library of Congress classification system to organize the books on our shelves, which is a different way of organizing books than most public and school libraries use. If you want to browse the shelves on your campus library, music books are generally in the M section, with the following subcategories. 

Music History (mostly classical & Western)  ML160 - ML197
Composers and Musicians  ML385 - ML429 
Musical Instruments ML460  - ML1083;
MT170 - MT810
Forms & Ensembles (e.g., sonata, string quartets, opera) ML1700s
MT95 - MT100
World Music ML198 - ML360.6;
ML3565 - ML3776

Popular Music History & Criticism



      Rap/Hip Hop


ML3469 - ML3541; ML3918





Vocal Music/Voice ML1400s;
MT820 - MT949
Physiological & psychological aspects ML3820 - ML3840
Music Theory MT6 - MT7
Music Notation & Composition MT35 - MT67
Listeners' Guides

MT90 - MT145


 NOTE:  This list is a just a general guide.  Use the library catalog to search for specific topics.

Sample Searches

Searching for Books in the Library Catalog

If browsing doesn't work for you or you want to jump straight into searching for books, here are some tips for searching in the Library Catalog.

Sample Searches:

beethoven AND biography

Use AND between two or more terms to find materials with all the terms. 


rock music OR punk music

Use OR between similar terms. Searching for rock music OR punk music will find books that refer to either term.  You must capitalize OR.


"music theory"

Use quotation marks ( " " ) around specific phrases such as "music theory" to find the words in that specific order.



Use an asterisk ( * ) to find multiple endings of one word. Using sing* as a search term will include results that refer to music, musical, musicals, musician, musicians, and musicology.


Here is a link to a video discussing how to search for sources in the Library Catalog.

Search the Library Catalog



These databases are included in the Library Catalog "Books & eBooks" search, but by using the individual databases you will get more powerful search options.