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Call Number Guides

Guides for finding instrumental and vocal music

How Call Numbers Work

Call numbers begin with a letter which stands for the subject:

  • M = Scores
  • ML = Music Literature
  • MT = Music theory, Music pedagogy, and Music instruction

Next comes a number which stands for a narrower subject:

  • M 23 = Piano sonata scores
  • ML 410 = Composer biographies
  • MT 425 = Horn studies and exercises

This is followed by a decimal point, a letter, and a number which stands for the composer or author:

  • M 23 .M939 = Mozart piano sonatas
  • ML 410 .B853 = A biography of Benjamin Britten
  • MT 425 .G3 = Horn etudes by Gallay

Sometimes these are followed by other letters or numbers such as op., no., or other work number:

  • M 23 .M939 K.310 = Mozart piano sonata, K. 310
  • MT 425 .G3 op.57 = The opus 57 horn etudes by Gallay

Finding the call number on the shelf

Go alphabetically by the subject letter:

  • M 452 .B118 no.4 = String quartet no. 4 by Milton Babbit
  • ML 270 .C36 = A history of French Music
  • MT 801 .B3 = Teaching pieces for banjo

Remember--the numbers after the decimal point are decimals!

  • ML 134 .A56 comes before
  • ML 134.5 .L45

and

  • ML 410 .L2857 comes before
  • ML 410 .L287 which comes before
  • ML 410 .L3
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