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American Music

A guide created for MUSI 217: American Music

Search the Library Catalog

The four most common ways to search the Library's online catalog are by Author, Title, Subject, and Advanced Keyword.

  • Author
  • Search for authors of plays, poems, and books. Keep in mind an author can also be a composer or an artist/photographer.
  • Examples: Gershwin, George
  • Title
  • Search for titles of journals, newspapers, books, plays, videos, and more. Do not search for titles of articles within journals, magazines, or newspapers.
  • Examples: Art in America, 1776
  • Subject
  • Search for subjects such as a person's name, an art-form, or a school of criticism. Subjects vary widely.
  • Examples: Sousa, John Philip , Musicals
  • Advanced Keyword
  • Keyword searching is a more flexible way of searching.
  • Try a keyword search for your topic word, but keep it simple - just a word or two. Results of a keyword search for musical and history. When keyword searching, you can also limit your search by language, material type, or location in the library.

Search Library

Library CatalogFind articles, books, AV materials, or online resources:

Having trouble finding what you need? Come to the Research Desk to get help from a librarian, or email us at!

Catalog Search Tips

  1. Brainstorm potential search terms before you start your research. You're probably going to enter some search terms that don't retrieve the results you want. Having a bank of search terms will help you recover from these moments quickly!
  2. When brainstorming search terms, try to think of different ways to describe the same thing. This will help you cast as wide a net as possible.  
  3. Try to think of both broad and narrow search terms. 
  4. Use the search filters on the results page to narrow your results. You can narrow by publication date, subject, author and more.
  5. Try keyword searching and avoid phrase searching. Keyword searching is a more flexible way of searching. Just remember to keep it simple, start with entering just a word or two rather than entering an entire phrase or question. Here are the results for a keyword search for "mystery and detective stories."

Reference Books