Skip to main content

Contemporary Music

Search Tips

Using Virgo to Find Contemporary Music

For known items:

  • Using the Advanced Search option in Virgo, search by composer name in the Author field and/or composition title in the Title field.
  • Limit format by Musical Score or Sound Recording.

For unknown items:

  • Using the Music Search option in Virgo, limit by composition era to 20th Century or 21st Century.
  • Refine your search using more facets (instrumentation, format, region) or keywords in the search bar. 
  • You can also order your results by "Date published - newest first" to find the most recently published scores or recordings. However, be aware that some recently published scores or recordings may be of older compositions.

Browsing the Shelves

The Library uses the Library of Congress Classification system to catalog our scores. All scores are classified under M, and books about music are classified under ML. Below is the classification outline for scores to help you browse the stacks more effectively. 
  • M1.A5-3.3 Collections
    • M1.A5-Z Miscellaneous
    • M2-2.3 Musical sources
    • M3-3.3 Collected works of individual composers
  • M5-1480 Instrumental music
    • M5 Collections
    • M6-175.5 One solo instrument
    • M176 Motion picture music
    • M176.5 Radio and television music
    • M177-990 Two or more solo instruments
    • M1000-1075 Orchestra
    • M1100-1160 String orchestra
    • M1200-1270 Band
    • M1350-1366 Other ensembles
    • M1375-1420 Instrumental music for children
    • M1470-1480 Aleatory music. Electronic music. Mixed media
  • M1490 Music printed or copied in manuscript before 1700
  • M1495-2199 Vocal music
    • M1497-1998 Secular vocal music
      • M1497 Collections
      • M1500-1527.8 Dramatic music
      • M1528-1529.5 Two or more solo voices
      • M1530-1609 Choruses
      • M1611-1624.8 One solo voice
      • M1625-1626 Recitations with music
      • M1627-1853 Folk, national and ethnic music
      • M1900-1985 Songs of specific groups or on specific topics
      • M1990-1998 Secular vocal music for children
    • M1999-2199 Sacred vocal music
      • M1999 Collections
      • M2000-2007 Dramatic music
      • M2010-2017.6 Choral services, etc.
      • M2018-2019.5 Two or more solo voices
      • M2020-2101.5 Choruses
      • M2102-2114.8 One solo voice
      • M2115-2146 Hymnals. Hymn collections
      • M2147-2188 Liturgy and ritual
      • M2190-2196 Sacred vocal music for children
      • M2198-2199 Popular religious and devotional music
  • M5000 Unidentified compositions