Find music history, music theory, the business of music, how to play instruments, songbooks, classical scores and biographies of composers and performers here.

The Arts Division music collection includes resources in

•    Recorded music

•    Scores/Sheet music

•    Song Index

•    Periodicals

•    Books

•    Librettos

Recorded Music Formats

The Arts Division has the largest collection of recorded music in MCLS, with strengths in classical music and jazz.  Those two categories account for more than half of our holdings.  We also have a comprehensive collection of Broadway musical recordings and motion picture soundtracks, as well as folk music from around the world.  We buy only CDs now, but still have some cassettes as well as a large number of classical jazz and folk LPs in the collection—to the delight of the musicians and teachers who are searching for a particular recording that may not be issued on CD.

In 2006, we established the goal of representing as many Jazz Festival artists in our collection as possible, as far ahead of the event as we can manage.  As soon as the complete festival program is published, we check the list of performers against the library catalog to see what’s already in the system.  Then we select 20-30 new recordings and place rush orders.  With the help of the Acquisitions department, we are able to have these new CDs on the shelf in a matter of weeks.

We now acquire CDs only, but some recordings in the collection are available in cassette or LP format.  Look for music compact disc, music cassette or record formats when you search the online catalog…or just ask at the Arts Division reference desk.

Search the online catalog for composer, artist or title.  Or browse the shelves.  We arrange our recordings by general categories including classical, jazz, pop, country and world music.

Scores/Sheet music

The Central Library has an extensive collection of full orchestral scores and sheet music from a variety of musical genres from the classics to Broadway musicals to the popular music of today.

Doremi: The Song Index

Need sheet music for a popular song? Hundreds of songbooks in the library’s collection have been indexed.  Doremi is the popular song index created by the Arts Division at Central Library, Monroe County Library System.  It began as a paper file back in the 1930s, as a way to locate the words and music to songs in over 1200 songbooks in the division’s collection. For many years it has been very useful for answering Arts Division’s reference questions. Whenever a patron needs the words or music for a particular song, old or new, we can search Doremi by song title, composer or lyricist and quickly determine whether we own a songbook that includes that song.


The Arts Division has an extensive collection of magazines and periodicals. Some titles include:

American Record Guide
Guitar Player
Opera News
Living Blues


This collection includes biographies of composers and musicians, books on instrument methods and techniques, information on all different styles and periods of music and much, much more!

Listening Station

There is a Listening station and headphones available behind the Arts Reference desk for sampling only. Patrons have a 10-minute limit while using the station. A valid ID must be left with a staff person when using the headphones. Headphones for use with internet terminals are available for purchase at the circulation desk on the first floor.

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