How do I find a score?

Answered By: Isabel O'Kelly
Last Updated: Apr 20, 2016     Views: 96

Scores and books about Music are found in the M section of the McClay libray. This is located on the 2nd floor of the McClay.

Music is catalogued in a slightly different manner to other subjects in Queen's. This is to take into account all the sizes of works and the different instruments represented.

smM followed by letters, numbers and then letters

The basic category is clear cut. The prefix ‘sm’ stands for miniature scores and this is therefore the collection of miniature scores. The sequence is alphabetical, smMBA (miniature scores of Bach), smMMO (miniature scores of Mozart). As before, the numbers indicate the musical genres, and the following letters usually the work. The press mark ‘smMMO 3.0 Nozz’ indicates a miniature score of Mozart’s opera Le Nozze di Figaro.

sqM followed by a number and then a letter and a number

The prefix ‘sq’ before ‘M’ indicates a quarto volume of music (not a book). These are therefore scores larger than miniature. This is a very important series containing scores and long series of collected scores which are not composer-based. For example, Musica Britannica is a major ‘national’ collection of British music. The dividing line between this series and the next (music arranged by composer) is not always watertight. Do not worry about the numbering system after ‘sqM’.

sqM followed by letters

A very important sequence of ‘quarto’ scores, this contains the collected works of most major composers in the best editions. The listing is alphabetical.



Even larger than quarto books are ‘folios’. The giants of this collection all have the ‘f’ prefix.


A detailed guide to Music in the QUB library is available in the Creative Arts section of LibGuides.

For further information on Music you can also contact the Subject Librarian for Music Isabel O'Kelly.

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