Sheet Music Locator

Song Index Database

Use the Library's Song Index database from computers at Central Library, branch libraries, or by remote internet access to search for popular piano/vocal scores in books of collected sheet music in the Central Library collection.

  1. Follow the on-screen instructions to search by song title or composer. If the song you are searching for is in the database your results will show titles of books of collected sheet music in the Art, Music, & Recreation department at Central Library.
  2. You can check the library catalog to see if there is a circulating copy of the songbook in the library system and either check it out or place a hold on it. If the catalog shows that only a reference copy exists, you can place a request with a librarian at the reference desk in the Art, Music, & Recreation department to have the book retrieved from the closed stacks for in-library use.
  3. If you are accessing the catalog remotely, you may request by telephone, fax, or email that a song be sent to your nearest location. There is a 24-hour turnaround time for this service.

Library Catalog

Use the Library's catalog to do a keyword search for songs by title, composer or performer.

  1. Using the key words of the song title (excluding a, an, the, and or but) do a keyword search and add the word "score". Example: California Dreamin' score. The results will list books of collected songs that have their contents displayed in the catalog. You may also retrieve songs with similar titles using this type of search so be sure to check the full contents for the exact title you want. This type of search is most effective if the song title contains unique words.
  2. Search by composer or performer for books of collected sheet music that may contain the song you want but which do not have their contents displayed in the catalog. Add the word "score" to the name of the composer or performer to exclude biographies. (Exclude punctuation, no comma between the first and last names.) Example: Paul Simon score will retrieve books of sheet music either composed or performed by Paul Simon.

Note: Books of sheet music have Dewey Decimal numbers beginning with 78. Example: 78.412 B36926 is a songbook entitled Best of the Beatles. Books about music have numbers beginning with 780. to 789. Example: 789.24 B369woo is a book about the Beatles, it will NOT contain sheet music.

If you cannot find what you are looking for by using the Song Index and Catalog, please contact the Reference Desk for assistance 213-228-7000 as there are several other ways that we can help you search! We can check our card file and single music sheet collection, and have many other reference resources that can help to locate the correct piece.

In the Los Angeles vicinity, other sheet music collections you may wish to search are the Brand Art & Music Library in Glendale, the Long Beach Public Library, and the Music Library at UCLA, and Music Library at USC.