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Research Guides

About This Guide

Image: UW Music Library Rare Scores. Photo credit: Curtis Cronn

These are the guidelines by which materials are purchased for the Music collections of the UW Libraries (Seattle Campus). 

For questions or more information, please contact the music librarian (

UW Libraries Collection Goals

The UW Libraries is committed to providing convenient and timely access to collections and information resources that are outstanding with respect to their quality, depth, diversity, format and currency to support the research and teaching missions of the University of Washington.

Subject Definition

Music is an art of sound in time which expresses ideas and emotions in significant forms through the elements of rhythm, melody, harmony, and color.  As a discipline, it covers the performance of music, the study and analysis of music and music history, and the technical aspects of music such as music theory, music recording, and music digital technology.


Subject Classification

Library of Congress Classification (LC): M Class

  • Music scores and parts are classified in the "M" schedule
  • Literature of music (history, biographies, and general books on music) is covered in "ML."
  • Technical Areas of Music (theory, music education, music instruction, music technology, etc.) are in the "MT" area.

Secondary Areas:

  • BV - Liturgy
  • GV - Dance forms
  • PN-PT - Musical theater
  • TK - Sound engineering
  • Z - Bibliography (sometimes, bibliographies are in the ML134 area)

Dewey Decimal Classification:

  • The primary classification number for Music is 780-789.
  • All music scores classified in the Dewey system at UW has an "M" before the number (e.g. M780-M789) and are shelved with the LC-classified scores.
  • There are no Dewey-classed music books in the Music Library.
  • Newly acquired materials are all in the Library of Congress classification