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Music History Tutorials: Books

Research assistance for advanced students in music history courses

Books - Music Research

The Music Library holds a vast collection of print books. Although we now collect electronic books as well, please be aware that in the field of music, as well as other fields in the humanities, our library's print books remain far more numerous and remain vitally important. 


Browsing for print books

The UNT Libraries currently use the Library of Congress system to classify the books in our collections. 

The Library of Congress system uses both letters of the alphabet plus numbers to classify books.  Classification causes books on similar topics to be together on the shelves.

For most fields, the letters in call numbers have nothing to do with the names of the topics in question.  Music is one of very few exceptions.

The two kinds of call numbers for music books are ML and MT.  ML stands for music literature, while MT stands for music theory or music teaching.

Most books on music history topics have ML call numbers. Many general books on music history and music history books by historical period can be found from call numbers ML160-ML200. Biographies of classical composers can be found under call number ML410.

Please note:  Call numbers beginning with the letter M by itself are for music scores. 

The call numbers assigned to our CDs are local numbers we created here.  They begin with LPCD.  These numbers do not classify CDs; rather, the next CD we add to our collection gets the next LPCD number.

Most of our journals do not have call numbers.  Instead print journals are shelved in alphabetical order by journal title.

Significant Music History Series

Cambridge Companions to Music 
 48 books The focus is primarily on classical music topics, but topics such as jazz and pop are also represented.

Cambridge History of Music
 16 books The main focus is on the periods of classical music history.

Cambridge Handbooks to the Historical Performance of Music
7 books The focus is is primarily on individual instruments.

Cambridge Music Handbooks
61 books The focus is on individual classical works. 

Cambridge Introductions to Music 
5 books The focus is on genres of classical music.

Norton Introduction to Music History 
Monographs on various periods of music history, with accompanying anthologies​

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