Listed below are some basic resources to find music, lyrics, titles, and composers of songs. If the name of the composer or the name of the song is known, a quick way to find the lyrics and music is to search the UCF Library Catalog to determine if the library owns the score.
A database of song titles licensed by the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) in the United States. For each title, one can find the names of the songwriters and the names, contact persons, addresses and, in most cases, phone numbers of publishers. For most of the titles, you'll find some of the artists who have made a commercial recording. See also the BMI Repertoire database (below).
A title database for songs licensed by Broadcast Music Incorporated (BMI). Also provides if applicable names of performer(s) of the song, publisher, and alternate title(s).
The Book of World-Famous Music: Classical, Popular, and Folk, 3d ed.
Main Library General Collection ML 113 .F8 1985
Attempts to "trace each of the well-known melodies back to its original printed source" (introduction). Each entry contains a good deal of concise historical information. Arrangement is by title, with the opening bars (incipit) of the music given.
A Dictionary of Musical Themes
Main Library Reference ML 128 .I65 B3 1975
Includes a transposition key and a notation index for looking up a theme by the note sequence.
A Dictionary of Opera and Song Themes: Including Cantatas, Oratorios, Lieder, and Art Songs
Main Library Reference ML 128 .V7 B3
Has a transposition key and a notation index for looking up a theme by the note sequence.
The Great Song Thesaurus
Main Library Reference ML 128 .S3 L4 1989
A compendium of various lists ("greatest songs" from the 16th century to the present, award winners, song titles) and a thesaurus of songs by subject, keyword and category. Helpful for identifying the full title, date and composer of a song when only a portion of the title or the subject is known.
The Green Book of Songs by Subject: The Thematic Guide to Popular Music
Main Library Reference ML 156.4 .P6 G73 1994
Classifies over 35,000 recorded songs from the last hundred years. Covers many genres including hip hop, popular standards, rock, country, R&B, rap, jazz, Broadway, folk, blues, new age, television themes, advertising jingles and more. The listings emphasize singles and albums released from U.S.-based record companies.
Historical Sets, Collected Editions and Monuments of Music: A Guide to Their Contents, 3d ed.
Main Library General Collection ML 113 .H62 1980
Also known as "Heyer." The primary guide to 1,300 scholarly anthologies and collected works sets of major composers. Entries provide full bibliographic information and list contents of individual volumes. Numerous cross-references. An extensive index of composers, editors, and titles provides access to the contents of the anthologies. See also A Handbook of Music and Music Literature in Sets and Series (Main Library General Collection ML 113 .C45), a complement to Heyer.
Index to Poetry in Music: A Guide to the Poetry Set as Solo Songs by 125 Major Song Composers
Main Library Reference ML 128 .S3 B69 2003
"Encompassing both the art song and Lieder traditions, the book includes: comprehensive lists of the compositions of 125 major western composers, identities of the poets who wrote the lyrics, titles used by respective composers with cross references from variant titles used by other composers, cross references from the first lines, publishers of the individual songs, location of individual songs within the collected works of individual composers, and date of composition. With this resource, a reader can find the songs written by a particular composer, who published a specific song, and which composers might have set a particular poem to music. Bradley's guide offers a user-friendly, contemporary index of information for which scholars previously had to search extensively" (book jacket).
Provides transcriptions and literal translations of approximately 5,000 opera arias and art song texts. See also Word-by-Word Translations of Songs and Arias (Main Library General Collection ML 54.6 .W65), which covers songs and arias in German, French, and Italian.
Lissauer's Encyclopedia of Popular Music in America: 1888 to the Present
Main Library General Collection ML 128 .P63 L57 1991
The main section is an alphabetical list of songs, giving for each the writer(s), date of introduction, and date of revival (if applicable). Also includes a chronology listing by year the songs cited in the first section and an index of song writers.
The Mellen Opera Reference Index
Main Library General Collection ML 102 .O6 P25
Volumes 1-4: Opera Composers and Their Works; volumes 5-6: Opera Librettists and Their Works; volume 9: Opera Subjects. Composers are listed alphabetically, their works chronologically within each entry. Includes birth and death dates, nom de plume if any, opera title, genre, number of acts and scenes, source, alternate titles, revisions, comments and list of complete manuscripts. For librettists, gives year of premier, composer, name of the opera, and name of collaborating librettists. There is a separate list for librettists who also composed the operas, at the end of volume 6. For the Subjects volume, according to the author, "No attempt has been made to give a complete listing of subjects, but a subjective list indicating major trends and interests is provided." This list includes authors whose works have been adapted, and historical and mythical figures who have been subjects of operas.
Popular Song Index
Main Library Reference ML 128 .S3 H4 1974-1989
Use this index to locate the words and music for folks songs, popular tunes, spirituals, hymns, children's songs, sea chanteys, and blues. Index is arranged by title, first line, composer and lyrics and has references to collections published between 1940 and 1988.
Songs in Collections: An Index
Main Library Reference ML 128 .S3 D37
Indexes 9,493 songs in 411 collections, with separate sections for composed songs, anonymous and folk songs, carols, and sea chanteys. Includes an author index. Complements Song Index (below).
Song Index: An Index to More Than 12,000 Songs in 177 Song Collections Comprising 262 Volumes
Main Library Reference ML 128 .S3 S31
Contains titles, first lines, authors' names, and composers' names in one alphabet. Each song is listed under title, with added entries under composer and author, with cross-references for first lines and variant or translated titles. Complemented by Songs in Collections (above).
Thematic Catalogues in Music: An Annotated Bibliography, 2d ed.
Main Library General Collection ML 113 .B86 1997
Essential as a starting point to determine if a thematic catalog is available for a composer's works. Arranged by composer.