Music Library

Augmenting the Music Reference and Circulating collections in the Axinn Library, the Music Library's collection of books, scores, periodicals, and sound recordings supports the curriculum of the Department of Music and provides material for general use by the Hofstra community. Books and scores may circulate outside the Library; recordings do not, but can be used in the listening room. A current and valid Hofstra University ID card is required when borrowing any item(s). Patrons are responsible for all materials borrowed and will be assessed late fees for overdue items, as well as replacement costs for lost and damaged items.

The Music Library includes a reference/information center and has access to the internet via five computers and Wi-Fi for laptops. A Collaborative Learning Room for small groups has individual carrel seating for 13 users, with equipment for listening to CDs, LPs, and audio cassettes. The collection of sound recordings includes more than 4,000 LPs and approximately 500 CDs. It consists of primarily classical recordings with a reasonable representative collection of opera, jazz, and electronic music. Access to online databases includes: Oxford Music Online (which includes the complete Grove), Naxos Online Music Library, Music Index Online, JStor, Project Muse RILM, is available to the Hofstra community through the "Research Databases" of the Axinn Library webpage.

Music Library
Room 014 Monroe Lecture Center (Lower Level)
127 Hofstra University
Hempstead, New York 11549-1270

Hours are subject to change and may differ during exam periods and holidays. Changes will be posted in and around the Music Library.

Regular Hours
For fall and spring semesters:
Monday-Friday 9a.m. – 5p.m.
Saturday -  Sunday: CLOSED

The Music Library closes for all holidays observed by the University.

Circulation Policy

Library Card

Students, faculty, and staff: Your Hofstra University ID card is your library card. Bring it to the Circulation Desk to be linked to your record in our system.

Alumni: You must have an active alumni card in order to borrow materials from our Library. For information on the benefits of an Alumni ID and how to obtain one please refer to the Alumni Benefits section of the University webpage.

Checkout Periods

Books and scores: Students 14 days/Faculty 180 days/Alumni and Staff 30 days
Ensemble Scores: Students 14 days*/Faculty 180 days/Alumni and Staff 30 days
 (*extended to three days after scheduled recital or MUS020 performance)
CDs, LPs, DVDs, and electronics: Students 2 hours/Faculty 7 days/ Alumni and Staff 2 hours
Practice Room Keys: Students 3 hours

Renewal and return of materials may be done in person at the Circulation Desk in the Music Library.
For information about renewals, recall/hold requests, returning materials, fines, lost or damaged items, check the “Borrowing Information” page for Axinn Library.


Finding Scores

The Music Library is currently in the midst of a major multiyear project in which the holdings records are being fully cataloged and entered into the University’s online catalog, Lexicat. Until this project is completed, you will need to check both Lexicat and the Music Library Card Catalog to locate items in the collection.

Music Library Card Catalog

Useful for finding scores, and some books, which have not yet been entered into Lexicat.

  • Title Cards: (white) cards list the title of the book or score. Works published in collections are listed by the publisher’s title, and not the individual works as listed in the Table of Contents.
  • Author/Composer: (blue) cards for each composer list a work by that composer.
  • Category: (salmon) cards are grouped by etude/ensemble, piano, voice, etc., as listed on the drawer labels.

CD Catalog

This is in a three-ring binder at the Music Library Circulation Desk. Works are listed alphabetically by composer using uniform titles.

Searching Techniques

Using Lexicat

Easy to find: Operas, works with distinctive titles, or works of lesser known composers.

Best searches: by title (e.g., Tosca), by composer (e.g., Partch, Harry -- but not Bach, Johann Sebastian), or guided search to combine author/title (author: Crumb; title: Black Angels)

Harder-to-find: Works with generic titles (e.g., symphonies, concertos, sonatas).

Best searches: words from titles/subjects (e.g., to find Mozart's Haffner Symphony, K.V. 385, do a keyword search: symphon* 385 [Note: The asterisk is a wild card here to catch symphony, symphonie, symphonies, etc.]

Finding works for specific combinations of instruments: (know your subject headings)

Technique 1: Find a work you know has the right combination - look at its subject heading(s) e.g., If you're looking for works for bassoon clarinet and oboe and you know that Jacques Ibert's Cinq pieces en trio is for that combination, search the title: Cinq pieces en trio - [Note: the subject heading is: Woodwind trios (bassoon, clarinet, oboe)]. Search under it for similar works or simply click on it to "re-direct" the search.

Technique 2: Use keyword search: bassoon clarinet oboe - [Note: The results are fuzzier, but more comprehensive.]

Limiting your result set: Once you've done your search, look for the "Limit/Sort search" button at the top of the screen. By clicking it, you can filter your results by one or more of the following (Note: You can only do this once, so be sure to get all your limits in place the first time.)

  • Location: Here you can choose a specific collection in Lexicat, (i.e., Axinn Circulating Collection or Monroe Hall - Music Library).
  • Format of material: Here you can choose to limit your results to printed music or sound recordings.
  • Language: Here you can choose to limit your results to a particular language.
  • Words in Author: If you initially searched by title or keywords, you can narrow your search with the composer's name (or in the case of a recording, the performer). The pull-down menu allows you to change this limit to words in Author/Title/Subject/Publisher.

Using call numbers: (best for browsing the stacks, NOT for finding something specific)

Find call numbers by using the Library of Congress M Class Schedule and look up the subject in the index. (Note: Look for call numbers beginning with M for scores and recordings. (e.g., Looking under Horn, one finds Instrumental Music M80- with orchestra, M1028- with string orchestra, M1128- with piano M255-)

Or use the Library of Congress Subject Headings (a set of five volumes in Axinn - Reference Z695 .L695  2010) to find the subject heading and note the LC class number. Subject headings for musical works are often musical "forms" or genres (e.g., symphonies, concertos, operas, cantatas, waltzes, sonatas), ensembles (e.g., string quartets, wind trios, choruses, piano trios, etc.) or in the case of solo and duet repertoire, use simply the names of the instruments (e.g., piano music, violin and piano music, flute and continuo music, violin music (violins (2)), flute and guitar music). Most works for voice and piano are simply given the heading songs.

Special Cases:

Songs/piano music in collections: (Often songs and shorter piano works are not published separately and must be found in collections or anthologies.)

There are a number of indexes to songs in collections (most can be found at Axinn and Music Library Ref. ML128.S3). Here are a few examples and a useful website:

  • Index to Song Books (Axinn and Music Library Ref. ML128.S3 L45)
  • Repertoire for the Solo Voice (Axinn Ref. ML128.S3 E8 2 vols.)
  • Songs of the American Theater: a comprehensive listing of more than 12,000 songs, including selected titles from film and television productions (Axinn Ref. ML128.S3 L53)
  • Index to Arias and Art Songs in Collections (University of Washington Music Library)

Search for an opera aria: Usually the easiest way to find an aria is to find it in the vocal score for the opera of which it is a part. If you don't know what opera it's from, look it up in Appendix B of the New Grove Dictionary of Opera (Axinn and Music Library Ref. ML102.O6 N5 1992 v. 4, and online via the Library’s link to Oxford Music Online).

Search for piano music (in Lexicat): Piano music, like songs, can sometimes be found by searching in Lexicat for its title or by searching "words from notes" (e.g., search title: bagatelles and words from notes: bagatelles).

Piano works in collections can often be found in Guide to the Pianist’s Repertoire by Maurice Hinson (Axinn and Music Library Ref. ML128.P3 H5 1973).


Note: With the following web catalogs, one can use many of the same search techniques used in Lexicat. Most U.S. libraries use Library of Congress subject headings, so anything found in Lexicat can be used elsewhere as well. However, while most U.S. libraries also use Library of Congress call numbers, the exact call numbers will necessarily vary from library to library.

WorldCat: WordCat includes a powerful search interface allowing one to search for scores or recordings of musical works by author, title, subject, and publisher.

Other music catalogs on the web:

Repertoire lists (or bibliographies): In general these are available in the Axinn or Music Library Reference Collections under the call number ML128. X , where X is the alphanumeric abbreviation for the instrument or ensemble. For example:

  • ML128 .C4 H5 1978 The Piano in Chamber Ensemble
  • ML128 .F7 V48  Flute repertoire catalogue: 10,000 titles.
  • ML128 .S3 E8 1977 Repertoire for solo voice (bibliography of songs)


Research Databases

Music research resources available via the RESEARCH DATABASES on the Library Webpage

Digital Scholarly Journal Archive

Music Index Online
(1973-present) Subject-Author Guide to Music Periodical Literature, over 1.4 million records
from more than 850 music periodicals from over 40 countries. Covering all musical styles and
genres. Citations cover book reviews, obituaries, new periodicals, news and articles about
music, musicians, and the music industry.

Oxford Music Online
The Encyclopedia of Popular Music, 4th Edition
The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, 2nd Edition (2001)
The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 2nd Edition (2001)
The New Grove Dictionary of Opera (1992)
The Oxford Companion to Music (2002)
The Oxford Dictionary of Music, 2nd Edition Revised

Naxos Music Library
Streaming Audio from over 55,000 CDs

Project Muse
Digital Scholarly Journal Archive

RILM Abstracts of Music Literature
(1967-present) is the world's largest, continuously updated bibliography of music literature providing broad international coverage including records in over 100 languages from thousands of journals, books, dissertations, conference proceedings, Festschriften, and more.


Select Internet Resources

Select Internet Resources for Music:


  • Free Music Archive
    "The Free Music Archive is an interactive library of high-quality, legal audio downloads. The Free Music Archive is being directed by WFMU, the most renowned freeform radio station in America. Radio has always offered the public free access to new music. The Free Music Archive is a continuation of that purpose, designed for the age of the internet." Browsable by genre, the FMA includes a broad range of contemporary and historic styles.
  • Music from India
    "The recordings featured in this collection were all recorded by the recordist and ethnomusicologist, Rolf Killius, as part of a collaborative project between Rolf, The British Library, and the Horniman Museum. The aim of the project - entitled Traditional Music in India and set up in 2000 - has been to record, document and research folk, devotional, and ritual music of India, and to collect and document relevant musical instruments."
  • National Jukebox: Historical Recordings at the Library of Congress
    This is a significant effort by the Library of Congress working with the major record labels to make historical recordings available via internet streaming free of charge. The initial release includes 10,000 78 rpm recordings made between 1901 and 1925 on the Victor label.

Style guides:

Online Sheet Music:

  • Duke University: Sheet Music Collections
    Lists sheet music collections around the U.S. with links to those having online collections
  • Harvard University: Loeb Music Library - Digital Scores Collection
    Includes early editions of works by members of the Bach family, Mozart, Verdi, and the Harvard Glee Club's Harvard Song Book.
  • International Music Score Library Project (IMSLP)/Petrucci Project
    "IMSLP attempts to create a virtual library containing all public domain musical scores, as well as scores from composers who are willing to share their music with the world without charge." Recently added the first 40 volumes of Das Chorwerk.

    On August 29, 2011 it was announced that an "agreement has been reached between IMSLP and the Werner Icking Music Archive (WIMA) to merge, with the result that WIMA’s entire collection of files will be moved to IMSLP. These consist of some 65,000 scores and many more audio files, meaning that WIMA will end up as IMSLP’s biggest community project."
  • Music Library Scores Collection (UMich)
    "This resource is comprised of scores held in the Music Library's general and special collections. Works featured here represent a variety of styles and genres, including songs, solo and chamber music, operas, and compositions for orchestra. Highlights include numerous works by Austrian composer, Ignaz Brüll, as well as material -- much of it folksong related -- collected by American composer and conductor, Kurt Schindler."
  • MusOpen
    Free Public Domain sheet music and recordings of classical pieces.
  • Sibley Music Library: Musical Scores
    "Scores and books in the public domain. Many of these are unique to the Sibley Music Library collection." Sibley runs an "on demand" digitizing service adding public domain materials from their collections.

Associations and Societies:

  • Society for American Music
    "The mission of the Society for American Music is to stimulate the appreciation, performance, creation, and study of American music in all its diversity, and the full range of activities and institutions associated with that music. "America" is understood to embrace North America, including Central America and the Caribbean, and aspects of its cultures everywhere in the world."
  • American Musicological Society (AMS)
    The AMS supports the advancement of research in the various fields of music. Its site includes the AMS Newsletter, and links to various musicological programs and projects, including Doctoral Dissertatons in Musicology.
  • International Musicological Society (IMS)
    The IMS supports the advancement of musicological research on the basis of international co-operation. Their site includes a useful directory of members, links to other musicological organizations and lists of forthcoming conferences.
  • Society for Ethnomusicology
    SEM was founded in 1955 to promote the research, study, and performance of music in all historical periods and cultural contexts. At present, the Society for Ethnomusicology (SEM) has more than 2,000 members from six continents.
  • Society for Music Theory
    The Society for Music Theory was founded in 1977. The Society holds annual meetings, publishes two journals (Music Theory Spectrum and Music Theory Online), and encourages scholarly excellence by giving awards for outstanding publications in music theory.
  • ICTM (International Council for Traditional Music)