The Music Collection supports the study of jazz for music majors and non-majors alike.  Printed music (“scores”) include fake books, piano-vocal-guitar arrangements of popular songs, transcriptions of classic instrumental solos, and play-along Score/CD sets for study and performance.  The most famous of these is the Jamey Aebersold series, which includes instructional volumes for practice with jazz harmonies as well as fleshed-out background arrangements for use at your gigs.

The following are some terms you can use as keywords to help you find what you need in CardCat.  Use “and” to include these types of scores or “not” to exclude them:

  • “Scores, musical.”  When using Advanced Search , this is the format for all printed music.
  • “Vocal score” is the descriptive term for any sheet music for voice with piano.  The chords for a guitar are often included.
  • “Anthology” is a collection of songs, usually on a theme.
  • “Excerpts” are songs from a larger work, grouped together.
  • “Original keys” use the exact pitches used on hit recordings by major stars, such as Ella Fitzgerald or Sarah Vaughan.
  • “Fake books” have only the melody and chord symbols for guitar or piano improvisation.
  • Arrangements are indicated by “arr.” in CardCat listings. 

“Author” in CardCat can be a singer, songwriter, bandleader, or lyricist.

“Title” can be used for searching for individual songs but it may accidentally return records for  anthologies or songbooks with similar song titles.  Click on “details” then use “Find” in your browser to verify an exact match for your song.  Type quotation marks around a title with common words and search as a key “word” to retrieve the best results.

Subject searching usually works only for retrieving whole songbooks devoted to one subject, such as “Bride’s Guide to Wedding Music,” which has the subject heading “Wedding Music.”  If you need assistance finding songs on a theme, there are many resources to help you identify individual songs to search.  Feel free to ask for assistance.

See the Subject Guide for Jazz for more guidance.

Ball State’s Music Librarian, Amy Edmonds, offers one-on-one research consultations in person or by e-mail.  Contact her if you need assistance.

For assistance in locating scores, recordings, or books, contact Music Collection staff at 765-285-8188, or the music librarian at 765-285-5065.