Searching music scores and recordings can be tricky due to generic form titles (like "symphony" or "concerto") and to variations in publisher "packaging." See Name that work! for an example. But in library catalogs such as Primo and Worldcat, a work's preferred (or uniform) title groups all versions of the work together. To search by preferred title:
|Original keyword search||Preferred title|
|grieg violin "op. 8"||Grieg, Edvard, 1843-1907. Sonatas, violin, piano, no. 1, op. 8, F major|
|Amy Beach mass e-flat||Beach, Amy, 1867-1944. Mass, op. 5, E♭ major|
|The Rider on the White Horse||Gubaidulina, Sofia, 1931- Der Reiter auf dem weissen Pferd|
|"rite of spring"||Stravinsky, Igor, 1882-1971. Vesna svi︠a︡shchennai︠a︡|
|o quam mirabilis hildegard bingen||Hildegard, Saint, 1098-1179. Symphonia armonie celestium revelationum.
||A movement of a larger work with a distinctive name.|
|vivaldi spring four seasons||Vivaldi, Antonio, 1678-1741. Cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione. No. 1
||The first in a collection of twelve concerti published together.|
|mozart magic flute||Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus, 1756-1791. Zauberflöte.
|nadia boulanger cantique||Boulanger, Nadia. Songs. Selections||"Songs," "Cantatas" or other plural versions of musical forms are collections just of that form by the composer. Often complete, sometimes selective|
|hastings blessed are they that dwell in thy house||Hastings, Thomas, 1784-1872. Works.||"Works" means a collection of various forms by the composer. Often complete, sometimes selective.|
Books about the work will also have the preferred title applied. Indiana University Libraries has a fuller explanation of preferred titles. However, articles that you find through Primo and Worldcat are not fully cataloged and do not have the standardized titles.
Look for similar standardization of titles within the article databases such as Music Index.
Name searching can be challenging in a few instances that come up frequently in music research.
Databases such as Primo, Worldcat, and Music Index use a standardized name form to simplify searching. To search by a standardized name:
|Original keyword search||Primo & Worldcat use the same standardized names||Music Index|
|hildegard bingen||Hildegard, Saint, 1098-1179.||HILDEGARD, Saint, 1098-1179.|
|kurupt||Kurupt (Rapper)||KURUPT (Performer)|
|Hsien Hsing-hai||Xinghai Xian, 1905-1945||XIAN Xinghai|
|john williams guitar||Williams, John, 1941-||WILLIAMS, John (not disambiguated)|
|Mrs. H.H.A. Beach||Beach, Amy, 1867-1944||beach, amy marcy cheney|
Books about a composer and scores by or recordings of the person's music will use the standardized name. However, articles that you find through Primo and Worldcat are not fully cataloged and do not have the standardized names.