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Film Music: A Research Guide

Film Scores

Film scores in the Music Division can be divided generally into four categories:

  • Scores for specific sound films, including full scores, condensed scores, piano scores, piano-conductor scores, and lead sheets
  • Scores for silent film, including stock music pieces, cue sheets, and scores for specific films
  • Excerpts of film scores for specific films
  • Arrangements of film scores for solo instruments and ensembles

Film scores in all of these categories can be found under multiple call numbers as well as is many special collections within the Music Division. For more information on how to find film scores within special collections, see the Music Division page of the Special Collections & Rare Materials" section of this research guide.

The most common call numbers under which individually cataloged film scores may be found are:


Accessing Film Scores

None of the scores under the M1350 call number, nor any of the film scores for sound film under the M1527, M1527eu, M1527.2, ML96, and Microfilm call numbers are currently digitized, although many of them have records in the Library of Congress Online Catalog.

For piano vocal music from films under the call number M1508, scores for films up to 1922 are included in the Sheet Music of the Musical Theater digital collection. Scores from after 1922 are not available online.


Accessing Silent Film Scores

The Silent Film Scores and Arrangements digital collection includes nearly all silent film items from the M1527, M176, and M1357 call numbers. Scans of items that are still protected by U.S. copyright law may only be accessed through the Library's Stacks platform online in the Performing Arts Reading Room.

For more detailed information on locating scores for silent film, see the "Film Scores" page of the Music for Silent Film research guide.