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Paul Allen Sommerfeld, Ph.D., Senior Music Reference Specialist, Music Division
Created: March 21, 2023
Last Updated: March 21, 2023
The Music Division holds one of the largest collections in the world of popular sheet music for voice and piano. This sheet music encompasses many topics of interest to performers and researchers alike. Valuable for more than just their musical content, these pieces offer differing perspectives on American history through their lyrics, subject matter, and illustrated covers.
Most of this sheet music for voice and piano is not cataloged and requires additional searching and consultation with Music Division staff. This research guide helps navigate where and how to search for this sheet music, both on the Library's websites and in the Performing Arts Reading Room, which provides physical access to this music.
This research guide focuses on locating music scores. Contact the Recorded Sound Research Center or the Moving Image Research Center for information on recordings and filmed footage.
The Performing Arts Reading Room is the access point for the collections in the custody of the Music Division at the Library of Congress. Numbering approximately 20.5 million items and spanning more than 1000 years of Western music history and practice, these holdings include the classified music and book collections, music and literary manuscripts, iconography, microforms, periodicals, musical instruments, published and unpublished copyright deposits, and close to 500 special collections in music, theater, and dance.