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The Library Springfield-Greene County Library District Springfield, Missouri

Finding Music and Lyrics

Library Reference Sources
If you are looking for music from a particular genre or decade, the Library’s reference sources can be a great starting point for background information. You can try searching through our collection of directories, almanacs and encyclopedias. Many of these sources contain bibliographies to help you do further research.

Try these subject-specific resources. 

American Decades 

The Grove Dictionary of American Music 

Books and Audiovisual Material

Search for materials in the Library using the online catalog. The catalog allows you to search by keyword, author, title or subject. Use a subject search to find books about a particular topic or genre. You can also limit your search to show only books, compact discs or DVDs.

Examples of possible subject headings:

Blues Music
Country music
Country music - history and criticism
Gospel music
Folk music - United States
Popular music - United States
Rap music - history and criticism
Rock music

The Library also owns a collection of fake books that could help you learn a song or find lyrics. A fake book is a collection of music intended to help a musician learn a song quickly. The songs in a fake book include their melody line, lyrics and basic chords.

Library Databases

These online library resources may provide additional information that will be helpful to your search.

Academic Search Elite* has searchable full-text for more than 2,100 scholarly journals, including 1,700 peer-reviewed journals.

Biography In Context* contains more than 600,000 biographies integrating material from reference works, magazines and multimedia sources.

MasterFILE Premier* includes full-text periodicals on subjects like business, health, education, science, and general reference. This database also contains full text of reference books, primary source documents and an image collection of over 510,000 photos, maps & flags.

Other music resources from the Springfield Greene County Library:

Burt Buhrman Sheet Music Collection: Before his death in 1999, Mr. Buhrman donated more than 5,000 pieces of his sheet music to the Springfield-Greene County Library District. The sheet music is housed in the Reference Department at the Library Center and is searchable online.

The Max Hunter Folk Song Collection is an archive of almost 1600 Ozark Mountain folk songs recorded between 1956 and 1976.

Internet Resources

The Internet may have some additional information that will help your research. When looking on the Web for information, it is a good idea to double check your information with other sources. If you are looking for lyrics using a search engine, try using "song title" + artist + lyrics (ex. "Yesterday" + Beatles + lyrics) as your search term.  Other relevant websites to find music and lyrics are listed below.

Performing Arts Encyclopedia: A guide to performing arts from the Library of Congress. Explore their collection of scores, sheet music, audio recordings and other materials.

Sheet Music Consortium: Contains thousands of images of sheet music from collections throughout the United States. The Sheet Music Consortium is hosted by the UCLA Digital Library Program and was created by a large group of libraries in order to build an open collection of digitized sheet music.


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