Catalogue Tips | Classifications - how to find on the shelves

Ballet on DVD | Opera on DVD
Page last updated 15th September, 2009

The main audiovisual collection is housed on the Ground Floor, North End, Victoria Street side of the Central Library although smaller CD and video collections are found at Branch Libraries. Look for the Classical music pathfinder to help you find what you need.

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As well as books and magazines, the Library owns a strong and extensive collection of classical music, including CDs, videos, DVDs and a comprehensive collection of vocal and instrumental music scores. It covers - music from antiqua, through mediaeval and renaissance times through to later Western art music traditions, and including most genres and instruments.

Search CDs by genre
Brass bands
Chamber music CDs
Concertos on CD
Instrumental music CDs
Opera CDs
Orchestral music CDs
Piano music CDs
Vocal music CDs

Classical Music Guides
Baroque music
Classical guitar
Classical Spain
English music
Mediaeval/Renaissance music
New Zealand classical

New scores

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Best of barber shop :
barbershop quartets
score graphic

Power ballads :
30 rock anthems
score graphic

Twilight :
the score
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The little black songbook :
Bob Dylan
score graphic

Easy popular movie
instrumental solos

A. Catalogue Search Help

BEST TIP If you know parts of the title and composer.
The best way is to select the Advanced button, in the left hand column and enter composer in Author or Name and what you know of the title and format in the Keywords option; then Click Search. e.g.
Tosca DVD

Works with a "title" e.g. Carmen.
Use the Title browse, or Title keyword options.
NOTE - Ignore articles in all language including English, e.g. The, Die

Works with a title form heading e.g. 'Piano concerto,K. 467', 'Symphony no 5'.
There are a number of ways to search depending on other factors.
a) If the composer isn't prolific - use
the Author Browse or Author heading options and scroll down for the works which are listed alphabetically.
b) If the composer is prolific - use the first option above OR another alternative is to use the Keyword option to enter opus or Kochel etc) numbers, if you know it e.g. 667.
d) If a performer has been associated with the work, select that option (see c.).

Different languages
Many titles appear in languages other than English.
If you already know the title the composer gave it, then the quickest way to locate all items is to enter those as Title Keyword(s), e.g. Zauberflote. If you do not know, then also use Title Keyword(s) with the English e.g. Magic flute, but please remember that this will not retrieve every single copy the library holds.

Locating songs and other works which are very short or part of another work
Most excerpts lasting more than five minutes (and many less than) will be indexed (so search for them as above). But very short works may not be individually indexed.
a) Try a Keyword option for the short work e.g. Rule Britannia, if there are title words. Otherwise...
b) Try the first tip above , without selecting a format.
Please ask at the Central Library Sound and Vision Centre desk for further assistance as there are reference resources which can assist in identifying contents.

Limiting by format
If you only want a particular format, e.g. Video, choose the advanced search option (gold coloured button) and the "limit by format" option, with your search type from the examples above as appropriate.

Performers e.g. singers, pianists

Use the Author or Author browse options.
Note that this can also be a preferred way of searching for a work by a prolific composer if there is only a form heading - Keyword search option Bach Hurford could be a quick way to find some Bach organ music.

If you know the music publisher number
Just as books have ISBNs, most CDs and videos etc have unique identifying publisher numbers. If you know this, you may use the Keyword option to search using it.
N.B. Unlike books, the style of these is not standardized. To facilitate searching please omit all dashes and spaces.
e.g. search for 450 998-422 as 4509984422

Explaining the Classification system

Audio-visual sound on the shelves
Scores and songbooks on the shelves

The same colour coded system is used for classical sounds in all our libraries.

Classical Sound is arranged in broad types e.g. chamber, indicated by colour.

Then within those broad types, the classifications are arranged alphabetically.
For example - Instrumental
is ordered

etc. in a separate sequence before

  • ballet
  • bands
  • concertos: cello
  • concertos: clarinet
  • concertos: flute...

Catalogue Quick Searches

Chamber music CDs
Sextets etc

Instrumental CDsOrchestral CDsVocal music CDs
Note: More instruments e.g. recorder, oboe can be found in the Other instruments section
Cello concertos
Clarinet Concertos
Guitar concertos
Horn concertos
Oboe concertos
Organ concertos
Piano concertos
Violin concertos
Other Orchestral works
Note: More concertos, with instruments not listed here e.g. recorder, can be found in the Concertos : various section.
Singers compilations (classical)
Song compilations (classical)


The scores are arranged by voice or instrument or various combinations of voice or instruments. Songbooks (which are indexed) are arranged alphabetically. Some examples of score numbers -

Vocal music780
Operas and musicals780.7
Part songs780.4
Sacred music including Masses, Oratorios, Cantatas780.5-780.6
Solo Vocal Collections780
Instrumental music781
Piano duet781.6
Pianos (2)781.64
Also includes Trios, quartets etc. of the same instrument.
Chamber and orchestral combinations782
Piano trios782.2
String trios782.1
Strong quartets782.3
String quintets782.5
Wind quintets782.6
Wind sextets782.65
Orchestral scores782.7
Other combinations of quintet/sextets etc.782.7
Miniature scores of any kind of work 782.77

For further information, please seek out our

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