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Research art songs & lieder: Begin discovery

After reading this guide, you will be able to use tools to find literature, scores, and recordings on songs and singing

Research the composer's background and find library holdings

This guide will use the song cycle, Schubert's Winterreise, as an example. You may choose to pursue any of these steps in any order but these are the recommended steps for an unfamiliar song. 

1. Start a composer background search with reliable resources

A good place to start is Oxford Music Online that includes the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians 


2. Use the library catalog, SearchWorks, to see our library's holdings on the composer

You may further specify your search along with other relevant terms

Example: Schubert AND lieder 

More information on how to use SearchWorks available here (by Ray Heigemeir).

3. Under SearchWorks, you can use "Uniform Title" to narrow the search if necessary to display only items that include the work

Uniform titles help you search more efficiently. See how from the librarians at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

General search tips

Here are some general tips if you experience difficulty with keyword search

  1. Remove language specific terms: 
    • Franz Schubert song cycle Die Winterreise D 911 OP. 89
  2. Use the composer's last name only:
    • Franz Schubert song cycle Die Winterreise D 911 ​​​​​​OP.89
      • Amadeus Mozart or Robert Schumann 
  3. Narrow your results with facets:
    • Access (i.e. at the library or online)
    • Materials (i.e. books, database, scores, recordings, etc.)
  4. Use Boolean logic (AND, OR, & NOT) as appropriate:
    • Schubert AND lieder
    • artsong OR lieder
    • Schubert NOT Schumann