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Music Research Guide

Music Recordings

The library's audio recordings collection includes over 8,000 CDs (compact discs). Only CDs are being added to the collection. There are no LP (vinyl) or tape recordings in the collection.  The collection focuses on classical, jazz, folk, and rock music.

In addition, the Naxos Music Library provides streaming access to thousands of recordings. HSU faculty, staff, and current students may use this resource on campus or remotely. The general public has access from the library only.

Recordings may be checked out by students with a valid HSU library card for 16 weeks with 1 renewal. Up to three recordings may be checked out at one time. Fines of $1 per day are assessed for overdues ($25 maximum). The borrower will be charged for ruined recordings.

NOTE: HSU students, faculty, and staff may make interlibrary loan requests for CD recordings not in our collection. Not all libraries loan CDs, but we may be able to borrow what you need. Community patrons should contact the Humboldt County Library with interlibrary loan requests.

Call numbers for CDs begin with CD (for example, CD-4902).  The CDs are shelved by call number in the Media Resources area on the second floor, north. Listening equipment is also in the Media Resources area. 

 Find call numbers for CDs in the HSU Library Catalog.  Below are some tips for searching.  If you need more help with recordings, please ask a librarian.

To find recordings of a particular piece of music, or a particular type of music, or by a particular composer, performer, conductor, or group:

  • Enter keywords into the Search for box. Put quotation marks around any phrases. Use truncation to retrieve plurals and variant spellings of words in different languages.  The catalog’s truncation symbol is ?
  • Choose Compact Discs in Limits, then click Search.
Tips and examples of keywords:

If the music has a distinct title or nickname, use it:

"don Giovanni"

"kind of blue"

"an die musik"

"eleanor rigby"

"jupiter symphon?"

      "you'll never walk alone"


The exception is that the songs in operas are not separately indexed for recordings of the operas. To find them, search for the opera in which they appear. The songs on rock, jazz, recital, and musical albums are usually indexed, and you can search for them directly.

If there is no distinct title, use keywords for composer, musical form (symphonies, duets, fugues, sonatas, masses, concertos, etc.), instrumentation (violin, violoncello, strings, horn, orchestra, etc.), thematic catalog or opus number, or key to find recordings of the piece:

grieg piano concerto       Mozart 626

If you are searching for folk music, you may want to truncate country or location names:

gree? will find greek or greece

afric? will find africa or african

To find recordings of sound effects:

  • Type "sound effects" including the quotation marks into the Search for box.
  • Choose Compact Discs in Limits, then click Search.

To find animal sounds:

  • Type keywords for the animal and the word sounds into the Search for box:
fish sounds     birds sounds
  • Choose Compact Discs in Limits, then click Search.

To find copyright free recordings of music and arrangements:

  • Type "production music" including the quote marks into the Search For box.
  • Choose Compact Discs in Limits, then click Search.

To see an entry for a recording when you have the call number: 

  • Type the call number, including the hyphen, in the Search for box. You don't need to capitalize.
  • Choose Call Number from the in: box, then click Search

Videos for Music

The videotape and DVD collection includes approximately 6000 VHS and 1000 DVD titles.

HSU faculty, students, staff, and patrons with community borrower cards may check out videos/DVDs. Students may check out up to 3 titles for 3 days.  There is a $1/day overdue fine per title.

Videos and DVDs are arranged by call number on open shelves in the Media Resources Area, located on the 2nd floor of the Library.  Viewing equipment is also in the Media Resources Area. Persons using the Media Resources Area or conference rooms with viewing equipment may be asked to show a currently valid HSU ID card. The Media Resources Area has stations containing a variety of video and audio equipment to review non-print materials.

The first priority for use of the equipment is for materials placed on Reserve. Students using the equipment to view non-Reserve items must relinquish their stations to those needing to view Reserve items.

Call numbers for videos and DVDs begin with VIDEO (eg. Video1045).  Find video call numbers with Quick Search in the HSU Library Catalog.  Tips for searching are below.  If you need more help with finding videos, please ask a librarian.

To search for videos by title:

  • Under Quick Search select Videos/DVDs then select Title.
  • Type in the title.  Leave off any initial articles, in any language.  For example, Boheme or Freischutz

To Search for videos by  keywords:

  • Under Quick Search select Videos/DVDs within Limit.
  • In Keyword, type in keywords (for example, operas or "rock music"), then click Search.

  To see an entry for a video/DVD when you have the call number:

  • Type in the call number you have in Library Catalog box on the HSU Library homepage. Make sure not to add any space between video and the number (e.g., video1121) or you can also go to Quick Search and select Call Number then type in the call number.

Music Lyrics & Reviews

Search the Video/DVD Collection