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Finding Recordings

In the field of music, there are generally three types of sources: 1) the music itself, 2) recordings of the music, and 3) works about the music.  This guide is designed to help you locate recordings.  As always, you can contact a Reference Librarian for further assistance at any point in your search (Ask-a-Librarian).

IMPORTANT!! Copyright Information about the Use of Recordings

Copyright is a legal protection that protects the rights of authors of creative works, and includes the rights of recording artists.  It is important, as fledging professional musicians yourselves, to take copyright seriously.  Did you know that as soon as you record a piece that your work is automatically under copyright? 

There are general provisions in copyright law, called Fair Use provisions, that allow the use of copyrighted recordings in educational pursuits. However, Fair Use does not allow for use of copyrighted works in any public place without the permission of the copyright holder.  This includes recordings you borrow from, or access through, a library. For more information, check out the following sites:

Copyright Basics (United States Copyright Office)

U.S. Copyright Law: A Guide for Music Educators (MENC)

Copyright and Fair Use (Stanford University Libraries)


Finding Recorded Music at Fogler Library

There are two ways to access recorded music here at Fogler Library. We subscribe to the online database, Naxos Music Library, where you can access streamed tracks.  And we own recordings that you can check out.

Naxos Music LIbrary logo

Naxos Music Library is a database of streamed recordings. The content is primarily classical, although some jazz is also included.  Most of the recordings in the database have tracks you can listen to, although there are a few, historical, recordings that do not have tracks. You can search the database by composer, work and label; keyword search; or an advanced search engine with up to 10 combined search criteria. Recordings may not be copied or downloaded.

The database includes a Playlist tab, where you can create your own list (on your personal computer) or access playlists that faculty have made for courses.


URSUS logo

You can also search our catalog, URSUS, to see what recordings are available. They are located at the Reserve Desk on the 1st floor of the building.

First - Whichever search tab you choose in URSUS, click on the arrow to the right of "Search Entire URSUS Catalog."  From this list choose "University of Maine catalog." While other campus libraries do have recordings, they do not loan them like they do books.

URSUS keyword search box

Searching for a Title

If you know the title of a recording, do an URSUS search by Title. If you do not locate the recording you need, try another approach. Because musical compositions are often known by differing titles, or because you may only know the title of a particular piece on a recording, you should try an Advanced Keyword search, such as Mozart and magic. Set the Material Type to Sound, Music . (Remember to choose the University of Maine catalog.)

URSUS Advanced Search example

Searching for a particular performer or composer

To locate recordings by performer or composer name, you should do an Author search, last name first, i.e. Schumann Clara. To find a piece performed by a particular performer, i.e. Jochum, first do an Author search on the composer. Then use the Limit/Sort Search button at the top of the screen to choose Material Type Sound, Music and Words in the AUTHOR where you will enter the performer's last name. Then click on Submit.

URSUS limit/sort search example

Searching by subject heading

Choose SUBJECT to search for recordings in a particular category, i.e. Song Cycles.  If you are having difficulty searching for recordings by subject, try doing an Advanced Keyword search.

Subject headings example

Checking our recordings from Fogler Library

Using your MaineCard, you may check out CDs and DVDs.  CDs will go out for 3 days, and DVDs will go out for 48 hours.


On the Web

You can search for recordings on the open Web, using search engines like Google.  It is good to keep in mind the copyright information from the beginning of this guide, as it may explain why you can't find some recordings online.  Copyright also must be kept in mind before thinking about downloading anything you find freely available.


If you have any questions about finding recordings, please contact us (Ask-a-Librarian) and we will be happy to assist you.

Created by:  | Revised: 01/22/2014
5729 Fogler Library
University of Maine
Orono, ME 04469-5729
Phone: 207-581-1661 | Fax: 207-581-1653
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The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469