University of Nevada, Las Vegas

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Music Library


Music Research

Symphonies: A Starting Guide

Part I: Where to Find Symphonies in the UNLV Music Library
  • Full orchestra: M1001
  • String orchestra: M1101

See also The Symphony, 1720-1840 : a comprehensive collection of full scores in sixty volumes. Barry S. Brook, editor-in-chief ; Barbara B. Heyman, associate editor. New York : Garland Pub., c1979-c1985.
M1001 .S97x 1979

  • Orchestral music arranged for piano solo: M35
  • Orchestral music arranged for piano, 4 hands: M209
  • Orchestral music arranged for 2 pianos, 2 performers: M215
  • History and criticism of the symphony: ML1255 (Lied Main Stacks)

Works about the symphony can also be found in MT125-130 (Lied Main Stacks), consisting of analyses of orchestral music generally. Works on symphonies of specific composers can also be found interspersed with biographies of composers, in ML410 (Lied Main Stacks).

See also our list of Major Orchestral Works (Compact Discs) in the UNLV Music Library on this site.

Part II: Representative Subject Headings for Symphonies

See also Orchestra studies as a subject heading, for excerpts from symphonies as well as other orchestral works for individual instruments. For more specific search results, use the name of the instrument followed by "orchestra studies" as a search; for example Bassoon--Orchestra studies.

Part III: Useful Sources

Blackwell, Brian and Andre Dauwalder. The Symphony: an Interactive Guide.
Internet Access:

Brown, Peter A. The Symphonic Repertoire. Bloomington, Ind.: Indiana University Press, 2002-.
Lied Book Stacks ML1255 .B87 2002

Cuyler, Louise Elvira. The Symphony. Warren, Mich.: Harmonie Park Press, 1995.
Lied Book Stacks ML1255 .C9 1995

The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (Online). London: Macmillan Reference; New York: Grove's Dictionaries, 2001-
Internet Access

The Nineteenth-century Symphony. Edited by D. Kern Holoman. New York: Schirmer Books; London: Prentice Hall International, c1997.
Lied Book Stacks ML1255 .N5 1996

Steinberg, Michael. The Symphony : a Listener's Guide. New York: Oxford University Press, 1995.
Lied Book Stacks MT125 .S79 1995

Part IV: Periodicals

Note: These periodicals are not devoted exclusively to the symphony as a musical form, but do often include articles about specific composers and their symphonies.

Journal of the American Musicological Society
Lied Periodicals ML27.U5 A83363

Musical Quarterly
Lied Periodicals ML1 .M725

Lied Periodicals ML1 .A7283