Skip to Main Content

Music Resources: Call Numbers for Music Materials

A guide to resources on Music

Library of Congress Classification for Music

Materials in Oscar Rennebohm Library are organized according to the Library of Congress Classification System. The classification number or call number assigned to each item is like a code. It has two parts, a class number and a cutter number, which tell you what kind of thing the item is and where the item is physically. 

Here's how to decode call numbers for Music materials:

The class number starts with letters which represent broad classes of knowledge. Class M is for Music, with three subclasses:

M Music

ML Literature on Music

MT Music Instruction and Study

The numbers which directly follow break down the subclass into more specific subject areas. For instance, M 176 is reserved for Motion Picture Music, while M 1497 is for Collections of Secular Vocal Music. You can browse the entire Library of Congress Classification Outline for Class M below to see a list of exactly what items are assigned to each number. 

The next part of the call number is called the cutter number. It contains a code of numbers and letters, sometimes followed by a date. This part of the call number arranges the items within each subject class, usually alphabetically by author's last name.

Common Call Numbers for Browsing