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Empower the Voices: a repertory guide: Finding Repertory

Finding Repertory

Where to Search

New rep by composer, performance, and work

There are different ways to search for new repertory - here are just a few.

Find new composers

Find performances of new works

Recent Performance Database (UC Irvine Libraries)

Find online scores of new works

BabelScores (subscription via the UI Libraries)
Contemporary Music Score Collection (Kaleidescope and UCLA Music Library)

Tips for Searching

How to find cool new music to play or listen to

Maybe you already have a few ways that you usually find new stuff: recommendations by teachers or friends, listening to the radio, following recordings of performers you like, etc. Branching out to explore outside of those networks isn’t actually that different. There are a few easy tips to find new things without needing to be a pro at researching.

  1. Look up performances/albums by visiting artists that might have started your curiosity. Whose music are they playing that you like? Which ones make you step outside of your comfort-zone as a listener?
  2. Look up a specific composer based on recordings that you like. What else did they compose? Who else has played their works?
  3. Go to the artists’ pages of people who have played works by composers you like. What else have they played that you might like? (Are you noticing a cycle?)
  4. Check out @empowerthevoices on Instagram. There are composers on there whose works you may not have heard before. Check them out! We picked people whose works we specifically have in our library! Exciting times.
  5. Scorefollower is an excellent resource for discovering new music and connecting with the composers who write it. The majority of the works featured on this page are by living composers, and new videos are uploaded quite frequently! 
  6. Above all, stay curious! Finding music either for listening or playing is a deeply enriching experience.


Borrow or Buy

Searching for repertory to borrow from libraries

Obviously, we're a big fan of using libraries to borrow music.

First, it's free (as long as you remember to return what you borrow). Second, the available catalog is immense and will contain works old and new, and in some cases, unavailable for purchase. Third, it means you can test out a piece before committing it to your own personal collection. However, it can take some practice to learn how to use a library effectively - good thing y'all are musicians and know all about practicing! Here are some helpful videos to show you the ropes, both for finding music here at the Rita Benton Music Library and at other libraries around the world.

  • How to Search for Rep at the Rita Benton Music Library
  • How to Search for Rep at other libraries
  • How to search for music by underrepresented BIPOC LBGTQIA+ composers
  • How to track back a recording to finding the sheet music
  • How to use musical networks to expand your repertoire and searching
  • Different types of scores
    • Rentals vs. sales
    • Full vs. parts