Searching Basics
This section introduces features and functionality common to both the simple search and advanced search pages.
Case Sensitivity
Search terms can be entered in upper or lower case. Our search engine is NOT case-sensitive.
Stop Words: Exclusion of Common Words
Certain common words (see list below) are automatically excluded from your search. Refrain from composing queries using only these words.
a be had it only she was
about because has its of some we
after been have last on such were
all but he more one than when
also by her most or that which
an can his mr other the who
any co if mrs out their will
and corp in ms over there with
are could inc mz s they would
as for into no so this up
at from is not says to &
Fields Indexed for Keyword Searching/Advanced Searching/Browsing
The following fields have been indexed for Keyword searching in the simple search and advanced search pages and indexed for Browsing, unless otherwise noted:
  • Title
    • Score/Song Title
    • Alternative Title
    • Uniform Title
    • First Line
    • First Line of Chorus
    • Title of Larger Work
    • Series Title
  • Name
    • Composer
    • Arranger
    • Performer
    • Lyricist
    • Dedicatee
    • Engraver (Keyword only)
    • Lithographer (Keyword only)
    • Artist (Keyword only)
    • Cover Subject (Keyword only)
  • Score/Song Publisher (Keyword/Advanced Search only)
  • Publication Place (Keyword/Advanced Search only)
  • Subject
    • Topical Subject
    • Local Subject (Keyword/Advanced Search only)
    • Geographical Subject (Keyword/Advanced Search only)
    • Name as Subject (Keyword only)
    • Temporal Subject (Keyword only)
    • Library of Congress Subject Heading (LCSH) (Keyword only)
  • Year
    • Publication Date
    • Copyright Date
  • Genre
  • Instrument
  • Language (Keyword/Advanced Search only)
  • Holding Institution (Advanced Search only)
  • IN Harmony ID (Keyword/Advanced Search only)
  • Plate Number (Keyword/Advanced Search only)
  • Publisher Number (Keyword/Advanced Search only)
  • Catalog Number (Keyword/Advanced Search only)
  • Call Number (Keyword/Advanced Search only)

NOTE: When searching a Name index, remember to try different variations of a name. For example, searching on the name "Grace Linn Sandy" will miss records that are indexed under "Grace Walls Linn." A better approach would be to search on "Linn" or to combine different name combinations using the Boolean OR operator.

Boolean Searching: AND/OR/NOT
AND Searches

To refine or narrow your search, add more terms to your query. For instance the query, ragtime piano, will return more results than ragtime piano dance. Use specific terms if you know what you are looking for. Keep in mind that too many terms could also restrict your search results.

OR Searches

To expand or broaden your search results, use the OR operator. For instance, if you are looking for records about the waltz music genre, your query may be constructed as follows:

  • waltzes (guitar OR banjo)
  • waltzes (guitar OR banjo OR voice)

Keep in mind that broad terms combined in an OR search could yield too many results.

NOT Searches

If you know exactly what you are looking for, conducting a NOT search may help. For example, you may want to find waltz sheet music that does not have a part for voice:

  • waltzes NOT voice

The NOT operator has to be used with at least one other term.

Exact Phrase Searching
To find proper names of titles and people or common phrases, use exact phrase by adding double quotation marks ("") to your query:
  • "Mercer, Johnny"
  • "Mercer, Johnny" AND "Carmichael, Hoagy"
Use the asterisk (*) at the end your search terms to find terms in the record with ending variations:
  • bass* will find sheet music with bass, basses, basso continuo, and bassoon instrumentation

Using an asterisk (*) generally broadens search results. We recommended that you search plural as well as singular forms of words to ensure hits. Adding an asterisk (*) at the end of your search term is an easy way to do this. You can also use the asterisk to match one or more unknown characters in a search string:

b*s will find records that contain the words boss, bands or brothers


Simple Search Tips
Our simple search page is designed to support entering words or complicated queries, such as combining more than one Boolean (AND, OR, NOT), exact phrase ("") and stemming (*) operators. The simple search page was also designed to support quick access to sheet music based on song titles and person names (composer or person as subject).
All Words (AND) Default
By default, your search will match records that contain all the keywords entered in your query:
  • irving berlin ragtime will be interpreted as irving AND berlin AND ragtime
Complex Boolean Queries
Combining Boolean Operators

Complex searching such as Boolean searches (AND, OR, NOT) can be conducted in the keyword search query box by using the following syntax:

  • "Carmichael, Hoagy" OR "Loesser, Frank" OR "Mercer, Johnny"
Order of Operations

You can add parentheses to your query to define which section of your complex query should be processed first. If you don't add parentheses, your query will be interpreted by default in order from left to right.

  • "Carmichael, Hoagy" AND ("Loesser, Frank" OR "Mercer, Johnny") will first aggregate records described with either Frank Loesser or Johnny Mercer and then include only those records that also contain Carmichael, Hoagy as a descriptor. In this scenario, you will end up with only Hoagy Carmichael pieces that include either Frank Loesser or Johnny Mercer, like "Katy-did, Katy-didn't" and "Lazybones."
  • "Carmichael, Hoagy" AND "Loesser, Frank" OR "Mercer, Johnny" will first aggregate records that contain both "Carmichael, Hoagy" and "Loesser, Frank" and then tack those records onto the list of records that contain "Mercer, Johnny."
Simple Search Filter

All terms will be searched in the simple search page as keywords by default. We have also added one filter on this page to help you quickly refine your search: images only (see example below).

Simple search box with "images only" filter

Images Only Filter

Use this filter when you would like to see only records where digitized music is available to view.


Advanced Search Tips
Our Advanced Search page is designed to guide you as you formulate more complicated queries.
Multiple Terms in One Search Box

Multiple terms typed into one search box will be automatically interpreted as a Boolean search using AND. If this is not the desired search, use double-quotes to make the phrase an exact phrase (see example below).

Multiple terms in search box

Entering the query after you in one box will conduct the search after AND you, which will yield many results. If the sheet music for "After You" is the desired score, the exact phrase "after you" will work better to bring up that result. Likewise, the only way to search for sheet music for the song "After All" is to use double-quotes since without double-quotes "all" is stripped from the search as a stop word.

Advanced Search Fields

You can search within any one of the following eight fields (see example below): keyword (default), title, name (general), composer, arranger, performer, lyricist, publisher, publication place, subject (general), topical subject, local subject and geographical subject.

Drop-down menu of advanced search fields

Advanced Search Filters

Advanced search filters for Year, Genre/Form, Instrument, Language, Holding Institution, and Images Only

IN Harmony presents five options for refining your query: year, genre/form, instrument, language and holding institution. Each option is described in more detail below.


All publication years, 1800-1989, are searched unless otherwise specified. You can search one year by selecting a year (e.g. 1919) in the first box or you can search a range by selecting two years in the first and "to" box (e.g. 1919-1921).


All genres of music, such as foxtrots, cakewalks, and marches, will be searched unless otherwise specified. Use this filter if you want sheet music for one genre of music.


All instruments, such as piano, drums, and voice, will be searched unless otherwise specified. Use this filter if you want sheet music containing one certain instrument or a specific instrument combination.


All languages will be searched unless otherwise specified. Use this filter to retrieve citations written in a certain language.

Holding Institution

Advanced Searches can be restricted to the holdings of one of the project partners. Use this filter to see sheet music from one holding institution.

Images Only

Advanced Searches can be restricted to show only those records where digitized music is available to view. Use this filter to see digitized sheet music only.

Results Display
Customize your results by setting the number of results per page: 10, 20 (default) or 50 records per page).


Browse Tips
Why think up search queries, when you can simply click on links to explore the citations! The following browse categories, each organized alphabetically, are available: name, title, year, instrumentation, genre, and subject.
Sort Order
The browse lists are sorted character-by-character and not word-by-word.
Indexed Fields
Refer to the Fields Indexed for Keyword Searching/Advanced Searching/Browsing to see the fields indexed for each Browse category.
The names list includes composers, lyricists, performers, arrangers, and cover artists as well as persons indexed as subjects. Each name includes the different roles by which it has been indexed.
To find a particular piece of sheet music by song title, browse the title list.
To find sheet music by the year of publication, browse the year list.
To find sheet music written for a particular instrument or combination of instruments, browse the instrumentation list.
Sheet music is categorized by the genre or musical style in which it is written. Browse the genre list to see sheet music for different types of music.
Most citations for the sheet music have been assigned headings. To find sheet music about a particular topic, browse the subject headings list.


Result Tips
The results page provides an array of functionality to help you manipulate your current results set by using the available filters or the refine search feature. You can also select citations to email or print.
Default Results Display

Your query will return 20 records per page sorted in reverse chronological order. You may also display results with the thumbnail and record or the record only. Results can also be sorted by title or publication date.

View Details

Results are linked to a full record which contains more information about the piece of sheet music.

View Sheet Music

View Details also links to a view of the sheet music itself. This opens the METS Navigator page-turner application to allow a page-by-page view of the piece of sheet music.

Results Feedback

On top of every results page is the Results Feedback section (see example below). This section contains various types of feedback meant to help you refine or rethink your search such as query feedback, number of results retrieved, links to paginate within your result set, and ways to refine or conduct new searches. Some of these features are explained in greater detail below.

Results feedback with new/modify search, query, result number, number of pages, and results per page.

Query Feedback
The middle of the Results Feedback section displays the query you initiated. Display variations are contingent upon the type of browse or search you initiate.

If you browse by name, title, year, instrumentation, genre, or subject, the browse field will appear followed by a colon and the linked text in double quotes (see example below): (e.g. name:"Carmichael, Hoagy, 1899-1981").

Query and result number for browsing on: "Carmichael, Hoagy, 1899-1981"

Keyword Search

If you used the Keyword Search, you will see "keyword:" followed by the exact query you entered, e.g. keyword:ragtime music (see examples below).

Query and result number for searching on: keyword:ragtime music

Advanced Search

If you used the Advanced Search page, you'll see the field in which you searched followed by a colon and your search terms, e.g. form/genre:"Marches" AND title:indiana. Additional filters that you might chose will also appear as part of the feedback statement (see example below).

Query and result number for searching on: title:indiana AND form/genre:"Waltzes" AND instrumentation:"Piano" AND institution:Indiana State Library

Narrow Results or New Search

From the results page you can either refine your search or conduct a new search (see example below). Make sure to select the desired option before clicking the "search" button.

Narrow Results or New Search box

Narrow Results Option

If your query yields too many results, you can refine your search by typing another term in the search box. Your original query and your new term will be searched to refine your results. For example, if your original search was for "ragtime" and you decide you only want sheet music for "piano," type this term in the search box, select "narrow results" and click the "search" button.

New Search Option

You can also initiate a new search from the results page. If you select the "new search" option, your original query will be discarded.

Email/Print Records

Select records to email by clicking the link "Add to "My Selections"" on the results page or the details page. Once you have made your selections, click on "My Selections" located in the menu bar. This "My Selection" link will take you to a page where you can manage your records for emailing.

List of My Selection records with email form

Email Records

Enter the email address to which you would like the shown records to be sent. You can email the records to more than one email address. Each address must be separated by a comma (,). Select which view of the records you would like to see in the email (brief or full).

Delete Records

You can remove records from your "My Selections" list by checking the boxes next to the records you wish to remove and clicking the "Remove Selected Items" button.

Print Records

Sheet music that is available for printing can be downloaded in PDF format from either the View Details page or from the METS Navigator page-turner. Citations can be printed by printing the browser screen from the View Details page.


Full Record Tips
The full record view (View Details) displays additional citation-related information such as: first line of music and the sheet music call number.
Organization of Information

Every full record display contains citation information. This includes: composer name, title, publication place and date, and holding institution. Other fields displayed include: first line, first line of chorus, title of larger work, lyricist, performer, dedicatee, other/additional name, form/genre, instrumentation, language, local subject, topical subject, geographical subject, and IN Harmony ID (see example below).

Full record for "My Ann Elizer : the "rag time" girl"

Linked Fields

The following fields are linked to generate new searches:

  • Composer
  • Lyricist
  • Performer
  • Dedicatee
  • Artist
  • Other/Additional Name
  • Form/genre
  • Local Subject
  • Topical Subject
  • Geographical Subject

Full records do not necessarily contain all of the above linked fields.