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Writing Program Notes

Writing Program Notes for your Recital or Performance

Library Catalog

You can find books, E-Books, scores, CDs, DVDs, and streaming video in the library’s music collection that can help you research your composers and comopositions.  Just use the library catalog,  Primo Pathfinder, for your searches. 

Use subject searching for the composer.


Here are some additional subjects to use.

Music history 

This will allow you to see information about what was going on in the musical world when your composer lived and wrote their music.

Music -- Historiography -- Handbooks, manuals, etc

Musical criticism -- Authorship -- Handbooks, manuals, etc

Sound recordings -- Reviews 


You can also search for Program Notes” and Music.  The results can provide you with program notes from the CDs in the library's collection.


Online Databases

The library's subscription databases can be used to find articles and reviews.  The following is a brief list of databases that can assist you in your research.  Go to the library's Database LibGuide and select Music Databases to see the complete list.


Many music journals have great reviews of compositions.  The following is a list of some suggested titles.

Notes This is published by the Music Library Association.

American Record Guide  This journal has extensive reviews of recordings.

Opera News This is published by the Metropolitan Opera Guild.

The American Organist This is published by the American Guild of Organists.  It is available online and in print.