The series of letters and numbers on the spine or cover of the book, called the call number, helps you locate items on the shelf. Music materials are organized by subject first, and then by author and publication date. For example:
Book Title: The Beatles and McLuhan: Understanding the Electric Age
Author: Thomas MacFarlane
|ML||For books about music or musicians|
|421||For books about specific bands or ensembles|
|.B4||A book about a band whose name starts with B, then a number to separate different "B" groups|
|M157||The author's name begins with M, then the number separates him from other "M" authors|
|2013||The year this edition of this book was published|
Notice that this means all the books about the Beatles should be shelved together, so finding this book will lead you to other resources.
Books about specific musicians are found in the ML 410s (for composers), 420s (for individual musicians), and 421s (for bands).
Biographies of Individual Artists
ML420 and then alphabetically by performer name
NOTE: This includes artists of all genres, so you'll see opera singers next to rap artists.
My Cross to Bear - by Gregg Allman ML420 A584x A3 2012
A Very Irregular Head: The Life of Syd Barrett - by Rob Chapman ML420 B1348x C43 2010
The Resurrection of Johnny Cash: Hurt, Redemption, and American Recordings - by Graeme Thomson ML420 C265 T56 2011
Books about individual Bands
ML421 and then alphabetically by band name
Blink 182: The bands, the breakdown, & the return - by Joe Shooman ML421 B58 S56x 2010
MC5: Sonically Speaking: a tale of revolution and rock'n'roll - by Brett Callwood ML421 M42 C35 2010
U2: The definitive biography - by John Jobling ML421 U2 J63 2014
Call numbers can be used to browse around a specific type of music. This table is a general breakdown of where you'll find what.
|Types and Styles of Music|
|ML3524||Country & Roots Music|
|ML3531||Rap & Hip Hop|
|ML3534||Pop and Rock - including Glam, Metal, Punk, etc.|
|Social and Political Aspects of Music|
|ML3918 F65||Folk Music|
|ML3918 P67||Popular Music, includes books looking at the cultural context of pop music in war, resistance, & culture|
|ML3918 R37||Rap and Hip Hop,in the US and abroad|
|ML3918 R63||Rock Music|
So how do you find the books on the shelves?
The ends of the ranges of shelve have two different useful tools. One is an series of posters that break down the call numbers, sort of like what you see above on the right hand side, but a different level of detail. The other are "End Cap" metal holders towards the top that tell you what call numbers you'll find on that side of the aisle.
The Poster looks like this
The "End Cap" call number guides look like this.
The number on the top is always at the "upper right" of the range and the bottom number is at the "bottom left" if you stand in the aisle facing the shelves.