Finding a score or recording of a specific piece of music is probably the trickiest task when searching the online catalog. That's because the numbering systems and key designations of classical compositions can be written in many different ways. Suppose you want to find a specific Beethoven piano sonata. He only wrote 32, so it should be pretty easy, right? Sorry, it's too complicated to be easy. Your piano instructor has told you to find Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 20 in G major, Op. 49, No. 2. You type that string of text into the online catalog, and you get nothing! Does that mean we don't have it? Maybe. Or it could be a problem with your text.
- Should you type "No. 20," "Number 20," or "#20?"
- Should you type "Op. 49" or "Opus 49?"
- What about the key? Should it be typed "G major" or "G dur?" (It might be a German publication, after all.)
How do you answer these questions? The safest way is to eliminate the words or designations that might cause trouble. Try searching for "Beethoven piano sonata 20" or "Beethoven piano sonata op 49." The important thing is to keep it simple.