Databases: About the Songbook Index

Finding the words and music for a specific song can be a time consuming task. Although most individual books include an index, the process of searching through several hundred books, many of which may be checked out at any given time, is a difficult one.

The index began as a quick way to check all the songbooks in our reference collection. It quickly proved useful and grew to include circulating songbooks as well. There are currently over 800 books included in the index, with new ones being added as they are purchased. The majority are collections of a specific performer, group, country, time period, or type of song. Major numbers from many musicals and well-known operas are included as well. Several fakebooks are included, which provide only the lyrics, melody line and chords, but they are easily identified by the book title. The focus is on vocal music.

Although songs are entered by title only, a strong effort has been made to standardize spellings for slang or colloquial terms, as well as using the original title as given in the songbook. Foreign language titles have been included in an English translation whenever possible.

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