Skip to main content

Finding Sound Recordings

The Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library owns sound recordings in a variety of formats--CD, LP, reel-to-reel tape, etc. We also subscribe to a number of streaming audio databases. This guide explains how to locate these recordings.

This Page Includes:

-What are discographies and chronologies?

-Notable Discographies

-Notable Music Chronologies

What are Discographies and Chronologies?


Discographies are subject-specific lists containing various amounts of information about sound recordings. They can be in book or journal article form, a concise list at the end of a book or article on a given subject, or on the Web.

  • To locate discographies via the Catalog, conduct a word search on the topic and add the word discography or for a more relevant search use the advanced search and discography as a subject word and add other keyword/s (ex. popular music, women musicians, composer/performer name...)

  • Articles published in periodicals may be or contain discographies; to find them, use the word 'discography' or 'discographies' as one search term in periodical indexes online.
    Sample terms: Music Index online give these terms to use: DISCOGRAPHIES. See also PERFORMER CREDITS; PHONOGRAPH RECORDS - Catalogs; RECORDINGS; RECORDINGS -Lists; as subheading under particular individuals and various types of musicians, e.g. JAZZ MUSICIANS - Discographies.


If you want to locate music from a particular era, consult a music chronology (timeline). Use the catalog and the subject word/s: music chronology. Some of these resources can help you find music by geographical area as well. After you have located the name of a composer, performer or work, search for recordings in the UM catalog.

Notable Discographies

Did you know?

Discographies and chronologies can be particularly helpful in finding new repertoire.