Center for Popular Music

Center for Popular Music: Quick Search

Enter search terms above to begin searching our collections.

About Our Collections

The Center for Popular Music makes available a wide variety of music and related materials for research and study. From original 18th-century tune books to digital files, the CPM's special collections contain all popular formats of music dissemination. Collections of music include Sheet Music, Song Broadsides, Rare Books and Scores, and Sound Recordings. The CPM also collects related materials that further enable the study of popular music, such as Photographs, Trade Catalogs, Posters, Playbills, and Programs, Periodicals, Vertical Files, and Manuscripts.

General Search Tips

The Quick Search box will search all of the following collections: Sheet Music; Song Broadsides; Rare Books and Scores; Posters, Playbills, and Programs; Trade Catalogs; Photographs; General Periodicals; Secondary Periodicals; and Manuscripts. To narrow your search use the Search Tips listed on the right or go to the Advanced Search screen using the link on the bar above. To search only one of the above collections check the appropriate Type of Material box on the Advanced Search screen.

The Manuscript Collections within the CPM archives are unique documents such as an artist's, author's, or music business person's papers, letters, diaries, oral interviews, home or transcription performance recordings, scrapbooks, and photographs. A Manuscript collection can be one scrapbook or hundreds of boxes filled with paper materials, photographs, audio tapes, and more. All Manuscript Collections have a catalog record outlining the basics of the collection with a link to a more detailed finding aid. A finding aid is a tool that describes what each collection is about and what it contains, much like the table of contents in a book.

The CPM's Reading Room collection of books, magazines, journals, videos, DVDs, and more may be searched using MTSU's Walker Library catalog. Please note that the Center for Popular Music is an archive and reference library, therefore our books and other materials do not circulate.

Collections Not Available Online

Some of the Center's collections are not available for searching online but can be searched in the Reading Room using our in-house databases. These collections include Vertical Files and Sound Recordings.

Sound Recordings

CPM staff members are available to help you with the sound recordings. The CPM houses approximately 240,000 sound recordings in all formats. However, most of these recordings are not cataloged. But they are filed by label and issue number and can be located using discographies. About 5% are cataloged and may be searched online in MTSU's Walker Library catalog. Almost all of our CDs are cataloged in the Center's in-house database and may be searched in the Reading Room. In addition, the CPM has many recordings that are part of manuscript archival collections and are included in finding aids available online. If you are interested in a particular sound recording, please call, email, or visit the Reading Room and we will be glad to help.



Search Tips

Within search boxes:

  • Search terms are automatically joined by AND
    (e.g. popular music finds popular AND music)
  • Use / for OR
    (e.g. popular / music)
  • Use ! for NOT
    (e.g. popular ! music)
  • Use " " to search for a phrase
    (e.g. "popular music")
  • Use * for truncation
    (e.g. music* finds
    musician, etc.)

Special characters:

  • Use >, <, >=, <= for greater or less than
    (e.g. >= 1999 finds dates from 1999 onwards)
  • Use : to search a range
    (e.g. 1999:2003, example:sample)
  • Use the proximity operators w (within) and p (preceding) to find words near each other
    (e.g. arts p3 culture finds records with 'arts' up to 3 words before 'culture')
    (e.g. social w5 design finds records with these words within 5 words of each other)

More help is available.