Online Verification Tools
Search engines like Google, AltaVista, Ask, or AlltheWeb can verify song titles. You can type the song title in quotation marks to find an exact title match. However, it is often helpful to remove the quotation marks in case your title consists of fewer or more words, or in case some part of the title might be spelled differently. It is also often possible to search for webpages that have the lyrics to the song you that you seek. By entering lyrics that you know, within quotation marks if you remember them exactly, you can often find the title of your song.
You can also verify the song titles, songwriters, and performers of songs by searching the websites of the major performing rights organizations (ASCAP and BMI). They each maintain databases of songs by all the composers and lyricists they represent.
The United States Copyright Office also maintains information about songs and composers. Instructions for using this complex database are at Search Copyright Records.
Print Verification Tools
The following are print sources that can be used to verify song titles and information. All are located at the Art, Music and Recreation Center reference desk unless otherwise noted:
- REF 016.7816 B438m Benjamin, Ruth and Arthur Rosenblatt. Movie song catalog: performers and supporting crew for the songs sung in 1460 musical and nonmusical films, 1928-1988. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, c1993.
- REF 016.7827 St93b (Room) Stubblebine, Donald J. Broadway sheet music: a comprehensive listing of published music from Broadway and other stage shows, 1918-1993. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, 1996.
- REF 016.7827 St93e (Room) Stubblebine, Donald J. Early Broadway sheet music: a comprehensive listing of published music from Broadway and other stage shows, 1843-1918. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, 2002.
- REF 016.783 M973 1988 (Room) The Music locator. Saratoga, CA: Resource Publications, 1988. A catalog of choral music, by title, composer, and category.
- REF 016.784 B777s British Broadcasting Corporation. Central Music Library. BBC music library song catalogue. London: British Broadcasting Corporation, 1966. Lists published sheet music for art songs and arias. Volumes 1 and 2 are indexed by composer; volume 3 and 4 are indexed by title.
- REF 016.784 Es65r (Room) Espina, Noni. Repertoire for the solo voice: a fully annotated guide to works for the solo voice published in modern editions and covering material from the 13th century to the present. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1977. Lists art songs, arias and folk song settings.
- REF 016.7845 B623a Bloom, Ken. American song: the complete musical theatre companion, vols. 1-2. New York: Schirmer Books, 1996. Lists songs from the Broadway stage.
- REF 016.7845 B6233a Bloom, Ken. American song: the complete companion to Tin Pan Alley song, vols. 3-4. New York: Schirmer Books, 2001. Lists popular songs, stage tunes, and songs from films.
- REF 016.7845 W581j Whitburn, Joel. Joel Whitburn's Pop memories, 1890-1954: the history of American popular music compiled from America's popular music charts 1890-1954. Menomonee Falls, WI: Record Research, c1986. Lists popular songs from the pre-rock and roll era by performing artist.
- REF 781.66 St93c Stubblebine, Donald J. Cinema sheet music: a comprehensive listing of published film music from "Squaw Man" (1914) to "Batman" (1989). Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, 1991.
- REF 782 ZB637gu Boldrey, Richard. Guide to operatic roles & arias. Redmond, WA : Pst...Inc., 1994. Includes a list of operatic arias.
- REF 782.7 ZW834s Woll, Allen L. Songs from Hollywood musical comedies, 1927 to the present: a dictionary. New York: Garland Pub., 1976.
- REF 784 ZB249d Barlow, Harold and Sam Morgenstern. A dictionary of vocal themes, by Harold Barlow and Sam Morgenstern. New York: Crown Publishers, 1950. A listing of songs and arias by composer, title and first lines.
- REF 784.01 St31 Author Stecheson, Anthony and Anne. The Stecheson classified song directory. Hollywood, Calif.: Music Industry Press, 1961. Lists songs by subject category.
- REF 784.21 ZL584s 1984 Lewine, Richard and Alfred Simon. Songs of the theater: A definitive index to the songs of the musical stage. New York: H.W. Wilson Co., 1984.
- REF 784.5 ZJ151w Jacobs, Dick. Who wrote that song? White Hall, Va.: Betterway Publications, c1988. An extensive of list of popular songs, their songwriters, and dates.
- REF 784.5 ZL45g 1989 Lax, Roger. The great song thesaurus. New York: Oxford University Press, 1989. Lists songs by title, songwriter, as well as subject, keyword and category.
- REF 784.5 ZL692L Lissauer, Robert. Lissauer's encyclopedia of popular music in America: 1888 to the present. New York: Paragon House, 1991. An extensive listing of popular song of all eras.
- REF 784.5 ZSh22pc 1920-1979 Shapiro, Nat and Bruce Pollock, editors. Popular music, 1920-1979: a revised cumulation. Detroit, MI: Gale Research Co., c1985. (3 vol.) The authors have also published cumulations for 1900-1919 and 1980-1989, as well as annual updates.
- REF 789.9 G823g Green, Jeff. The Green book of songs by subject: the thematic guide to popular music. Nashville, TN: Professional Desk References, 2002.
- REF 789.9 L951d Lowe, Leslie. Directory of popular music, 1900-1965. Droitwich: Peterson Publishing Co. Ltd, 1975. Listing of popular songs with a British focus.
- REF 789.9 M4615c Meade, Guthrie T., with Dick Spottswood, and Douglas S. Meade. Country music source: a biblio-discography of commercially recorded traditional music. Chapel Hill, N.C.: Southern Folklife Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Libraries in Association with the John Edwards Memorial Forum, 2002. Includes the folk sources and title variants for many songs.
- REF 789.9 M9699 1947-1982 (Room) MusicMaster: the 45 RPM record directory: 1947 to 1982. Allison Park, Pa.: Record-Rama, 1983. An extensive listing of 7â€, 45 RPM records and their B-sides.
- REF 789.9 W581a 2002 Whitburn, Joel. Joel Whitburn's Album cuts, 1955-2001. Menomonee Falls, WI: Record Research Inc., 2002. Lists the tracks of popular albums.
- REF 789.9 W581b 2004 Whitburn, Joel. The Billboard book of top 40 hits: Complete chart information about Americaâ€™s most popular songs & artists. 8th edition. New York, NY: Billboard Publications, 2004. Lists hit singles by recording artist and song title.
- REF 789.9 W581tcs 1944-1993 Whitburn, Joel. Joel Whitburn's top country singles, 1944-1988; compiled from Billboard's country charts, 1944-1988. Menomonee Falls, WI: Record Research, c1989.
- REF 789.9 W581tr 1942-1988 Whitburn, Joel. Joel Whitburn's top R & B singles, 1942-1988. Menomonee Falls, WI: Record Research Inc., c1988.