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Music: Library of Congress Classification System

Library of Congress Classification System

The University of Kentucky Libraries uses the Library of Congress Classification System (LCC) to assign call numbers to most print materials--books, periodicals, and music scores.

LCC call numbers can tell you a lot about a book or score before you even find it on the shelf.

This page shows you how to read a call number, lists call number ranges for music materials, and how to find materials on subjects outside music.

Main Subject Classes in LCC

The Library of Congress Classification System is divided into large subject areas which are called "classes." All classes--and subclasses--begin with one, two, or three letters followed by a number which represents more specific aspects of a subject.

Below is an outline of the major classes:

The Library of Congress Classification System (LCC) was first developed in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries to organize and arrange the book collections of the Library of Congress. Over the course of the twentieth century, the system was adopted for use by other libraries as well, especially large academic libraries in the United States. It is currently one of the most widely used library classification systems in the world. 

The system divides all knowledge into twenty-one basic classes, each identified by a single letter of the alphabet. Most of these alphabetical classes are further divided into more specific subclasses, identified by two-letter, or occasionally three-letter, combinations.

Below is an outline showing the main classes in LCC:

  • A -- GENERAL WORKS 
  • B -- PHILOSOPHY. PSYCHOLOGY. RELIGION 
  • C -- AUXILIARY SCIENCES OF HISTORY
  • D -- WORLD HISTORY AND HISTORY OF EUROPE, ASIA, AFRICA, AUSTRALIA, NEW ZEALAND, ETC. 
  • E -- HISTORY OF THE AMERICAS
  • F -- HISTORY OF THE AMERICAS
  • G -- GEOGRAPHY. ANTHROPOLOGY. RECREATION
  • H -- SOCIAL SCIENCES
  • J -- POLITICAL SCIENCE
  • K -- LAW
  • L -- EDUCATION
  • M -- MUSIC AND BOOKS ON MUSIC
  • N -- FINE ARTS
  • P -- LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE
  • Q -- SCIENCE
  • R -- MEDICINE
  • S -- AGRICULTURE
  • T -- TECHNOLOGY
  • U -- MILITARY SCIENCE
  • V -- NAVAL SCIENCE
  • Z -- BIBLIOGRAPHY. LIBRARY SCIENCE. INFORMATION RESOURCES (GENERAL)

The M Schedule : Music & Books on Music

Looking for a biography of Brahms or all the scores & parts the library owns of piano quintets? You can browse the shelves and find these if you know a bit about LCC's classification numbers for Music and Books on Music.

Books on music begin with ML (literature on music) or MT (musical instruction and study); scores begin with M