Western Libraries


Books: Call Number Ranges

  • Sometimes it’s useful to browse a library’s physical shelves for books. Chances are when you find one promising title on the shelf other relevant titles will be in the same area. This is because call numbers – the series of letters and numbers pasted on the spine or front of a book – group together books about similar topics.  Use the following tables of Music Library call numbers to find some call number ranges where books on your research topic might be found.
  • You can browse the library collection virtually by call number too. From the Advanced Search, replace the default Any field with Call Number from the drop-down menu and type in the first element of a call number of interest (e.g., ML1030, not ML1030 .P4413). (See the example below.) This will help you find and request books that are in another library, in storage, or out to another patron.

  • One caveat: Ebooks aren’t assigned call numbers so a library catalogue search by call number won’t turn up any titles in this format.

Literature on Music by Region or Country 

Call number range Region or Country
ML198 America (General Works)
ML199 Latin America
ML199.9 North America


United States
ML205 Canada
ML207 West Indies, Caribbean
ML210 Mexico
ML220 - ML239 Central America
ML240 - ML325 Europe
ML330 - ML345 Asia (including South Asia)
ML348 Arab Countries
ML350 - ML355 Africa
ML360 Australia, Oceania, etc.


Literature on Instruments and Instrumental Music by Region or Country

Call number range Region or Country
ML476 - ML486 Americas
ML489 - ML522 Europe
ML525 - ML541


ML544 Africa
ML547 Australia, Oceania, etc.


Literature on Instruments and Instrumental Music by Instrument

Call number range Instrument Family
ML549 - ML747 Keyboard Instruments
ML7459.5 - ML927 Stringed Instruments
ML929 - ML990 Wind Instruments
ML999 - ML1015

Plucked Instruments

ML1030 - ML1049 Percussion Instruments
ML1049.8 - ML1093 Other Instruments


Other Relevant Call Number Ranges

Call Number Range Subject
ML1380 - ML3275 Vocal Music - by Genre; by Region and Country
ML3470 - ML3541 Popular Music - by Region or Country; by Types and Styles
ML3544 - ML3776 National Music (e.g., Folk, Ethnic, Patriotic, Political)
ML3797 - ML3799 Ethnomusicology