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Musical Theatre

Books, sheet music, how-to, CDs and DVDs with search tips for performers and fans of this genre.

Search Tips for Recordings

Recordings of musicals have a special vocabulary:

Original Cast recordings are usually studio recordings (i.e. not live in performance) but they use the cast that popularized the show.  The words "original cast" usually appear in the title, but not always.  Use these terms as keywords to find recordings, for example: 

  • West Side Story and original cast and recording
  • In Advanced Search, [keywords] cast and [title] west side story and [format] Compact Discs, audio

Revival performances are produced years after the original run on Broadway.  You can use this term as a keyword for revivial cast recordings. 

  • revival and compact and musicals

Hollywood  musicals may or may not have originated on Broadway. 

  • The subject terms that libraries use generally apply to the plot of the film, e.g., "Dancers--Drama" for "Fame"
  • The recording is usually called a "soundtrack" somewhere in the description, but the word won't be found as a subject.  Use it as a keyword.

OneSearch Tips for Finding Compact Discs

OneSearch is the Ball State Libraries' integrated discovery tool for books, articles, recordings, scores, and other library material.  It also indexes selected trustworthy online resources and incorporates subscription databases such as Academic Search Premier. On the Libraries' home page, you will see a simple search box:








OneSearch treats all words as keywords, and it treats numbers as keywords, too!  You can narrow down your results by using the facets listed to the left of the search results.  For compact discs owned by the Ball State Libraries, use the "Library Location" category, and select "Education, Music and Media Counter."  For "Content Type," select "Music Recording," 


A discography is a list of recordings, similar to a bibliography.  The Interlibrary Loan department can borrow CDs on your behalf if they are not owned by Ball State Libraries.   You can also check WorldCat to see if libraries nearby own the recording.