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Art & Music: Subject Headings

This guide lists resources for the study of the relationship between music and painting and the historical background of each medium.

Search Term Suggestions

USE   the following terms as SUBJECT: 

  • Art & music
  • Art & society
  • Art & state
  • Art - Baroque or (Bysantine, Classical, Early Christian, Early Renaissance, Gothic,  etc.) - History
  • Art Criticism
  • Art - Economic aspects or (Social aspects)
  • Music - Baroque or (Classical, Greek & Roman, Renaissance, et. ) -history and criticism
  • Music - Social aspects or (Economic aspects) 


USE the following terms that are common to music and the fine arts as KEYWORD search by adding the terms to your

topic: Music and painting share a vocabulary, e.g., COMPOSITION. (Art) the arrangement of form, color, line, etc. in any given work of art. (Music) The art of putting together the component parts, such as rhythm, melody, harmony, etc. to form an expression of the  whole. (Janson, H.W. and J. Kereman, A History of Art and Music).

  • Composition
  • Form
  • Function
  • Genre
  • Illustration
  • Line
  • Medium
  • Motif
  • Movement
  • Oeuvre
  • Ornament, Ornamentation
  • Proportion(s)
  • Rhythm
  • Scale
  • Series
  • Subject
  • Technique
  • Texture
  • Tone
  • Value
  • Volume


Music - Movement

Art - Medium

General Search Strategies

Searching in the OPAL catalog for your topic:  

SUBJECT AND KEYWORD searches are not the same. The catalog uses controlled vocabularies for subjects. Keywords are natural language. If you find an appropriate book using a keyword find similar books by searching the same subject headings.

A CONTROLLED VOCABULARY like Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) helps ensure the same topics are described using a formalized terminology. The terms are based on broad and narrow topics. Other controlled vocabularies include: Medical Subject Headings (MeSH), or LC subject headings for children's literature.

SEARCH TIPS  on the catalog page explain combining words for the most efficient way to find what you need. Or, look at the help link to decide how to search.

MARKING RECORDS enables you to save to a list then print or email a selected group of items.

A BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD  in the online catalog will give important information including the title, author, publisher, publication date, subject headings and the Dewey decimal call number. 

THE DEWEY DECIMAL SYSTEM is a classification scheme used to organize books. Other libraries may use the Library of Congress Classification System. 

DEWEY NUMBERS for the Arts:

  • 700          The arts
  • 709          Historical, geographic, persons treament of fine and decorative arts
  • 730          Sculpture
  • 730.18      Inherent features: color, composition, decorative values, form, movement, space,style,symmetry,vision
  • 740           Drawing and decorative arts
  • 750           Painting
  • 780           Music
  • 780.1         Basic principles of music
  • 780.9         Historical, geographic, persons treatment of music
  • 780.2         Elements of music: themes, harmony, tonal systems
  • 781.3          Composition


"My art is contemporary because I live in the present - but also adhere to the belief that one should be inner-directed and that art should reflect its pure source - the soul of its creator."

Robert Haozous (1943-), Native American sculptor. As quoted in Houser and Haozous: A Sculptural Retrospective, The Heard Museum, Phoenix, 1983.