There is no "correct" way to search for printed music & sound recordings of the European tradition in the Library catalog as the great variety of genres, collections, formats, and languages of publication present too many different manifestations of a work to establish a single failsafe approach. Nevertheless, a keyword Quick Search is often enough to find what you need. Quick Search is not an exhaustive search method but it is very much the recommended way to begin. In some cases more Comprehensive Browsing of an alphabetical list of a composer's works may be helpful.
One-step Keyword searches using the default display screen can be very effective. Limit the search to "Sound Recordings" or "Musical Scores" in the dropdown box while entering a combination of important search terms identifying the item you seek. Keywords entered normally emphasize two elements:
name of composer, performer, ensemble + title of work
beethoven sonatas violin piano
glass kronos quartet
verdi requiem fleming
ellington don't mean thing
busoni bach fugue
Please note that the use of icons help distinguish printed music/scores from sound recordings in the search results.
Search again using revised title keyword terms. The main impediment to a successful search for music is almost always in the choice of title keyword terms.
The disadvantage of a Quick Search is that it finds only the items identified by the terms entered: e.g., "stravinsky rite spring" won't find the many items published as "sacre du printemps" or "vesna svi︠a︡shchennai︠a︡". Again, the main impediment to a successful search is almost always in the choice of title keyword terms. Looking Inside a Library Catalog Record of printed music or a sound recording is very often a good way to find alternate title keyword terms to use in a revised search.