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Find musical sound recordings in the JHU libraries by searching below. You can search recordings by Musical Instrument Code to identify recordings by which instruments are used in the musical work. See below for a list of codes you can use to search.

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About Musical Instrumentation Codes

Musical Instrument codes are used in much music cataloging to identify the instruments used in a musical work. They consist of a four place code--the first two places are an alphabetical code for type of instrument or voice; the second two places show the number of performers. 

For example, ba is the code for horn, thus ba01 is the code for one horn and ba02 indicates a work with two horns. To specify a work which includes a soprano, a clarinet and a piano set the keyword to musical instrument code, and enter va01 ka01 wc01.

The codes are classed by families:

  • b Brass
    • ba  horn
    • bb  trumpet
    • bc  cornet
    • bd  trombone
    • be  tuba
    • bf   baritone
  • c Choruses
    • ca  Mixed voices
    • cb  Women's
    • cc  Men's
    • cd  children's
  • e Electronic
    • ea  Synthesizer
    • eb  Tape
    • ec  Computer
    • ed  Ondes Martinot
  • k  Keyboard
    • ka  Piano
    • kb  Organ
    • kc  Harpsichord
    • kd  Clavichord
    • ke  Continuo
    • kf  Celeste
  • o Large Ensembles
    • oa  Full orchestra
    • ob  Chamber orchestra
    • oc  String orchestra
    • od  Band
    • of  brass band
  • p Percussion
    • pa  Timpani
    • pb  Xylophone
    • pc  Marimba
    • pd  Drum
  • s Strings, bowed
    • sa  Violin
    • sb  Viola
    • sc  Violoncello
    • sd  Double bass
    • se  Viol
    • sf  Viola d'amore
    • sg  Viola da gamba
  • t Strings, plucked
    • ta  Harp
    • tb  Guitar
    • tc  Lute
    • td  Mandolin
  • v Voices
    • va  Soprano
    • vb  Mezzo soprano
    • vc  Alto
    • vd  Tenor
    • ve  Baritone
    • vf  Bass
    • vg  Counter tenor
    • vh  High voice
    • vi  Medium voice
    • vj  Low voice
    • vn  Narrator or unspecified
  • w Woodwinds
    • wa  flute
    • wb  oboe
    • wc  clarinet
    • wd  Bassoon
    • we  Piccolo
    • wf  English horn
    • wg  Bass clarinet
    • wh  Recorder
    • wi  Saxophone