Finding out who owns a copyright on sheet music

So, I’m working on a musicology paper at the present, that involves a piece of music that I THOUGHT was public domain, but isn’t; I have on very good authority that it is copyrighted. Which if you knew the tune I was talking about (and I can’t divulge that, terribly sorry), is surprising along the lines of Happy Birthday.

Short of harassing ASCAP (and that hasn’t been working), is there a way of finding out who composed my mystery piece, when, and what the precise sheet music for it is, if it exists in print?

Any advice as to what direction to start off in would be greatly appreciated!

If you have a title, how about searching ASCAP & BMI’s catalogs, for starters? Or, for that matter, just googling the title or some lines from it?

My Goodness, I think I may have found it. You’re my hero.

Great. Next I was going to ask you to hum a few bars. :slight_smile:

It’s Twinkle Twinkle Little Star isn’t it? But what about the ABC song? Plagarism or fair use? And Baa Baa Black Sheep, you’re not going to tell me the similarities are just a “coincidence” are you?