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Music Library Collections

The Music Library holds materials suitable for many types of use: listening, informed personal study, specialized undergraduate and graduate studies in music, cross-disciplinary studies, and advanced studies of rare materials. The collection contains books about all aspects of music as a subject, including histories, biographies, bibliographies, discographies, analyses, method books, theoretical subjects, opera, music theater, music business, musical instruments, acoustics, and more.

The score collection includes extensive sets of complete works of composers, monumental surveys of genres and periods of music, facsimile reproductions of manuscripts, vocal scores for operas and musicals, classical, folk, and popular songs, transcriptions of jazz solos, and instrumental parts for performers of chamber music, among many other types of music. The library’s score collection is especially rich in contemporary music, reflecting the strengths of UB’s Department of Music.

The audio and video holdings of the Music Library, including subscriptions to streaming services, supports both scholarly research as well as casual listening and viewing. Almost all of the material circulates without restriction.

Fully catalogued holdings of 224,000 items include:

  • 100,000 scores and performance parts
  • 50,000 volumes of literature (chiefly books about music, including electronic books)
  • 24,000 periodical and serial volumes, most now housed at the Libraries Annex with 24-hour delivery
  • 47,000 sound recordings in LP and CD formats
  • 8,000 microform reels, cards, and fiche, including 800 reels of music manuscripts on microfilm, now housed at the Annex
  • 1,600 videos in DVD and VHS formats
  • 2,000 slides for the study of music iconography
  • Several photograph and slide collections totaling more than 7,000 images