Choral and orchestral music hire service
We hold the largest collection of musical performance material in New Zealand. The National Library’s Music Hire collection includes the substantial collection donated in 1987 by Radio New Zealand. We can offer over 5,000 orchestral sets and 3,000 choral sets for hire. Suggestions for new additions are welcome.
The National Library is also the designated hire agent for Douglas Lilburn’s orchestral works, having taken over this role from the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. As well as our standard hire charges, an additional fee of NZ$60 (+GST) applies to sets from this collection. This fee goes to the Lilburn Trust, a charitable trust established by Douglas Lilburn in 1984, which supports projects and awards to foster and promote New Zealand music.
Email email@example.com if you have any questions about using the hire service.
Music hire services
Searching for orchestral and choral sets from the National Library and other organisations.
Registering as a participant in the hire service, either to hire from the National Library, or to make your collection available for hire by others.
Requesting hire of an orchestral or choral set from the National Library’s hire collection.
Obtaining contact details for other hiring organisations.
Requesting to list your hire collection, or to alter existing listings of your hire collection
The orchestral sets cover much of the standard repertoire. They also include cantatas, oratorios, light orchestral music, song arrangements, complete operas, operatic excerpts and simplified versions of some orchestral works.
The choral collection falls into two main categories, multiple copies of large-scale choral and operatic works, and sets of part-songs.
All choral and orchestral sets are available for hire. In the case of orchestral sets, we can usually supply a complete set of parts with one full score or piano-conductor part. Some older sets do not include a score, and some have parts missing. All these details are carefully noted when the set is issued.
We are committed to the maintenance and expansion of these collections. Please tell us your suggestions for what else we can include.
Search for music
Hireable music held by the Library can be found in Te Puna Search. Items available through the music hire service include the holding 'Music Hire'.
Choral and Orchestral items available from other organisations are also listed in Te Puna Search.
To hire music from the National Library, you need to register with us. You only need to do this once, but if your organisation's details change, you'll need to update us. There is no charge for registration.
If you're hiring material from another organisation you don't need to register with us, but you'll need to abide by their terms.
Hiring from the National Library
We charge fees for the hire of National Library materials. They are calculated per performance and include the rehearsal period.
Other organisations have their own hire rates, so please check with them directly.
Please request material well in advance of the required date, as preparation of material is complex and time consuming. Every effort will be made to fill your request on time, but we cannot be responsible for materials returned late by other clients.
You can reserve items to hire at a later date. Use the booking form and specify the dates you wish to reserve.
Choral set charges
Charge per copy (excluding GST)
- Larger than 25 pages: $2.40
- Between 15-25 pages: $1.60
- Fewer than 15 pages: 80 cents
Orchestral set charges
Charge per set (excluding GST)
- Full evening works (opera/oratorio etc) $88.00
- Full orchestral sets $32.00
- String, chamber, salon orchestra $24.00
- Opera arias/band parts $24.00
Note that these prices are for first performances only. Subsequent performances are charged at half price for each performance.
Members of the New Zealand Choral Federation are entitled to a discount of 20 percent on all National Library hire charges.
Lilburn Trust fee $60.00 (+GST)
Standard hire charges apply to sets in the Lilburn Hire collection as well as an additional fee of $60 (+GST) per set for the rehearsal and first performance. The fee is charged at half price for each subsequent performance. The NZCF discount does not apply to this fee.
When material for ‘Prodigal Country’ is hired one fee shall be applied per hire regardless of whether both the orchestral set and vocal scores are hired together or separately.
These fees do not include postage or courier costs, which are added when you order music. You may also choose to pick up the material from the Library.
We will invoice you shortly after we have sent you the music. All outward postal or courier costs are charged at cost and are included in the invoice. Please note that it is your responsibility to organise and pay for the return postage.
National Library items for hire are not available through interloan, but we may hold a copy of the score in our General Music Collection.
You will need to obtain performance permission from the appropriate authority. Contact the Australasian Performing Rights Association (APRA) for more details.
Perusal copies of orchestral scores and single copies of choral scores are available for short-term loan.
Care of hired materials
Music may be marked lightly in soft pencil. All markings must be removed before return.
Please do not repair music, except in an emergency. Use only invisible Scotch mending tape, not standard sellotape or vinyl tape.
Before returning hired material, please check that all sets are complete before returning them. Orchestral parts should be checked against the list provided inside the folder. Please arrange parts in the order in which they are listed. Pack parcels well to prevent the music from moving around. Items can be returned by post, courier, or in person.
Sets need to remain complete to be useful to others, so you will be charged for any missing parts. Please let us know right away if a piece of a set is lost, so we can prepare replacement materials for the next client.