Looking for music
We hold the largest collection of music in New Zealand. If you’re looking for published music material, including books, journals and sound recordings, start at our reading room at Molesworth Street.
From here you can access any book, periodical, music score, video, DVD or sound recording in the General Music Collection for use within the National Library building.
The General Music Collection
The General Music Collection includes the substantial collection donated in 1987 by Radio New Zealand. It is constantly enriched by new donations and acquisitions.
International in scope, the General Music Collection also includes a significant quantity of published New Zealand material.
This collection enhances the resources of other New Zealand libraries, music organisations and individuals by:
- supplying items to libraries and their clients through the Interloan scheme
- responding to requests for information from libraries, schools, music organisations and individuals on any aspect of music
- providing choral and orchestral sets for hire
- building collections to complement and enhance the music resources of New Zealand.
All styles of music are represented in a variety of formats:
- collected works of composers
- full and miniature scores
- chamber music scores and parts
- solo instrumental music
- vocal scores
- classical and popular songs
- instrumental and vocal tutors
- choral sets
- orchestral sets
- dance band parts.
- dictionaries and encyclopaedias
- thematic catalogues
- library catalogues
- repertoire guides
- general music reference books
- music periodicals.
Lending literature topics
- music history
- musical analysis
- performance practice
- music theory and composition
- musical instruments
- general music literature.
Audio visual resources
- 78rpm discs
Music services at the National Library
Music staff can assist you with enquiries covering any aspect of New Zealand and international music.
We welcome enquiries from libraries, schools, music organisations or individual clients located anywhere in New Zealand.
We can also help you develop a personal research strategy or refer you to other sources of information within New Zealand and overseas.
Choral and orchestral score hire
A large collection of more than 4,700 orchestral sets and 2,500 choral sets is available for hire directly from the Library.
Music faciltites (including access to our collections, piano studio, research services) are available at the National Library building on Molesworth Street.
Sound and video duplication
Copies of recordings from the General Music Collection can be requested. Please note that where necessary, clients are required to obtain copyright approval in writing from the copyright owner before copying can commence.
Alexander Turnbull Library music collections
Published heritage collections
The Turnbull Library collects all music published in New Zealand. Please talk to Music staff about accessing these collections.
Unpublished heritage collections
Unpublished music materials such as manuscript scores, personal papers and organisations’ archives are held in the Turnbull Library’s Archive of New Zealand Music.
Many of these items are catalogued and can be found by searching on this site.
How to access an item
As these items are original and require careful use, please ask Music staff about accessing items in the Turnbull Library as appointments may be required.
Other music resources
Archive of Māori and Pacific Music
PO Box 92-019, Auckland
Anthropology Department, University of Auckland
Archives New Zealand
PO Box 12-050, Wellington
10 Mulgrave Street, Wellington
SOUNZ New Zealand - Centre for New Zealand Music
PO Box 10-042, Wellington
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision
PO Box 11-449, Wellington
Te Anakura Whitiāhua, 84 Taranaki Street
PO Box 56, Dunedin
The noisy library of New Zealand music