Printed Music in Our Collections

The National Library’s music collection is comprised mainly of sheet music, i.e., printed music, and extends to more than 210 meters of shelf space.

The library accepts printed music as legal deposits from Swedish printing houses and commercial and private music publishers. Approximately 500 items are added to the collection every year, which is made up of virtually all music published in Sweden and music that was published abroad but has a Swedish connection.

Exceptions from the Music Collection

Books that contain only samples of notes are not considered printed music and are not part of the music  collection. Opera texts (libretti) are excluded as well; you can search for them under the author’s name in the main catalog. Audio media that contains notes only to a limited extent are not categorized as part of the music collection.

Other Collections Containing Printed Music

Songbooks often contain both text and music, and are found in the library’s older main catalog (up to 1955) under the shelfmark “Vitterhet Sv. Saml” and in the newer catalog (1956 and later), where we have categorized song lyrics under the SAB classification “Xyb”. There are also a few examples of sheet music in the Manuscripts collection.

The Foreign Music Collection

The National Library has a small collection of foreign music printed through 1955, which is cataloged in the older main catalog (also through 1955).

The collection comprises mainly choral music, songs, and folk music. A few examples are also found in the Rarities Collection and are listed in RISM (Répertoire international des sources musicales), which includes printed music dating from the period of 1500-1800.

Last updated: 2016-06-21

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