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A range of links to library and information resources for music. These include local collections, networked services and external websites.

Academic Support Librarian for Music

Video tour of the Main Library

We have a new student-led tour video to help you explore the Main Library and all it has to offer. You can watch it here.

Music at Main Library: Orientation Guide

We have created a music collections at the Main Library orientation guide, to help you find your way around the music collections at the Main Library, George Square.

This guide is a welcome addition to our suite of orientation guides.

We hope you find them all useful!

Race and Decolonial Studies Guide and Diversifying Toolkit guide

The Academic Support Librarian team have created two new subject guides giving advice on resources relating to race studies, diversifying and decolonising the curriculum, and matters relating to EDI (Equality, Diversity and Inclusion).

You can access the Diversifying Toolkit here.

This guide assists with the work of diversifying resources used in teaching. Designed to help academic staff begin assessing the readings they already use to make their curriculum more inclusive.

You can find the Race and Decolonial Studies subject guide here.

Jazz Subject Guide

We now have a subject guide dedicated to Jazz, to support the Reid School of Music Jazz survey course. You can find it listed along with all the other subject guides on the University library subject guides webpage, or go directly by clicking here.


Digital Scholarship

Are you interested in the digital humanities and digital scholarship? Take a look at our Digital Scholarship subject guide. This will introduce you to the topics within digital scholarship such as text and data mining, and explore the various ways that digital scholarship can be described, such as "the practical computing skills to analyse data to answer questions in the arts and humanities".

Main Library

Listening and playing facilities:

Listening stations are available in the music listening room, located at the north east end of the second floor, overlooking Buccleuch Place, to listen to CDs, LPs and cassettes. CDs may also be listened to in the study pods elsewhere in the Library.

There is a Clavinova available in the music listening room. If you wish to book this room for teaching, please ask at the HelpDesk on the ground floor. 

There are also two electronic keyboards located in the music listening room.

Keep up-to-date with the Library!

Hire an instrument!

Would you like to borrow a musical instrument from a library? You can do that in Edinburgh! The Tinderbox Orchestra of Edinburgh have just launched a new initiative "We Make Music" which allows you to borrow a musical instrument for free.  It is running through various Scottish public libraries, including the Central Library at George IV Bridge.  There is more information at this blogpost

Concert Programmes archive

Are you interested in archives of concert programmes? You might find the Concert Programmes online archive a useful resource! Concert Programmes is an online database of collections of concert programmes held in European libraries, archives and museums: a resource for the history of musical life from the eighteenth century to the present day.


Free music notation and composition software MuseScore has been added to all ECA computers and all open access computers across the University libraries, following a student request at the Main Library.


Databases for Music

Click here for a complete list of music-related databases which the Library subscribes to for your studies and research.

Additional online resources

Looking for gaming music online? Try the BBC Radio 3 Sound of Gaming website!


  • St Cecilia's Hall Concert Room and Music Museum

Search the St Cecilia's Hall Concert Room and Music Museum musical instrument collection here and find out how to visit this incredible music venue in the heart of the Old Town in central Edinburgh.

Music Collections

A guide to Edinburgh University's collection of music materials, incorporating the Reid Music Library, including sheet music, literature on music (monographs and journals), and audio-visual material:

Special collections include the Weiss Collection of Beethoven literature, Professor Sir Donald Tovey Music Library and the Kenneth Leighton Archive.

The following link gives full details of the locations of all of the Main Library's collections:

Returning fragile items:

Unfortunately, fragile items such as music scores and CDs are very easily damaged by the self-return book sorter.

It would therefore be greatly appreciated if you could return such items to staff at the HelpDesk.

Orchestral sets:

The Library holds a collection of over a thousand orchestral sets, a list of which may be consulted at the HelpDesk or downloaded via the link below.

The collection is closed access and borrowing requests must be made to HelpDesk staff a week in advance so that they can be retrieved.

Borrowing is subject to a deposit from all users, and hire charges for non-Edinburgh University users. Charges will also be made for sets returned with missing parts.

Audio-visual catalogue:

The Library holds over 5000 LPs and cassettes. They are available for reference use, but kept on closed access and must be requested through the HelpDesk, by electronic form through the Library website, in person, or by telephone: (0131 6)50 3409).

These are listed, along with older CDs, in the old CD catalogue which can be downloaded from here.

Finding digital scores

You can find digital scores on the IMSLP Petrucci Music Library which shares the world’s public domain music.  

Here are some additional (free) online resources:

Stanford Libraries Digital Scores 

This webpage gives dozens of links to classical single composer collections online, plus links to printed and manuscript score collections, and sheet music collections.


Early Music Online

Early Music Online has digitised over 320 volumes of 16th-century anthologies of printed music, from holdings at the British Library.


Complete Works of Mozart online 

Complete Works of Mozart in an scholarly edition (from NMA). You can read the critical report, download scores or listen to a recording while perusing the score online.


UCLA Music Library's Archive of Popular American Music

The UCLA Music Library's Archive of Popular American Music is a research collection covering the history of popular music in the United States from 1790 to the present. The collection, fully accessible at the item level through the UCLA Library Orion2 catalogue, is one of the largest in the country, numbering almost 450,000 pieces of sheet music, anthologies, and arrangements for band and orchestra. The collection also includes 62,500 recordings on disc, tape, and cylinder. Particular strengths within UCLA Music Library's twentieth-century holdings include music for the theatre, motion pictures, radio and television, as well as general popular music, country, rhythm and blues, and rock songs. The Digital Archive of Popular American Music is an initiative designed to provide access to digital versions of the sheet music, and performances of the songs now in the public domain.


Library of Congress Songs of America

Explore American history as documented in the work of some of the USA's greatest composers, poets, scholars, and performers. From popular and traditional songs, to poetic art songs and sacred music, the relationship of song to historical events from the nation's founding to the present is highlighted through more than 80,000 online items. You can listen to digitized recordings, watch performances of artists interpreting and commenting on American song, and view sheet music, manuscripts, and historic copyright submissions online.


Vocal Music Instrumentation Index

If you are looking for vocal music by a range of composers including JS Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart and Buxtehude, try the VMII (Vocal Music Instrumentation Index). The VMII is a scholarly database created by a team of performers, musicologists, and music librarians who are busy cataloguing early vocal music in great detail, making it searchable via a fast, easy-to-use web site.


Course resource lists


Avoiding plagiarism

Looking for theses and dissertations?

We have various databases dedicated to searching for theses and dissertations.

Looking for images?

Incorporated Society of Musicians

The ISM Music Directory is the UK's only online directory of music professionals who have proven professional credentials. An invaluable resource for anyone seeking the services of a musician, the ISM Music Directory lists thousands of music professionals, from performers and composers working in a variety of different disciplines and genres; to private, peripatetic and classroom music teachers; academics, advisers, music managers, music technologists, music therapists, and music administrators.

Vox Carnyx

Looking for online information about the classical music scene in Scotland, including concert reviews? Take a look at VoxCarnyx: "the voice for classical music and opera in Scotland".

Collections as Data

Edinburgh DataShare is a digital repository of research data produced at the University of Edinburgh, hosted by Information Services Group. Edinburgh University researchers who have produced research data associated with an existing or forthcoming publication, or which has potential use for other researchers, are invited to upload their dataset for sharing and safekeeping.

To access the dataset for the University of Edinburgh Musical Instrument Collection click here

To access the dataset for the University of Edinburgh Art Collection click here

Visiting other Music libraries in Edinburgh

The Music Library at Edinburgh Central (public) Library, George IV Bridge, contains the largest collection of publicly accessible material on music and dance in Scotland, including sheet music, books and recorded music on CD, DVD, and streaming through Naxos Music Library. It also loans sets of vocal and orchestral music to local choirs and orchestras and has a digital piano, a digital keyboard and electronic drum kit in their music practice room, and an Acoustic Pod available to book. 

Sonic Scope

Sonic Scope is a free open access journal published by Goldsmiths, and "invites fresh, intrepid and dynamic student voices to re-imagine and revise critical, interdisciplinary approaches to audio-visual media. Today’s accelerated media landscape offers an unprecedented range of audio-visual experiences, from dynamically reactive video games and ultra HD sports events, to live-streamed political rallies and YouTube vlogs. Within this expanding landscape, the relationship of music and sound to image has undergone radical cultural and aesthetic upheaval. Sonic Scope intervenes in this shifting media through theory, film, creative practice and sound".

Scottish Music Centre

Interested in Scottish music? Take a look at the Scottish Music Centre archive and digitisation project. 

The Scottish Music Centre is a nationally and internationally recognised organisation at the heart of Scotland’s music industry. Based in Glasgow's City Halls at 100 Candleriggs, and active across all music genres. 

From preserving our music heritage with the ever-expanding SMC archive to representing contemporary composers and musicians, SMC support, promote and champion the wealth of talent that abounds in Scotland’s music community.