The SLUB's Music Department, founded in 1816, is one of Germany's leading music libraries. The collection is organized into two sub-collections: New Prints, and Music Manuscripts and Historical Prints – with the publishing year 1850 marking the difference between »new« and »historical« items.
With over 129,500 printed scores, 59,600 books and journals as well as microforms, the New Prints collection not only offers a cross section of musical production in a broad variety of cultures and eras, but a substantial palette of scholarly music literature in the most important European languages as well. The area of "musica practica" is represented by an extensive collection of historical-critical editions (monuments of music and complete works), as well as practical editions of important international music literature.
Major topics include:
- Baroque music
- Religious music
- Operas and other musical works for stage
- Solo vocal music
- Music for keyboard instruments
- Chamber music
IThe SLUB Music Department's acquisitions priorities lie with collecting music scores (especially study scores) and piano scores; orchestral materials are included (obligatory copies), and vocal parts for chamber music compositions are taken into account whenever they are part of the original score.
Within the "musica theoretica" area, the following topics are central to the collection:
- German-language periodicals
- Reference works and biographies
- Musicology and music history
- Performance practice
- Study of instruments