Classical music

Our classical collection has approximately 12,000 items — from overtures to opera and chamber to choral music, with the emphasis placed on best-quality recordings. Many recordings are not available elsewhere, including direct imports and recordings no longer available for sale. Broad in range — jazz, world, country and blues, pop / rock and film soundtracks all feature — the collection is organised by genre for easy browsing.

New Zealand artists and composers are included throughout the collection.

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We have a comprehensive collection of classical music — on CD, but also DVD and vinyl. Search the catalogue by artist or title to find the recording you’re looking for. See our audio borrowing charges.

Biographies and reference tools

Cover of Verdi and/or Wagner by P. ConradReading about the lives of musicians adds a new dimension to their recorded work. Biographies are available on popular and classical artists and composers.

There are comprehensive music reference tools available including Oxford Music Online, a combination of The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, The New Grove Dictionary of Opera and The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, as well as The Oxford Dictionary of Music and The Oxford Companion to Music.

Naxos Music Library and Music Online: Listening also offer useful research material in the form of notes on individual pieces and tutorials on classical music. The Fine Arts and Music Collection is an excellent source of journal articles.

If you are wondering which recordings to purchase, the best recordings of classical and jazz music are listed in guides by both Penguin and Gramophone.

Scores and sheet music

The collection of scores (printed works and sheet music) is diverse, and comprehensive resource for those studying music, or wanting a greater appreciation of classical and popular works. These are also used by performers who need to learn specific songs for auditions or one-off performances, or who want to learn how to play well-known pieces of music.

The library has indexed most of the music score collections — which means it is very easy find specific songs or pieces of music. Scores are available for piano, guitar, but also for flute, clarinet and many other instruments.

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