HKB Music Library

HKB’s Music Library is a specialised academic library for musicians. It is open to the students, lecturers and staff of the Music Division of Bern University of the Arts as well as all other interested individuals. The Music Library is a customer-focused service provider. Most of its media are indexed in the discovery tool BFH swisscovery. All sheet music is listed in the sheet music catalogue.


use the swisscovery search platform to search nationwide in Switzerland

Sheet music

Sheet music is listed in the sheet music catalogue

Opening hours

Monday – Friday: 10pm – 6pm


Unfortunately, at the moment we can not accept any more donations. We thank you for your understanding.


The HKB Music Library has the largest collection of musical scores in the Canton of Bern. It owns about 55,000 printed scores for all instruments and instrumentations (including a good number of full orchestral performance sets), 15,000 books on musical topics, 16,000 CDs/DVDs, 1,000 Rara, and 38 current periodicals.
The collection is mainly oriented towards the needs of the Music Faculty, with an emphasis on performance and interpretation practices of the 19th and early 20th centuries: Urtext editions, contemporary music and guides to repertoire as well as research works.

Depositum ForumMusikDiversität (FMD)

The ForumMusikDiversität Schweiz (FMD) was established in 2012 by members of the FrauenMusikForum (FMF), which dates back to 1982 and the era of second-wave feminism.

FMD is a competence centre for music, gender and diversity. Its stated purpose is to facilitate the transfer of knowledge in its subject areas.

The centrepiece of the association – its collection of sheet music, books and CDs – has been deposited with the Music Library of Bern University of the Arts since 2007.

The collection focuses on compositions by Swiss female composers, songs by female composers, Miriam Marbe and monographic concerts of the FMF (Mel Bonis, Bernese female composers, Dora Pejacevic, Louise Farrenc, Caroline Charrière, Iris Szeghy, Jacqueline Fontyn).

Future plans include the completion of the holdings from the nineteenth to twenty-first century and an increased focus on genres for large orchestras.

All media have been indexed in full at the BFH swisscovery.

Books are indexed on the basis of the Subject Headings Authority File (SWD).

The accession system for the sheet music holdings is based on volume and instrumentation.

You can use their classmarks as search terms.

FMD books can be borrowed at the library or ordered for postal delivery (for a fee). CDs can be borrowed but are not available for postal deliveryand courier. Musical materials are reference works for consultation in the reading room only. They are not available for loan. You can order photocopies of printed works within the scope permitted by copyright law. (Cost: see Fees and fines of SLSP.)

The collections of the FMD are protected by copyright law. If you wish to use reproductions of images or sheet music from the FMD collection for a publication, please contact the FMD at Cite the title, purpose and print run of the publication and the size of the image. Thank you!

The FMD is grateful to the Bern Lottery Fund for its financial support and to the Mariann Steegmann Foundation for its long-standing generosity towards the collection work of the FMD.

The holdings of the former church music library of the Reformed Churches of Bern-Jura-Solothurn were transferred to HKB in 2002. The collection is growing continuously.

Its books and organ sheet music are fully indexed in BFH swisscovery.

You can also search them in the HKB sheet music catalogue. The sheet music can also be queried via the HKB sheet music catalogue. The holdings of the KMB are available for loan.

To search the stock of the church music library only, enter the classmark ‘KMB’ when doing a keyword search.

Rare holdings (autographs, manuscripts, old prints from the 18th/19th century) are indexed in the card catalogue.

The estates of the Swiss composers Richard Sturzenegger (1905–1976), Adolf Reichel (1816–1896) and Hans Studer (1911–1984) are indexed in the database of RISM Switzerland (Répertoire International des Sources Musicales).

Estates and rarities are not available for loan. They can be consulted in the reading room. They are stored externally and must be ordered one week in advance.

Borrowing + Research

Most of its media are indexed in the discovery tool BFH swisscovery. All sheet music is listed in the sheet music catalogue.

The Bern University of Applied Sciences has licensed numerous e-books, e-journals and specialist databases for you. All staff members and students of the BFH (and thus also the HKB) have free access to these online-resources on campus. These resources can also be accessed off-campus via the VPN (Virtual Private Network).

In case of access problems, please consult our FAQ.

The e-books are linked in the research platform BFH swisscovery.

Bibliographies, library catalogues

Audio databases

Reference works

The browser extension Lean Library leads you directly to electronic full-text content offered by your BFH library

Download Lean Library

  2. Install browser extension
  3. Select the library: Berner Fachhochschule
  4. Begin your search for academic literature. The Lean Library pop-ups lead directly to the full-text.

For best results, always activate the VPN.

Lean Library is available for

  • Firefox
  • Chrome
  • Safari
  • Opera
  • Microsoft Edge

For Internet Explorer, only a limited version is available. The download for Internet Explorer requires administrator rights.

Use on mobile devices:
iOS operating system from Apple: Academic Browser
Android from Google: under development 

Try Lean Library after download 

  • If the article you are looking for can be found on different platforms, Lean Library will take you to where you have direct access. >> test link
  • If the e-book you are looking for is offered by the BFH libraries, Lean Library will take you directly to the free download. >> test link
  • If you need a password to access a source, Lean Library will inform you accordingly. >> test link
  • If you wish to search the swisscovery library system using a specific search term, click on the desired search term with the right mouse button on any website and select "search@BFH".


Highlight and Search

Lean Library enables you to initiate a search on the swisscovery search platform from any website:

  • highlight one or more terms 
  • right-click with your mouse
  • choose “Search@BFH” in the drop-down menu
  • proceed to search in swisscovery

If you have any questions, please contact your BFH library.

Terms of use

1. Scope

The following terms of use apply to the following libraries of the BFH Library:  

  • Architecture, Wood and Civil Engineering Library Biel/Bienne
  • AHB/TI Library Burgdorf
  • Health Library
  • HAFL Library
  • Swiss Literature Institute Library
  • Social Work Library
  • Engineering and Information Technology Library Biel/Bienne
  • Business Library
  • HKB Media Library
  • HKB Music Library

The EHSM Sport media Library HSM, Magglingen has its own terms of use. 
All these libraries are part of the Swiss Library Service Platform (SLSP) and accessible with search platform swisscovery, which is operated by SLSP.

2. User authorisation

The BFH Library provides information and literature for BFH students and employees. These are also available to other interested parties. Use of BFH libraries is free, although there are charges for specific services (see Fee table in FAQ about swisscovery).

3. Registration 

By registering, the user accepts the present terms of use.

Registration (free of charge) on the swisscovery research platform is required for borrowing media and using other services. Therefore, a SWITCH edu-ID account is necessary and may be created during the registration process if it does not already exist.

The users are responsible for ensuring that the personal details they provide are correct and up-to-date (see SLSP General Privacy Statement). They must update their personal details (such as address) themselves in their SWITCH edu-ID account. 

Employees of the BFH Library cannot make any changes to personal data.

The user can set the preferred address (home or work) in the swisscovery account and add or remove library cards: swisscovery – Library Card Management and Settings.

The library card is required for on-site borrowing. It is personal and therefor non-transferable. The library card may be purchased at any swisscovery library. BFH students and employees can use their BFHcard as a library card. Library cards issued by other swisscovery libraries are also recognised.

Further information: see User account section in FAQ about swisscovery.

4. Borrowing

Library items are generally available for borrowing. However, certain designated items can only be used on site. Special loan conditions may apply to individual media or media groups. A maximum of 100 items can be borrowed per user.

The standard loan period is 28 days for most media. Unless the borrowed item is requested elsewhere, it is automatically extended for a further loan period of 28 days (up to five times). The deadline is displayed in the swisscovery user account.

When the maximum loan period expires, the item must be returned. If the item has not been reserved, you can borrow it again from the lending desk.

Items should be returned prior to absences longer than the loan periods of the borrowed items (military service, holidays, study abroad etc.).

5. Courier service and postal delivery

Media can be ordered for collection at a charge from all BFH libraries participating in the SLSP Courier service. The terms of use of the supplying library apply. The University library pays the courier fees for BFH members, provided that the pick-up location is a BFH library. Requested media must picked-up within 6 library working days. Courier media that are not picket-up will be returned. The delivery fees must also be paid in the event of non-collection (see Borrowing + Courier section in FAQ about swisscovery).

For a fee, BFH libraries can send out items from their own inventories (see Costs section in FAQ about swisscovery).

6. Liability

Media should be handled with care, protected from damage and returned in an undamaged and complete condition. Notes and marks shall also be deemed to be damage. Any cost of repairs or replacement shall be assumed by the responsible party.

The user is fully liable for any damage or loss of borrowed documents. Existing damage or missing inserts (data carriers, cards, parts etc.) must be reported immediately, or at the latest upon the return of the material.

For damaged or lost media, the University library charges repair or replacement costs as well as handling fees (see Fee table in FAQ about swisscovery).

7. Costs

The user is responsible for adhering to loan periods. Reminders that are not received are not accepted as grounds for late returns. No correspondence will be entered into in this regard.

After the loan period has expired, an "Overdue items - Reminder" (free of charge) is sent from <>. Subsequent reminders are subject to a fee.

The third reminder also results in the blocking of the swisscovery user account. If the item is not returned it is entered as lost. The replacement costs and administrative fee are charged to the responsible party (see Fee Table in FAQ about swisscovery).

Overdue fees can be paid at the lending desk with TWINT if an invoice has not yet been issued.

8. Copyright issues and further use of media

Use of library media is governed by the Swiss copyright guidelines and is intended exclusively for personal use. Transfer to third parties and commercial use are prohibited.

Chamber music scores and scores for solo instrument with (piano) accompaniment may be given to third parties under the following conditions: The borrowing person is responsible for ensuring that all parts and possible supplements are returned on time, complete and in perfect condition (without annotations). If the music sheet or parts of it are returned too late or with annotations, the borrowing person is liable and will be charged the corresponding fees. Commercial use is also excluded.

Users are responsible for informing themselves about any copyright issues. The BFH declines all liability in the case of copyright infringement.

9. Using online resources and internet

For information about Conditions for access and use of online resources, see FAQ online resources.

Public workstations in the BFH libraries are primarily provided for information on online offerings and research for scientific, specialist, professional or educational purposes.

All users are required to observe legal provisions with regard to Internet use. With respect to liability, misuse and the consequences of misuse, we refer users to the Guidelines on the use of IT resources at BFH.

10. Conduct within the library

The conduct of users within the library areas must not impinge upon the rights of other persons, impact library operations or cause damage to equipment, facilities etc.

Users are obliged to comply with the instructions of library staff. Failure to do so can result in the user being asked to leave. Repeated or severe infringements of the terms of use can result in exclusion from library use.

[January 2022; updated Oktober 2022: cash payment of overdue fees no longer possible]