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.
Reduced opening hours
Monday – Friday: 12.30pm – 6pm
The reading room remains closed, collections in the open access remain accessible.
1. –5. April (Easter)
13. –14. May (Ascension)
24. May (Whitsun)
5. July – 13. August (summer closure)
24. December – 9. January 2022 (winter closure)
Unfortunately, at the moment we can not accept any more donations. We thank you for your understanding.
Music Library HKB
T +41 31 848 39 60
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 (Rêpertoire 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 Music Library gives you access to various databases.
Some of them require a licence.
You can only access them from the HKB campus or via a VPN.
The traffic light code indicates whether you can access a database for free from anywhere or whether it requires a licence:
Green: free databases, orange: licensed databases.
The pre-selected setting is the search for musical journals.
The universities of applied sciences have access to several eBook collections through the Consortium.
All staff and students of the universities of applied sciences have free, on-campus access to these eBooks.
Members of Bern University of Applied Sciences are free to use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to access the databases externally.
eBooks bought individually by the BFH libraries can be found in the corresponding online catalogues.
Certain eBooks can be accessed from the specialist databases.
(see e.g. Oxford Music Online)
The universities of applied sciences have licensed around 60 databases for their various divisions through the Consortium of Swiss Academic Libraries. All staff and students of the universities of applied sciences have free, on-campus access to these databases. Members of Bern University of Applied Sciences are free to use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to access the databases externally.
The pre-selected setting is the search for music and theatre databases.