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.


The holdings of the Music Library are distributed among multiple locations. At Papiermühlestrasse 13j, you will find the open stacks Musical Scores and Books section (directly accessible for users); CDs and DVDs are in the Gallery of 13j, and in the Reading Room are composer complete works editions and general research works.


Due to lack of space, a portion of the collection has been moved to an external storage location. These materials include periodicals, books, bequests, and rara. Please allow at least one week for delivery when ordering items from these collections.

Print Periodicals

The Music Library subscribes to almost 40 print periodicals focusing on individual instruments and instrument groups and on music teaching, as well as specifically Swiss musical periodicals. A list of all periodicals to which we subscribe can be found here.


Depositum ForumMusikDiversität (FMD)

The Swiss Forum for Music Diversity (FMD) arose in 2012 from the Women’s Music Forum (FrauenMusikForum, FMF) established in 1982 as a part of the second Women’s Initiative. The FMD defines itself as a Competence Center for the Thematic Complex “Music, Gender and Diversity” with the mission of facilitating knowledge transfer in these fields. Since 2007 the centerpiece of the organization, a collection of print musical scores, books, and CDs, has resided as a Depository in the Music Library of the Bern University for the Arts.


The main focal points of the collection are compositions by Swiss women composers, “Lieder” composed by women, the works of Miriam Marbe as well as portrait-concerts of the FMF (Mel Bonis, Bern women composers, Dora Pejacevic, Louise Farrenc, Caroline Charrière, Iris Szeghy, Jacqueline Fontyn). In future, holdings representing the 19th through 21st centuries will be completed, and special attention will be given to musical for large ensembles.


All media are listed in the catalogue IDS Basel/Bern. The books are indexed according to the SWD subject rules. Score descriptions are supplemented by informations to genre, scoring, and the century of composition.


Entire stock of scores or CDs or books: all scoresall CDs from individual composersall CDs collected editionsall books of the FMD



Books can be borrowed, also per mail. CDs can be borrowed, but will not be sent out by mail. Scores as non-circulating items are except from borrowing and have to be consulted in the reading room. Of printed medias you can order photocopies subject to copyrights. (Costs: see fees & charges.)


Publication of Reproductions

The items in the FMD collection are copyright protected. If you wish to make reproductions of images or music from the FMD collection for use in any publication, please contact the FMD at: and provide information about the Title, purpose and distribution of the publication as well as the extent of the reproduced material you plan to use. Many thanks!


The FMD is grateful to the Bern Lottery Fund for its financial contributions and to the Mariann Steegmann Foundation for its continuing generous support of the FMD collection effort over the years.


The stocks of the former Church Music Library of the Protestant Church of Berne-Jura-Solothurn were transferred to the BUA in 2002. They will be enlarged permanently.


The books are accessible entirely through the catalogue IDS Basel/Bern. Half the music scores is also catalogued in the IDS Basel/Bern and accessible via the Systematic score catalogue.


The other scores are listed only in the old card catalogue. The stocks of the KMB are borrowable.


RARA & Bequests

Rara holdings (autograph scores, manuscripts, and early print materials from the 18th and 19th centuries are listed in the card catalog.


The bequests of Swiss composers Richard Sturzenegger (1905-1976), Adolf Reichel (1816-1896) and Hans Studer (1911-1984) are accessible through the Seiss RISM (Répertoire International des Sources Musicales Switzerland) database.


Bequests and Rara holdings are not available for loan and may only be consulted in the reading room. They are stored in an external depot and must be ordered one week in advance.