The British Library is digitising and making available online some of its most important collections of music recordings and printed and manuscript music. This page gives information on what is available online and what is coming soon.
The British Library holds one of the most important collections of music recordings and scores in the world. We have already digitised some of the most famous items in the collection and we are committed to making more material available online, where copyright permits.
Music recordings online
A selection of music recordings is available for online listening on the British Library Sounds website.
British Library Sounds contains a very small proportion of our music recordings. Much material cannot be made available online for copyright reasons. However, you can listen to thousands more music recordings on the SoundServer computer terminals at the British Library.
Music manuscripts online
The following complete manuscripts are available on the British Library's Digitised Manuscripts website.
- J.S. Bach: Das Wohltemperierte Clavier (The Well-Tempered Clavier), Book 2 (autograph manuscript, Add MS 35021)
- G.F. Handel: Messiah (autograph manuscript, R.M.20.f.2)
- W.A. Mozart: Contract of marriage between Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Constanze Weber, 3 Aug 1782 (autograph manuscript, Zweig MS 69)
- Mozart: Catalogue of his own works (autograph manuscript, Zweig MS 63)
- Mozart: Letter to Maria Anna Thekla Mozart, 10 May  (autograph manuscript, Zweig MS 67)
- Mozart: Adagio and Rondo in C minor/major for armonica, flute, oboe, viola and cello, K. 617 (autograph manuscript, Zweig MS 61)
- Mozart: Canons for voices, ‘Difficile lectu mihi Mars’, K. 559, and ‘O du eselhafter Peierl’, K559a (autograph manuscript, Zweig MS 58)
- Mozart: Duettino ‘Deh prendi un dolce amplesso’ from ‘La clemenza di Tito’, K. 621, no. 3 (autograph manuscript, Zweig MS 62)
- Mozart: Concerto for horn and orchestra in E flat, K. 447 (autograph manuscript, Zweig MS 55)
- Mozart: Contredanses for flute, strings and drum, K. 609 (autograph manuscript, Zweig MS 59)
- Mozart: Fugue in C minor, K. 546 (autograph manuscript, Add MS 28966)
- Mozart: Draft of part of Cherubino’s Act I aria ‘Non so più cosa son’ from ‘Le Nozze di Figaro’, K. 492, no. 6 (autograph manuscript, Zweig MS 57)
- Mozart: March for orchestra in C, K. 408, no. 1/383e (autograph manuscript, Zweig MS 54)
- Mozart: Sonata for violin and piano in F, K. 377/374e (autograph manuscript, Zweig MS 53)
- Mozart: String quartet in B flat, K. 172 (autograph manuscript, Add MS 31749)
- Mozart: String quartet in D minor, K.173, movement IV only (autograph manuscript, Zweig MS 52)
- Mozart: String quartet in D major, K. 499 (autograph manuscript, Add MS 37764)
- Mozart: String quintet in E flat major, K. 614 (autograph manuscript, Zweig MS 60)
- Mozart: Song ‘Das Veilchen’ (words, Goethe), for voice and piano, K. 476 (autograph manuscript, Zweig MS 56)
- Henry Purcell: Fantazias, sonatas and sacred part-songs (autograph manuscript, Add MS 30930)
- Henry Purcell: Anthems, welcome songs and solo songs (autograph manuscript, R.M.20.h.8)
- Henry Purcell / Giovanni Battista Draghi: Keyboard music (autograph manuscript, MS Mus. 1)
In addition, the famous keyboard manuscript My Ladye Nevells Booke is available in the Library's online gallery.
The remaining autograph manuscripts of Mozart held by the British Library.
The complete collection of music manuscripts formerly owned by Stefan Zweig, including music by Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Haydn, Mendelssohn and Wagner.
The music manuscripts of Benjamin Britten.
Digitised printed sheet music
Two collections of digitised printed music from the British Library are currently available online:
More than 300 rare or unique music books from the 16th century, made available online in association with Royal Holloway, University of London.
Illustrated sheet music for 188 songs from the Victorian era.