Research and Documentation

Research and documentation are of elementary importance for both theoretical and practical aspects of music. The following section details institutions that play a major, nation-wide role as a result of the work they do, their role, research focus or the material they hold. Research is – in addition to the specialised institutions listed here – concentrated on the universities and other higher education establishments whose institutes often have large specialised libraries. Other educational and advanced and further training establishments have numerous archives and specialised libraries including some with important collections, as do broadcasting corporations and various associations and foundations. But these institutions are not usually open to the general public and the opening hours of the institutes listed here can be ascertained from the contact details supplied. The catalogues of the libraries and in some cases their archives can normally be accessed via their internet addresses.

Under the first heading are listed public music libraries which are normally a separate section of municipal libraries. Municipal libraries are also listed without a fully fledged music section as such where they hold significant collections of music books, sheet music or sound recordings.

Inclusion of specialised libraries, archives and research institutes is based in part on their belonging to the group of free music research institutes in the Society for Music Research and also on the various references works on music libraries, notably the Handbuch der Musikbibliotheken in Deutschland. Further archives and documentation centres of national importance were also included as well as libraries specialising in a specific field. Special collections and resources and material bequeathed to archives are included if corresponding information on them was made available. Scientific academies are included if they carry out or are responsible for music research projects. Academies of the Arts are described in the sub-section on associations, federations and societies.

The collections of musical instruments, museums and memorials included are institutes run by public or private bodies. In addition to the museums listed here, ethnological and local history museums frequently have music instruments in their collections but these are normally a small and integral part of the collection as a whole and are therefore not listed here.