A broad range of books on virtually all topics related to music, such as general music history, artist/band biographies, musical genre studies, music business and management, discographies, vocal and instrumental methods and techniques, and instructional (teaching and learning) materials for singing or playing various instruments. Circulating materials with call numbers ML and MT are housed in the Information Services Department. The Music Reference collection is kept in the Grosvenor Room, and includes non-circulating items covering the range of musical subjects. Typical reference items are encyclopedias, dictionaries, directories, handbooks, guides, and other books considered especially authoritative.
Printed Music (Scores)
The large circulating collection of music scores (call numbers M) is kept in the Grosvenor Room. Find anthologies and complete works of composers and songwriters, as well as performance editions of the following: score anthologies; orchestral, full and study scores; chamber music; solo instruments - piano, woodwind, brass, strings, percussion; vocal music and instructional.
Journals and Periodicals
Find a wide selection of music journals and magazines, covering a variety of topics and genres. Current and recent issues are located in the Grosvenor Room, while historical and bound volumes may be requested from Stacks.
Search for these materials in the Library Catalog.
Special / Rare Collections
Popular Songs Collection
Approximately 300,000 titles, from the late 18th century to the present have been indexed by title and include: Popular (novelty, folk, show tunes, children's songs, advertising, protest, hymnals, gospel); Classical (art songs); Buffalo (songs about Buffalo and the Niagara Frontier, Buffalo imprints, local composers – Jack Yellen and Harold Arlen); Presidential Campaign; World War I; Songsters (Civil War, novelty); and Stephen Foster first editions. Search for specific songs using the Song Index card catalog in the Grosvenor Room in addition to the online catalog.
The library owns five distinct collections of scores and parts for 3,000 chamber and symphonic works. The largest collection was acquired from the library of the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) Symphony Orchestra, directed first by Walter Damrosch, and then Arturo Toscanini. The remaining four orchestral collections include the Cameron Baird, Museum of Science, Pops (Buffalo Public Library and Amherst Symphony collections), and the Wildroot.
A collection of approximately 1000 original manuscript scores by 30 local composers is owned by the library. Additional composers' musical manuscripts can be found in the Rare Book Room - including ones by Lukas Foss, Leo Smit, and David Diamond.
Local Music History
The Grosvenor Room holds a variety of local musical history materials, including performance programs from 1850-1965, historical photographs, scrapbooks, music at the Pan-American Exposition, and archives of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Buffalo Chamber Music Society, and American Guild of Organists.