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Music Library

in the music library
Among the largest music collections in the U.S., the Northwestern University Music Library has an unmatched strength in 20th century and contemporary classical music, and holds at least one copy of nearly every new score published since 1945. Its more than 300,000 volumes of books, scores, sound recordings, and journals also include collections of original manuscripts and correspondence, notably, the John Cage collection, which documents the life and work of the 20th century’s most revolutionary composer.

News and Announcements

Archival collection of late musicologist Hans Moldenhauer now available

Assembled over the course of forty years by the late musicologist and avid music collector, Hans Moldenhauer (1906-1987), the Moldenhauer Archives constitute an unparalelled collection of music manuscripts and other primary sources documenting the history of western music from the Middle Ages through the twentieth century. Today the Moldenhauer Archives are available at Northwestern University, as well as nine other institutions worldwide. See collection details.

In Memoriam

2016 is destined to be remembered for many reasons, and one of these reasons will no doubt be the unprecedented number of deaths of musical icons. There are many lists and articles highlighting notable deaths to be found on the Internet. Our list will highlight losses from the classical world, including a few who are too big to not be included.

Three losses to classical singing

  • Denise Duval
    Paris France, October 23, 1921 — Bex, Switzerland, January 25, 2016
  • Brian Asawa
    Los Angeles, California, October 1, 1966 — Mission Hills, California, April 18, 2016
  • Johan Botha
    Rustenberg, South Africa, August 19, 1965—Vienna, Austria, September 8, 2016


  • Pierre Boulez
    Montbrison, France, March 26, 1925—Baden–Baden, Germany, January 5, 2016
  • Peter Maxwell Davies
    Salford, Lancashire, United Kingdom September 8, 1934—Sanday, Orkney Islands, March 14, 2016
  • Einojuhani Rautavaara
    Helsinki, Finland, October 9, 1928—Helsinki, Finland, July 27, 2016
  • Pauline Oliveros
    Houston, Texas, May 30, 1932—Kingston, New York, November 24, 2016


Cultural Icons

  • David Bowie
    London, United Kingdom, January 8,1947—New York City, New York, January 10, 2016
  • Prince
    Minneapolis, Minnesota, June 7, 1958—Chanhassen, Minnesota, April 21, 2016


Not only did we lose composer, Pauline Oliveros, but we lost artists who made a deep imprint in parts of the musical world.

  • Leonard Cohen
    Westmount, Quebec, September 21, 1943—Los Angeles California, November 7, 2016
  • Leon Russell
    Lawton, Oklahoma, April 2, 1942—Nashville, Tennessee, November 13, 2016
  • Sharon Jones
    North Augusta, South Carolina, May 4, 1956—Cooperstown, New York, November 18, 2016

Search our collection to learn more about these artists and find their music. Contact us for research assistance.

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