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Music Archive


The music archive contains audio recordings in various media, sheet music, playback devices and musical instruments. Among audio recordings, the archive includes several unique items as well as complete collections, such as the archive of the Mechanical Music & Movie Centre, Cornwall, purchased in 1989, or a private collection of soundtracks and musical recordings from the 1950s to the 1990s, purchased in 1999. The archive also contains a collection of 1500 Shellac records and a comprehensive collection of recordings of cinema organs.


Music ArchiveCirca 1000 international music libraries from the era of silent film, original scores (resp. compilations) and later re-compositions for silent films are contained in the text archive, including several original scores by film composer Guiseppe Becce. Furthermore, the archive contains orchestral scores (mainly German film scores until 1970), as well as 2000 music sheets (popular songs for solo-singer and piano). Of particular mention are a number of hand-written scores by different composers, for instance the estate of Wolfgang Zeller, which comprises circa 300 different scores. The archive also contains books, articles, lists, cue sheets (list of individual pieces of music for silent films) and publisher's catalogues of film scores.


More than 1000 Edison cylinders from the early days of film are contained in the archive. The technology archive stores shellac turntables, automated musical instruments together with paper cylinders and other sound reproduction devices from the early days of cinema, including 15 Edison cylinder phonographs. All necessary equipment for listening to or copying any of the recordings is available.


The music archive is accessible on request.




Beate Dannhorn
Tel.: +49 (0)69 961 220 451
Fax: +49 (0)69 961 220 579