Music Collection

The collection is based on the former court music collection of the Darmstadt landgraves and grand dukes. One particular focus is the 18th century Baroque music collection that came with the estate of the Darmstadt court chapel master Christoph Graupner.

Altes CD Regal im Forschungslesesaal
Picture: ULB Darmstadt

Music in the Research Reading Room

The reference library of the music collection in the Research Reading Room includes the full works of around 80 composers, CD recordings from manuscripts of the historical music collection, special musicological literature and the focus of Darmstadt's music history.

Music manuscripts

The music manuscripts include a large quantity of pieces by Christoph Graupner, copies of the works of Georg Philipp Telemann and original manuscripts, especially from the 18th and 19th centuries.

Autograph of the Handel variations by Johannes Brahms (signature: Mus ms 979)
Autograph of the Handel variations by Johannes Brahms (signature: Mus ms 979)

Music databases

Original signature of Christoph Graupner
Original signature of Christoph Graupner

Born 23.1.1683 in Kirchberg
Died 10.5.1760 in Darmstadt
1711 married Sophie Elisabeth Eckardt

In 1709, Landgrave Ernest Louis brought Christoph Graupner from the Hamburg Opera to Darmstadt.

The instrumental work includes the most important genres and musical styles from the mid-18th century: overtures, concerts, symphonies and sonatas. Over his 50 years of uninterrupted activity at the Darmstadt court, Graupner took up the modern musical tendencies of his time and integrated them in his works.

His contemporaries therefore considered him a highly modern composer. During his service, the Darmstadt Court Orchestra became a widely respected ensemble of national acclaim with strong links to other courts and composers. In addition to Graupner's own works, his Court Orchestra also performed many pieces by leading contemporaries.

Graupner cantatas (opens in new tab) (Friedrich Noack directory)

Because of the diversity and modernity of his music, Graupner is still greatly appreciated today by musicians from all over the world. Many artists who specialise in historical musical practice have for many years devoted themselves intensively to discovering his works:

Telemann and Graupner

Darmstadt's Telemann manuscripts are exclusively copies by Graupner's hand or by his collaborators. This approach followed the practice of the time, which was to obtain works by external musicians in order to add variety to the performances at the Darmstadt court. As almost no autograph originals of Telemann's works have been preserved; ULB Darmstadt therefore possesses its own strand of tradition of Telemann's works.

Graupner online

Information on Graupner's works

The archive holdings of music publisher Breitkopf & Härtel are of particular importance in the music collection. After the war, the publishing house lacked the funds to rebuild in Wiesbaden, so the decision was made to auction off the valuable manuscripts (Auction catalogue 1951 (opens in new tab) ). However, this was prevented by the Federal President by means of a loan from the Marshal Plan against the right of first refusal by the Hesse state government, and the archive treasures were awarded to the State and University Library. This set of works contains autograph manuscripts and letters by the following composers:

Johann Christoph Friedrich Bach

Johann Sebastian Bach

Ludwig van Beethoven

Hector Berlioz

Johannes Brahms

Niels Wilhelm Gade

Georg Friedrich Handel

Joseph Haydn

Johann Ludwig Krebs

Franz Liszt

Karl Loewe

Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy

Hand Pfitzner

Max Reger

Xaver Scharwenka

Richard Strauss

Richard Wagner