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British Music Collection
The music library and administrative records of the British Music Information Centre (BMIC).
In addition to the 255 boxes of administrative records, the music library contains 40,000 scores and over 21,000 sound recordings of 20th and 21st Century British composition (defined by the BMIC as music that has been composed by an individual born or living in the UK). The majority of the collection relates to post-1960 and contemporary music, but also encompasses works from the late 19th century onwards. The collection of scores and recordings contains both published and unpublished works, and includes high-profile composers, such as Britten, Tippett, Birtwistle, Maxwell Davies, Cardew, Harvey, Weir, MacMillan, Turnage, Tate and Adès, as well as emerging composers and less well-known musicians.

The scores in the collection were catalogued and arranged by BMIC staff into the following self-designed categories with the aim of best assisting users' (particularly would-be performers) access the collection: A - Symphony; B - Orchestra; C - Solo & Orchestra; D - Solo & Strings; E - String Orchestra; F - Music Theatre & Opera; G - Accompanied Choral; H - Classical Chamber (3-6 players); Ha - Chamber Miscellaneous; Hb - Chamber Brass; Hv - Chamber Vocal; Hw - Chamber Woodwind; I - Solo; Id - Duo; J - Piano & Soloist; Ko - Organ; Kp - Piano; L - Piano Duo; M - Song; N - Unaccompanied Choral; O - Band; P - Collections/Anthologies; T - Experimental. This arrangement has been maintained in the catalogue and the physical collection.

The scores within the collection have a Reference Number that begins BMC/SC/... The recordings within the collection have a Reference Number that begins BMC/RE/...

To search the online catalogue for a particular score category, type the category name into the 'Term' field. To search for a specific composer's works then type all or part of the composer's name into the 'Person's name' field. To search for the title of a piece then type all or part of the title into the 'Title or description contains' field.

The sound recordings in the collection include both commercial and private recordings donated by publishers and composers, recordings of concerts and events that took place at the BMIC and other related music organisations (e.g. the Society for the Promotion of New Music), and recordings of BBC Radio 3 broadcasts. The recordings are stored on a variety of formats, including VHS tapes, Betamax tapes, vinyl records, audio cassettes, CDs and DVDs. There is also a very small number of reel to reel audio tapes and DAT tapes.

The collection also contains administrative records of the British Music Information Centre. These records concern the management and administration of the BMIC, including its premises, corporate development and finances, as well as records that document the activities, events and projects that the BMIC was involved in. These records also include additional library resources that were available to the Centre's users, including music journals, magazines, newsletters, concert and festival programmes and composer information files. The composer files were compiled by the BMIC and contain varying amounts of information concerning the biographies and works of British composers.
  • BMC/AM

    Centre administration Subfonds

    1940s-2009
    Records concerning the management and administration of the British Music Information Centre, including its collections, premises, corporate development and finances.

    These records are split into the following sections: collections management, coporate planning, estate management, financial management.
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  • BMC/CO

    Composers files and photographs Series

    1960s-2000s
    Composer information files and photographs of composers collected by the British Music Information Centre (BMIC) for reference, research and informational use by the Centre's users. The collecting policy for the composer files matched the collecting policy that was agreed for the scores and recordings in the collection. The contents of these files were accumulated as a result of donations by composers, BMIC staff attending concerts and events, and the BMIC's 'Call for Information' initiative which saw members of the public donating information about composers.

    Each composer file contains varying amounts and types of information, but items that are common to many of these files include: catalogues and lists of the composer's works; catalogues of the composer's works held at the BMIC; journal articles concerning the composer and their works; reviews of the composer's works; newspaper cuttings concerning the composer and their works; composers' CVs (curriculum vitaes) and biographical information, including some photographs; correspondence sent by the composer to accompany scores, recordings and information; concert and event programmes concerning the composer and their works; composers' application forms and subscription cards for membership of The Composers' Guild of Great Britain.

    There are 1194 composer files included in this series. It appears that the files for composers with a surname starting with C, D and E were not transferred to the University of Huddersfield Archives, we estimate that this may amount to roughly 150 missing files.

    The composer photographs were collected by the British Music Information Centre for reference use by the Centre and its users. The majority of the photographs were submitted by the composers themselves, or their representatives, to accompany the submission of scores and recordings to the collection.

    The full series may not be available to search in all formats of this catalogue. It is available to search at: http://heritagequay.org/archives/BMC/
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  • BMC/EV

    Events, projects and engagement Subfonds

    1973-2014
    Records concerning the events and projects run by the British Music Information Centre (BMIC) and records concerning the BMIC's engagement with other music organisations and the wider musical community.

    The records include administrative records organising the BMIC projects and events including The Cutting Edge concert series, The Cutting Edge Tour, the New Voices Project, the New Voices Recordings Project, the BMIC Digitisation Project, The New Music Mart. These records also include records concerning the BMIC's involvement with other music organisations and their projects, including the International Association of Music Information Centres, Jazz Services, Arts and Business, Contemporary Music Making for Amateurs (CoMA), the State of the Nation 2000 Festival, Classical Music Forum, the Chamber Music Exchange Project, the National Federation of Music Societies, the Music Libraries Online Project, Accord, and the Requiem Fragments Project.
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  • BMC/NV

    Sound and Music's New Voices Subfonds

    2012-2016
    Scores, recordings and other material donated by composers accepted onto Sound and Music's annual New Voices composer support scheme. A benefit of being accepted onto the scheme is that each composer can submit up to eight items into the British Music Collection (scores, recordings, other supporting biographical/artistic materials).
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  • BMC/RE

    Recordings Series

    1925-2008
    Audio-visual recordings collected by the British Music Information Centre (BMIC) and made available to the Centre's users for research purposes. The c21,000 recordings include both commercial and privately produced recordings, recordings of live performances that took place at the BMIC and other related music organisations (e.g. the Society for the Promotion of New Music), recordings of BBC Radio 3 broadcasts and recordings of television broadcasts concerning contemporary British music. The recordings in this series are held on the following formats: c3200 audio cassette tapes; c2200 CDs; c500 vinyl records; 400 betamax tapes; 57 VHS tapes; 16 DAT tapes; 3 DVDs; 2 reel to reel audio tape.

    All of the recordings within the colection have a Reference Number that begins BMC/RE/... Any items that have a Reference Number that begins BMC/SC/... are scores.

    There are still some recordings within the collection that are waiting to be catalogued, the Reference Number for these recordings is BMC/Y

    The full series of recordings may not be available to search in all formats of this catalogue. It is available to search at: http://heritagequay.org/archives/BMC/
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  • BMC/SC

    Scores Series

    c1900-2009
    The British Music Information Centre's (BMIC) music library of scores. The majority of the collection relates to post-1960 and contemporary music, but also encompasses works from 1900 onwards. The collection of c40,000 scores contains both published and unpublished works, and includes high-profile composers, such as Britten, Tippett, Birtwistle, Maxwell Davies, Cardew, Harvey, Weir, MacMillan, Turnage and Adès as well as emerging composers and less well-known musicians. The vast majority of the collection is not manuscript because the BMIC specifically stated that they only accepted non-manuscript scores, however there are some small instances of manuscript works and copies of manuscript works within the collection.

    The initial core of the collection was founded on the deposit of The British Council's sheet music collection in 1967, this included material dating back to 1900. As the BMIC became increasingly accepted by publishers it began to accumulate increasing amounts of published material and this made the score collection the only permanent collection of both published and unpublished contemporary British Music. All works were acquired by donation, and although donations were initially just restricted to the work of members of the Composers Guild of Great Britain, and later BASCA (British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors) concert music members, by the 1990s the acquisition policy of the BMIC stipulated that eligible works included: work that is published by a major publisher (e.g. Boosey & Hawkes, Faber Music, Chester Music); unpublished work by professional composers of significant standing (e.g. frequently commissioned or performed by leading orchestras); work by full members of a leading professional body (e.g. BASCA, including shortlisted works for British Composer Awards); work commissioned by the BMIC as part of its projects and professional development programmes (e.g. Adopt a Composer, Embedded...); work commissioned or funded by leading commissioners or funders (e.g. BBC, Arts Council England, PRS for Music Foundation). The Centre was aware that subjectivity influenced these criteria but in practice any disputes over inclusion/exclusion were resolved by the Director of the BMIC or by reference to the composers on the BMIC Board.

    The scores were catalogued and arranged by BMIC staff into the following self-designed categories with the aim of best assisting users' (particularly would-be performers) access the collection: A - Symphony; B - Orchestra; C - Solo & Orchestra; D - Solo & Strings; E - String Orchestra; F - Music Theatre & Opera; G - Choral (& Orchestra) ; H - Classical Chamber (3-6 players); Ha - Chamber Miscellaneous; Hb - Chamber Brass; Hv - Chamber Vocal; Hw - Chamber Woodwind; I - Solo; Id - Duo; J - Piano & Soloist; Ko - Organ; Kp - Piano; L - Piano Duo; M - Song; N - Unaccompanied choral; O - Band; P - Collections of works; T - Experimental. This arrangement has been maintained in the catalogue.

    As of Jan 2015 it is believed that Category 0 scores are not available in the collection and the catalogue information is included for reference purposes only. Score categories that contain punctuation, such as , are also believed to be unavailable in the collection because they have been withdrawn by a depositor, composer or publisher.

    Within each box the scores are then arranged alphabetically by: surname of the composer; first name of the composer; title of composition; date of composition.

    There are still some scores within the collection that are waiting to be catalogued. These are due to be completed catalogued by Summer 2015.

    For music education/instructional scores, see BMC/AM/CM/1
    For further scores by Phyllis Tate, see BMC/Tate
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  • BMC/SCE

    Educational Scores Collection Subfonds

    1940s-1980s
    Printed music education/instructional scores collected by the British Music Information Centre and made available to the Centre's users.
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  • BMC/Tate

    Phyllis Tate Collection Subfonds

    c1960-1989
    A collection of scores and a small amount of personal papers created/acquired by the composer Phyllis Tate. This collection was donated to the British Music Information Centre by Phyllis Tate's family. The scores include manuscript and printed versions of both published and unpublished musical works. This collection also includes personal files containing poems and articles acquired by Tate as well as administrative documents from her publisher, Oxford University Press, as well as a small collection of letters from Elizabeth Maconchy and Phyllis Tate to Julian Rushton concerning a composition competition held at the Wangford Festival, Suffolk in the later 1970s.

    In May 2017 additional materials relating to the life and career of Phyllis Tate were donated by Celia Frank, Phyllis Tate's daughter. These records are currently uncatalogued but include the following:
    -61 MP3 audio files of music by Phyllis Tate. The works include: orchestral music; instrumental and chamber music; music for voice and instruments; major choral works; operas; music for schools and young people.
    - 1 DVD recording of the BBC TV Opera "Dark Pilgrimage" by Phyllis Tate (digital copy transferred to archive servers).
    - 36 envelopes containing records and information (reviews, programmes, newspaper cuttings) relating to individual compositions by Phyllis Tate.
    - 45 songs sheet music booklets for songs arranged by Phyllis Tate and published by Oxford University Press as part of The Oxford Choral Songs series.
    - 2 files containing magazine articles about Phyllis Tate and her work.
    - 1 manuscript unpublished score of "Duende" by Phyllis Tate (Celia Frank believes this may be an original draft for P Tate's work "Invasion")
    - 1 score of "St Martha & The Dragon" by Phyllis Tate.
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