Music and performing arts in the library

A vibrant space for music activities and how to borrow performance and playsets from your library.

Oxford Music Library

The Oxford Music Library is a vibrant space within the Oxfordshire County Library with music for all ages and levels of expertise. CDs, music DVDs, scores, music books and study collections are available to borrow. 

Opening times

Day Time
Monday 9am-8pm
Tuesday 9am-8pm
Wednesday 9am-8pm
Thursday 9am-8pm
Friday 9am-5.30pm
Saturday 9am-5.30pm
Sunday Closed

What is available at the music library

  • Music for all ages and all levels of expertise 
  • CDs and music DVDs
  • Digital piano
  • Scores – from the tutor to small chamber orchestra scores, from Early Music to Adele
  • Music books – from biographies to study textbooks
  • Study collections: ABRSM, Trinity College, GCSE and A-level
  • Online reference.

Music performance sets

The Music Performance Set Service is available for all music societies based in Oxfordshire.
We also provide access to our music sets to societies outside of Oxfordshire on the understanding that the set is picked up from and returned to an Oxfordshire library.

Please read the Performance Set Service Guidelines (pdf format, 262Kb) to give you a clearer picture on how the service works.

How to book and hire sets

You need to be a registered member to hire music performance sets. Complete the membership form and post or email it to us together with proof of name and address (for example, copy of driving licence, utility bill or bank statement).

Once registered use the online booking form to make a request

Please note: requests must be made eight weeks in advance. Up to ten forms may be submitted per hour.

What we have available

Performance rights

Please note the loan of a performance set does not confer performing rights. This should be obtained if necessary from the appropriate publisher.

Hire charges of vocal and orchestral sets

Oxfordshire residents
Vocal scores
(< 5 minutes)
£0.75 per copy for loans up to 4 months;
£0.30 per each additional 2-month loan period or part thereof
Vocal scores
(> 5 minutes)
£1.85 per score for loans up to 4 months;
£0.75 per each additional 2-month loan period or part thereof
Orchestral Sets £31 per set for loans up to 4 months
£13 per each additional 2-month loan period or part thereof
Interlibrary Loan charge for set or part of set £7.50 per loan
Non-Oxfordshire residents
Vocal scores (< 5 minutes) £1.45 per copy per loan (4 months)
Vocal scores (> 5 minutes) £3.10 per copy per loan (4 months)
Orchestral sets £41 per set per loan (4 months)
No Interlibrary Loans service provided
Sets have to be picked up at an Oxfordshire Library

Administration fees

Overdue charges are £13 per vocal or orchestral set per week or part of week.

Cancelled requests will attract a £10 admin fee plus any postage and booking charges incurred by the library.

A non-refundable administration charge of up to £10 may be charged for each set returned incomplete. To avoid this charge, you are advised to replace any missing or damaged items, although other charges such as binding costs may be imposed by other library authorities. The replacement must be of the same edition as the original.

A replacement cost may be charged for damaged items as well as lost items.

Music online

Reference Online is available 24 hours a day to library members and contains information on a variety of subjects from encyclopaedias to music, biography, news and art. You can find:

See a full list of reference online titles.


Whether you are in an amateur group, a play-reading group, a church or youth club, we have a large collection of playsets for you to choose from.

Plays range from Shakespeare and Shaw to Alan Ayckbourn and Noel Coward. There is a selection of Christmas plays and pantomimes, too.

Each set has enough copies for each member of the cast, to a maximum of 13 copies.

How to borrow a playset

You need to sign up for a drama group ticket from any library to borrow a playset.


  • Hire charge: £5.50 per playset
  • Loan period: 12 weeks
  • Maximum of five sets per drama group

There will be a replacement cost for lost or damaged copies.

What we have available

N.B. To search the catalogue type 'PLAY SET' into the keyword section


Under the Copyright Law no public performance or reading of a protected play may be given, either in its entirety or in it the form of excerpts, without the prior consent of the owner of the copyright.

Possession of copies of a play does not carry with it the right to perform. Borrowers must apply direct to the holder of such rights, usually the publisher, for consent.