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Career Overview: Catalogs and orders music for the orchestra, assists Conductor by copying scores and sheet music.

Career Salary Range: $40,000+

Music Librarian

Become a Music Librarian

Career Description

The Music Librarian is responsible for classifying and filing musical recordings, sheet music, arrangements, and instrument scores. The Librarian also suggests music for Music Directors of motion pictures, radio, TV and more.

He or she might also be responsible for issuing required music to Conductors (or Music Directors), and those involved in orchestras. In addition, the Music Librarian might track certain selections of music used in broadcasts. Lastly, the Music Librarian might listen to music in an attempt to verify its quality meets broadcast standards.

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Salaries depend on the type of work the Librarian is performing, but all things considered, he or she might earn anything from $40,000 on up. Those working in a public library earn considerably less than those who are employed by a band or major orchestra.


Because of the fact that Music Librarians can work at a variety of locations, including colleges, universities, conservatories, libraries, TV stations or radio stations, or with bands, orchestras, or choral groups, employment prospects are fair. However, turnover is low.


Generally speaking, there is almost no chance for advancement for the Music Librarian. Also, due to low turnover, if a larger, more prestigious role became available, there would be a great deal of competition to fill it. The main way to advance is to find a job with a larger library, station, etc. Also, Music Librarians can be promoted to administrator positions.

Education and Training

The Music Librarian will be required to hold at least an undergraduate degree in a variety of subjects, but most commonly music theory or history. With that said, some positions require a dual major in music and library sciences. Librarians are required to hold a masters degree, usually in Library Sciences.

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Experience, Skills, and Personality

The Music Librarian should possess basic library skills; prior experience in a music store or record store is also helpful. In terms of interests, the Music Librarian should have an interest in music, books, and recordings. He or she should also be able to deal well with people, and depending on the position, they should be knowledgeable in foreign languages.

Unions and Associations

The Music Librarian can belong to the American Library Association (ALA), the Special Libraries Association (SLA), the Music Library Association (MLA), and the American Federation of Musicians (AFM).

Suggestions for Getting Started

  • Obtain as much education as possible to set yourself apart from the competition.
  • Try and find specialized classes in specific areas in an attempt to become an expert in at least one specialty.
  • Try to obtain a job as an assistant in a library if you are in school.
  • Check online for openings.
  • Also check classified sections of the newspaper.

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