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Beethoven: A Guide to Primary and Secondary Resources at the Library of Congress

Printed Music

The Music Division holds both modern and early editions of Beethoven's music. Because printed editions of the composer's music are both plentiful and easy to find using the Library of Congress Online Catalog, the sections on this page highlight 19th-century editions that have been digitized and made available through the Library's Digital Collections as well as early printed editions that are both rare and difficult to locate.

Digitized Published Music

Many 19th-century editions of Beethoven's music—including works for piano, voice, and arrangements/adaptations by others from the latter part of the century—have been scanned and made available in the Library of Congress' Digital Collections. To find them, search using the Library's top search box for "Beethoven" and limit your results to "Notated Music." Some examples are:

First and Early Editions

Ludwig van Beethoven. Variations pour le pianoforte avec violon ou violoncelle sur le theme: "Bei Männern, welche Liebe fühlen" del'Opera Zauberflaute de Mozart. 1814. Library of Congress Music Division.

The Music Division's collections include printed scores for most of Beethoven's compositions, including over three hundred first and early editions for many of his works. These first and early editions also include Beethoven's own arrangements of his compositions for piano four hands and other ensembles.

You may find many first editions—but not all—under the call number M3.3 in the Library of Congress Classification Schedule. Many more first and early editions of Beethoven's works are under the call number for their specific musical genre within the Classification Schedule.

Search for these items using the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Request and view items that have not been scanned in the Performing Arts Reading Room.

Published Arrangements of Beethoven's Music By Others

The Music Division's collections also include others' arrangements of Beethoven's compositions that were published during his lifetime or in the subsequent decades. Composers such as Carl Czerny, Johann Nepomuk Hummel, Franz Liszt, Xaver Scharwenka, Otto Singer, and Karl Zulehner are some of the most prominent arrangers of Beethoven's music from the early and mid 19th century. Beethoven's symphonies in particular received dozens of arrangements each for various chamber ensembles.

Some—but not many—of these arrangements have been scanned. View and download them by searching the Library's Digital Collections.

Depending on the arrangement and publication, you can find these scores under a variety of call numbers in the Library of Congress Classification Schedule. The following titles link to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Links to additional online content are included when available.

Published Music Dedicated to Beethoven

The Music Division's collections include early editions of music published in the nineteenth century and dedicated to Beethoven. Depending on the arrangement and publication, these scores may be found under different call numbers in the Library of Congress Classification Schedule. One example is:

Finding scores dedicated to Beethoven can be a complicated process, as the dedication information may not always be included in a record in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. . The sources listed in the "Beethoven Literature" page of this research guide are a helpful place to start to find specific pieces dedicated to Beethoven.