Instrument Collections

Instrument Collections

The Department of Music houses many prized collections of exceptional instruments

Background image: An Amati Viola from the Salz Collection

The Salz Collection

Berkeley Faculty show Salz Collection instruments to visiting middle schoolersIn 1964, the generosity of Ansley K. Salz endowed the Music Department with an outstanding collection of antique violins, violas and bows. Among the collection are exceptionally fine instruments by such builders as Grancino, Gagliano, Lupot, Villaume and Amati. Early 18th-century bows and modern bows comprise the bow collection. A rare viola pomposa, built in 1731 in Leipzig by Bach's friend Christian Hoffmann, completes the set.

Baroque Instrument Collection

Rare historic instruments include a Denner clarinet, a Hurdy Gurdy, six valve trombones and trumpets, lutes, bassoons, oboes and more. Recently, the University Baroque Ensemble has acquired a dozen 18th-century violins and restored them to baroque set-up, with old-style necks, low tension, gut strings, and baroque-style bows. These instruments are loaned to students who are admitted to the Baroque Ensemble, and are in constant use.

The Edmund O'Neill Memorial Organs

Through the generosity of Chemistry Professor Edmond O'Neill in 1934, an organ fund has allowed the Music Department to develop a large collection of pipe organs in different styles. They range from a copy of a 15th-century knee portatif organ with bellows operated by the left hand of the performer, to three antique 17th- and 18th-century organs, with hand-pumped bellows operated by pulling ropes, and the organ in the back gallery of Hertz Hall built by Greg Harrold. In August 2013 a new concert organ built by the Noack Organ Company was added above the Hertz Hall stage. The organ collection makes creating music of any era a possibility.

See University Organist Davitt Moroney talk about the Noack Organ.

World Instruments

Two aspects of the curriculum have extended the department's collection of musical instruments to those of several areas of the world. Performance labs are regularly integrated into our courses on South Asia (Music of India), on East Asia (Music of Japan and Music of the East Asian Tradition), on the Middle East, and on the Caribbean and Latin America. The African Music Ensemble and the Central Javanese Gamelan courses comprise long-standing components of the Department's performance curriculum. Therefore, the Department has collections from many non-Western. These instruments are available to students who are enrolled in the pertinent courses. In 1976 the Music Department was given a Central Javanese gamelan by Sam and Louise Scripps. Named Kyahi Udan Mas, this particularly beautiful set of instruments was created in the early 20th century. The department has added several instruments to accommodate the high student demand for gamelan courses. The Scripps also donated a full set of shadow puppets that is used in performances with the gamelan.In 2000 a 7-tone Balinese Gamelan Semar Pagulingan was purchased for use in the department by the Center for Southeast Asia Studies. This set was made by renowned gong smith I Wayan Berata in the 1990s.

Joan Lam Choral Library

The choral library at UC Berkeley stores multiple copies of 1,000 choral works from various centuries. The piano-vocal scores are kept for the use of the University Chorus and Chamber Chorus in its rehearsals and concerts. With the support of generous donors, the library grows every year. The library's current location in Morrison Hall was made possible by Joan Lam, who first came into contact with choral singing during her years as an undergraduate in Berkeley. Along with donating the funds to allow for the renovation of the space and transport of the scores, she donated new copies of the Brahms Requiem, the first choral work she sang under Edward Lawton's direction.

Chambers Campanology Collection

The Chambers Campanology Collection, housed in Sather Tower, includes material related to bells, including rare books, photographs, musical manuscripts, sheet music, recordings, and programs. The Berkeley Carillon Guild is the resource organization within the carillon program that administers the collection, as well as publishing carillon compositions and arrangements available for free on the internet. Materials listed in the University Library catalog can be checked out through the Music Library. Inquiries about other holdings or access to the collection should be made by contacting