The Music Department of the National Library operates according to the library's concepts and organizational framework. The department documents, preserves and makes available to the public all materials relating to the music of Eretz Israel, and to Israeli and Jewish music. Its collection includes printed material (such as books and scores), video and audio recordings (including phonograph records, compact disks and cassettes), and archival material (drafts of oeuvres, research notes, correspondence, pictures, documents, announcements, programs, newspaper items, private recordings, etc.).
The National Sound Archives, part of the Music Department, has the world's largest collection of ethnographic and commercial recordings of Israeli and Jewish music. The collection also includes non-Jewish music. Approximately half the recordings are commercial: most were purchased or donated to the Library, while some were received under the terms of the Books Law 2000 (5761) (Hebrew), the law of legal deposit. The other half of the collection comprises: recordings of interviews, made in a studio or in the home of the participant, and field recordings made at live events, such as weddings and festivals, which have been transferred to the archives by researchers (musicologists, ethno-musicologists, anthropologists, etc.), as well as Kol Yisrael (Israel Radio) recordings that have been deposited in the National Sound Archives.
It is the department's archival material, rather than its publications, that makes it unique in its field in Israel and the rest of the world.