The Sound and Vision music collection contains almost half a million recordings. It consists of two separate parts; commercial music releases and concert registrations. Radio or TV programmes including music fall under the radio and TV categories. A recording can vary from a short single to a concert lasting several hours, something to bear in mind when looking at the information. Another important piece of information is that a large part of the music collection is stored on microfiche and has not yet been entered into our database. A team of dedicated volunteers is busy with this task.

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The collection of commercial music releases was originally built up as a service for the broadcasters, and contains many international releases. In 2014, this practice was ended. The only commercial music now stored in the archive is an annual selection of the releases that are most important to the Netherlands, made by Sound and Vision in consultation with experts. Concert registrations consist of raw footage of concerts and studio performances from the public broadcasters, some unbroadcast. The spread over time does not tell the whole story, as only 61% of the music collection has a date available.

During the 'Beelden van de Toekomst' (Images of the Future) project, a large proportion of the concert registrations were digitised, as being unique events in Dutch culture. Commercial releases, on the other hand, are mostly international and available elsewhere, and therefore have not yet been digitised on a large scale. Most are stored in the depots, a treasure trove for music lovers, such as DJs from Red Light Radio.

Music recordings are hard to describe, and as we do not have the lyrics, word clouds do not help much here. To give an impression of the music, here is a random sample of 20 titles from the commercial releases:

Here is a random sample of 20 titles from the concert registrations: