Bate Collection

One of the most magnificent collections of musical instruments in the world

Reference | ETTABC01

Distance to Oxford City Centre | 0.25 miles

  swipe for more images  


The Bate Collection is the most comprehensive collection of European woodwind, brass and percussion instruments in Britain.

The Bate Collection of Musical Instruments, in the Faculty of Music at Oxford University, houses over 2000 instruments from the Western orchestral music traditions from the Renaissance, through the Baroque, Classical, Romantic and up to modern times. More than 1000 instruments are on display, by the most important English, French and German makers and from pre- eminent collectors, and the Collection exists as a primary research facility for students of the Faculty and visiting researchers.

The Collection takes its name from Philip Bate who gave his extensive collection of European woodwind musical instruments to the University of Oxford in 1968. Due to the immaculate condition of the original instruments, many are maintained in playing condition and are regularly used for performances and recitals. As part of this The Bate Collection run an annual recording competition for undergraduate students; the Bate Recording Prize.

Since the 1960s, the Collection has grown, in large due to the dedication and support of both individuals and groups such as the Friends of the Bate Collection who have made several gifts. The collection now houses the Reginald Morley-Pegge collection of horns, brass and woodwind instruments; the Edgar Hunt Collection of Recorders; the Taphouse keyboard loans and the Retford Memorial Collection of Bows along with other important collections.

Download the app

For music-lovers everywhere, the Bate Collection is a must-see during your visit to Oxford. To enhance your experience further download ‘resOUnd’, the free app which brings the musical instruments to life. Unique interfaces utilising sensors and the touchscreen enable you to easily play in tune even if you’ve never touched an instrument before. Play an Amati violin by moving your arm in a bowing motion. Blow into the microphone to sound the Beale Trumpet, once belonging to the trumpeter to Oliver Cromwell. Play the iconic Bressan Recorder from 1720, and pluck the strings of an 19th century guitar. The app is available for iPad and iPhone, and can be downloaded from the App Store here.


  • A primary research facility for students of the Faculty of Music and visiting researchers
  • More than 1000 instruments are on display by the most important English, French and German makers
  • Free admission
  • Download the free app to enhance your experience


  • 01865 276128
  • Faculty of Music,
    St Aldate's,
    OX1 1DB
  • General Enquiries
University of Oxford Logo
bate collection of musical instruments logo


Note: As the postcode is used to identify the general area of the property, it may not always reflect its precise location, therefore please only use this map as a guide.

Botanic Garden beautiful flowers

You may also like...

Oxford Botanic Garden

Founded in 1621, the Oxford Botanic Garden is the UK’s oldest botanic garden and occupies a world-class position in terms of its history and academic location. Its mission is to share the scientific wonder and importance of plants with the world.