Éditions de l'Oiseau-Lyre

The publishing company Éditions de l'Oiseau-Lyre (named after the rare Australian lyrebird) was founded in Paris in 1932 by Louise B. M. Dyer (1884-1962).

About Éditions de l'Oiseau-Lyre

The publishing company Éditions de l'Oiseau-Lyre (named after the rare Australian lyrebird) was founded in Paris in 1932 by Louise B. M. Dyer (1884-1962), an Australian patron of music from Melbourne who had already built up a remarkable personal collection of early music prints and manuscripts (sometimes referred to as the "Oiseau-Lyre Collection" and today part of the Louise Hanson-Dyer Music Library at the University of Melbourne). The firm's headquarters were in the Principality of Monaco from 1948 to 2013.

As the result of donations to the University of Melbourne given by both Louise Hanson-Dyer and J.B. Hanson, all the company's publications from 1979 were produced with the financial assistance of the University of Melbourne. The involvement of the University was substantial, notably after the signing in 1986 of a formal agreement of collaboration between the University and Éditions de l'Oiseau-Lyre. From 1988, the company operated as Éditions de l'Oiseau-Lyre SAM (Société Anonyme Monégasque) and, from 1990 until its closure in 2013, was owned and managed by the Lyrebird Trust, of which the University is a Trustee.

In 2013 Éditions de l’Oiseau-Lyre ended its presence in Europe and reverted to the parent holding, Lyrebird Press, at the University of Melbourne. The Éditions de l’Oiseau-Lyre archive is now housed in the Louise Hanson-Dyer Music Library, University Library, and the printed music is administered by the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music.

Purchasing music

Editions de l’Oiseau-Lyre has ceased publishing and is no longer operating out of Europe. Copies of the many music publications still in print were shipped to Melbourne and from mid-December 2013 it has been possible to purchase copies of l’Oiseau-Lyre publications again.

The website now indicates availability of print stock and the recommended retail price of most items in Australian dollars. Most available items are now linked to our secure web shop and available to purchase there at a 10% discount on the RRP.

Online Store

The e-shop is the quickest way to purchase Editions de l’Oiseau-Lyre music; additional discounts have been made available in the e-shop to music retailers. If an Editions de l’Oiseau-Lyre item you are interested in is not listed in the website or available in the e-shop please get in touch and it will be added if there are still copies available. Enquiries from retailers per e-mail are also welcome (see Contact Us).

Items marked as no longer available in print are currently being digitised, with frequently requested titles digitised first. These will be made available as downloadable pdfs. Lyrebird Press has no plans to reprint Editions de l’Oiseau-Lyre titles now out-of-stock.

Please visit the e-shop here

Published Music

In its published music, Editions de l’Oiseau-Lyre specialised in a number of areas

  • Medieval music, with two monumental collected editions
  • Renaissance music, including two significant editions of chansons
  • Baroque and Classical music including a 12-volume revision of the complete works of François Couperin as well as the music of Louis Couperin and many other major composers.
  • Twentieth Century music, by mostly French and Australian composers, was a notable focus of the Press especially before 1950
  • For winds includes music written for wind trio (oboe, clarinet and bassoon), larger wind ensembles and, in the mid 1930s, for performance by “pipes”
  • Limited editions, many exquisitely designed and extravagantly printed


Magnus Liber Organi

Editions de l’Oiseau-Lyre


7 volumes
General Editor: Edward H. Roesner

The Magnus Liber Organi was composed for the cathedral of Notre Dame, Paris, during the brilliant cultural Renaissance of the twelfth century and the first decades of the thirteenth century. The work of Leoninus and other musicians, it may be considered as the greatest single achievement in the development of early polyphony. The revision and renotation of the Great Book by Perotinus and his contemporaries were equally important; the creation of the three- and four-voice organa (the earliest known examples of music for more than two voices) is one of the most extraordinary moments in the development of Western polyphony.

This new edition, undertaken by an international team of scholars working under Professor Edward H. Roesner, presents the Parisian liber organi in all its richness and diversity for the first time in a complete modern edition. Purchase of the complete set is open to individuals as well as institutions ($3380); each volume (except volume 6) is also available separately.

Polyphonic Music of the 14th Century

25 volumes
General Editors: Leo Schrade, Frank Ll. Harrison, Kurt von Fischer
Assistant General Editor: Ian Bent

This important series, the result of 35 years’ work, is made specially for universities, libraries and scholars. Containing the corpus of fourteenth-century polyphony—well over 2000 pieces—it is an indispensable collection for all serious students and performers. David Fallows, writing about the series in Early Music, commented that “this handsome set will surely stand as one of the major achievements of musicology in the second half of our century”.

The series is a limited numbered edition with only a few complete sets still available (POA). A very small number of copies remain available for separate sale at $250 per copy, but not vols I, VI or XXIV, which can only be purchased as part of a numbered set. None of these volumes will be reprinted, but offprints are available for some of them


CLEMENT JANEQUIN: COMPLETE CHANSONS2nd edn. 1983, editors: A.T. Merritt and F. Lesure (6 volumes, 254 chansons)

ANTHOLOGIE DE LA CHANSON PARISIENNE AU XVIE SIÈCLEed. François Lesure, 48 chansons (38 à 4, 8 à 5, 1 à 6, 1 à 7), by Boyvin, Certon, Costeley, du Caurroy, Goudimel, Janequin, Le Jeune, Sermisy

Baroque and Classical

François Couperin: Complete works
revised by Kenneth Gilbert and Davitt Moroney

An important revision of Couperin's complete works (first edited in 1933 under the direction of Maurice Cauchie), with the exception of volume 1. It presents many significant features and includes (as a supplementary volume) the 12 “Tenbury” motets which have recently been discovered, three of which have never before appeared in print. For other works new sources have come to light since 1933 and are now taken fully into account. For all six volumes containing continuo parts, the realisation of the figured bass (added in the 1933 edition, but no longer useful) has been removed.

Twentieth Century

The Press published compositions by the following: Georges Auric, Henry Barraud, Stanley Bate, Jean Binet, Joseph Canteloube, Daniel-Lesur, Pierre-Octave Ferroud, Noël Gallon, Peggy Glanville-Hicks, Jacques Ibert, Francis Poulenc, Boyan Ikonomow, Charles Koechlin, Guillaume Landré, Henri Martinelli, Darius Milhaud, Fernand Oubradous, Albert Roussel, Henri Sauguet, Margaret Sutherland and Ivan Wyschnegradsky.

For Winds

Other twentieth-century composers who wrote music for the Press as part of the “pipes” movement are Arthur Benjamin, Esther Rofe, John Tallis and Imogen Holst.

Limited Editions

Oiseau-Lyre's fine Limited Editions have long had a unique reputation as important collector's items. They are renowned for their special Oiseau-Lyre paper, unusually beautiful typography, splendid Grandjean and Buchardt engraving, and highly original bindings. They were mostly produced before the Second World War and most are still in excellent condition. Contact us to enquire about availability.

Contact us

For enquiries about l'Éditions de l’Oiseau-Lyre please e-mail: lyrebirdpress-info@unimelb.edu.au

For enquiries regarding l'Éditions de l’Oiseau-Lyre copyright permissions and licensing, please e-mail the University of Melbourne copyright office: copyright-permissions@unimelb.edu.au