One of the largest independent production music libraries in the world

Today, with more than 35 agents worldwide, SONOTON is one of the largest independent production music libraries in the world with a catalogue of over 1600 albums and more than 150,000 tracks.

Hundreds of composers and producers from around the world contribute their talents to SONOTON, adding more than 60 new CDs to the catalogue every year in the most comprehensive and diverse musical and compositional styles imaginable.

Founders and owners Rotheide and Gerhard Narholz tirelessly manage a highly efficient and motivated team of professionals in the company's technology, sales, creative and logistics departments, and guarantee the highest results. 

Gregor F. Narholz, rising star in the Hollywood film scoring business and already a veteran TV and library composer with numerous credits, ensures that the next generation of the Narholz legacy lends youth, vitality, vision and continuity to the ever-expanding company.



Rotheide and Gerhard Narholz establish SONOTON as a company in Munich, Germany. Gerhard Narholz, songwriter for artists such as Petula Clark, Bill Ramsey and Heidi Brühl, and composer for German feature films and television series, provides specific film and television music as background music, thus introducing and reinventing library music (WEINBERGER or CHAPPEL) in Germany.

1965 - 1970

Rotheide Narholz, originally trained in the travel and tourism industry, develops and grows the infrastructure of the young company. In the following years she supervises the development of data processing with proprietary software, devises theSONOfind music search programme (the first of its kind), initiates the SONOTON web site and introduces the HD MusicStation. Thanks to her enthusiasm and vision for technology and innovation, SONOTON develops into a pioneering full-service music company and a high-tech leader in the music library world.

SONOTON continues to develop the library business in Germany. The initial TV-specific music catalogue is expanded and is now comprised of a wide range of musical styles and application options. Leading German and foreign composers write and produce for SONOTON. The British BERRY MUSIC company publishes SONOTON productions worldwide on the library music labels CONROY, STUDIO ONE and PROGRAMME PRODUCTIONS. SONOTON invents the "underscore" (an alternative mix without lead instruments which otherwise may compete with voiceover), a practice that is now copied by music libraries all over the world. SONOTON produces Easy Listening Music for the Japanese market which is published on POLYDOR and KING RECORDS.

1970 - 1980

Using the pseudonym Norman Candler, Gerhard Narholz composes, arranges and conducts over 20 LPs with his large string orchestra, the MAGIC STRINGS, on the labels DECCA/TELEFUNKEN and KING RECORDS, and conquers the world! In 1971, Norman Candler receives the "3 Star Award" from BBC London for "Best Album of the Year". SONOTON produces Easy Listening Music for the INTERSOUND label with world-renowned musicians such as Nelson Riddle, Billy May, Ted Heath, Acker Bilk, Xavier Cugat, Horst Jankowski and Franck Pourcel. SONOTON continues to expand its territories to include 30 foreign representatives worldwide. In many countries where library music is unknown, SONOTON does pioneering work through its local agents.


EMI buys BERRY MUSIC, the former SONOTON agent in the UK. This marks the birth of SONOTON's own record label. SONOTON raises the bar and sets new standards, musically, technologically, and creatively. The unicolored album covers for library music LPs are replaced with individually designed, full colour covers.


 SONOTON becomes the market leader for library music in Germany and introduces the British KPM label to the German market. More international labels follow.


SONOTON establishes its unique SAS ethno label (SONOTON AUTHENTIC SERIES) which publishes authentically produced and recorded music from more than 100 countries and cultures of the world.


SONOTON is the first music library to recognize the revolution of the digital era and produces library music on CD.


SONOTON becomes the agent for the Swedish DIGIFFECTS Sound Effects label and turns it into the most successful sound effects series in Germany.


SONOTON establishes the CNS label (COMMERCIALS NON STOP) which publishes thousands of tracks especially produced for television and radio commercials and promos.


SONOTON offers its worldwide customers the famous SONIA Classics, a huge collection of classical works on CD, for synchronization purposes.


SONOTON is the first music library to present its own music search program, SONOfind, on floppy disk. Later, SONOfind is expanded for PC and MAC and also provides search functionality on a track-by-track basis (SONOfind PLUS).


Elisabeth Oei
SONOTON establishes itself in the US market, and expands its visibility by licensing music in numerous, highly successful Hollywood film and television productions. The SONOTON representative in the USA, ASSOCIATED PRODUCTION MUSIC (APM), appoints Elisabeth Oei as special "SONOTON US Director" to support the German-based company on becoming the leading US brand. SONOTON commissions US producers and composers to create CDs specifically tailored to the needs and requirements of the growing US market.




SONOTON begins operating its own music studio. Productions from all over the world can now be mixed at SONOTON's own facility, thus ensuring a state-of-the-art production of the highest quality.


SONOTON creates its own sound effects series, SONOspheres, which focuses on longer atmospheric sounds and effects, fully recorded in Dolby Surround Technology.


SONOTON is the first music library to introduce an online music search program and to make its entire repertoire accessible via the Internet. It will take other libraries years to develop online search programmes to compete with the success of SONOFIND.


SONOTON opens a new digital 5.1 music studio and presents the first library DVD with 5.1 mixes of large orchestral recordings in a variety of styles and themes.


SONOTON debuts EXCLUSIVE TRACKS, a set of 500 musical recordings which are offered online for a client's exclusive use in Germany and the USA, the first library to do so.


With the HD MusicStation, SONOTON is the first music library to present its entire repertoire of more than 130,000 titles on ahard drive as an offline search program.

2007 - 2008

2007 is the year of SFX!  SONOspheresFX is updated, bringing fresh, new and innovative sound effects and atmospheres to sound editors around the world.

The roster of Sonoton composers grows to over 5000, all specialists in their fields, many of them in the U.S. creating productions that are especially suited to the North American market.  Many of the composers such as Carmen Lundy, Charles Brotman, Kapono Beamer, Gregor Narholz, Andrea Saparoff, Steve Hunter and others are Grammy and Award-winning artists in all genres – Jazz, World Music, Children’s Music, Dance and Pop/Rock.


"The Hurt Locker", winner of 6 Oscars and 6 BAFTAs (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) features a Sonoton track by Norman Candler, "Your Smiling Face", during an important emotional scene.

12 Sonoton tracks from 10 different Sonoton composers are featured in Bose Pandora Music Search Program, more than any other library.  

SCDC Classical Series is newly remastered from the original renowned SUPRAPHON recordings with careful and subtle limiting and compression, making the quietest music audible and the loudest naturally quieter, for optimum synchronization use.


Sonoton is the first European production music library to release the SONOfind music search progam as an APP for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.  

SONOTON announces the addition of AFRO MUSIQUE, a stunning collection of 40 online CDs compiled from the popular South African MAMA DANCE! label. For the first time ever, this beautiful music is made available in North America through Sonoton and APM.

Sonoton launches INDIE 500, a collection of Indie tracks from Sonoton’s collaborations with Indie artists and musicians such as Paco, Rose Hill Drive, Steve Hunter, Incendio, Brian Brasher, Mercuryhead, String Planet, Machan, Adrenalin Junkies, Quinn, DJ Chunk, Steve Mushrush, Fiction and many more. The tracks are available exclusively on a racy little flash drive, known as the INDIE 500 Drive.

2011 - PRESENT

The SONOTON repertoire with APM grows to exceed 100,000 tracks, and in Germany and Austria exceeds 300,000 tracks.

The successful collection of Sonoton Trailer Tracks – STT and STTV, continues to expand to 25 STTs and 12 STTVs. 
Sonoton tracks continue to be placed in such major Films as The Green Hornet, A Dolphin Tale, Rampart, The Dark Knight and more, and in TV shows So You Think You Can Dance, Mad Men, True Blood and many others.

Sonoton adds new ground-breaking tools to enhance searches.  In addition to the wave formation that is displayed on every track for easy monitoring, a ‘similarity’ function is also added to display a list of similar tracks, including the percentage of similarity!

2012 marks the 20th anniversary of the successful partnership between North American Sonoton Director Elisabeth Oeiand Gerhard and Heidi Narholz.  Elisabeth refers to their relationship as a “match made in heaven”, and wishes to thank the Narholz’ for 20 years of sheer joy!