Play music to your ears at the Central Library

Discover new music and enjoy old favourites by browsing through the large collection of Songbooks and Scores at your City Library.
Use the Music Room available on the first floor to practice, experiment and play at the keyboard. You could even bring in your own guitar or ukulele if you’d prefer!
Look for your beloved artist, song or composer and play the music you love or browse through the music we have listed below for inspiration.
With so many songs to choose from, you’ll always find a favourite!

Syndetics book coverBig book of 70s songs : 26 of the very best songs from the 1970s / compiled and edited by Jenni Norey.
“For voice and piano, with guitar chord symbols. Words and music by various songwriters. Compiled and edited by Jenni Norey.” –Back cover

Syndetics book coverWe will remember them : music for remembrance : for mixed voice choirs.
“Contains 18 choral works suitable for Remembrance Sunday, concerts, memorial and funeral services.
They are mostly unaccompanied (with piano reduction for rehearsal only). Some with organ or piano accompaniment.” –Back cover

Syndetics book coverRachmaninoff : 16 great classics.
“It comes complete with song background notes, and playing hints and tips.
Works and selections are arranged.” –Back cover

Syndetics book cover20 classic hawaiian songs for ukulele / compiled and edited by Adrian Hopkins.
London : Wise Publications, [2014]
“A lovely collection of twenty classic hawaiian songs for ukulele including: Akaka Falls / Darlene Ahuna — Aloha ka manini / The Gabby Pahinui Hawaiian Band — Hawai’i aloha / Nina Keali’iwahamana — Aloha oe / E. K. Rose / Blue Hawaii — Ellis March / Tau Moe & Mmm. Rivière’s Hawaiians — Everybody does it in Hawaii / Jimmie Rodgers — Hard hearted Hannah / Cliff ‘Ukulele Ike’ Edwards — Hawaiian cowboy / Sol K. Bright’s Hollywaiians — The Hawaiian wedding song / Andy Williams — Hi’ilawe / Gabby Pahinui — Honolulu city lights / The Beamer Brothers — Hula blues / Jim & Bob, The Genial Hawaiians — I’ll remember you / Kui Lee — Little pad / The Beach Boys — Mele Kalikimaka (Merry Christmas in Hawaii) / The Puppini Sisters — That’s how much I love you / Eddy Arnold — Over the rainbow ; What a wonderful world / Isreal Kamakawiwo’ole — Sophisticated hula / Sol Bright — Sweet Leilani / Bing Crosby.” –Back cover

Syndetics book coverRodriguez : selections from Cold fact & Coming from reality / piano, vocal, guitar.
“Songs as performed by Sixto Rodriguez on sound recordings originally released 1970 and 1971; words and music by Rodriguez. For voice and piano; with chord symbols and guitar chord diagrams. “Universal Music Publishing”–Back cover.

Syndetics book coverCarly Simon : guitar chord songbook.
“Includes complete lyrics, chord symbols & guitar chord diagrams.”–Back cover

Syndetics book coverRiverdance : music from Riverdance the show / composed by Bill Whelan.
“Instrumental pieces and songs from Riverdance, the show (composed in the idiom of Irish folk music).
Reel around the sun — The heart’s cry — The Countess Cathleen/Women of the Sidhe — Caoineadh cú chulainn (lament) — Shivna — Firedance — Slip into Spring — The harvest — Riverdance — American wake — Lift the wings — Heal their hearts — Freedom — Trading taps — Macedonian morning — Marta’s dance/The Russian dervish — Oscail an doras — Andalucia — Home and the heartland — Heartland.”–Back cover

Syndetics book coverThe best jazz piano solos ever : 80 classics, from Miles to Monk and more!
“Afternoon in Paris — Allen’s Alley — Along came Betty — Azure-Te (Paris Blues) — Back home blues — Bags and Trane — Bags’ groove — Baia (Bahía) — Bernie’s tune — Billie’s bounce (Bill’s bounce) — Birdland — Birk’s works — Blues for Martha — Blues in A minor — Blues in the closet — Born to be blue — Bouncing with Bud — Bremond’s blues — C-jam blues — Close your eyes — Come Sunday — Cotton tail — Crazeology — Day dream — Dear old Stockholm — Delauney’s dilemma — Django — Dolphin dance — Don’t you know I care (or don’t you care to know) — Doodlin’ — Doxy — Everything but you — 52nd Street theme — Giant steps — Ginger bread boy — The golden striker — Gotta be this or that — Gravy waltz — Groovin’ high — I hear a rhapsody — I mean you — In walked Bud — Intermezzo — Invitation — Jeru — Jordu — Killer Joe — Like young — Line for Lyons — Midnight sun — Moonlight in Vermont — Moten swing — My little suede shoes — Nica’s dream — A night in Tunisia — Night train — Nuages — Oh, good grief — Oleo — On Green Dolphin Street — Relaxin’ at the Camarillo — Robbin’s nest — Seven come eleven — Shiny stockings — Sippin’ at Bells — So what — Some other spring — Song for my father — Stolen moments — Things ain’t what they used to be — Topsy — Tune up — Turnaround — Un poco loco — Up jumped spring — Watermelon man — West coast blues — What am I here for? — Whisper not — Yardbird suite.” –Back cover

Classical music picks

These classical music picks highlight some new releases in chamber music – both ensemble and opera, a recording that traverses the boundary between orchestral jazz and contemporary classical, and a new release for lovers of English music history.

String quartets / by Dmitri Shostakovich and his contemporaries (volume 1) and String quartets / by Dmitri Shostakovich and his contemporaries (volume 2)
Cover ImageCover Image“[T]he Pacifica Quartet is one of the best chamber ensembles out there…even so, there’s no dearth of fine Shostakovich cycles, from the Borodin Quartet to the Emerson. These performances, every bit as fine as those, would be excellent by themselves, but they do risk getting lost in the discographic shuffle. So it was an inspired idea to pair them in this series with other important works in the same medium by Shostakovich’s contemporaries…. A great start to a very promising series.” – (adapted from review)

Cover ImageApparent distance / Taylor Ho Bynum Sextet
“A truly transcendent recording, “Apparent Distance is a four-part suite, commissioned through a 2010 New Jazz Works grant from Chamber Music America and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. In the liner notes, Bynum writes My goal is not just to blur the lines between composition and improvisation (a long-time pursuit), but to try to upend the listeners expectations in other ways: circular melodies without beginnings or ends, disguised unisons and non-repetitive vamps, transitions that are simultaneously jarring and organic. Most importantly, I want to spotlight the striking individuality and virtuosity of all the players, albeit in a context where the needs of the ensemble reign supreme a concerto for sextet, if you will. Since the composition s premiere in August 2010, the sextet has performed the work on tour and at the Saalfelden Jazz Festival (Austria), the Banlieues Bleues Festival (France), and the Crosscurrents Festival (New York). Jim Macnie of the Village Voice writes ‘Whether they’re lines that swirl upward, chasing their own tail, or lines that spill downward, like a Slinky on a staircase, the elemental motifs of the cornetist/composer’s pieces are full of springy kinetics. But they re more than mere nu-jazz puzzles. Bynum wrings emotion from his crew. His use of texture and trajectory has to do with his appreciation of passion.” – (adapted from summary)

Cover ImageThe Okavango Macbeth [sound recording] / [music by Tom Cunningham].
“The Macbeth story as played out in a troupe of baboons in Botswana? This fanciful idea inspired the writer Alexander McCall Smith and the composer Tom Cunningham to come up with their chamber opera, The Okavango Macbeth. Set in the Okavango Delta in northern Botswana, the opera deals with the efforts of an ambitious female baboon, Lady Macbeth, to encourage her husband, Macbeth, to murder the dominant baboon, Duncan…[I]n this extraordinary and unusual tale, a new operatic gem has emerged.” – (adapted from Liner notes)

Syndetics book coverThe classical music map of Britain / Richard Fawkes.
“Why is Chelsea so important to the Mozart story? Who really headlined at the first ever Glastonbury Festival? Which small Welsh village do Faure, Stravinsky and Prokofiev have in common? ‘The Classical Music Map of Britain’ is a charming and fascinating journey around the UK from a classical music perspective. Extensively researched and beautifully written, every entry explains why each place was so special to the composer in question, which pieces were composed there, and whether it is currently open to the public. Including hand-illustrated maps depicting key areas of interest, ‘The Classical Music Map of Britain’ is an enchanting adventure around some of our lesser-known landmarks – perfect for any lover of history or classical music.” – (adapted from summary)