Music scores and popular song books

Series: Discover State Library’s Music Collections.

This blog series showcases some of the wonderful music collections held by State Library of Queensland. Among these are music scores, song books, digitised sheet music, hymn books and online databases. Discover our music collections via our online catalogue One Search and onsite.

Music scores.

Are you are looking for a musical piece to play, or a score for research? The State Library's score collection is a great source with complete works of important composers such as Bach, Beethoven and Mozart, as well as works of lesser-known composers. We collect classical, jazz, pop, rock, folk music and more.  

You can browse this collection on Level 3 of State Library.

Music scores and popular song books located on level 3 of State Library.

Here are a few catalogue searches for music scores to help get you started.

Locate scores in One Search by using a combination of the composer, title, genre, instrument and/or work number. Limit your search to ‘music scores’ using the first drop-down menu under the search field.

One Search catalogue results for music score of "Rheinberger organ op. 20"

Some other tips when searching for music scores, especially if you are getting fewer results than expected or no results.

  • Check the spelling of the composer’s name via a search engine
  • Consider variations in language based on the publication place of the music (e.g. Le nozze di Figaro = The marriage of Figaro)
  • When using musical forms or genres as keywords use plurals (e.g. sonatas vs sonata)
  • Broaden your search by using fewer keywords

Popular song books.

All songs in our popular song books are searchable by title in our online catalogue One Search. This collection covers jazz, pop, rock, rap, blues, country, folk, 'golden oldies', Broadway, show, vaudeville, music hall, songs from musicals.

You can browse this collection on Level 3 of State Library.

Selection of popular song books held at State Library

Here are a few of the catalogue searches for song books.

Locate specific popular songs in One Search by using quotation marks around the song title and also limiting the search to ‘music scores’ in the first drop-down menu. A search for “Shake rattle and roll’ will result in a list of various song books where this song appears.

One Search results for popular song 'shake rattle and roll'

Practice with your instrument at home.

The best thing about our score and songbook collection is that you can borrow from it and practice with your instrument at home. Borrow 10 items at a time for 4 weeks with possible renewal to 12 weeks. It’s all free with your State Library membership.

Having trouble finding music?

Our Librarians can help you find music resources and offer guidance with searching. There are several ways you can Ask Us for assistance. We can help during your visit onsite, over the phone, via our online chat service or through our online enquiry form.

World Piano Day
Join us on Monday 29 March 2021 as we celebrate Piano Day with a free public performance by State Library’s volunteer pianists on the beautiful Queensland Terrace. Booking are required.

Read other blogs in the #MusicCollections series.

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