Music Library

Musician in Residence, the story so far.

Riona Sally Hartman“Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.” Victor Hugo verbalises it best, throughout the ages, music has played an outsized role in Irish society. From the bards of old, regaling stories and legends through song and verse to our ancestors, to the modern artists of Phil Lynott, Sinead O’Connor and Hozier who tell their stories to the world.

Hitting the right note at the Music Library

Peter MocDid you know that in Dublin City’s music library we hold regular popular music events? Some of our very successful recent events included a drumming workshop with Neil Dowling, a recital with Chilian pianist Nelson Olivares and Irish song-writer and singer Shay Cotter, and a talk and performance of Duke Ellington’s music by Czech guitarist Peter Moc (pictured right).

Come join us in December and nourish the soul at lunchtime with The Notabelles – A female barbershop chorus singing a Christmas Medley on Monday 11th Dec, and on Wednesday 13th Dec Aileen Cahill and the students of Maynooth College present “Jingle all the Way” carols to celebrate the Christmas season.

New! Naxos Online Music Library

Naxos Music Library

What type of music do you like... classical, folk jazz, world? At the click of a mouse, you can now listen to your favourite pieces on demand or find out about your favourite composer. Naxos Online Music Library will allow you to do just that.

Music PAL provides better access to Music Library collections

Music PALHow can Music PAL help you?

Are you a musician, music student, music teacher, composer, researcher, or simply pursuing a special interest of your own?

Music PAL helps make music resources in a broad range of libraries throughout Ireland easily accessible to all. The Music PAL scheme includes 16 public, 10 higher education, 3 conservatoire and 6 special libraries throughout the island of Ireland, a total of 35 institutions in all. Many of these hold broad collections of various sizes, while others (such as the Irish Traditional Music Archive and the Contemporary Music Centre) focus on specific musical genres.

You can ask for a Music PAL Access Card at the Music Library in the Central Library. The Access Card will allow you to visit and make use of the facilities at any of the libraries that are members of the Music PAL scheme (subject to certain conditions).

Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker

NutrackerThis Post was submitted by our Guest Blogger, Amy Connolly.

I recently saw a Christmas bucket list of things everyone should do before the Christmas holidays and one in particular caught my eye; see a live performance of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker. This entry jumped out at me because I received tickets for my birthday to see The Monica Loughman Ballet School perform The Nutcracker in the Convention Centre, Dublin. Dublin City Public Libraries has many items in stock that will allow you to accustom yourself to Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker. There are children's books that will allow little ones to become familiar with the story behind this ballet and there are also CDs in the Music Library which allow you to hear the incredible and awesome compositions of this 19th century Russian genius. I particularly recommend Swan Lake for the uninitiated.

Katy Perry- A 'Roar' ing Success?

This Post was submitted by our Guest Blogger, Amy Connolly.

Teenage DreamsWith the release of Katy Perry’s new album Prism this week I can’t help but look forward to her return to Ireland.  I have been listening to her two previous studio albums in anticipation of the new release.  The Video and Music Awards (VMAs) offered a small taster of how good her Prism tour could be with Perry’s performance of her new single "Roar". She certainly appears to be roaring back to her chart topping success following a very public divorce from English comedian Russell Brand in 2012. 

Right: 'Teenage Dream'.

Woody Guthrie (1912-1967)

Bound For GloryThis year sees the 100th anniversary of the birth of Woody Guthrie, American folksinger and songwriter. He wrote more than 1000 songs, which were all influenced by his travels, and dealt with such themes as the hardship of the Depression, the "Dust Bowl" drought and the Unions. He is best known for the song "This land is Your Land" and "So long it's been good to know ya". Many of the songs he wrote during his illness were lost as they were not recorded.

In 1940, Alan Lomax began recording Guthrie's songs for the American Library of Congress. Around this time, he also met Pete Seeger in New York where Guthrie also performed with other activists, such as Lead Belly. During the 1950s and 1960s he became famous as a folk hero, influencing the younger generation of protest singers, such as, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Bruce Springsteen, Billy Bragg and others.

Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau

The very best of dietrich Fischer-DieskauDietrich Fischer-Dieskau who died on 18 May of this year was a renowned German baritone. He was born on May 28, 1925 in Berlin, where both his parents were teachers. He learned to play the piano from his mother. He started taking voice lessons at sixteen, but suffered an early set back when he was drafted into the armed forces in 1943, having just completed his secondary school studies and one term at the Berlin Conservatory. He was captured in Italy in 1945 and spent two years as  prisoner of war, however this did not end his love affair with music. He took advantage of the time to continue his musical studies and to perform where possible, entertaining the troops with his renditions of Schubert songs. Once the Nazis were defeated, Fischer-Dieskau returned to Berlin and began singing professionally.

Sixteen Blooming Years

UlysseesSixteen years ago (1996) I began to research references to songs in the works of James Joyce. This was for a production entitled “doublin babble on” (an evening of theatre & music in Newman House). I started reading and re-reading Joyce’s works with a view to cataloguing all the song references therein. This was an enjoyable but also a daunting task. Consequently I was delighted to discover the existence of 'The James Joyce Songbook' (a scholarly work edited by Ruth Bauerle, reference-only copy available). She had completed precisely what I was only embarking upon. The result of my (Bauerle assisted) research was the James Joyce music room where three other singers and myself, together with musical director and accompanist, Margot Doherty, performed a selection of songs from Joyce’s works. The James Joyce song repertoire is a treasure trove of varied musical genres: opera, operetta, parlour songs, music hall numbers, traditional Irish melodies and all the songs that Joyce himself liked to sing (Joyce was a fine tenor who, before he devoted himself to literature contemplated a career in music). This performance developed into "Bloomsongs" which Margot Doherty and I (under the name Winedark Productions) have performed regularly since then.

Arthur Rubinstein

The legendary RubinsteinArthur Rubinstein was seven years old in 1894, when he played the piano in public for the first time. By the time his career ended, eighty-two years later, he had performed with phenomenal success in most countries of the world.

He was born in Lodz, Poland (part of the Russian Empire at that time) to Jewish parents. By the age of 4, Rubinstein was recognised as a child prodigy. He studied piano in Warsaw, later moving to Berlin to continue his studies while playing with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.

Rubinstein travelled to several countries and made his home at various times in Poland, Germany, France, England and the United States  playing at many concerts throughout.