Music

The collection contains sound recordings, sheet music, books, serials, ephemera, videos and DVDs, photographs, oral histories and websites collected on the electronic archive, Pandora. The Library has a comprehensive heritage collection of recorded Indigenous music from across the state covering both contemporary and traditional styles.

Highlights of the historical sheet music collection have been digitised and are available for viewing at WA Musical Memories Online. This digital archive represents Western Australia's contribution to the national MusicAustralia project. It covers patriotic songs, and celebrations of places, people, flora and fauna and events in Western Australian history. You will find other Western Australian-related music and music information held in other state libraries on the MusicAustralia website.

Searching for Western Australian Music

Material can be found by searching the State Library catalogue. Search under composer, artist, band name or title, as well as by subject. Useful subject searches are:

Music - Western Australia

Popular music - Western Australia

Rock music - Western Australia

Composers - Western Australia

Patriotic Music - Western Australia

Western Australia - Songs and music

Western Australian New Music Archive (WANMA)

In conjunction with Tura New Music, Edith Cowan University, the National Library of Australia and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Western Australian new music heritage is being collected in a one of a kind archive - the WANMA web portal.  

Music Collection Highlights

Highlights of the music collection include:

Apollo and the Pioneers – A major reference work on the history of Western Australian music by A.H. Kornweibel, a music critic and journalist known as Fidelio.

Liverpool of the South Seas: Perth and its Popular Music / Edited by Tara Brabazon – Provides a snapshot of this cultural movement in the most isolated capital city in the world.

Love You to Bits and Pieces: Life with David Helfgott – Written by his wife, Gillian, this book tells the story of her life with Western Australian pianist David Helfgott and purports to be "the true story that inspired the movie Shine".

Recordings

Eileen Joyce Recital – Anthology of Goldfields-educated pianist's favourite and famous recordings.

Seasons of change: 1968-1972 – Original recording of The Valentines and Fraternity featuring Bon Scott.

All this spirit in the land: traditional songs from the Kimberleys, Western Australia – Western Australia has a vibrant and active Indigenous music industry.

60's Perth – Features musicians such as Johnny Young & Kompany, The Valentines, The Troupadores and Ray Hoff & The Offbeats and produced on the famous Clarion label.

Born Sandy Devotional – Rock group, the Triffids, scored a major success with this album which broke into the European market in the 1980s.

St. Mary's Church of England Girls' School Choir. 1964 carol service – Did your school choir release a recording? If so, we'd love to have it.

Videos

Portrait of an artist / Molly McGurk – Iconic singer, teacher and pianist talks about her career.

The Joys of the Women – Tells of Kavisha Mazzella's bid to find and preserve the songs of Italian immigrant women and the formation of the Fremantle Italian women's chorus.

Ephemera & Archives

Collection of material relating to choirs, musical groups and orchestras

Collection of material relating to the Royal School of Church Music, WA Branch

Papers of Coral Gunning 1932-1989 Cabaret Performer

Oral Histories

Interview with Scott Wise – Folk musician and instrument maker.

Interview with Alice Carrard – Pianist and teacher who taught David Helfgott.

Interview with Harry Bluck – Musician, orchestrator, composer (pseudonym, Richard Johns), Union organiser

Photographs

ABC Orchestra Musicians and Conductor 1950

Supernaut Perform on Stage 1977

Cellist, Derby Leprosarium Orchestra 1948

Last updated on: 15 Dec 2016