My Account | My Cart | Los Angeles Public Library | Visit Our Blog




“Songs in the Key of L.A.”

The first in a series of collaborations between the Library Foundation and the Los Angeles Public Library to mine the Library’s vast collections, “Songs in the Key of L.A.” unveils for the first time the world’s only collection of Southern California sheet music. The collection was curated by a research team led by USC Annenberg Professor Josh Kun. Through a variety of activities, the Library and Library Foundation will bring the collection to light for contemporary reflection this summer, offering a rare opportunity to explore the history of Los Angeles through its sheet music.

• Culled from the Sheet Music Collection of the Los Angeles Public Library and published by Angel City Press, Songs in the Key of Los Angeles tells the story of Los Angeles through its songs. Featuring the elaborately designed covers of more than one hundred pieces of vintage sheet music, the unprecedented anthology offers a rare musical window into Southern California history. Published June 1, Songs in the Key of Los Angeles is available at The Library Store.

• The Library Foundation is proud to present five new recordings based on sheet music contained in the Los Angeles Public Library Sheet Music Collection and featured in the book, Songs in the Key of Los Angeles, made available through the Library’s website.  The recordings were made possible by the generous support of Bedrock.LA, the Library Foundation, and The Norman Lear Center.

• The recording sessions will also be showcased online every two weeks in five short documentaries produced by KCET’s transmedia award-winning arts and culture series, Artbound.

• On Thursday, July 18, the Foundation’s award-winning ALOUD series gets in on the fun, hosting Kun and musical guest Quetzal for a rare evening of L.A. music history.

• On Thursday, July 25, Grand Performances hosts City Librarian John Szabo and Library Foundation President Ken Brecher for “Off the Shelf: Creating L.A.’s 21st Century Library,” a lively discussion about the future of the Los Angeles Public Library, starting with the “Songs in the Key of L.A.” project.

• And finally, on August 2, Grand Performances, in collaboration with the Library Foundation, presents “Songs in the Key of L.A.” the concert.  With selections hand-picked by Kun, hometown heroes Ozomatli and special guests will bring songs from the collection to life in a free concert for the people of Los Angeles.

• Coming soon to the Central Library: Songs in the Key of L.A. – the exhibition!