Listen to sheet music
from the Library's
Online sheet orchestra
Welcome to VirtuOSO, the DX Lab’s experiment that plays transcribed sheet music from the Library’s collection.
Did you know that the State Library of NSW has a large and significant collection of sheet music? Over 300 examples of rare 19th century Australian sheet music have been digitised and are available for you to download and play.
Composers and music publishers of the day found that there was a ready market for patriotic songs and music about local suburbs and events. Who could resist titles like The Glebe Rowing Club Polka, The Sutherland Waltz, The Overland Mail Galop or The Australian Quadrilles?
We have transcribed the sheet music with ABC Notation and used ABC JS to render the music in beautifully clear notation in your browser. Then, by writing some extra code, the note and timing information has been sent to our audio engine (Reactronica) so you can hear it played back while following along in the music.
The music is highly interactive, so you can control the tempo, switch between major and minor keys and even change the sound of the instruments for your own remixes.
If you can play any of these scores, we would love to hear your version. Please share these in social media using this #DXLab #VirtuOSO.
Read the blog post if you would like to learn more about the making of Virtuoso.
All the sounds (except for the synth) used in Virtuoso are from the VCSO 2 open source sound library.