A rotating selection of pieces from the library's collection of sheet music.
Long before MP3 files and ringtones dominated the music realm of pop culture, sheet music was all the rage. From the 1850s through the 1950s, stores cropped up selling nothing but the stuff, with institutions like the Los Angeles Times giving away free printed songs as special supplements to its regular newspaper. The Los Angeles Central Library has since amassed the now-rare items into a sheet-music collection 50,000-pieces strong, providing a huge resource for professor Josh Kun, director of the Popular Music Project at USC Annenberg’s Norman Lear Center, and his students to research material for a new book from Angel City Press: "Songs in the Key of Los Angeles: Sheet Music from the Collection of the Los Angeles Public Library." In conjunction with the book’s recent release, the Library Foundation of Los Angeles highlights some of the most vivid sheet-music samples in a related exhibition at the Los Angeles Central Library; "Songs in the Key of LA."