Making Music in the Library

Tinderbox Orchestra are making waves in their partnership with Edinburgh Central Library, allowing members of all ages to borrow musical instruments for free, just as they would borrow a book with their new Music Library.

We were lucky enough to see them perform ‘Echoes of Creation’ at this year’s EDGE conference in Edinburgh. An original composition in support of the ‘We Make Music’ Instrument Libraries – an initiative to get musical instruments into public libraries across Scotland. 

The piece was a collaboration between Tinderbox Orchestra and Poet/ Library Manager – Hannah McCooke. During the presentation it was explained to us that the poetry was inspired by stories of the instruments and a local activist who campaigned for music education for children in the area at a time when there was none.

The Music Library contains the largest collection of publicly accessible material on music and dance in Scotland including sheet music, books and recorded music on CD, DVD, and streaming through Naxos Music Library. They also loan sets of vocal and orchestral music to local choirs and orchestras and have a digital piano, a digital keyboard and electronic drum kit in their music practice room and an Acoustic Pod available to book.

It was an inspirational talk and they are keen to spread the word far and wide. Edinburgh Central Library are still accepting donations of musical instruments and even have musicians who are able to do repairs to old or damaged instruments.

It’s great to see the conversation changing from libraries being known as a place of quiet to somewhere that actively encourages performance and creativity. I can’t wait to see how libraries decide to surprise us next!


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