Playing our song
Making music at Sydney Living Museums
A large collection of rare sheet music lies waiting to be discovered in the cupboards and piano stools of our historic houses, while instruments sit silently in testament to their distant noisy past. Like today, music in the home was an important form of entertainment, a way of enacting social order and a tool for maintaining cultural connectedness.
Through exciting new research, performance and online initiatives we are reviving lost musical soundscapes for modern audiences as well as exploring the idea of ‘home’ and ‘place’ through the lens of music.
Uncovering the trail of a lost masterpiece
Sydney Living Museums volunteer, author and art historian Robert Holden has devoted his sleuthing skills to the search for a missing life-sized portrait of Irish-born prima donna Catherine Hayes last seen in a photograph from 1917. Can you help with this ongoing mystery?
Songs and scandal uncovered: The Dowling Music Project
In an exciting collaboration between Sydney Living Museums and the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, performers from the Historical Performance Unit are bringing to life a previously unknown collection of sheet music which belonged to a young Sydney couple in the 1830s.
Search the collections
SLM’s sheet music collections are being progressively catalogued by the Caroline Simpson Library & Research Collection and are available on its electronic catalogue.
Digitised sheet music and manuscripts
A selection of domestic sheet music and music manuscripts from the collections of Sydney Living Museums’ historic house museums and Caroline Simpson Library & Research Collection has been digitised and is now available through our SLM page on the Internet Archive.