Where do I start?

These lists of books are specially selected by our librarians.

Learn an Instrument
Learn how to play some of the most popular instruments using the Free Library of Philadelphia’s materials for beginners.

  • Drums, Percussion, and Wind Instruments: Learn to bang out rhythms on a drum kit or other percussion instrument, make a saxophone or harmonica cry or sing, or master the sweet sounds of the flute or clarinet.
  • Piano and Keyboard: Tickle the ivories or master futuristic synths and keyboards!
  • Singing Strings: Books on guitar, bass, banjo, and violin
  • Starting Early: Books for Younger Players: Books to help children choose the right instrument, find a good teacher, develop practicing habits, and keep at it even when the going gets rough.
  • Music Business
    This topic should appeal to teens and adults who are interested in getting their music or song lyrics exposed, or are interested in a career in the music industry.

  • Getting Into the Music Business: Music-related careers, general information music business websites
  • Promoting Your Music: Getting signed; independent labels and releasing; music promotion on music and social networking sites
  • Songwriting and Copyright: Resources for help in songwriting and copyright forms and questions
  • Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts
    Explore the Free Library of Philadelphia’s resources related to the theme of the inaugural Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts: early 20th century French culture.

  • French Music Booklist: In the early years of the 20th Century, Paris was the cultural capitol of the world and la musique francaise was exemplified by composers such as Debussy, Ravel, Satie, and the group of composers known as Les Six. Here are a few books that chronicle that wonderful period of artistic explosion.
  • The Hip Hop Generation
    You love the music, but how well do you really know hip hop? Start your education with these books from the Free Library.

  • Hip Hop's Kings and Queens: Royalty from Dr. Dre to Queen Latifah.
  • History and Culture: Learn the evolution of the music.
  • The Music: CD's you can borrow.
  • The Poetry of Hip Hop: They were poets before they were stars.