May 22, 2022

Cool! National Library of Australia Launches New App to View Digitized Sheet Music From Their Collection

Update: Paul Hagon, Senior Web Developer at the National Library of Australia provides a lot of interesting background about the app in this blog post.

Say hello to the new Forte app (iPad only) from the National Library of Australia. It was formally released yesterday.

Forte provides access to more than 13,000 digitized items (including covers) from NLA’s sheet music collection. These items 
were published from the 1800s to the 1950s.

The app is a free download and we were able to access from the U.S. and Canadian iTunes App Stores.

The software used to develop Forte is open source.

From the Official Announcement:

The concept for Forte emerged from an open data set of our sheet music collection made available on for the LibraryHack competition in 2011 and was developed in association with Canberra based developer Stripy Sock. To our knowledge it is the first app of its kind to provide mobile access specifically to a historical sheet music collection.

Key Features of Forte App

  • 13,000 pages of music
  • Browse scores by decade or composer
  • Beautiful cover artwork
  • Create your own list of favourites
  • Easy to play music straight from your iPad with simple swipe function
  • Share your favourites through Facebook, Twitter and email
  • Learn the history of each score through the Library Catalogue

Direct to Forte App (via iTunes App Store)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.