Barbican library exhibition celebrates joy of making music together

Friends, neighbours, and colleagues who meet regularly in their local communities to make music provide the focus of a new exhibition at Barbican Music Library.

Making Music Together: A celebration of leisure-time music in the UK will show how thousands of groups get together to play and perform a wide range of music from jazz and folk to classical and barbershop.

Across the country, around 13,000 leisure-time music groups comprising around 700,000 hobby musicians meet up regularly to make music in a wide range of locations, including houses, halls, garages, fields, and theatres.

Presented by Making Music, the UK’s organisation for leisure-time music, in collaboration with the City Corporation-owned library, Making Music Together runs from 16 January to 23 March.

The free exhibition will feature posters, film and quotes contributed by Making Music member groups, as well as specially commissioned portraits of leisure-time musicians.

Graham Packham, Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Culture, Heritage and Libraries Committee, said:

“Visitors to Barbican Music Library will see for themselves how, across the length and breadth of the country, hundreds of thousands of people are coming together to perform music.

“It is a heart-warming concept and I am sure that the exhibition will do a sterling job of conveying the community spirit, camaraderie and good humour felt by everyone involved in these groups.”

Barbara Eifler, Chief Executive of Making Music, said:

“This exhibition at Barbican Music Library is a great opportunity to show just how much and what variety there is in the leisure-time music scene.

“Groups from around the UK responded enthusiastically to our call-out, and their music, their portraits and their stories paint a rich and moving picture of proud community activity which happen all across the UK - from the Hebrides to Land’s End, and Northern Ireland to Norfolk.

“This exhibition vividly shows, in one space, the lifelong impact and joy of making music in your leisure-time.”

The City of London Corporation, which owns and manages Barbican Music Library, is the fourth largest funder of heritage and cultural activities in the UK and invests over £100m every year.

The City Corporation is also developing Culture Mile between Farringdon and Moorgate – a multi-million-pound investment which will create a new cultural and creative destination for London over the next 10 to 15 years. This includes £110m funding to support the Museum of London’s move to West Smithfield and £2.5m to support the detailed business case for the proposed Centre for Music. 


Notes for Editors:

For interviews with Barbican Music Library and Making Music spokespeople, and to discuss the possibility of performances for broadcast media by leisure-time music groups, please contact Andrew Buckingham and Natalie Joanes (see below):

Andrew Buckingham, Media Officer, City of London Corporation

Tel: 020 7332 1452 / Mobile: 07795 333060 / Email

Natalie Joanes, Communications and Marketing Manager, Making Music

Tel: 020 7939 6041 / Email 

About the City of London Corporation:

The City of London Corporation is the governing body of the Square Mile dedicated to a vibrant and thriving City, supporting a diverse and sustainable London within a globally-successful UK.

About Making Music:

Since 1935, Making Music has championed leisure-time music groups across the UK with practical services, artistic development opportunities and by providing a collective voice for its members. We now represent over 3,500 groups of around 190,000 musicians of all types, genres and abilities. We help them run their group so they can get on with making music!