NLB Launches MusicSG – Singapore's First Digital Archive for Singapore Music

Release Date : 11 Nov 2010

Preservation of past and present musical works related to Singapore to provide a valuable resource which researchers and music lovers can access from all NLB''s libraries and home, when copyrights permit

Singapore, 11 November 2010 – The National Library Board (NLB) today officially launched MusicSG, the nation's first digital archive for music related to Singapore. The online depository gives access to past and present musical works such as recordings, scores, articles, lyrics and album covers. In addition to preserving Singapore's heritage, MusicSG also aims to raise the awareness of Singapore music, and serves as an important resource for researchers and individuals who are interested in Singapore musical works and music history.

NLB has digitised and archived about 3,000 local musical works to-date. These works showcase various genres of music ranging from hip hop and rap, jazz, pop, rock and metal, to classical, folk and xinyao. The works can be accessed from the multimedia stations at NLB's network of 22 public libraries and the Lee Kong Chian Reference Library, as well as from homes through the Internet, where the copyrights granted by the owners permit.

Said Mrs Phoon Chew Ping, Chief Executive of NLB, "MusicSG adds to NLB's comprehensive range of information services and resources on Singapore for public access. It demonstrates how NLB has gone beyond books to bring knowledge alive in multi-sensory formats, to the delight of our customers."

She added, "Everyone has a role to play in preserving Singapore's musical heritage. We are grateful for the strong support of COMPASS in this milestone project.  We welcome the music industry and the public to continue to contribute generously to MusicSG's growing archive."

The Composers and Authors Society of Singapore (COMPASS) is a strategic partner of the MusicSG project. In 2009, NLB and COMPASS signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to enable NLB to tap upon COMPASS and its members for rights clearance of its collection of local musical works.

Said Dr Edmund Lam, Chief Executive and Director of COMPASS, "From COMPASS' perspective, the overriding objective of MusicSG is to preserve music-related materials, such as recordings and even films and photographs. As time elapses, many significant moments in music history are in danger of deteriorating to the point where they would be lost forever. MusicSG aims to save these materials for the enjoyment and education of future generations. For the general public, MusicSG will provide a single point of convenient access especially for scholars or students doing related research or even individuals with a genuine interest in local music. This is the immediate benefit but the value of MusicSG, if you look 100 years down the road, would be of immense value."

NLB will be conducting a donation drive every weekend, from 13 November to 19 December 2010, 11.30 am to 5.30 pm, at NLB's network of 22 public libraries. Interested parties can donate music materials related to Singapore, as well as musical works created, composed or performed by Singaporeans. NLB will seek copyright clearances from the respective copyright owners, including checking with COMPASS and Recording Industry Performance Singapore. For more information on the donation drive, please contact NLB at 6332 3255 or email