CTA-arrowEPCExplore-IconMap-01Transportaccount-icon arrow-back arrow-leftarrow-rightarrowbath bed-bigbed close documentsdownload facebook-darkfacebookfloor-planfullscreen houseinstagram-darkinstagram-darklivingroom location-bigmailofficephoneprice-bigproperty-type-bigsavesearch-iconstampstreet-viewtwitter-darktwitter

What’s the Story: Top Scores

We seem to love singing around here – there are lots of vibrant choirs and singing groups from the highly polished Crouch End Festival Chorus to complete beginners groups welcoming any enthusiastic new member. All the ...

We seem to love singing around here – there are lots of vibrant choirs and singing groups from the highly polished Crouch End Festival Chorus to complete beginners groups welcoming any enthusiastic new member.


All these groups sing from scores, the written musical instructions they have to follow.

score classic-fm-live-at-the-royal-albert-hall4-1268736141-article-0

These are expensive to buy new and many choirs could not afford to perform as many wonderful pieces as they do if it was not for the wonderful work of the Community and Youth Music Library based in Hornsey Library. The CYML is one of the UK’s most important sources of sets of musical scores scores in the country and is considered a national treasure. We owe a lot to the people who have been giving their time to build this great resource over the past 100 years – so here’s a thank you from us.

Here’s a bit more from the CYML website:

score room


The Library began more than a century ago when the London County Council became responsible for education in London. It was taken over by the Inner London Education Authority and, when ILEA was abolished in 1990, it became the CYM Library (CYM was short for the Centre for Young Musicians, based at Morley College in south-east London). From 1995 to March 2010, it was housed by Trinity College of Music, while retaining its CYM title. The Library has continued to grow in recent years, incorporating sets of music donated from other collections.

With generous support from the Wates Foundation, the Library has now been transferred to a charitable company, the Community & Youth Music Library – so it is still known as the CYM Library. It is now located in much more suitable premises at Haringey Council’s Hornsey Library, Haringey Park, London N8 9JA.

Who do we lend music to?

We lend to amateur groups of all kinds, in all parts of the UK and further afield. In view of the Library’s origins, we’re particularly keen on lending to schools.

Who runs the CYM Library?

The CYML company has four directors: Michael Ashcroft and Jeremy Jackman (both with long experience of conducting choirs in London and elsewhere), Ruth Hellen (experienced music librarian and former president of IAML UK & Ireland) and Peter Smith (experienced choral singer). The day-to-day work of the Library is done by our music librarian, Ceri Mann, assisted by Peter Smith.

Our patrons

The company has four very distinguished patrons: Howard Goodall, award-winning composer, campaigner for music education and England’s first Singing Ambassador; Diana Burrell, composer of orchestral, choral, organ and chamber music; Sir Mark Elder CBE, principal conductor of the Hallé Orchestra; and Jonathan Dove, whose compositions include opera, choral works, film, theatre, orchestral and chamber music.

Where to from here for the CYM Library?

Our top priority is to publicise the Library and encourage more groups to use it. The resulting increased revenue from hire charges will help us to renew our stocks, fill gaps in our collection and provide an even better service to our users.

Welcome to the Community & Youth Music Library, a very large collection of vocal scores and instrumental parts, from which, for a small hire charge, you can borrow music for your choir, orchestra or wind band.

We lend sets of scores to schools, choirs, amateur orchestras, opera groups and bands throughout the UK and even farther afield.  We’re located at the London Borough of Haringey’s Hornsey Library, but the scores are usually sent by post.

The sections of the Library that are used most are about 350 multiple-copy sets of major choral and stage works, 800 sets of orchestral parts and 800 wind band sets. Together these cover a very large part of the standard orchestral and choral classical music repertoire and a wide selection of concert band music. But we also hold large stocks of part-songs and other smaller choral works.

You can browse our catalogues of choral, orchestral and band music on this website. Or you can contact us by telephone (0203 602 5214) or, better still, email cymlibrary@googlemail.com and tell us what you’re looking for.

The Community & Youth Music Library is a company limited by guarantee, registered in England – no. 6565945 – and is also a registered charity, no. 1138705.

Subscribe to our blog

Latest News