KPM Vinyl

Originally broadcast in April 2011 and presented by Library and Soundtrack aficionado Jonny Trunk, ‘Into the Music Library’ is a brief and concise history of library music.

If you’re a fan of Library music (and I guess if you're listening to Radio Sounds Familiar, that’s a fair assumption)  this documentary is essential listening.

Chappel Vinyl Disc

Here’s a short description of the programme:

It's the music which has embraced us our entire lives, but in the main, most of us have never quite heard, or even listened to... and nearly all of it is produced in the United Kingdom.

Occasionally called 'Source music, 'Mood Music' or background music, it's more correctly referred to as 'Library music', a significant member of the British sound archive.

Bruton Music Logo

Its use and function is straight forward: as a cost-effective and well produced composition for radio, TV, and film production as well as advertising.

Until recently it was not commercially available to the general public.
This music was distributed on shellac and vinyl from the 1950s onwards, only produced in limited quantities and then mailed straight to Radio, TV and Film post production houses for use when necessary.
Resulting in, years later, being must sought after and very collectable.

dewolfe vol 1

From the middle 1960s onwards, when TV and Radio productions grew, library music usage increased.  Resulting in, the so called, golden age of TV and Radio, interspersed, if not dominated by classic library recordings.

Situation comedies, Cartoons, Game shows, Talk shows, Sports programmes, Classic children's television and the music used under the, much missed, Test Card was brought to us under the auspices of library music.

The themes for 'Grange Hill','Terry And June, 'Mastermind', 'Man about the House', 'Match Of The Day' and 'Dave Allen at large' are all example of famous library cues.
But there are hundreds of thousands of hours of beautifully crafted cuts that we have never heard.

We’ve been immersed in it forever, but we understand so little about it.... What are its origins? Who is responsible? And finally how would you start to compose such pieces that would be used as background music for say, playing over the tannoy in the supermarket?

In this BBC Radio 4 documentary, Jonny Trunk meets the legendary library music composer Barbara Moore and looks into library’s unique history, speaking with the some of the original label owners such as ‘de Wolfe’, ‘KPM’ and ‘John Gale’. Discussing what it's like to compose music to a blank canvas. 
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Jonny also meets the modern day enthusiasts and explores the contemporary influences of this extraordinary and mis- understood  music genre.

And of course, we re-acquaint ourselves with some of the most familiar music we've never listened to... or did we?

Listen to 'Into the Music Library' here

See You Next Time