Did you know where God Save the King is first thought to have been sung? Or did you know where the composer Frédéric Chopin gave his final public performance?

Did you know that the City of London has more musical organisations than headquarters of banks? Yet, no single publication has hitherto captured fully this rich abundance of musical talent, events, venues, and performing groups concentrated in such a small geographic area. Not until now …  

During the pandemic period, Worshipful Company of Information Technologists’ Court Assistant Paul Jagger and Julian Cable, a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Musicians, have pursued a project to co-author Songs and Music of the City of London: a new pocket guide to capture the Square Mile’s myriad present-day musical activities, organisations and venues in all their facets.

Book front cover design

The guide was initially published in electronic eBook format in June 2021. A printed edition is in production, and is now available to pre-order, at a price of £12, from https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/1093730971/songs-and-music-of-the-city-of-london. All are invited and encouraged to place orders! It is hoped that the printed copies will be available in time for the Lord Mayor’s Show in November.

It is a great honour that Alderman, Past Lord Mayor and Pastmaster Musician Sir Andrew Parmley has kindly written the Foreword.

With the agreement of Lady Gifford, the printed edition of the guide is dedicated to the memory of the late Alderman, Past Lord Mayor and Pastmaster Musician Sir Roger Gifford, following his untimely death earlier this year, in recognition of his tireless support for music in the City.

The guide is intended for a broad audience including the membership of Livery Companies and affiliated organisations, City workers and tourists.

The guide covers contemporary performance, education and composition of music, whether in the City’s places of worship, schools, in the Barbican Centre, in choirs and orchestras, on the City’s streets such as in the Lord Mayor’s Show, or through sponsorship by the Livery Companies through education and awards. It also includes anthems, songs and sung graces of the City’s Livery Companies. The past 18 months of the Coronavirus pandemic have all but shut down live music-making in a traditional in-person medium, leaving an unfortunate cultural and social void, mitigated to some extent (though never a complete substitute) by harnessing modern technology for live-streaming or recording of concerts and acts of worship. It is hoped that the publication of this guide will coincide with a re-emergence of in-person music events, under safe conditions. We heartily encourage all our correspondents to attend and support these events, and thereby contribute to securing the livelihood of all of the City’s amazing talented musicians. 

Book excerpt