Finding a new, toe-tapping tune is not something you’d typically look for at the library; however, your National Library has the largest archive of sheet music in Australia. After all, sheet music scores can be books too! Let’s hit the dance floor while exploring our collection of sheet music. 


The Waltz is up first, so if your household is larger than two and you’re accompanying dancers, move the couch and roll up the rug on the living room floor to allow the dancers enough space for this ballroom dance. It is usually performed at a moderately fast triple time, with the dancers moving in a series of circles, taking one step to each beat.

Black and white photograph of a group performing a waltz
Walter Stringer, Ballet Rambert performance of Mephisto Waltz, starring Brenda Hamlyn and David Hunt, Princess Theatre, 1948,

Among the titles our collection has to offer are:


The Tango is a dance of Spanish-American origin, danced by couples, and having many varied steps, figures, and poses. A hallway however should do just fine for the main move featured in popular culture references if you do want to try the dance at home, just be sure to avoid tripping on the floor runner and knocking the vase (presumably filled with red roses) off the console when turning.

Tango sheet music with a bright orange and red cover
Just as musical styles and audience tastes change over time, so too does the design of sheet music.

Dance up a storm with the following online scores:


The Polka is a lively round dance of Bohemian origin, with music in duple time. The polka has been forever etched into the minds of generations of school children via ‘Barn Dance’ favourite, the Heel and Toe Polka, but why not step out of your comfort zone and try the Kangaroo Polka instead?

Sheet music illustration featuring three kangaroos
Find the sheet music for the Kangaroo Polka composed by Carl Hause and published in 1886 online via Trove.

Aside from the Kangaroo Polka, you could try one of these at home:


You may need to keep the living room rug rolled up for this one. The Gavotte is an old French dance in moderately quick 4/4 time. It is also noted as a piece of music for, or in the rhythm of, this dance, often forming one of the movements in the classical suite, usually following the saraband.

Sheet music on yellowed paper
The Pierrot & Pierrette Gavotte: easy pianoforte solo, 1919, was composed by Milton Leigh and is available online via Trove.

Explore this dance through the following pieces:

Finally, if you don’t want to get out on the dance floor (even if it is only in your living room), you may wish to travel through song. Perhaps a polka in Sydney, a march in Adelaide, a waltz in Canberra and a schottische in Melbourne.

Images of sheet music covers from different Australian cities
Travel vicariously through our sheet music collection with titles such as these. See the full scores online via Trove: Adelaide March in Eb, Canberra Waltz, The Sydney Polka and Melbourne by night schottische.

Find more sheet music

From studies for beginners to concertos for the advanced musician, for piano, guitar, cello, flute, trombone and numerous other instruments, find some new additions to your repertoire – or simply stave off lockdown boredom (pun intended). Use the music research guide and start playing along.