Petrucci Music Library (IMSLP) – Public domain sheet music

The old-fashioned way of obtaining sheet music for “classical” music was to go to a music shop such as Zephyr Music or Allans Music and buy it, or browse in second hand shops (Da Capo Music in Glebe), or borrow from the library.

Over the last fifteen years I have enjoyed following the score when listening to classical music. Since starting to learn the piano I have been searching for suitable music to play.

In the past I borrowed scores from Willoughby library but more recenly I discovered the vast resources of Public Domain Scores.

Petrucci Music Library

The Petrucci music library or IMSLP (International Music Score Library Project) is a web site where volunteers have scanned and uploaded public domain music scores. These works include solo instrument scores (piano, cello and violin in particular), as well as orchestral scores and individual parts for ensembles. This has proved very usefel for the Kuringai Youth Orchestra where I am one of the music librarians.

The site is a Wiki and looks something like Wikipedia. You can browse scores by Composer, Nationality, Time Period, and Instrumentation. Once you have found the music of interest, PDF files can be downloaded for printing or viewing, and sometimes royalty free recordings are available.

What is public domain?

Any work published in the lifetime of an author who died in 1954 or earlier, is out of copyright. The term for authors who died in 1955 or later is 70 years.  IMSLP has a page explaining Public Domain and copyright.

Jean Sibelius died in 1957, therefore his works enter the public domain in 2027 (1957 + 70). Maurice Ravel died in 1937 therefore his work is now in the public domain. Sometimes a score is available on this web site but not public domain in Australia, therefore it can’t be legally used for a public performance.


And now read another article about Where to find Public Domain Music.


About these ads

4 responses to this post.

  1. [...] Posted May 2, 2012 by charuzu in Music. Leave a Comment [...]

    Reply

  2. My article got reposted in this blog on public domain music: http://publicdomainexpert.info/

    Reply

  3. Fantastic resource that I never knew existed. Thank you

    Reply

  4. Pretty section of content. I just stumbled upon your weblog and in accession
    capital to assert that I get actually enjoyed account your blog posts.
    Any way I will be subscribing to your feeds and even I achievement you access consistently fast.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 100 other followers

%d bloggers like this: