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[alt text: image of score for Toast to Old DePauw]
Start with Open Access Resources!
DePauw's Music Library recommends searching open access resources for scores.
Open Access materials are freely available on the internet, and allow users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these materials without financial or legal barriers.
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Open Access Sheet Music Databases
African American Sheet Music
The sheet music in this digital collection has been selected from the Sheet Music Collection at the John Hay Library at Brown University. The full collection consists of approximately 500,000 items, of which perhaps 250,000 are currently available for use. It is one of the largest collections of sheet music in any library in the United States. The sheet music, primarily vocal music of American imprint, dates from the 18th century to the present day, with the largest concentration of titles in the period 1840-1950.
Multimedia collections from the Library of Congress of digitized documents, photographs, sound recordings, motion pictures, and texts. Over 100 collections, including, for example, African-American pamphlets, Chautauqua flyers, Depression photographs, Coca-Cola advertising, and the papers of Alexander Graham Bell, to name just a few.
Archives of African American Music and Culture
Established in 1991, Indiana University's Archives of African American Music and Culture (AAAMC) is a repository of materials covering a range of African American musical idioms and cultural expressions from the post-World War II era. Our collections highlight popular, religious, and classical music, with genres ranging from blues and gospel to R&B and contemporary hip hop. The AAAMC also houses extensive materials related to the documentation of Black radio.
Art Song Central
Art Song Central is principally an archive and directory of free, printable sheet music for singers and voice teachers. An emphasis is placed on standard classical and traditional repertoire.
BandMusic PDF Library
BandMusic PDF Library preserves and shares band music from the Golden Age of the American Town Band. If you are looking for public domain music to play with your school band, community band or other group, you'll find it here–marches, waltzes, rags, theater music, cornet solos, trombone features, and much more.
Black Grooves: AAAMC
Black Grooves is a music review site hosted by the Archives of African American Music & Culture (AAAMC) at Indiana University. Their goal is to promote black music by providing our readers with monthly updates on interesting new releases and quality reissues in all genres─including gospel, blues, jazz, funk, soul, R&B, world music, and hip-hop—as well as classical music composed or performed by black artists.
Center for Black Music Research
The Center for Black Music Research (CBMR) is an independent research unit of Columbia College Chicago devoted to documentation, research, preservation, and dissemination of information about the history of black music on a global scale.
Choral Public Domain Library
The Choral Public Domain Library (CPDL) is a collection of free public domain choral music. CPDL currently hosts free scores of at least 23680 choral and vocal works by at least 2754 composers.
Deutsch Mozart Letters and Documents – Online Edition
The Salzburg Mozarteum Foundation currently holds approximately half of the known letters and documents of the Mozart family, thus possessing the largest collection of this kind worldwide.
Free-Scores.com is a collection of free public access resource that provides users with free contemporary, classical and educational sheet music for all instruments.
FreeSheetMusic.net is a indexing database that allows users to search a compilation of websites for free sheet music, articles, lessons, and other topics of interest to the musician.
Gutenberg Sheet Music Project
From approximately 2001-2006, Project Gutenberg volunteers were been engaged in digitizing public domain sheet music, using a variety of techniques, to enable study and performance. For the most part, the musical pieces created were chamber music, with composers such as Brahms and Beethoven. This sub-project is no longer active, because there are other efforts that have stronger workflows for sheet music. Project Gutenberg is, mostly, focused on text.
Historical American Sheet Music (Duke University)
This site provides access to digital images of 3042 pieces from the collection, published in the United States between 1850 and 1920.
IMSLP (Petrucci Music Library)
International Music Score Library Project (IMSLP), is an extensive collection of free public access music scores.
Lester S. Levy Collection of Sheet Music
The Lester S. Levy Collection of Sheet Music consists of over 29,000 pieces of American popular music. The collection spans the years 1780 to 1980, but its strength is its thorough documentation of nineteenth-century America through popular music. The collection is especially strong in music spawned by military conflicts from the War of 1812 through World War I, and minstrel music is also well represented. Other topics include music about the circus; dance; drinking, temperance, and smoking; fraternal orders; presidents; romantic and sentimental songs; schools and colleges; and transportation.
Library of Congress: Performing Arts Encyclopedia
Integrates the collections, commissions and live concerts of the Library of Congress, allowing users to discover the Library's music and performing-arts collections through a single gateway on the Web. The site brings together thousands of materials digitized from the Library's vast collections of sheet music, sound recordings, moving images, manuscripts, photographs, and oral histories.
The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of America
American history through songs. Recordings, essays, articles. From the Library of Congress.
MLA's Public Domain Song Anthology
Published in collaboration with the Arthur Friedheim Library of the Peabody Institute and the University of Michigan Library, the anthology will make nearly 400 public domain songs available in brand new arrangements. As selected and curated by jazz repertory experts -- founding Jazz at Lincoln Center conductor and arranger David Berger and famed bassist and member of the Bill Evans Trio Chuck Israels -- the music is presented in new leadsheets with two harmonizations: traditional harmonies and contemporary harmonies that allow students and players to reimagine each tune. In celebration of the Public Domain, the authors’ are donating their new harmonizations and all other new content in the Anthology to the public domain with a CC-0 license so that teachers, students, and musicians can freely reuse, modify, and share anything in the Anthology.
Music for the Nation: American Sheet Music
Music for the Nation: American Sheet Music consists of over 47,000 pieces of sheet music registered for copyright during the years 1870 to 1885. Included are popular songs, piano music, sacred and secular choral music, solo instrumental music, method books and instructional materials, and music for band and orchestra.
MusRef: Digital Collections
A guide to more than 11,000 Print and Internet Music Reference Sources
Mutopia Project contains 2024 pieces of music. Free to download, modify, print, copy, distribute, perform, and record – all in the Public Domain or under Creative Commons licenses, in PDF, MIDI, and editable LilyPond file formats. More
New Music USA
A merger of the American Music Center and Meet the Composer. Their Online Library contains works by more than 6,000 composers with over 14,000 media samples (recordings and scores).
New York Philharmonic Leon Levy Digital Archives
The New York Philharmonic Leon Levy Digital Archives was launched in February 2011, and currently comprises more than four million pages, including printed programs, marked conducting scores, business documents, and photographs. Growing continually, the scope of the online collection is every document in the New York Philharmonic Archives from 1842 through 1970. This includes correspondence, marked scores and parts, contracts, and minutes from meetings of the Board of Directors — as well as all public documents from 1970 through today (e.g., marketing materials, press releases, and annual reports).
NMA Online: Neue Mozart-Ausgabe: Digitized Version
The purpose of this web site operated by the Internationale Stiftung Mozarteum in cooperation with the Packard Humanities Institute is to make Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's musical compositions widely and conveniently accessible to the public, for personal study and for educational and classroom use. The digitized version offers the musical text and the critical commentaries of the entire Neue Mozart-Ausgabe, edited by the Internationale Stiftung Mozart in cooperation with the Mozart cities of Augsburg, Salzburg, and Vienna.
Sheet Music Consortium
The Sheet Music Consortium is a group of libraries working toward the goal of building an open collection of digitized sheet music using the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting. Harvested metadata about sheet music in participating collections is hosted by UCLA Digital Library Program, which provides an access service via this metadata to sheet music records at the host libraries. Data providers have chosen to catalog their sheet music in different ways, but a large proportion of the original sheets in participating collections has been digitized, allowing users direct access to the music itself and in many cases covers and advertisements that offer evidence of the cultural context in which the songs were published.
Sibley Music Library: Sheet Music Collection
The Sibley Music Library at the Eastman School of Music has digitized thousands of public domain music scores, emphasizing those not widely available.
UWM Sheet Music Collection
The music you will find here is from an uncataloged collection of individual sheet music - from song sheets to solo piano and violin sonatas - housed at the UWM Music Library. Only music that is in the public domain, i.e., written prior to 1923, has been digitized. Likewise, only music not already digitized and available through another collection is included here. Check back as we continue to add music to this collection.