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Online scores and indexes

Introduction

This page provides resources for locating and accessing online scores.

Locating online scores, from the Music Library's blog, serves as a guide to using several of these sites to find and access scores.

Comprehensive collections

  • IMSLP / Petrucci Music Library
    • Virtual music library providing free access to public domain music scores
    • Also includes scores for works of contemporary composers who wish to release them to the public free of charge
  • Internet Archive
    • Digital collection of public domain materials, including archives and published media from university collections around the world
    • Includes sound recordings, scores, books, and other materials
    • Public domain materials can be downloaded
    • Offers full-text searching within documents and across the collection
  • Music Online: Classical Scores Library, vols. 1-4 (Alexander Street Press)
    • Access digital scores from numerous publishers, including Boosey & Hawkes, Breitkopf and Härtel, Donemus, Muzyka, Novello, Universal, and Hansen
    • Includes full, study, piano, and vocal scores and encompasses a wide range of classical music genres from the Medieval period to the 21st century; some editions include individual parts for chamber music
    • Scores can be viewed online, downloaded, and printed in full
  • Recent Researches in Music Online - RRIMO (A-R Editions)
    • Online access to all scores published in the seven Recent Researches in Music series: Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, 19th/20th centuries, American (including MUSA), and Oral Traditions, as well as the series Collegium musicum (Yale University)
    • Critical commentary, scores and partbooks are fully text searchable and may be viewed online, printed, or saved 
  • BabelScores
    • Access online scores of contemporary music
    • Browse compositions by instrument, genre, or composer; Advanced Search function filters results by difficulty or the use of extended techniques
    • Object viewer has excellent zoom function; users can download PDF of the score and listen to a recording

Publisher sites

A number of music publishers offer free access to online perusal scores for many works in their catalogues. See several examples below, and view the following video for more information: Accessing online perusal scores (6:30).

  • Boosey & Hawkes Online Scores
    • View selected works and peruse scores from the Boosey & Hawkes catalogue by registering for a free account
    • Access information about works published in their catalogue, including scoring, duration, premieres, and programme notes
    • Watch and listen to excerpts of interviews with composers and their works
  • Scores on Demand, Wise Music Group (via issuu.com)
    • Access digital perusal scores, including selected complete opera and orchestral scores, from members of Wise Music Group: Chester Music, Novello, Schirmer/AMP, Edition Wilhelm Hansen, Unión Musical. 
  • Universal Edition
    • View complete perusal scores of selected works from the Universal Edition catalogue.

Library collections

  • Sibley Music Library (Eastman School of Music)
    • Access a large collection of digitized scores and books in the public domain
    • Many items are unique to the Sibley Music Library collection
  • Indiana University
    • Digitized collection of select public domain scores from the Cook Music Library's holdings
    • Includes opera, song, orchestral, choral, chamber, piano, and instrumental literature
    • Designed primarily for online viewing, not printing

Early Music

Orchestral scores and parts

  • Orchestral Parts
    • Complete sets of orchestral parts and full scores from the canonic symphonic and operatic repertoire
    • Includes more than 700 masterworks from the Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Modern periods
    • Parts are available in PDF form and can be downloaded and printed

Popular sheet music

  • Sheet Music Consortium​​​​​​​
    • Provides access to 35 collections of sheet music from universities and government organizations from the US, UK and Australia
    • Browse by collection or search across collections
    • Includes thousands of digitized sheet music
    • For more information and search tips, see UCLA's Sheet Music Consortium Guide 
  • Library and Archives Canada: Sheet Music from Canada's Past
    • Source of sheet music published in Canada before 1921, selected from the Sheet Music Collection at Library and Archives Canada
    • Includes over 20,000 patriotic and parlour songs, piano pieces, sacred music and novelty numbers, some dating back to the 1700s
    • Besides the Canadian imprints, it also includes music by Canadians or about Canada published anywhere in the world

Other web resources

  • Cantus
    • Online database of inventories of chant manuscripts, mostly of the Office, but also includes Mass chants
    • Many chant melodies are transcribed (with and without text), links to digital images of many different manuscripts
  • DIAMM: Digital Image Archive of Medieval Manuscripts
    • Database for inventories, descriptive information and images (or links to online images) of many Medieval and Renaissance manuscripts
    • Includes the Census Catalogue and RISM (see below) entries for many sources
    • Includes music manuscripts of polyphonic music up to c. 1550, as well as English music manuscripts for 1550-1600
    • One of the most important online catalogues for music manuscripts
  • Early Music Online
    • Provides access to more than 320 digitized volumes of 16th-century anthologies of printed music (Italy, Germany, France, and England), from holdings at the British Library
    • Digitized volumes contain approximately 10,000 musical compositions, which have been individually indexed
    • Volumes mainly consist of partbooks of vocal polyphony; also include early printed tablatures for keyboard or plucked string instruments
  • Thesaurus Musicarum Latinarum (TML)
    • Provides free access to every known Latin text on music from the late antiquity to the seventeenth century, in multiple editions and in transcriptions from original sources
    • An important resource for music historians, theorists and early music performers, to assist in reconstructing, understanding, and performing the music of the past
  • New York Philharmonic Digital Archives
    • Online collection includes every document in the New York Philharmonic Archives from 1842 to 1970, in addition to all public documents from 1970 to today
    • Provides access to printed programs, marked conducting scores, marked scores and parts, business documents, contracts, correspondence, and photographs
    • Highlights include 3,000+ scores marked by Leonard Bernstein, Andre Kostelanetz, and others, and 36,000+ music parts marked by Philharmonic musicians
  • Harvard Digital Scores Resources
    • Digital collection of manuscripts, first editions, and early editions of music from the 17th to the early 20th century; maintained by the Loeb Music Library, Harvard University
    • Variant editions and annotated proofs of 19th-century operas and related libretti provide scholars a window into the study of historical performance practice

Location and contacts

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Music Library Staff
Contact:
Marvin Duchow Music Library
Elizabeth Wirth Music Building
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Montreal, Quebec H3A 1E3
514-398-4695
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Subjects: Music

Librarian

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Cathy Martin
Contact:
527 Sherbrooke St. W, A-317, Montreal, QC, H3A 1E3
514-398-5874
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Resource key

  • McGill users only
  • Open access resource
  • Free resource
  • In-library use
  • Catalogue record

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