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Copyright Information: Sheet Music Resources

The websites below provide access to materials that are either in the public domain, have Creative Commons licenses, or are licensed for educational (non-commercial) use.

Sheet Music

Source

What is it?

Special Considerations

American Memory at the US Library of Congress

American Memory at the US Library of Congress "provides free and open access through the Internet to written and spoken words, sound recordings, still and moving images, prints, maps, and sheet music that document the American experience.

The Library of Congress "does not grant or deny permission to use the content mounted in American Memory....so you must make your own, independent assessment of the legal rights that may exist in the materials. General information about copyright and other rights in the American Memory materials is provided in the Legal Notices page that links from every American Memory page" (FAQ).

Art Song Central

This website is designed to be a centralized resource for the voice student or teacher to find public domain sheet music, as well as other supporting materials.

More copyright information for this site can be found here.

Choral Public Domain Library

The Choral Public Domain Library (CPDL), is an Internet-based free sheet music website which specializes in choral music.

Please see the listing of all pages on CPDL which outline copyright information.

Early Music Online

Early Music Online has digitized over 320 volumes of 16th-century anthologies of printed music, from holdings at the British Library. These digitized volumes contain approximately 10,000 musical compositions, which have been individually indexed.

Note the material is made available for non-commercial use under Open Education User License 1.0, so the material cannot be used for commercial purposes.

Finale Showcase

Finale Showcase provides access to free scores and sheet music, although you will need "Finale Notepad" to view scores from this site.

Please see their Terms and Conditions.

Harvard College Library Digital Scores & Libretti

The Harvard College Library Digital Scores & Libretti database provides access to first and early editions and manuscript copies from the 18th to early 19th century.  The collection includes works by JS Bach and members of the Bach family, Mozart, Schubert and more; multiple versions of 19th century opera scores; seminal works of musical modernism; and music of the Second Viennese School.

Please see the Harvard Library E-Resources: Copyright and Licensing Restrictions

HathiTrust

A digital library that contains over 3,000,000 volumes of Public Domain works - use the "full view" limiter to access the Public Domain works.

Please see their Copyright Page.

Historic American Sheet Music

The David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Duke University holds a significant collection of 19th and early 20th century American sheet music. The Historic American Sheet Music Project provides access to digital images of 3042 pieces from the collection, published in the United States between 1850 and 1920.

Please see their User Information Page.

International Music Score Library Project

International Music Score Library is an online database of musical scores and recordings. All content is in the Public Domain in Canada or the US. The site includes a "copyright made simple" page that contributors must read before adding content to the portal.

Please see their Policy Page.

Internet Archive

Internet Archive is a non-profit library of millions of free books, movies, software, music, and more.

Please see their Terms of Use.

Lester S. Levy Collection of Sheet Music at the Milton S. Eisenhower Library

This collection contains more than 29,000 pieces of American popular music spanning the years 1780 to 1980.

Please click here for copyright information.

Library of Congress Music for the Nation: American Sheet Music, ca. 1870 to 1885

The Library for Congress contains historical sheet music registered for copyright between 1820 and 1885, with more than 62,000 to choose from.

Please see their Rights and Access Page.

Music Treasures Consortium

The Music Treasures Consortium provides online access to the world's most valued music manuscripts and print materials, held at the most renowned music archives.

More copyright information for this site can be found here.

Musopen - Free Public Domain Classical Music

An online music library of public domain music.

 Please see their Terms of Use.

Mutopia Project

The Mutopia Project provides access to public domain scores typeset using LilyPond.

Please view their Licensing Details for more information.

ScorSer

ScorSer is a search engine for downloadable PDF scores.

 

Sibley Music Library Digital Scores

Public domain music scores and books digitized by Sibley Music Library, Eastman School of Music.  This project is part of the institutional repository developed and hosted by the River Campus Libraries.

Please see their Copyright and Fair Use page for more information.

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 and is hosted by the UCLA Digital Library Program and supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Please see their Privacy and Terms of Use for more information.

Sheet Music from Canada’s Past

This site is a source of sheet music published in Canada before 1921, selected from the Sheet Music Collection at Library and Archives Canada.

The Sheet Music Collection includes over 20,000 patriotic and parlour songs, piano pieces, sacred music and novelty numbers, some dating back to the 1700s. Besides the expected Canadian imprints, it includes music by Canadians or about Canada published anywhere in the world. Many of the cover illustrations are of particular interest.

Please see their Terms and Conditions.

VARIATIONS 

VARIATIONS is an online score prototype project from Indiana University.  It was last updated in 2005, but contains selected digitized public domain scores.

Please see the Indiana University Policies on Intellectual Property for more information.

Werner Icking Music Archive - Sheet Music

This site provides vocal and instrumental pieces by about 200 Composers, both well-known and obscure.

 

Wikimedia Commons (Sheet Music)

A repository of public domain and freely licensed images and videos.

Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply.

 

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Works by Individual Composers

Source

What is it?

Special Considerations

Arriaga 

The Bilbao Municipal Library Network is open to everyone, and its services provide access to information, culture and knowledge for free.

Please see their Legal Warning page for more information.

J.S. Bach 

WebRing is many things: a network of similar web sites, a precise research tool, a web traffic generator. But most of all, WebRing is an ever-expanding online network of personal and business communities that span every topic imaginable.

Please see their Terms of Service page for more information.

Chopin Early Editions 

The Chopin collection at the University of Chicago Library includes over 400 first and early printed editions of musical compositions by Frédéric Chopin, maintained in the Special Collections Research Center. 

Please see their Rights and Permissions page for more information.

Beethoven 

Since 1997 the Munich Digitization Centre brings the rich holdings of the Bavarian State Library (BSB) to the Internet. 

Please see their Policies.

Chopin Variorum Edition 

The Online Chopin Variorum Edition provides digital images of the manuscripts and first editions of select works by the Polish composer Fryderyk Chopin.

Please see their Rights page for more information.

Handel 

Since 1997 the Munich Digitization Centre brings the rich holdings of the Bavarian State Library (BSB) to the Internet. 

Please see their Policies

Liszt 

Since 1997 the Munich Digitization Centre brings the rich holdings of the Bavarian State Library (BSB) to the Internet. 

Please see their Policies

Lully 

The UNT Music Library's Jean-Baptiste Lully Collection includes almost thirty rare seventeenth- and eighteenth-century scores of operas, ballets, and compilations by the seventeenth-century French composer Jean-Baptiste Lully and his sons.

Please see their Terms of Use

Mendelssohn 

Since 1997 the Munich Digitization Centre brings the rich holdings of the Bavarian State Library (BSB) to the Internet. 

Please see their Policies.

Mozart 

The DME provides world wide access to the complete works of Wolfgang Amadé Mozart (1756–1791) in digital form via the internet for study and performance purposes.

Please see their Policies page.

Nielsen 

Music scores of all Carl Nielsen's works are available for free download

Please see their Copyright and use of Copies page.

Schubert 

Since 1997 the Munich Digitization Centre brings the rich holdings of the Bavarian State Library (BSB) to the Internet. 

Please see their Policies.

Schumann 

Since 1997 the Munich Digitization Centre brings the rich holdings of the Bavarian State Library (BSB) to the Internet. 

Please see their Policies.

 

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Choral Resources

Source

What is it?

Special Considerations

ChoralWiki - Choral Public Domain Library

CPDL was founded in December 1998, ported to ChoralWiki in August 2005,
and incorporated in May 2010 as a U.S.A. 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charitable organization.
Here you will find free choral/vocal scores, texts, translations, and other useful information.

Please see their copyright rules for more information.

American Choral Music, 1870-1923 

American Choral Music, a collaboration of the the Library of Congress and the American Choral Directors Association, provides access to significant choral music in the public domain by the leading American composers of the time.

 

Please see their copyright and restrictions page for more information.

ChoralNet 

ChoralNet is a professional networking site for the global online choral community. There are forums, choral organizations, choirs, resources, and the latest news of interest to the choral world.

 

Please see their Terms of Use page for more information.

 

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Have a copyright question?

If, after browsing this guide, you still have questions or require additional information please contact MRUcopyright@mtroyal.ca, or 403.440.6618.

The Copyright Advisor is also available in EL1132 for drop-in office hours:

  • Tues: 9:00 - 10:30 am
  • Thurs: 2:30 - 4:00 pm