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Online Collections of Sheet Music - American Music
Sheet music refers here to publications of a few pages, often individual songs or instrumental pieces. Many of the sheet music collections below have an emphasis on American music.
- Sheet Music Consortium
An Open Archives Initiative collection of digitized sheet music from a group of libraries, including the Library of Congress, the National Library of Australia, Duke University, Indiana University, Johns Hopkins University, UCLA, and the University of Maine.
- 19th-Century American Sheet Music Digitization Project (University of North Carolina)
The Nineteenth Century American Sheet Music Collection at the UNC-Chapel Hill Music Library includes approximately 3,500 popular vocal and instrumental titles from the 1830s to the end of the century. This site contains catalog descriptions and digital images of the individual pieces in the collection.
- African-American Sheet Music, 1850-1920 (Library of Congress)
This collection consists of 1,305 pieces of African-American sheet music dating from 1850 through 1920.
- American Memory Collections: Performing Arts (Library of Congress)
The Library has a stunning amount of materials available online. "American Memory 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. It is a digital record of American history and creativity." The Library is migrating to a new platform. See also Library of Congress. Digital Collections (below).
- American Popular Songs Sheet Covers, 1890-1922 (New York Public Library)
Digital collection of the covers of popular American sheet music from 1890-1922, the first decades of a much larger collection that stretches to the present.
- Archive of Popular American Music (UCLA Performing Arts)
The UCLA Music Library's Archive of Popular American Music is a research collection covering the history of popular music in the United States from 1790 to the present. The Digital Archive of Popular American Music is an initiative designed to provide access to digital versions of the sheet music, and performances of the songs now in the public domain.
- Historic American Sheet Music
The Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections 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.
- IN Harmony: Sheet Music from Indiana (Indiana University)
N Harmony: Sheet Music from Indiana is a search and discovery system for accessing sheet music from the Indiana University Lilly Library, the Indiana State Library, the Indiana State Museum, and the Indiana Historical Society.
- Lester S. Levy Collection of Sheet Music (John Hopkins University)
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 throrough documentation of nineteenth-century America through popular music.
- Library of Congress. Digital Collections - Performing Arts
The Library has a stunning amount of materials available online. "American Memory 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. It is a digital record of American history and creativity." See also American Memory (above).
- Music for the Nation: American Sheet Music
Music for the Nation: American Sheet Music Music for the Nation: American Sheet Music contains more than 62,500 pieces of historical sheet music registered for copyright: more than 15,000 registered during the years 1820-1860 and more than 47,000 registered during the years 1870-1885. Included are popular songs, operatic arias, piano music, sacred and secular choral music, solo instrumental music, method books and instructional materials, and music for band and orchestra.
General Online Websites - Scores
A few high-quality online collections of sheet music
- IMSLP -- International Music Score Library Project
Thousands of public domain scores for free.
Over 7,300 bibliographies and reference sources, free music-related online journals, and more. The site consists of five main features:
- Choral Public Domain (CPD)
As of September 2010 CPD has over 12,000 public domain score pages. The repertoire covered is as varied as possibly can.
- DPLA: Digital Public Library of America: Music
DPLA is a platform that aggregates the content of many other major collections, such as Hathi Trust, Internet Archive, NYPL, the Smithsonian, the National Archives, ARTStor, and many other large digital collections.
- Europeana: Music
Explore 318,871 music recordings, pieces of sheet music and other music items from across Europe.
- 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, in order to further research and scholarship.
Website Specific Composers
This is a work in progress... These websites offer unique resources (e.g. manuscript sources) on specific composers.
- ARRIAGA, Juan Crisóstomo
Juan Crisóstomo Arriaga -- Digital Collection
The Municipal Library of Bilbao includes in its collections the legacy of Arriaga with numerous musical sources for the study of his work: manuscripts scores, autographs and edited scores, etc.
- BACH, Johann Sebastian
Bach Digital -- Bach Archiv Leipzig
The Bach Archiv's Library in Leipzig provides access to online music, manuscripts, and catalogs of Johann Sebastian Bach and other composers in the Bach family.
Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies San José State University
The Center is the only institution in North America devoted solely to the life, works, and accomplishments of Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827). Their catalog is a very useful tool for Beethoven Research.
- BERLIOZ, Hector
The Hector Berlioz Website
Created, funded and authored by two British academics, the site gives a panoramic view of Berlioz’s life and art, and seeks to recreate the context in which he worked. Scorch scores are available for many Berlioz pieces.
- CHOPIN, Frederic
The Fryderyk Chopin digital collection - National Library of Poland
The Fryderyk Chopin digital collection highlights the "chopiniana" of the National Library in Warsaw. The collection comprises various printed editions of Chopin’s pieces, books on the composer’s life and his work, including a study by Robert Schumann about Chopin and a publication of the great composer and pianist Franz Liszt, etc.
- CHOPIN, Frederic
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.
- HILDEGARD, Saint (Hildegard of Bingen)
The Wiesbaden ("Giant") Codex of
The Wiesbaden Codex (“Riesencodex“: "giant codex", or “chain codex”), is the most significant legacy of Hildegard of Bingen (1097/8-1179). This is not only because of its great scale (481 fols. long, whilst measuring 46x30 cm, and weighing 15 kg) – very unusual for mediaeval manuscripts – but also because it has become for many “the relic and icon of her spirit” (Embach p. 57) through the centuries.
- MOZART, Wolfgang Amadeus
Internationale Stiftung Mozarteum, 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.
- NAZARETH, Ernesto
Official Catalog of the Works of Ernesto Nazareth
Among other things, the Nazareth Project seeks to recover and register Ernesto Nazareth works and make them all available for download.
- PLEYEL, Ignaz
Ignaz Pleyel Early Editions
This collection of over 200 early printed and manuscript scores represents the work of French composer and music publisher, Ignaz Pleyel (1757-1831). It consists primarily of keyboard and chamber music, including arrangements of large orchestral works, published within the composer's lifetime.
These websites do not (generally) offer full access to scores or sheet music but might help you finding repertoire and copyright owners.
- ASCAP's ACE Title Search Database
ACE is a searchable database that contains information on compositions in the ASCAP repertory that have appeared in ASCAP's domestic performance surveys, including foreign compositions licensed by ASCAP for public performance in the United States, as well as most works registered with ASCAP since January 1991, whether surveyed or unsurveyed. ACE may also be used to determine whether a particular composer, songwriter or music publisher is a member of ASCAP.
- Bagaduce Music Lending Library (Blue Hill, Maine)
The Bagaduce Library has over 215,000 music titles and over 1 million pieces of music. You can purchase sheet music from their collection via their online catalog (they'll send you copies that is.)
BMI Repertoire Search
- Gaylord Special Collections, Music (Washington University Libraries)
Digitized sheet music from a collection of ca. 60,000 items of sheet music, much of which is pre-1875.
- Hill Collection of Popular Sheet Music - University of Arizona
The Hill Collection and Phillips Collection contain most, but not all, of the popular music in the Fine Arts Library. The Hill Collection was donated to the University of Arizona by Grant Hill and contains sheet music of nearly 135,000 tunes, dating back to the mid-1800’s.
- List of Public Domain Music
Any Song or Musical Work Published in 1922 or Earlier is in the Public Domain in the USA. No Sound Recordings are PD in the USA due to a tangled complexity of Federal and State Law.
- MOTET Online Database
The catalogue indexes manuscripts and printed anthologies produced between 1475 and 1600; contains an estimated 33,000 motet and Mass Proper appearances.
- RISM -- International Inventory of Musical Sources
The free online version of RISM. Takes advantage of the rich metadata that RISM carefully provides.
- ScorSer -- Online Scores (PDFs)
This acts as a meta-search for IMSLP and other large scores online websites.
- Sheet Music From Canada's Past
This site is a source of sheet music published in Canada before 1921, selected from Library and Archives Canada's historical collection.
G.R. Little Library
Elizabeth City State University