This is a guide to online sources for digital copies of music scores.
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2015
- International Music Score Library Project (IMSLP)
A virtual library created, based on the wiki principle, to gather public domain music scores as well as music scores of contemporary composers who wish to grant free access to their works. IMSLP provides access to a large array of public domain music scores. Over 6,500 composers are represented, and multiple editions, arrangements, and parts are available for some works. For most scores, the publication information is noted; however, some scores do not indicate the publisher and some have been re-set in programs like Finale or Sibelius. For public domain music editions, check here first.
- HathiTrust Digital Library
Contains digital versions of works scanned from the libraries of the more than sixty partner institutions. Use the advanced catalog search to limit results by format.
- Internet Archive
An online digital library that includes materials from libraries around the world. Includes a variety of media, including musical scores – which are best retrieved through keyword searches. Browsing is more difficult, but general subject terms such as "piano music" or "symphony" work best here. There is no score limiter – use "texts" to limit to books and scores.
- Bayerische Staatsbibliothek: Münchener Digitalisierungszentrum
A large digital collection that includes many manuscripts and editions of musical books and scores. Contains the complete Handel Werke, Liszt Musikalische Werke, Mendelssohn Werke, and many other scores.
- UR Research (University of Rochester - Eastman School of Music - Sibley Music Library)
Includes public domain scores and books, many of which are unique to the Sibley Music Library collection.
- Juilliard Manuscript Collection
Provides digitized images of this collection’s 138 autograph manuscripts, sketches, engravers proofs, and first editions. Includes works by Beethoven, Bach, Brahms, Copland, Liszt, Mozart, Schumann, Stravinsky, and others.
- Music Manuscripts Online (The Morgan Library & Museum)
Provides digitized images of manuscripts from this library. Includes works by Beethoven, Bach, Brahms, Debussy, Faure, Mahler, Mozart, Schumann, and others.
- Choral Public Domain Library
A wiki providing access to more than 12,000 choral works in the public domain. Allows browsing by genre, voicing, language, and composer nationality. Be aware that the scores here have been re-set using music notation software, often with no attribution to the original source.
- Digital Image Archive of Medieval Music (University of Oxford and Royal Holloway, University of London)
A portal to worldwide collections of medieval polyphonic music manuscripts dating from about 800 to 1550, not including plainchant. Includes detailed information for all the known sources of European polyphonic music and high-quality color images of some manuscripts.
- Early Music Online (Royal Holloway, University of London, the British Library and JISC)
Provides digital copies of about 300 16th-century anthologies of printed music. The volumes contain approximately 10,000 musical compositions, consisting mainly of partbooks of vocal polyphony, but also including some early printed tablatures for keyboard or plucked string instruments. Includes music printed in Italy, Germany, France and England.
- University of North Texas: Virtual Music Rare Book Room
Among other treasures, includes rare 17th- and 18th-century scores (manuscripts & early editions) of operas and ballets by Lully and his sons.
An online score site for singers. Includes songs and arias from many composers, all of which can be transposed to any key. Scores are Scorch files, so you must download the plugin to use the site. This is a pay site; after payment, scores can be printed at your own computer.