Finding Scores with Preferred Titles
In library catalogs, pieces of music are given added, preferred titles, so that one search finds every version of a piece. Preferred titles (aka uniform titles) are especially useful because pieces could have:
- titles in multiple languages (Brandenburg Concertos vs. Brandenburgische Konzerte);
- form titles and numbers (Sonata no. 3);
- well-known but unofficial descriptive titles (Moonlight Sonata);
- collective titles (Songs; Works).
This tutorial from the Indiana University Music Library is a good introduction to preferred titles for music.
Digital Score Collections
These collections are focused on musical scores and other music-related materials from more than one period; for links to many more, see Online Resources for Music Scholars.
IMSLPIMSLP (The International Music Score Library Project) holds thousands of digitized scores from collections around the world. The site is governed by Canadian copyright law; not all available scores are in the public domain in the United States. Use Harvard's subscription to skip wait times for downloads.
Music Online: Classical Scores LibraryFull, study, piano, and vocal scores of music from the Middle Ages to the 21st century, available for use online or printed/saved to PDF.
BabelScoresOnline music library featuring creative contemporary composers from the last decades.
A-R Editions' Online Music Anthology550 representative vocal and instrumental compositions from antiquity through the nineteenth century. All scores can be viewed online or printed.
Score Follower LibraryScore Follower Library (SFL) is a faceted search tool that allows users to filter through Score Follower's public archive of works by instrumentation, work duration, composer nationality, and other useful facts.
Digital Scores and LibrettiHundreds of rare or unique manuscripts and early editions from the Loeb Music Library collections.
The Music Treasures ConsortiumDigitized music manuscripts and prints (16th-20th centuries) from the Library of Congress, British Library, Bavarian State Library, New York Public Library, The Morgan, The Newberry, the Beethoven-Haus Bonn, Harvard, Juilliard, Johns Hopkins, Princeton, University of Iowa, University of Washington, and Yale.
Sibley Digital ScoresPublic Domain scores from the collections of the Sibley Library, Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester
Online Resources for Music Scholars: Digital ScoresLinks to many more digital score and sheet music collections, from a research guide maintained by the Loeb Music Library.
Sheet Music Online
- Sheet Music Consortium200,000+ pieces of sheet music from the collections of 22 institutions. Sign up for a free account to make your own private or shared portfolios of sheet music from the site.
- Music for the Nation: American Sheet Music, ca. 1820 to 1860Over 15,000 pieces of sheet music registered for copyright at the Library of Congress between 1820 and 1860.
- Music for the Nation: American Sheet Music, ca. 1870 to 1885Over 47,000 pieces of sheet music registered for copyright at the Library of Congress between 1870 and 1885.
- Library of Congress: Historic Sheet Music Collection, 1800-19229000 pieces of music - the majority from 1850-1920 - including both classical and popular songs.