International Music Score Library Project

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International Music Score Library Project
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; {{URL|}}| slogan = | commercial = Yes (subscription)| type = Online library of sheet music| registration = Optional (required for contributing and unconstrained access) {edih}| num_users = | programming language = | owner = Project Petrucci LLC (private company)| author = Edward W. Guo (Feldmahler)NEWS
, The New York Times
, February 22, 2011
, Free Trove of Music Scores on Web Hits Sensitive Copyright Note
, Daniel J.
, Wakin
, ,weblink
, Traffic, Demographics and Competitors - Alexa
, en
, 2018-03-28
, | revenue = | current_status = Active| footnotes = | content_licence = Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International| country = Canada}}The International Music Score Library Project (IMSLP), also known as the Petrucci Music Library after publisher Ottaviano Petrucci, is a subscription-based project for the creation of a virtual library of public-domain music scores. Since its launch on February 16, 2006, over 370,000 scores and 42,000 recordings for over 110,000 works by over 14,000 composers have been uploaded. Based on the wiki principle, the project uses MediaWiki software. Since June 6, 2010, the IMSLP has also included public domain and licensed recordings in its scope, to allow for study by ear.



The site was launched on February 16, 2006. The library consists mainly of scans of old musical editions out of copyright. In addition, it admits scores by contemporary composers who wish to share their music with the world by releasing it under a Creative Commons license. One of the main projects of the IMSLP was the sorting and uploading of the complete works of Johann Sebastian Bach in the Bach-Gesellschaft Ausgabe (1851–99), a task that was completed on November 3, 2008. Besides J.S. Bach's complete public domain works, all public domain works of Ludwig van Beethoven, Johannes Brahms, Joseph Canteloube, Emmanuel Chabrier, Ernest Chausson, Frédéric Chopin, Joseph Haydn, Arcangelo Corelli, Claude Debussy, Vincent d'Indy, Paul Dukas, Gabriel Fauré, Pierre-Octave Ferroud, George Frideric Handel, Jean Huré, Albéric Magnard, Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, Maurice Ravel, Albert Roussel, Erik Satie, Florent Schmitt, Franz Schubert, Robert Schumann, Alexander Scriabin and Jean Sibelius are available, as well as a large percentage of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Franz Liszt, and the works of many others as well.{{cn|date=May 2018}}Besides providing a digital repository, the IMSLP offers possibilities as a musicological encyclopaedia, since multiple and historical editions of a single composition can be uploaded. Also, pages on publishers provide valuable information, and the work pages themselves often contain a large quantity of information, e.g. roles in an opera.IMSLP is recommended as a research tool by MIT,WEB,weblink Wiki of public domain classical scores, 2007-11-06, Moore, Christie, 2007-01-05, MIT Library News, yes,weblink" title="">weblink 2007-11-11, WEB,weblink Research Guides: Music, 2008-09-04, 2008, MIT Libraries, which also uses it extensively for providing scores for its OpenCourseWare courses.WEB,weblink 21M.250 Schubert to Debussy, Fall 2006, 2007-11-06, MIT, 2007, MIT OpenCourseWare,weblink" title="">weblink 2007-10-13, WEB,weblink 21M.262 Modern Music:1900–1960, Fall 2006, 2007-11-06, MIT, 2007, MIT OpenCourseWare,weblink" title="">weblink 2007-10-13, It is suggested as a resource by the Sibley Music LibraryWEB,weblink Request Public Domain Scores, 2009-02-01, 2008, Sibley Music Library, and by libraries at other universities such as Stanford University,WEB,weblink Outside links of interest, 2008-09-04, 2007, Stanford University, Libraries and Academic Information Resources, University of California, Los Angeles,WEB,weblink UCLA Library / Music Library / Music Scores and Sheet Music Online, 2009-01-28, 2009, University of California Music Library, Brown University,WEB,weblink Selected internet resources for music, 2008-09-04, Quist, Ned, 2007, Brown University Library, yes,weblink" title="">weblink 2008-10-26, University of Pennsylvania,WEB,weblink The Online Books Page: Archives and Indexes, 2009-01-28, 2009, Penn Libraries, University of Wisconsin–Madison,WEB,weblink Resources: Scores (Printed Music) – Mills Music Library, UW–Madison, 2008-09-04, 2007, University of Wisconsin–Madison Libraries, Oberlin Conservatory of Music,WEB,weblink Classical Music in the Public Domain, 2008-09-04, Conlib, 2007-04-26, News from the Oberlin Conservatory Library, Manhattan School of MusicWEB,weblink Free stuff on the web, 2008-09-04, Sharp, Peter Jay, 2007, The Peter Jay Sharp Library, Manhattan School of Music, University of Maryland,WEB,weblink Finding Music Scores, 2013-07-10, 2012, University of Maryland Libraries, University of Washington,WEB,weblink Musical Scores, 2008-09-04, 2007, University of Washington Libraries, yes,weblink" title="">weblink 2008-09-20, University of Cincinnati,WEB,weblink OnlineMusic, 2009-01-28, 2009, University of Cincinnati Albino Gorno Memorial Music Library, University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee,WEB,weblink Finding Online Scores, 2009-01-28, 2009, UWM Music Library, Appalachian State UniversityWEB,weblink Electronic Scores, 2009-01-28, 2009, Appalachian State University Library, in the US, McGill UniversityWEB,weblink Scores (online databases and indexes), 2008-09-04, 2007, Marvin Duchow Music Library, McGill, yes,weblink" title="">weblink December 22, 2008, in Canada, University of Oxford,WEB,weblink Useful Links – Music Faculty Library, 2009-02-12, 2008, Music Faculty Library, University of Cambridge,WEB,weblink Faculty of Music: Pendlebury Library – Online Resources, 2009-02-12, 2007, Pendlebury Library of Music, University of EdinburghWEB,weblink Edinburgh University Library: Resources By Subject: Music Databases, E-Journals, Search Tools & Websites, 2009-02-12, 2008, Edinburgh University Library, University of BristolWEB,weblink Bristol University / Information Services / Internet links, 2009-02-12, 2009, Bristol University Library, in the UK, University of MelbourneWEB,weblink VCA / LENTON PARR LIBRARY / Music / Websites, 2009-02-12, 2009, Lenton Parr Library,weblink" title="">weblink May 10, 2010, yes, in Australia, and others.


(File:IMSLP logo (2007-2015).png|thumb|IMSLP logo (2007–2015))File:IMSLP main page 2016.png|thumb|300px|The blue letter featured in Petrucci Music Library logo, used in 2007–2015, was based on the first printed book of music, the Harmonice Musices Odhecaton, published by (Ottaviano Petrucci]] in 1501.WEB, IMSLP:About – IMSLP/Petrucci Music Library: Free Public Domain Sheet Music,weblink, 2016-01-25, )In 2007–2015, the IMSLP / Petrucci Music Library used a logo based on a score. The score image in the background was taken from the beginning of the very first printed book of music, the Harmonice Musices Odhecaton. It was published in Venice, Italy in 1501 by Ottaviano Petrucci, the library's namesake.{{primary inline|date=August 2016}}In 2016, the IMSLP changed its logo to a clean wordmark, featuring its two project names—IMSLP and Petrucci Music Library.


In 2009, the IMSLP won the MERLOT Classics award for Music.WEB,weblink MERLOT Awards: Exemplary Learning Materials, 2009-08-25, 2009, MERLOT, It was named one of the Top 100 Web Sites of 2009 (in the "Undiscovered" subsection) by PC Magazine.WEB,weblink The Top 100 Web Sites of 2009 – Undiscovered: Info – Reviews by PC Magazine, 2009-08-25, 2009-07-27, PC Magazine,

Closure and reopening

On October 19, 2007, the IMSLP closed following legal demands from Universal Edition of Vienna, Austria.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink yes, 2007-10-23, Cease and Desist Letter from Universal Edition AG, 2007-10-20, Clark, Ken, 2007-10-05, PDF, Aird & Berlis LLP, The cease and desist letter expressed concern that some works that are in public domain in the server's location in Canada with copyright protection of 50 years following death, but are protected by the 70 years following death term in some other countries, were available in those countries. The administrator of the website, Edward W. Guo, also known under the nickname Feldmahler, decided to close down the repository, but left the forums online so that discussions into the best way to proceed could be made:In response, director Michael S. Hart of Project Gutenberg offered support to keep the project online.MAILING LIST, Hart, Michael, Re: Three quick links on digitizations and their constraints, Book People, Michael S. Hart, 2007-10-23,weblink 2007-12-29, This offer was declined by Guo, who voiced concern about having the project hosted in the United States, and consulted the Canadian wing of Project Gutenberg.WEB,weblink Open letter, 2008-02-02, Feldmahler, 2007-10-19,weblink" title="">weblink December 10, 2007, yes, On November 2, 2007, Michael Geist, a prominent Canadian copyright academic, wrote an article for the BBC discussing the specifics and the wider implications of this case.WEB,weblink The day the music died, 2007-11-03, Geist, Michael, Michael Geist, 2007-11-02, BBC News, IMSLP went back online on June 30, 2008. Since its reopening, the site has been using a strict copyright policy wherein uploaded files are made accessible for download only after the copyright status for three most frequent copyright regimes has been reviewed by staff members. Although the server is located in Canada, files that are not public domain in the US were until July 2010 flagged [TB], for 'Technical Block' or 'Temporary Block', and could not be viewed. The FAQ posted in their forum stated, "Unfortunately, these 'temporary' blocks will be until further notice – possibly all the way until the expiration of term in the USA."WEB,weblink FAQ Works in TB Status, 2010-05-22, After an initial phase, [TB] flagged items have essentially disappeared thanks to the introduction of regional servers operated by unaffiliated organizations (see next).On 21 April 2011, the Music Publishers Association (UK) issued a DMCA takedown notice against the IMSLP. Go Daddy, the domain name registrar for the IMSLP, removed the domain name "", leaving it inaccessible.{{fact|date=August 2016}} The MPA's argument was similar to that made in 2007 by Universal Edition. In particular, the MPA claimed that Rachmaninoff's 1913 choral symphony The Bells violated US and EU copyright.Text of the MPA's letter to Go Daddy According to the IMSLP, the action is without any merit."IMSLP Under Attack" by Carolus, IMSLP Forum (21 April 2011) Almost 24 hours later, the MPA (UK) announced on Twitter that they had asked Go Daddy to reinstate the domain name.Tweet by Will Lines, Music Publishers Association (UK) (22 April 2011)On November 7, 2017, the IMSLP received a cease and desist letter from the heirs of Sergei Prokofiev expressing concern that the composer's music was available for download in countries where his music was still under copyright protection. This demand was followed up by a separate letter from the National Music Publishers Association on January 19, 2018. On February 23, 2018, access to all compositions by Prokofiev was blocked by the IMSLP in response to these legal threats. The issues were partially resolved on the IMSLP forums in July 2018, resulting in the reupload of Prokofiev's pre-1923 works. In August, the remainder of Prokofiev's works were reuploaded so that they would only be available in the countries they are allowed in.

Subscription introduction

On December 27, 2015, the IMSLP moved to a subscription-based model, where users are expected to pay to avoid a waiting period on some of the files available on the site, and to access certain newly uploaded files.WEB, IMSLP music library introduces paid membership – The Strad,weblink The Strad, 2016-01-14, en-US, 2016-01-04,weblink" title="">weblink 2016-01-14, Users who have not paid are subject to a 15-second waiting period on certain files (excluding Creative Commons-licensed files that constitute a majority of the site's files),WEB,weblink Upcoming changes - Page 2, IMSLP Forums, 2016-07-10, are required to wait up to two days to access newly uploaded files, and are shown advertising.WEB,weblink Archived copy, January 27, 2016, yes,weblink" title="">weblink January 31, 2016, The project leader Edward GuoWEB,weblink Archived copy, April 18, 2015, yes,weblink" title="">weblink April 18, 2015, {{primary inline|date=August 2016}} claimed the changes were made because the level of funding was "not sustainable in the long run", but also noted:
"The income we receive from various sources have been enough to maintain the site so far, but I increasingly believe that this level of funding is not sustainable in the long run. We are not, like traditional music libraries, bound by the service of a conservatory, university or publisher, but rather can do things that traditional institutions are not willing to do, because we serve only musicians and music lovers. But everything is a tradeoff – we also do not have the funding infrastructure these traditional institutions have, and over the past few years I’ve frankly exhausted my imagination in searching for new realistic sources of funding for IMSLP.
"And so I will announce here that a subscription system for IMSLP will be put in place. But this will not be a traditional subscription model – in particular, no file will be blocked from access by the public. Rather, a subscription will permit a member to download files without having to wait a certain number of seconds, eliminiate [sic] some of the advertising on the site, and a few other benefits. I see this as a way to both preserve IMSLP’s philosophy of open access and to secure IMSLP’s future."WEB,weblink Upcoming changes, IMSLP Forums, 2016-07-10,
Guo attributed the change in funding to discussions with librarians at an IAML conference in June 2015. Some contributors to the website expressed concerns that Guo had not properly attempted to raise donations, but without any prior warning, introduced the membership system to monetize their work.WEB,weblink Upcoming changes, IMSLP Forums, 2016-07-10,

Naxos Music Library

On April 18, 2016, the IMSLP announcedWEB,weblink IMSLP membership now includes full access to Naxos Music Library with 1.8MM+ tracks for instant streaming!, Twitter, 2016-04-18, 2016-08-22, on its Twitter account that all subscribers will have access to the Naxos Music Library.

EU server

On July 10, 2010, a forum threadWEB,weblink Imslp-Eu, IMSLP Forums, 2016-07-10, announced the opening of a new server located in the Netherlands. This server allows works that are public domain in Canada and the EU to be downloaded legally, even if they are under copyright in the US. The server was initially run by an unaffiliated European organization, while a forum thread WEB,weblink Project Leonardo, 2013-07-07, later announced that operations had been handed over to Project Leonardo, a new unaffiliated company incorporated in New Zealand to "provide web hosting services to online libraries that distribute free contents in any fields of arts and science". Files on the EU server are flagged (EU).

US server

A similar, also unaffiliated, US server allows users to download works that are in the public domain only in the US. Unlike the other servers, this one can only be contributed to by administrators and users who have asked for the privilege, though the files are freely accessible for download.

CA server

On July 1, 2013, a forum threadWEB,weblink Anniversary and Canadian server announcement, 2013-07-07, announced the opening of a new server located in Canada and operated by Project Leonardo, the unaffiliated company that also runs the EU server. This server is especially intended for users located in countries where copyright lasts 50 years from the death of the author, such as Canada, China, Japan, New Zealand, South Africa, and many others. Files on the CA server are flagged (CA).

WIMA merge

On August 23, 2011, an announcementWEB,weblink IMSLP to merge with WIMA, 2011-08-28, was made that the Werner Icking Music Archive would merge with the IMSLP. WIMA had announced the merge on its own site five days before in an open letter to contributors.WEB,weblink WIMA merges with IMSLP, the International Music Score Library Project, 2011-08-28, After working out some technical issues, the IMSLP decided to officially commence the merge on August 28. The merge was announced to be complete on July 21, 2012.WEB,weblink IMSLP to merge with WIMA, 2012-07-21,

Current legal structure

IMSLP is now owned by Project Petrucci LLC, a private company created to run the website. Project Petrucci LLC was registered as a Delaware limited-liability company on June 28, 2008,WEB,weblink Division of Corporations - Filing,, 2004-12-15, 2016-07-10, when the site founder was studying at the New England Conservatory.WEB,weblink Archived copy, April 18, 2015, yes,weblink" title="">weblink April 18, 2015, WEB, Knopf, Howard,weblink EXCESS COPYRIGHT: IMSLP Back in the News - Library of Public Domain Music Scores,, 2011-02-22, 2016-07-10, The website provides an e-mail address for the site's founder ("preferred"), and a physical address for the company's registered agent in the United States (for "any legal or formal correspondence").WEB, IMSLP-About – IMSLP/Petrucci Music Library: Free Public Domain Sheet Music,weblink 2009-05-29, {{primary inline|date=August 2016}}Project Leonardo is an internet service provider that hosts free online content in the arts or sciences.WEB,weblink Project Leonardo Portal, Leonardo Library, 2016-07-10,

Similar projects

See also



External links

{{Commons category|IMSLP}}{{Wikidata property|P839}} {{Authority control}}

- content above as imported from Wikipedia
- "International Music Score Library Project" does not exist on GetWiki (yet)
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