Thursday, July 12, 2012

Finding Scores Online

For most of the classical repertoire, it is usually possible to find the musical score online and download it for either study or performance. I do this frequently when I write program notes. I don't look at the score for every piece, but if I am puzzled as to what to say about a piece that hasn't been said many times before, I often have a look at the score. The place to find most scores is the International Music Score Library Project. You can browse by composer or by genre. They have the option of searching by melody, but I tried it for an obscure piano piece and it didn't seem to be helpful. Either that or I didn't use it properly. If anyone is an expert on this function, drop me a comment.

The scores come in pdf format, sometimes copies of the original edition, sometimes in a modern typesetting and sometimes taken from a later complete edition. I would include a page as an example, but you can't insert pdf files into blogger. But go have a look. It is a remarkable resource. There are others on the web, but I find IMSLP quite useful. Here is a link to a Beethoven bagatelle, for example.

I couldn't find the same F minor Bagatelle on YouTube, so this is one in G major played by Sviatoslav Richter.

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