Category Archives: Internet

Introducing an IMSLP Intern

It is my pleasure to introduce Cory Myers, who will be interning for IMSLP this summer.  Cory is currently a student at Deep Springs College, and his internship will focus on several major site redesign projects.  Specifically, the projects include a new tabbing system to alleviate overcrowding on work pages, an embedded audio/video streaming system, and possibly other smaller improvements around the site.

Please welcome Cory to the IMSLP community!  If you have any comments or suggestions, please post them below.

A New Genre Search

I would like to notify IMSLP users about the otherwise unannounced new genre search function, which can be found at the top of the genre page.  With this new feature you can search all of the genre/instrumentation categories for certain keywords.

For example, searching “voice clarinet” would find all the different available instrumentations that include at least one voice and one clarinet.  This also works for genres: searching “symphonies” would find all work types that contain the word “symphonies”.  Note that all work types are plural; searching “symphony” will not work.

The “Depth” column simply shows the level (depth) at which the category is found in the genre tree; normal users can safely ignore it.

While this feature might not be ground breaking, it may prove a useful tool.  All comments and suggestions welcome.

Introducing IMSLP Music Search

IMSLP is happy to announce the launch of IMSLP Music Search, the perfect way to find where that melody stuck in your head came from (among other more mundane things like actually doing music research).  You can access IMSLP Music Search via this page.

IMSLP Music Search was programmed by mathematician-musician Vladimir Viro, and is based on his Music NGram algorithm.  Vladimir will also be writing a more detailed blog post about the Music Search in the upcoming days, so stay tuned!

IMSLP, Copyright & the MPA (UK)

All IMSLP score pages on the wiki now carry the following statement:



This post on the IMSLP forums by Carolus, an IMSLP administrator, explains the background:


Now that things are calming down some, I wish to thank the Music Publishers Association of the UK for retracting their DMCA complaint to GoDaddy. GoDaddy’s standard response to a DMCA copyright complaint of this nature is to freeze the domain for 10 days, instead of referring the complaint to the site owner. Thus we all owe the MPA-UK sincere thanks for their retraction. I also want to take the opportunity to point out that IMSLP in no way advocates the violation of copyright laws, either now or in the past. As our disclaimer – which must be acknowledged before any visitor is allowed to download a file – explicitly states:

Please obey the copyright laws of your country and consult the copyright statute itself or a qualified IP attorney to verify whether a certain file is in the public domain in your country or if downloading a copy constitutes fair use.

In many cases where a given work is most likely still protected in one or more of our three territorial divisions – 50 pma countries, the USA, 70 pma countries – we have provided direct links to copies of the item available for sale at Sheet Music Plus or at Amazon. Full Disclosure: IMSLP does receive commissions from both concerns if someone actually purchases a copy, which go to fund our operating expenses – which have never stopped increasing as we’ve grown.

Thus, if Rachmaninoff’s The Bells, Op. 35 is still under copyright in your country, you should be purchasing the score from its lawful copyright owner unless the fair-use provisions of your country’s copyright statutes permit the download of the score and you are operating within those exemptions. It might not be legal for you to download the score from this site, so please be certain it is before you do. This, of course, was the one of the main issues of the cease and desist letter Feldmahler received back in the fall of 2007 from Universal Edition. They were demanding that IMSLP set up some sort of automated blocking system based upon the users IP address. There are a number of reasons that such a scheme is simply not feasible, but I’ll just address a single major one here: the lack of uniformity about what constitutes a fair-use exemption to copyright among the laws of various countries.

One reason our copyright tagging system works as well as it does is that we have divided copyright laws around the world into two major groupings according to term length: life-plus-50 years (Canada, Japan, China, and a majority of countries in the world outside of Europe) and life-plus-70 years (Europe and a few other countries – like those in the former USSR), plus a major exception to the general rule. The monster exception is of course the USA, whose copyright law is probably the most complicated morass of rules and exceptions found anywhere on the planet. The fact that our parent company is headquartered there – despite the main server’s Canadian locale – means we absolutely must pay very close attention to US law. Thus we have three major copyright classes under our tagging system: 50-pma / USA / 70-pma. That’s why you see a three-part indication for every file. A tag reading V/V/V should be free almost anywhere in the world.

There are approximately 180 different laws in force worldwide at present. It is simply not possible for anyone – not even a major commercial concern like Amazon – to keep daily track of 180 or more different copyright laws, each with different exemptions for fair use and other purposes, etc. – many of which are also frequently subject to changes, from either legislative amendments or judicial interpretations.

IMSLP & the Music Publishers Association

IMSLP ~ Music Publishers Association

The following was posted on the IMSLP forums earlier today. Additional background material here.


IMSLP is currently under an extraordinarily underhanded legal attack by the Music Publishers Association of UK (

The MPA, without notifying us, sent to our domain registrar GoDaddy a bogus DMCA takedown notice.  GoDaddy took the entire IMSLP.ORG domain down.  IMSLP has filed a DMCA counter notice with GoDaddy, however, the DMCA seems to require the registrar to wait no less than 10 days before restoring service.  This means that IMSLP is inaccessible from IMSLP.ORG during this period of time.  We will be working to restore service as soon as possible.

What is the MPA complaining about?  Rachmaninoff’s Bells, which is public domain both in Canada and the USA: [link]. MPA’s claim is entirely bogus.

Workaround:  You can still reach the site by using either or  Note, however, that some links on the site that refer to IMSLP.ORG may be broken; you will have to manually replace IMSLP.ORG with one of the two above domain names manually in the URL bar.

Anyone who is interested in suing or helping to sue the MPA under DMCA section 512(f) (misrepresentations) please contact me at imslproject <at>  Note that the feldmahler <at> address is likewise offline.

The following is the e-mail that GoDaddy received from the MPA.  IMSLP / Project Petrucci LLC grants everyone permission to reproduce it in part or in its entirety.  I also grant everyone permission to reproduce the above post in part or in its entirety.  Please feel free to make this incident as widely known as possible.

Dear sirs

We, the Music Publishers Association, take action to remove unlicensed copyright material from infringing websites.

We understand that Godaddy are the sponsoring registrar for the website http://www.IMSLP.ORG which makes available unlicensed copyright protected sheet music notation which is an infringement of copyright. By assisting this website, Godaddy are liable to pay damages for secondary copyright infringement once notice of the infringement has been given.

We therefore request that you withdraw from all associations you have with http://www.IMSLP.ORG and retract their domain name so that the website cannot be accessed.

An example of the infringing material on http://www.IMSLP.ORG is ‘The Bells’ by Rachmaninov which can be reached via: [link]

This material is copyright protected in most counties including all European countries and the USA.

Here are the registrant’s details to the best of our knowledge:

Registrant Name:Edward W. GuoRegistrant Organization:Project Petrucci LLCRegistrant Street1:205 S. Charles St.Registrant Street2:Registrant Street3:Registrant City:EdwardsvilleRegistrant State/Province:IllinoisRegistrant Postal Code:62025Registrant Country:USRegistrant Phone:+1.6186565143Registrant Phone Ext.:Registrant FAX:Registrant FAX Ext.:Registrant Email:

We have good faith belief that use of the material in this manner is not authorized by the copyright owner or the law.

The information in this notification is accurate and we confirm, under penalty of perjury, that we are authorized to act on behalf of the copyright owner of an exclusive right of that is infringed.

I would be grateful for your response detailing your undertakings by 3 May 2011.

Yours faithfully,

Jake Kirner Printed Music Publishing Administrator Music Publishers Association 6th Floor, British Music House, 26 Berners Street, London W1T 3LRDirect Tel: +44 (0)20 7637 4052Fax: +44 (0)20 7637 3929 (please confirm fax by sending me an email) <> <>the_MPA on twitter <>

iPad app for IMSLP: volunteers sought

An iPad app is in development for IMSLP.

The app will list all composers and their compositions. Tapping on a score name will transfer that score to the iPad, and let you scroll through the pages of that score. Once the score is transferred to your iPad, you have it forever, so you then can take it to practice rooms, the stage, wherever you need it!

It’s nearing the time to start testing and localising it for other languages. Soon we’ll need:

  • testers to put it through its paces. A tester needs to be someone committed to testing the app in a variety of circumstances and sending in reports of any anomalies found.
  • Musicians fluent in Japanese, Chinese, Italian, German, French, Portuguese, or any other language. There is not a lot of text to translate (perhaps one page’s worth of phrases).

People who accept the challenge will receive a free copy of the app once it’s out, and their names (and web sites, if any) in the credits to the app!

A generous portion of the proceeds of the app will go straight to the IMSLP project.

To get involved as a beta tester visit this page on the Wiki. To discuss it on the forums, go here.

IMSLP iPad app

Padrucci ~ the IMSLP iPad app: make music with free public domain scores without chopping down trees!

Classical Music & the Cloud

Would you trust that man with your music files?

But there’s no reason why Steve shouldn’t look after your program files. Why bother keeping, say, MS Word on three different machines? Let Steve store the code in his cloud, updating it, keeping it virus free, giving you access to it when you need to write a letter.

But if he gets his hands on your music files, how soon before he allows some corporate suit from Sony access to them? Or access is driven by court order as music labels seek to enforce their interpretation of copyright law?

Better for music to stay on tens of millions of privately owned machines. It’s too important to be left to excitable Steve, his corporate friends and their $2,000 per hour lawyers.

Open Goldberg Variations – Setting Bach Free

IMSLP is pleased to announce their partnership with the Open Goldberg Variations project and We’re teaming up to create a new score and a new recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations, both of which will be released into the public domain for everyone to use. Fund raising for the effort is going on right now on Check out the video below.

Upon completion of the project, these works will be available on the IMSLP website for everybody to enjoy without any limitations on usage. The Creative Commons Zero licensing tool will guarantee that every use of the works is protected.

The score will be made using MuseScore, the leading open source notation software. The score will undergo scholarly review and will retain all the benefits of being distributed in its digital source format. For example, musicians will be able to add fingerings and other markings directly into the MuseScore file.

Musical scores and recordings, when made readily available, can have a profoud benefit in musical education, in the performance of the music, and the listening enjoyment of fans. Music libraries have long played the role of providing these valuable assets, but as the Internet has grown to be the dominant communications medium, the value of a paper score and a vinyl recording have been dwarfed in the face of their digital counterparts.

By creating a new score and recording of Bach’s work, and releasing them into the public domain, IMSLP and the Open Goldberg Variations Project hope to bring Bach’s music to a wider audience than ever before. You can play a role, too, by donating directly to the project on, where fund raising is taking place. A range of donor rewards are available such as CDs and printed editions of the score. You can also dedicate one of the 30 Variations to yourself or someone you love, and the dedication will appear in all digital and printed versions of the works.

Thank you for your support of this exciting project. We look forward to its completion when we’ll be able to share a new score and recording of the Goldbergs with you.

IMSLP’s 5 Year Anniversary

Five years ago today, there was a tiny blip in the cosmos of the Internet as an awkwardly-named website made its first appearance.  It had no logo, and a main page befitting its humble birth.

This website is now five years old, and hosts one of the largest collections of music scores in the world.  It has more than 85,000 scores written by 4,800 composers, and a fledgling recording collection consisting of more than 1,700 recordings.  All this was made possible by the countless hours of contributions by musicians and music enthusiasts.

As a musician myself, I would like to thank these contributors.

I will not dwell at length here.  Most of the recent updates on the status of the project can be found in my New Years post.  I would, however, like to mention a few recent developments:

  • I first want to congratulate the MuseScore team on the successful recent release of MuseScore 1.0, possibly the best open source music typesetting software ever written.  IMSLP may add support for MuseScore files in the near future.

  • I also want to announce the availability of IMSLP anniversary merchandise from the Puffin Point store.  Currently there is only the mug, but the store can certainly add products if there is interest.

  • And last but not least, a shout-out to IMSLP contributor Philidor and his friend for creating the beautiful anniversary banner you see at the top of this page.

Happy birthday, IMSLP!

Edward W. Guo
Project Leader, IMSLP / Petrucci Music Library

IMSLP-EU ~ Report


IMSLP-EU is an autonomous initiative undertaken in Europe to allow European users to access scores that are public domain in Europe but not in the U.S. or Canada. This is possible because IMSLP-EU servers are physically located in Europe (currently, in The Netherlands), so scores that are in the public domain in such territory can be freely used by anybody. This would be beneficial for all users located in Europe and in other countries where similar copyright regulations apply.

IMSLP-EU is not affiliated with IMSLP, being a completely independent and autonomous initiative. Complete separation between IMSLP and IMSLP-EU is intended to avoid confusion between the respective roles, areas of competence, and applicable regulations: IMSLP follows U.S. and Canada regulations only, while IMSLP-EU follows EU regulations only (with reference to their specific application in The Netherlands).

The IMSLP-EU score catalogue is integrated within the Petrucci Music Library: there is no difference when searching IMSLP-EU scores with respect to IMSLP scores, as both sets are indexed in the catalogue of the library.

However, when a score at IMSLP-EU is going to be downloaded by a user, a special page is presented so as to inform and warn the user that he/she is leaving the IMSLP context and entering the IMSLP-EU context, where different regulations apply. The same special page provides a PayPal link for donations to IMSLP-EU: being completely autonomous with respect to IMSLP, IMSLP-EU needs independent funds to cover its operational expenses.

The start of operations of IMSLP-EU was announced on July 10, 2010. Here are some figures after 6 months:

  • Total uptime: 99.94%
  • Number of files downloaded: more than 820,000
  • Number of files present on the server: about 1,300
  • Average number of downloads per file: about 630
  • Largest number of downloads for a single file: more than 31,000 (the full score of “Pini di Roma” by Ottorino Respighi).