Over 60,000 musical scores for free?

We’ve already demonstrated that it is quick and easy to read music in the form of a pdf published on a website with the iPad. Last night I rediscovered the IMSLP/Petrucci Music Library, which is a wiki whose stated goal is “to create a virtual library containing all public domain music scores, as well as scores from composers who are willing to share their music with the world without charge.” Sounds pretty noble to me! I had used this resource in graduate school to study scores by the great Romantic piano composers, but had pretty much written it off for use in middle school band. Then yesterday I was looking for a solo piece to try with a student that had been recommended to me, but which I didn’t own. I wanted to play through it with my student before telling him to buy it so I did a Google search and the link to the Petrucci Library came up. In seconds I had the entire piece on the iPad. We were able to play through the entire solo in his lesson. Now the great thing about the Petrucci Library is that the pieces have been scanned in – they are the actual sheet music so there are no worries about bad transcriptions. Would I advocate that IMSLP replace legally acquired sheet music? Absolutely not. But it is an ethical resource for research and education and another web resource brought straight to the music stand by the iPad.

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