NYT article on free sheetmusic download site (IMSLP)
  • Interesting story from the Times on music publishers' angst over free sheet music downloads.
  • It's a great story and about time. IMSLP has led to a huge revival of classical music - the first in my lifetime.
  • francis
    Posts: 10,706
    I have enough wonderfully composed organ music on my computer to play until I leave this world (except for the pieces that I myself will compose in the future!). Thank you IMSLP.
  • I was amused by the whining about past music subsidizing present music. That was not the case a century or two ago; indeed, if old music was published, it was subsidized by new music. The main problem is that long ago, the publishers backed the wrong horses. That's why the French were so hot for copyright extension; after Ravel, they basically had nothing anyone wanted to buy (Messiaen, maybe, but not a hot seller). New music doesn't have the market share to support itself. It could be subsidized by popular music, as BMI does, but the companies making money from popular print (Warner Bros., now Alfred?) don't want to be bothered.

    I used to work in print music retail, and the bricks-n-mortar business model is even more dysfunctional there than it is in book sales, given that the active catalog is so much larger and remains in print and use longer. There are few companies who effectively promote their composers, and where possible, they prefer composers who need no promotion.

    I still think there is a case to be made for profit from print sales (though the real money is in performing rights). I have just signed up with New Music Shelf (http://newmusicshelf.com/index.php?route=product/manufacturer&manufacturer_id=24) and will be self-publishing my chamber music through them. The stuff that's in cpdl will stay there, and future sacred music will I hope find a home with a dedicated sacred music publisher.
  • francis
    Posts: 10,706

    Have you considered LuLu or CreateSpace? I am looking at POD options too.
  • Jeffrey Quick
    Posts: 2,063
    I haven't. NMS is non-exclusive, so once I have all edited and up I can expand.
  • Geremia
    Posts: 262
    Yes, I love IMSLP. They have over 100 of Victoria's scores.
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 5,169
    As with CPDL, the overwhelming majority of the Victoria scores at IMSLP are actually from Nancho Alvarez's www.tomasluisdevictoria.org site. CPDL's Victoria collection now numbers over 200 scores.
  • TCJ
    Posts: 977
    I like ISMLP, but I don't think I've actually printed anything from it. I've used it to peruse through things I might like and then I buy the music in a book with other stuff. I just like having books and not loose sheets (or sheets in a binder). Still, it's a valuable resource and I'm glad it's around.
    Thanked by 1Gavin
  • The biggest problem with IMSLP is that when one is engaging in serious study, performing, or competing, one needs authoritative editions. Obviously, there is no way to verify the authenticity of editions posted on the internet.
    Thanked by 1Gavin
  • That is true PGA and often various sources and treaties are good to review. If you are able to get the "urtext" edition as well, then even better.
    But, in the realm of parish musicians with limited budgets, IMSLP is a huge boon and expands repertoire. Competing and serious study is not the first priority of a Parish organist and is really moot. If we are able to offer more, does the authenticity really matter that much?
    Sometimes, at recitals, concerts and Mass, I hear performances that I question. But at Holy Mass, I just dump that out of my head. It is Mass. We strive for quality but I don't think Mass is the venue to quibble over performance practice or authenticity when it comes to music.

    So from a practical Church Musician, the obvious problem you described is not really that important albiet very true.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,955
    The IMSLP editions of some works are the only copies I can find. Often, no one else publishes them and they are not available.
  • Since most IMSLP editions are the original published editions, I don't think the authenticity issue weighs that heavily. If you're doing something 19th c. or later, presumably there's some connection between the composer and the publisher. I'd be hesitant to use it for earlier music.
    Thanked by 1PMulholland