International Music Score Library Project

Last updated
IMSLP
Petrucci Music Library
IMSLP logo (2016).png
Screenshot
IMSLP main page 2016.png
IMSLP main page in January 2016
Type of site
Online library of sheet music
Available in
Owner Project Petrucci LLC (private company)
Created by Edward W. Guo (Feldmahler) [1]
Website imslp.org ; petruccilibrary.org
Alexa rank 4,976 [2]
Commercial Yes (subscription)
Registration Optional (required for contributing and unconstrained access)
Launched February 16, 2006;12 years ago (2006-02-16)
Current status Active
Content licence
Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International

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.

Ottaviano Petrucci was an Italian printer. His Harmonice Musices Odhecaton, a collection of chansons printed in 1501, is commonly misidentified as the first book of sheet music printed from movable type. Actually that distinction belongs to the Roman printer Ulrich Han's Missale Romanum of 1476. Nevertheless, Petrucci's later work was extraordinary for the complexity of his white mensural notation and the smallness of his font, and he did in fact print the first book of polyphony using movable type. He also published numerous works by the most highly regarded composers of the Renaissance, including Josquin des Prez and Antoine Brumel.

The public domain consists of all the creative works to which no exclusive intellectual property rights apply. Those rights may have expired, been forfeited, expressly waived, or may be inapplicable.

Sheet music is a handwritten or printed form of music notation that uses modern musical symbols to indicate the pitches (melodies), rhythms or chords of a song or instrumental musical piece. Like its analogs – printed books or pamphlets in English, Arabic or other languages – the medium of sheet music typically is paper, although the access to musical notation since the 1980s has included the presentation of musical notation on computer screens and the development of scorewriter computer programs that can notate a song or piece electronically, and, in some cases, "play back" the notated music using a synthesizer or virtual instruments.

Contents

History

Overview

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.[ citation needed ]

Image scanner device that optically scans images, printed text, handwriting, or an object, and converts it to a digital image

An image scanner—often abbreviated to just scanner, although the term is ambiguous out of context —is a device that optically scans images, printed text, handwriting or an object and converts it to a digital image. Commonly used in offices are variations of the desktop flatbed scanner where the document is placed on a glass window for scanning. Hand-held scanners, where the device is moved by hand, have evolved from text scanning "wands" to 3D scanners used for industrial design, reverse engineering, test and measurement, orthotics, gaming and other applications. Mechanically driven scanners that move the document are typically used for large-format documents, where a flatbed design would be impractical.

Copyright is a legal right, existing in many countries, that grants the creator of an original work exclusive rights to determine whether, and under what conditions, this original work may be used by others. This is usually only for a limited time. Copyright is one of two types of intellectual property rights, the other is industrial property rights. The exclusive rights are not absolute but limited by limitations and exceptions to copyright law, including fair use. A major limitation on copyright on ideas is that copyright protects only the original expression of ideas, and not the underlying ideas themselves.

Creative Commons (CC) is an American non-profit organization devoted to expanding the range of creative works available for others to build upon legally and to share. The organization has released several copyright-licenses, known as Creative Commons licenses, free of charge to the public. These licenses allow creators to communicate which rights they reserve and which rights they waive for the benefit of recipients or other creators. An easy-to-understand one-page explanation of rights, with associated visual symbols, explains the specifics of each Creative Commons license. Creative Commons licenses do not replace copyright but are based upon it. They replace individual negotiations for specific rights between copyright owner (licensor) and licensee, which are necessary under an "all rights reserved" copyright management, with a "some rights reserved" management employing standardized licenses for re-use cases where no commercial compensation is sought by the copyright owner. The result is an agile, low-overhead and low-cost copyright-management regime, benefiting both copyright owners and licensees.

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.

Musicology Scientific discipline whose content is the practical and theoretical study of music

Musicology is the scholarly analysis and research-based study of music. Musicology departments traditionally belong to the humanities, although music research is often more scientific in focus. A scholar who participates in musical research is a musicologist.

IMSLP is recommended as a research tool by MIT, [3] [4] which also uses it extensively for providing scores for its OpenCourseWare courses. [5] [6] It is suggested as a resource by the Sibley Music Library [7] and by libraries at other universities such as Stanford University, [8] University of California, Los Angeles, [9] Brown University, [10] University of Pennsylvania, [11] University of Wisconsin–Madison, [12] Oberlin Conservatory of Music, [13] Manhattan School of Music [14] University of Maryland, [15] University of Washington, [16] University of Cincinnati, [17] University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, [18] Appalachian State University [19] in the US, McGill University [20] in Canada, University of Oxford, [21] University of Cambridge, [22] University of Edinburgh [23] University of Bristol [24] in the UK, University of Melbourne [25] in Australia, and others.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology University in Massachusetts

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is a private research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Founded in 1861 in response to the increasing industrialization of the United States, MIT adopted a European polytechnic university model and stressed laboratory instruction in applied science and engineering. The Institute is a land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant university, with a campus that extends more than a mile alongside the Charles River. Its influence in the physical sciences, engineering, and architecture, and more recently in biology, economics, linguistics, management, and social science and art, has made it one of the most prestigious universities in the world. MIT is often ranked among the world's top universities.

MIT OpenCourseWare a web-based publication of virtually all MIT course content

MIT OpenCourseWare is an initiative of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to publish all of the educational materials from its undergraduate – and graduate-level courses online, freely and openly available to anyone, anywhere. MIT OpenCourseWare is a large-scale, web-based publication of MIT course materials. The project was announced on April 4, 2001 and uses Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike license. The program was originally funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and MIT. Currently, MIT OpenCourseWare is supported by MIT, corporate underwriting, major gifts, and donations from site visitors. The initiative has inspired more than 250 other institutions to make their course materials available as open educational resources through the Open Education Consortium.

Sibley Music Library American music library of the Eastman School of Music, Rochester, NY

Sibley Music Library is the library of the Eastman School of Music, Rochester, NY. It was founded in 1904 by Hiram Watson Sibley in honor of his father Hiram Sibley and is currently the largest university music library in the US.

IMSLP logo (2007-2015) IMSLP logo (2007-2015).png
IMSLP logo (2007–2015)
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. IMSLP main page 2016.png
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.

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. [26] [ non-primary source needed ]

Harmonice Musices Odhecaton

The Harmonice Musices Odhecaton was an anthology of polyphonic secular songs published by Ottaviano Petrucci in 1501 in Venice. It was the first book of polyphonic music ever to be printed using movable type. The Odhecaton was hugely influential both in publishing in general and in dissemination of the Franco-Flemish musical style.

Venice Comune in Veneto, Italy

Venice is a city in northeastern Italy and the capital of the Veneto region. It is situated on a group of 118 small islands that are separated by canals and linked by over 400 bridges. The islands are located in the shallow Venetian Lagoon, an enclosed bay that lies between the mouths of the Po and the Piave rivers. In 2018, 260,897 people resided in the Comune di Venezia, of whom around 55,000 live in the historical city of Venice. Together with Padua and Treviso, the city is included in the Padua-Treviso-Venice Metropolitan Area (PATREVE), which is considered a statistical metropolitan area, with a total population of 2.6 million.

In 2016, the IMSLP changed its logo to a clean wordmark, featuring its two project namesIMSLP and Petrucci Music Library.

Wordmark text-only typographic treatment of the name of a company, institution, or product name used for purposes of identification and branding

A wordmark, word mark, or logotype is usually a distinct text-only typographic treatment of the name of a company, institution, or product name used for purposes of identification and branding. Examples can be found in the graphic identities of the Government of Canada, FedEx, Microsoft, and IBM. The organization name is incorporated as a simple graphic treatment to create a clear, visually memorable identity. The representation of the word becomes a visual symbol of the organization or product.

Awards

In 2009, the IMSLP won the MERLOT Classics award for Music. [27] It was named one of the Top 100 Web Sites of 2009 (in the "Undiscovered" subsection) by PC Magazine. [28]

Closure and reopening

On October 19, 2007, the IMSLP closed following legal demands from Universal Edition of Vienna, Austria. [29] 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: [30]

On Saturday October 13, 2007, I received a second Cease and Desist letter from Universal Edition. At first I thought this letter would be similar in content to the first Cease and Desist letter I received in August. However, after lengthy discussions with very knowledgeable lawyers and supporters, I became painfully aware of the fact that I, a normal college student, has neither the energy nor the money necessary to deal with this issue in any other way than to agree with the cease and desist, and take down the entire site. I cannot apologize enough to all IMSLP contributors, who have done so much for IMSLP in the last two years.

Feldmahler (project leader)

In response, director Michael S. Hart of Project Gutenberg offered support to keep the project online. [31] 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. [30] 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. [32]

This case is enormously important
from a public domain perspective.

Michael Geist

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." [33] 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 "imslp.org", leaving it inaccessible.[ citation needed ] 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. [34] According to the IMSLP, the action is without any merit. [35] Almost 24 hours later, the MPA (UK) announced on Twitter that they had asked Go Daddy to reinstate the domain name. [36]

On November 7, 2017, the IMSLP received a cease and desist order from the heirs of Sergei Prokofiev after they discovered 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 legal threat 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 certainly newly uploaded files. [37] 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), [38] are required to wait up to two days to access newly uploaded files, and are shown advertising. [39]

The project leader Edward Guo [40] [ non-primary source needed ] 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." [41] [37]

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. [42]

Naxos Music Library

On April 18, 2016, the IMSLP announced [43] on its Twitter account that all subscribers will have access to the Naxos Music Library.

EU server

On July 10, 2010, a forum thread [44] 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 [45] 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 thread [46] 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 announcement [47] 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. [48] 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. [49]

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, [50] when the site founder was studying at the New England Conservatory. [51] [52] 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"). [53] [ non-primary source needed ]

Project Leonardo is an internet service provider that hosts free online content in the arts or sciences. [54]

Similar projects

See also

Related Research Articles

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Universal Edition (UE) is a classical music publishing firm. Founded in 1901 in Vienna, and originally intended to provide the core classical works and educational works to the Austrian market. The firm soon expanded to become one of the most important publishers of modern music.

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