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Music

Finding Scores

The International Music Score Library Project contains thousands of scores in the public domain. This includes mostly classical music by well-known composers. Browse alphabetically by composer, composer nationality, time period, instrumentation, and genre. You can also search by work title, but not all works are cross-listed in English. This is a wonderful source for art song literature, chamber music, solo instrumental works, and even full orchestral works. However, IMSLP is a wiki, which means that anyone can contribute reproductions of printed music to this site, regardless of U.S. copyright law. If you are using a score from IMSLP published after 1900, it is a good idea to check for the copyrights to the piece with the publisher if you plan to distribute multiple copies.
 
A collection of Alexander Street Press. Includes performance scores and digital manuscripts by well-known classical composers and for lesser-known contemporary composers. Search by time period, composer, instrument, genre, and title. Entire scores may be printed for performance or study. Create a free account with Alexander Street Press to write annotations in the music and to save citations.
 
Great source for contemporary scores for electronics, extended techniques, and stage by 20th and 21st century composers. Audio recordings are available for many of these works. In addition to original works, there are also chamber arrangements of classical orchestral and operatic works. Browsable by composer, genre, and instrument. 

Variations (Cook Music Library, Indiana University)

ChoralWiki

Music Treasures Consortium

How to find scores using the Library Catalog:

  • First, limit the format of the search to "Music Scores."
  • Then, perform a keyword search, rather than a title, author, or subject search. Music materials are often in non-English languages.  A keyword search will ensure that if the title is listed in another language, the cross-listed English title in the record will cause the piece to appear in your search results. 

Useful search tips:

  • Keep your search simple and eliminate unecessary words, rather than searching for a piece's full name.
    • ex: For "beethoven concerto no. 5 for piano and orchestra in Eb major," search "beethoven piano concerto 5" or "beethoven emperor concerto."
  • It can sometimes be useful to search for titles in the composer's native language if a search in English fails. Do not use any diacritics (accent marks, umlauts, etc.) in your search. You can find the original title by performing a Google search.
    • ex: for Debussy's Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun, try a keyword search for "prelude a l'apres midi d'un faune" instead.
  • Search for the name of the instrument(s) to browse music for a particular instrument or ensemble.  Remember that it may be useful to search for the instrument's name in the composer's native language.
    • ex: "flote" instead of "flute" for pieces by Brahms, Beethoven, or Mozart. 

 

**PLEASE NOTE: BorrowDirect and DartDoc for physical scores are unavailable until further notice due to the COVID-19 crisis.

If Dartmouth doesn't have the score you need, try requesting it through BorrowDirect. If none of our partner institutions has the score, you can request it through DartDoc.  If you need to find a citation for a particular edition of a score so that you can request it through DartDoc, worldcat.org is a good place to look.