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Topic: link to pdf classical scores...

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  1. #1

    Question link to pdf classical scores...

    Can anyone give me a link to a site with loads of original classical scores for orchestra in pdf format... I'm certain I'm not the only one who would make use of this because we are all dedicated students of orchestration. The point is to have have access to these scores INSTANTLY and FREE. I would really appreciate it. My main interests are scores by Ravel and Debussy.
    Thank You.

  2. #2

    Re: link to pdf classical scores...

    Quote Originally Posted by 88chopin
    Can anyone give me a link to a site with loads of original classical scores for orchestra in pdf format... I'm certain I'm not the only one who would make use of this because we are all dedicated students of orchestration. The point is to have have access to these scores INSTANTLY and FREE. I would really appreciate it. My main interests are scores by Ravel and Debussy.
    Thank You.
    The free score sites I have seen are all baroque and early classical. In other words, beyond a doubt within the public domain, with a tiny smattering of newer solo piano works, Mendelssohn, Joplin, Satie, etc. Finding free full orchestral scores of Debussy and Ravel would be stretch (but you're welcome to look ).

    I believe the reason for this is often that, though the music itself may be in the public domain, most published scores often are not, i.e., the layout, typesetting, editing, and annotation ARE still copyrighted editions. The only way to avoid legal conflict is to post non-copyrighted works in a non-copyrighted published version, which means, someone has to actually format, typeset, (insert a few wrong notes ), and annotate the music in such a way that it is obviously not a direct copy of an existing edition of a given score. Full orchestral scores would take a lot of effort to be posted for free in this way. Thus, the free stuff out there is mostly smaller baroque and early classical, plus assorted solo pieces.

  3. #3
    Senior Member squoze's Avatar
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    Re: link to pdf classical scores...


  4. #4

    Re: link to pdf classical scores...

    The following link doesn't have much by Ravel, but they do have some by Debussey. It seems as if they scanned in scores that are out of copyright (because they're old), which is of course perfectly legal. Here's the link:

    http://www.sheetmusicarchive.net/

    Also, does anybody know what Dover says in the front of their scores about copyright? I think most of their score publications are not newly formatted, but based on older publications, which themselves are out of copyright, which means it would be rather cheap for Dover to publish them. Just like it is cheap for publishing companies to print classic books by Dickens and Shakespeare, which are in public domain. Of course, I am not sure about that.

  5. #5

    Re: link to pdf classical scores...

    Quote Originally Posted by SeanHannifin
    Also, does anybody know what Dover says in the front of their scores about copyright? I think most of their score publications are not newly formatted, but based on older publications, which themselves are out of copyright, which means it would be rather cheap for Dover to publish them. Just like it is cheap for publishing companies to print classic books by Dickens and Shakespeare, which are in public domain. Of course, I am not sure about that.
    All the Dover scores I've seen are copyrighted. As you say, they're based on usually authorative, public domain editions. Unless Dover is routinely able to acquire the engraving plates for expired editions, I think at least some of Dover's stuff must actually be re-engraved from the print version (which probably isn't without considerable cost). In any event, Dover's efforts are not a straight copy. They often translate annotations, if any, from French, German, Russian, etc. to English, provide translation for non-Italian musical terms, instrumentation lists, historical notes, and create cover artwork, etc., so they truly have their own edition (which is probably why they're able to secure copyright).

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