High Quality Scans of Public Domain Sheet Music
I recently purchased an iPad 2, the forScore app, the AirTurn BT-105 and ATFS-1 Footswitches (for page turning)—the first big steps into digitizing my entire music library. The main problem is that almost all of my piano books are larger than my flatbed scanner can handle, so even if I had the bindings cut I still wouldn’t be able to feed the loose pages through the auto document feeder. There’s the option of having Kinkos or OfficeMax doing the scanning for me, but they charge $0.20 – 0.25 per page. A large format scanner starts at $2499.
I was lamenting to my friend, Tom, about this and brilliantly pointed out that most classical music is public domain and that somebody has to have already scanned all of the stuff and put them online. Of course, a few minutes of Googling from the both of us produced tons of sites. Thus far, the one I like the most is Cantorion.
The scans and transcriptions are high in quality, and the community seems very strong and involved. Their collections include scores for multiple instruments (and sometimes full orchestra!). So far, I’ve found PDFs of most of my collection (e.g. Chopin, Liszt, Beethoven, Rachmaninoff, etc.). I’m confident I won’t have any problems finding the rest.
Here are some other resources that we found that I haven’t researched but look very promising:
- The Open Directory Project
- The International Music Score Library Project
- The Sheet Music Archive
Thanks for the help, Tom!
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