Have this idea about scores and lyrics, what do you think of it?


Good morning folks! :wink:

Wouldn’t it be a nice idea to be able to add the full scores to a track? (if available of course) We could upload them in pdf-format, somewhere on MusicBrainz. Same for lyrics of a song.

That way, especially regarding compositions of less well known artists (like me), people - if they like the song/composition - will be able to perform it themselves by downloading the scores and lyrics :sunny:


I would suggest, just upload your PDF in the cover section of your release and write the type of your content in the comment field for every single uploaded picture or PDF.


That’s an idea :slight_smile:

For a single release that indeed is easy.
What about an album release with 12 songs: do you think it is possible to upload 12 separate pdf-files with scores, or do I have to combine them to one file? If that’s the case, I am afraid that file will become too large, over 400 pages…


If you’d like to share your creations with the world, I think that is wonderful. Do make sure that it fits in with your business model. You need to give value to get revenue, but if you give away too much value, you make less revenue later.

But MusicBrainz isn’t the only platform in the world for showing off your creativity.

If you want to publish your scores and lyrics, where’s what I’d suggest.

  1. Publish scores and lyrics in a place you control: your website. For instance, make a web page for each album, listing the tracks on the album. For each track, link to a page with lyrics and to a PDF with the score for that song.
  2. Select a Creative Commons licence which makes it clear what people are welcome to do. Mark each score document and lyrics document or page with this licence. In this way you make your intentions known.
  3. Brand your score files and lyrics pages with your branding and a link to your website. That way, even if somebody copies one of your PDF files and hosts it elsewhere, it is still building your brand.
  4. Host your score files on a website that specialises in hosting music scores. I recommend the Petrucci Music Library/IMSLP, and maybe the Choral Public Domain Library Project (CPDL). They welcome scores where the composer grants permission for reuse.
  5. Host your lyrics on website that specialise in hosting lyrics. I don’t know this part of the web very well. Maybe others can suggest good websites.
  6. Use sites like Patreon or Bandcamp to build a relationship with your fans. Give the lyrics files and score files away as rewards to fans. Or, sell them.
  7. Consider making your music scores available as digital scores, in addition to printable PDF files. Digital score formats, like MusicXML and MEI, let the recipient revise, reformat, and reuse the notes in the score.

Yes, MusicBrainz should eventually stretch to do more with scores and lyrics. But right now, other places do that better.

I hope those ideas are helpful.


I would actually vote against this - the pictures for a release are meant to represent that specific release.
So unless that PDF was included with the release, for instance in the download or in the pages of the printed booklet, I don’t think it should be attached to that release on MB.
Not because I disagree with adding lyrics of course! I just don’t think (currently) that’s the place for it.

If you want a place where people have access to your music and your scores + lyrics, I recommend Bandcamp also, you can include PDF’s with free downloads, or as bonus items with paid downloads, or you can simply write/paste the lyrics for each song into the website for everyone to see. Then you can link the bandcamp page for a release in MB.

I think lyrics are often subject to a lot of © issues which is perhaps why MusicBrainz hasn’t officially gone down that road yet/ is probably a bit wary of hosting any? Just btw :slight_smile:


@Samsom_Productions Yes you can upload as many PDF files you like. There are already releases with hundres of booklets pages (with lyrics and artist pictures), covers, medium scans, stickers and so on.

But I also support the idea from @Jim_DeLaHunt.


Thank you @Jim_DeLaHunt, @InvisibleMan78 and @aerozol for your valuable input!

:smile: Jim, you are the best :smile:
Thank you so very much for all your extremely valuable suggestions!! I think I best make a business model first, about if, when and how people can receive PDF-lyrics files and/or MusicXML-scores files (btw that is a great suggestion to offer this format instead of pdf, I did not think of that myself). Selling them sounds good :slight_smile: and giving them as reward to fans also :slight_smile:

But, first of all, I think I need to internationally registrate my copyrights of my lyrics. This is different topic so I make now a new topic.

Thanks guys for all your help!!


As a first glance, it seemed like IMSLP was only for scores in the public domain, but then I found this:

So it seems the work creator can also publish scores to the site under, for example, Creative Commons licenses. This I what I would suggest to do. To quote Cory Doctorow (who also happens to be a MetaBrainz board member!):

(From the preamble to his novel “Little Brother” (available for free on his website).)

But eh. It’s your decision to make, and people who work on open source, open data projects are unlikely to be completely unbiased on this matter. :wink:

If you do end up posting the scores to IMSLP, note that you can link the IMSLP pages to the Work entities in MusicBrainz. (And the same for lyrics, if you post your lyrics to Lyrics Wikia or some of the other white-listed lyrics sites.)

Does anybody know a trustable organization to register lyrics copyrights?

Thank you @Freso for your excellent suggestions! Probably, in future, I will end up at Creative Commons licenses if I still want to publish my scores :slight_smile: So then people can use my scores for perfoming or other purposes, provided they mention that the scores are an original work by me. That is a good idea!