Sheet Music Brainz?

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Does anyone know of an archive for sheet music? I have a couple of boxes of sheet music dating back to the 1920’s through the 50’s. Some of the artwork is lovely not to mention the information they provide. I would like to scan and save them as a future reference for archivists. Would it be possible to have a Sheet MusicBrainz as a form of CAA? Is it something that would be useful on this site?

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I may be wrong, but I suspect that would open MetaBrainz up to issues of copyright violation because of the printed nature of the material.

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Sheet music, like lyrics, are very much copyright protected and in most cases the copyright holder is known (the composer), which is unlike CAA where the copyright is generally more who-knows.

You can maybe contact the Internet Archive and hear if they would be interested. Otherwise, there are projects such as International Music Score Library Project (which can be linked with Works using URL relationships), but again, they only accept public domain sheet music AFAIK. @reosarevok may know other projects like this, but they are generally skewed towards the intersection of classical and out-of-copyright scores.

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Copyright laws did cross my mind. I will follow up with the links you kindly provided. Sad though that the laws that protect the sheet music will cause them to be lost forever as they are tossed into the recycling bin. Ironic huh? Again, thank you.

Maybe you can check OpenScore.

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OpenScore aims to transcript public domain music scores, which would not help @Llama_lover to host scanned music sheet to ensure that they are not lost forever …
You could check if this music sheet is actually in a public library. They have scanning programs, which ensure that the document will be archived and made available once in the public domain.

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Yes, of course, hence the maybe :wink: But their community may have other leads that are more specialized than ours here.

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I suspect the Internet Archive would be more than happy to get them just sent to them, although not sure if they’d pay postage… if you happen to be close to them it might be easier.

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If you are in the US, the oldest of that material may now be in the public domain:

As of 2019, copyright has expired for all works published in the United States before 1924. In other words, if the work was published in the U.S. before January 1, 1924, you are free to use it in the U.S. without permission. […] In 2020, works published in 1924 will expire, and so on.

(from https://fairuse.stanford.edu/overview/public-domain/welcome/ )

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Note that this is for the Work itself, not necessarily a specific print of a work (esp. if that print has illustrations/decorations of some kind).

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As the others said, the Internet Archive is probably your best bet. But if that doesn’t work out for any reason, please don’t turn them into pulp. I don’t know where you live, but in these parts (the UK), charity shops, esp. book-oriented ones, are pleased to take sheet music, and that would keep your copies in circulation a while longer.

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@monxton. No worries. I have too much respect and love for my music. My comment above re: recycling, was regarding what generally happens to old sheet music. I have several of my “sheets” framed and placed around my house. With the above suggestions, i will place the music responsibly. TTFN

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