Suggestion: include published (printed) music scores

Apart from records/CDs/music files, I also have a collection of musical scores, mostly piano, or piano and another instrument or voice. Some are over 100 years old, and date from the the time scores were the primary way to share music.

It would be great if these could be added as a specific release type too.

Some classical recordings also mention which specific edition/publication of the score was used.
Scores could be linked to:
-Works (most important)
-Specific recordings whenever the data is available (not very common, but for instance older records on Archiv did this consistently)
-The specific publisher
-The score editor (lots of classical pieces have different editions of the same manuscript)

Some scores are a single musical piece (sometimes no more than a folded sheet), other scores gather different works (For instance the 3 sonatas of Chopin).

It would be nice if it would be considered to include these too on MusicBrains.
I checked BookBrains, but this doesn’t seem to be able to index different musical pieces and link them to Works or Recordings.

To my knowledge there is currently no central index of published scores.

I would be glad to aid in the development of this possibility by providing real examples.


Thank you for the suggestion, but in short, we don’t host scores due to legal uncertainty.

However, if you know of free scores that are legally hosted elsewhere, you would be very welcome to add the external links to the corresponding works using the below relationship type:

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If you would host the actual scores, that would for certain result in trouble.

But what I’m aiming at is just indexing their existence, and linking them to the appropriate works and recordings.

And of course add the relationships: Score editor, Publisher (=equivalent of label for a music release, each published score has a fixed cat#), version (scores are regularly revised), Work, etc.

Images are not really necessary, except maybe for the cover of the score. But I think to keep it legally watertight, it’s maybe safer to avoid them, at best allow max. 1 single image. You certainly want to avoid users scanning scores and uploading them. You do need permission from the publisher to do so.

Technically, a printed score is a music release. It’s the oldest way to ‘record’ music and pass it otherwise than the oral way. It relates a bit to a piano roll, which technically is a score to be read by a mechanical device, instead of a human being.


I think it’s a great idea to support scores in MusicBrainz. it’s currently not a part of the database, and might be challenging to fit in the current release system (tho I’m not a dev, so I don’t know for certain), as it’s technically a release of works, not of recordings.

that said, it might be possible to document these in BookBrainz, as their releases (editions) are collections of works. these can also be linked to MusicBrainz works from both sides. this is how we handle prose works on MusicBrainz (for audiobooks and whatnot), such as Fallout: Equestria

that said, there’s currently no work type for musical works over on BookBrainz, and I don’t know for certain if these are within the scope of BookBrainz… you might make a thread on BookBrainz before adding a bunch

I’ve always kinda equated MusicBrainz works to scores, and there are a lot of relationships to support this, like revisions and whatnot


Yeah, printed scores belong in BookBrainz :slight_smile: MusicBrainz works can be linked to BookBrainz works as appropriate, IIRC.

Thanks, I’ll try Bookbrainz to index the printed scores I have, when I get to it.

I expect some shortcomings because of the mainly musical nature of a score.
The main issue will probably be that the ‘Works’ in a score publication are to be found on Musicbrainz. Bookbrainz doesn’t seem to include a musical score as “type of work” either.

I will provide feedback when I get to it.

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I’d leave that field blank. it can be filled when that work type is added