Thursday, January 1, 2009

                Frequently Asked Questions

What can I find on this site?
There are presently two main areas in this site: the Score Library and the Members' Forum. The Score Library is a listing of SHEET MUSIC scores in the Public Domain. All downloads are FREE! The Members' Forum is an area where you can participate by discussion or by uploading your own material.At present we do not have any audio files online. This is due to copyright concerns and may change at some point in the future.

What does it mean to subscribe and why should I?
As a subscriber to the site, you have permission to post comments where appropriate. Also, if you want, subscribers get emails every time the site is updated. These emails will detail for you every new file added to the library. However, to get the file updates, you should subscribe to both the main site and the downloads page.

What does PDF mean?
A PDF file is a text-type file in the proprietary Adobe Reader format. It is usually a multipage document.

How do I view a score or book?
You need the free Adobe Reader or similar software. If you do not have the Adobe Reader software, you can download it by clicking on the Adobe Reader icon towards the bottom of the downloads area.

What does MIDI mean?
This is a generic file type that contains MIDI data that can be played and edited using MIDI-capable software. MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) is used to control hardware and software synthesizers.

How can I use a MIDI file?
MIDI files can be played with some audio software. WinAMP handles them well. Note that they don't sound all that great because in playback they use MIDI General Instrument sounds which are very old and dated. However, you can also load this type of file into a MIDI sequencer and assign your own instrument sounds to the tracks for a much improved sound.

MIDI files can also be loaded into scoring software like Makemusic's Finale or Sibelius. Once loaded, a score can be viewed, edited and/or printed.

What does ARC, ZIP or RAR mean?
This is a file that has been compressed with archiving software. To uncompress the file for use, you must have the appropriate archiving software. I use a free archiver called IZ_Arc. It is free and very good. For more information go to

Why can't I open the ZIP or RAR file I downloaded?
Compressed files are almost always part of a multi-volume set. You must have all parts of the set in order to extract any part of it. Component parts of a set are always grouped together, so download all of them. Then click on the file that has the lowest numbered extension, usually .Z00 or .R00 , and the whole set will be able to be uncompressed together.If the extraction fails on a particular file, you should try re-downloading it.

What is a Public Domain score?
The score is no longer subject to copyright and may be freely distributed and performed without royalty. Copyright expires 50 years after the composer's death in most countries. (Check your local laws which supercede laws in the country of origin. The later copyright expiration always applies.)

If all files are public domain, why are there scores here for living composers?
Some musicians release independent typesets, released under Creative Commons License. You may use the score for your personal use only. No public performance is permitted.

Why is the same piece listed more than once?
They are not just duplicate entries. These are usually different editions. Occasionally they are the same edition but different scans from different sources. (Lesser quality pages of one scan are usually better quality in the other scan. aka:mix-and-match)

How do I find a score I want?
Either by browsing the composer's own page (accessed from the INDEX) or by using the SEARCH feature located right above the index. The search feature will list results grouped by composer's page. You will see which composer is referenced within the results text. (eg. DOWNLOADPDF Bach Prelude and Fugue BWV565)

The score I want isn't here. Can you get it for me?
I will always try to fill requests as best I can. To request a score, please do so using the Members' Forum Request area. That way, all members of the site will be able to try to track it down for you. Requests posted through the 'Contact Me' feature will be ignored.

Why does the index appear on every page?
So that it is always easily accessible. However, if you are browsingseveral composers, it may be faster to use the BACK button in your browser which will take you to the Index you originally launched from.

How are the score listings organized?
This was quite a quandry when designing the site. An alphbetical listing would be nice, but difficult to maintain and you would never know whether it is a new or old listing. In the end I opted to place all entries in the order in which they were posted, newest first. Thus the new listings always appear at the top of the composer's score listing.

How do I know what files have been added since I visited last?
As noted in the last answer, the new listings appear first on the composer's page. Additionally, there is a prompt on the main download page to 'Show New Postings'. This will take you to a page where all newer posts are listed by posting date.

Is there any purpose to the composer's portait on his page?
Yes. It looks nice ;) But seriously, if you want to know more about a particular composer you can click on his portrait and a page will open up displaying his biographic information as posted on Wikipedia.

Can I share a score that I already have?
By all means, please do! Just log in to the Members' Forum area and upload it in the approprate sub-forum of the MUSIC section. To upload, just write a description in the text area and then attach the file to your NEW POST. Please be sure to create a new post for each new upload, and PLEASE only post classical music or music that is classical in nature (eg. Broadway scores). DO NOT post 'classic rock' and the like.

I don't know if the score I have is public domain or not. Can I still upload it?
Yes. You will never be penalized for uploading a file that turns out to be copyrighted. The forum Moderator will check your uploaded file. If it turns out to be copyrighted, he will place a block against downloading the file. If copyright is seriously suspected, a temporary block may be placed on the file until the copyright issue is resolved.

Why do I have to register for the members' forum?
In short, for security reasons. It also reduces SPAM and we need your identity to credit your uploads and message posts.

What happens to my registration information?
Nothing. It is solely used by the forum management software for tracking posts and uploads.

Do you have a privacy policy?
Yes, and it is very simple. Your private information (including email address) will never be used for any other purpose than site identification. It will NEVER be disclosed to any third party. The ONLY exception to this is if you are involved in illegal activity or activity detrimental to this site or its members.

I have a piece of music that I composed, arranged or performed myself. Can I upload it?
Absolutely YES!! It can be in any format you choose: score, MIDI sequence, audio file, MIDI project file, link to YouTube (or other site, even one you own), video file... well you get the picture. Just be sure to place a copyright notice with the file or in your comments. Also include a brief description. NOTE: music should be in the classical style ONLY. Classic Rock or other similar genres will be removed. (This includes Jazz [sorry, no jazz])

I have a question not covered here. How do I find the answer?
If it is a question regarding how to use the site, please post your question in the appropriate sub-forum in the MUSIC Members' Forum area. That way, other members can help you out.
If it is a question related to site administration, use the 'Contact Me' form available from the main site menu.