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Choral Public Domain Archive (CPDL)

Website: Choral Public Domain Archive

The Choral Public Domain Archive, a collaborative website for choral-music directors, was founded by Rafael Ornes in 1995 and maintained by him for more than a decade. More than 3,000 scores were included in the linked database. The collection was later aggregated with other online scores and converted to a wiki, thererby increasingly the total number of holding substantially and diffusing the management. Many holdings are extracts from longer works found in their entirety at the MuseData, Werner Icking, and other respositories. CPDL is a useful source for arrangements of short pieces, most of them choral but some purely vocal. Holdings include capella, Finale, Lilypond, MuseScore, MIDI, Noteworthy Composer, PDF, PostScript, and Sibelius files. Music by roughly 2,600 composers can be found here. A useful feature in CPDL is the presence of full texts of lyrics. Contributions come from all over the world. Copyright restrictions are clearly indicated.

International Music Score Library Project (IMSLP)

Website: International Music Score Library Project (IMSLP)

Canto of "Bergette savoyene" attributed to Josquin in the Harmonice Musices Odhecaton (1501). This part is located here in the IMSLP Petrucci Library.

When Ottaviano Petrucci, a Venetian typesetter, set in motion the printing of polyphonic music in his xx (1501) he could not possibly have imagined that its namesake virtual library, the Petrucci Music Library, would today boast almost 100,000 items. Besides 330,000 scores (as of October 2015), 98,000 "works" (including numerous titles of early music-theory treatises and performance manuals), and 37,000 recordings, IMSLP (colloquially pronounced Im'-slip) is a cornucopia of miscellaneous information about composers (13,300 of them) and their available works.

The nature of contributions is diverse in quality and in photographic quality. Because IMSLP attempts to serve a global audience, it has frequently foundered on the shoals of copyright differences from country to country and has occasional run afoul of library and publishers' conventions. Among materials digitized by libraries (and re-served here) the original site is often preferable for professionals because it provides full particulars of sources, extensive metadata, contextual information about collections holding the desired item, and advice about rights and permissions. (We hope DRM makes it easy to find the original post of digitized scores.)

Edward W. Guo, the Canadian founder and head of IMSLP, was a composition student at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston when he started the site (2006). (Guo is also a violinist and pianist.) The perplexities of adjudicating rights and permissions issues led him to pursue a law degree (Harvard, 2012). Two hundred volunteers help to develop the site.

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