How to use this site

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The aim of this site is to make a collection of classical keyboard sheet music freely available. In case anyone wants help, this page explains how it is meant to work.

Finding music

The music is listed in a number of ways

Firstly there is a full list showing all the music in alphabetical order by composers. Secondly there is a page listing all the composers. This provides links to a single page for each composer, which shows the music by that composer which is available at the moment. I am gradually adding more music to the collection, and there is a page showing the most recent additions. These are given in order of arrival, the latest first. This should help you to to keep track of what is new when you revisit the site, quickly revealing what has appeared since your previous visit. Fourthly, some of the music is also listed in special collections such as Music for one hand alone, In Nomines, Duets with one easy part, and so on.

As the collection grows larger it may become useful to have some general search facility: I haven't yet included anything like this.

Once you have found a piece of music you would like to see, clicking on its name should bring the first page of the score up on your screen. But to do this your browser needs to be equipped with "plug-in" software called SCORCH which happily is available free from SIBELIUS Software.

SCORCH

The first time that you click on the name of a piece of music you will get a screen explaining how to download SCORCH (unless your browser already has a copy installed, in which case the music should appear straight away). This service is provided by SIBELIUS Software. Instructions are given which should be straightforward, and the process generally only takes a few minutes (and doesn't take up much space on your hard drive — currently 12.5 Mb). Some people have reported difficulties when using browsers other than Internet Explorer, or if they have particulalrly fierce defenses against "active X" on their computers. In case of any problem, please contact the SCORCH website http://www.sibelius.com/products/scorch. There is also very helpful advice on the website www.sheetmusicdirect.com; this includes a special Scorch Installer which you can download.

Hearing, printing and saving music

Once you have the score on your screen various possibilities are open to you:

  1. You can print it on A4 sheets with a single click. Note that the appearance of the printed version is far superior (because you are able to use perhaps 400 dpi instead of the 96 dpi available on your screen).
  2. You can hear it "played". The software constructs the sound directly from the score; it pays attention to expression marks, tempo instructions, etc, but inevitably the results lack the subtlety of a human performance. However you can get a basic impression of the music, and in the case of harpsichord pieces (or even more in the case of a piece for "musical clock") the effect is certainly more realistic than piano music (try John Bull's Walsingham for example).
  3. You can also download the file. It will be in "Sibelius" format (.sib), and if stored on your computer, memory stick or a CD can be opened with SCORCH for you to hear it or print the music.It will be quite small, typically 60 to 100 Kb.
  4. SCORCH also allowa you to perform some manipulations on the file, — you can transpose it into any key for example.
  5. For total flexibility (if you can afford it) buy yourself a copy of SIBELIUS. The current version is 5.2. You then have complete freedom to edit the file, — make corrections and additions, add fingering, re-format the score... If you have an A3 printer you can print your file on A3 paper and fold it into an A4 booklet. Note that SIBELIUS can do the collation for this automatically.

    Copyright and related issues

    As far as I know none of the music on this site is copyright. It is limited to compositions by musicians who have been dead for more than 70 years (apart from any pieces by myself which I am happy to make freely available). So although it seems a shame that more recent compositions cannot be included, there is still a huge collection of wonderful music which can be made available entirely free, and this site provides some of it.

    Thus the only costs to you are in paper and ink. The work of turming the music into electronic files and of creating the website has all been done by me and so has cost nothing. There are however inevitable expenses involved in running the site, and in advertising its existence, and if you would like to offer support a donation would be extremely welcome.

    Comments are welcome. Please write to emma@emmadogliani.com    Last modified: 30 July 2008.