Now 400,000 scores and 46,000 recordings are at your fingertips.
There is a place on the internet that is making all your classical music dreams come true.
The International Music Score Library Project (IMSLP) is also known as the Petrucci Music Library. It was named so for Ottaviano Petrucci, who is often credited with forming the first book of sheet music printed from movable type, in 1501. The project began in 2006 with the goal of making sheet music and recordings available for study.
The library currently holds over 400,000 scores and more than 46,000 recordings in the public domain. Besides providing a digital repository, IMSLP acts as a musicological encyclopedia, since multiple and historical editions of a single composition can be uploaded. This not only allows listeners to hear many different orchestras playing their favorite classical tunes, but it makes it possible to hear the minor changes in performances over the years.
As Open Culture tells it, this is a veritable wonderland for classical music aficionados:
You can’t have a favorite piece without having a favorite performance of that piece, played by certain musicians, presided over by a certain conductor, and recorded in a certain hall. And even so, many other recordings of that piece may well exist that you haven’t heard yet, one of which could one day usurp your personal top spot.
The search bar on the home page will redirect you to Google, but the search results will lead you to the IMSLP page you were looking for. You can also search from their long list of composers through the “Scores” and “Recordings” tabs. You can make an account and donate if you wish to support the project, but their scores and recordings are available at no charge.