Thursday, July 24, 2014

Links to a Music Dictionary and All of the Classical Sheet Music that You Could Desire

Here are links to a couple of web sites that can be of great help to musicians and students.

Dolmetsch Online -- Music Theory, Music Dictionary, Composer Dictionary, et. al.

Arnold Dolmetsch was a performer in the early 20th century of early keyboards and other instruments among other things.  He is probably best known for his book The Interpretation of the Music of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries (1915).  He was an early pioneer of the "Historically Informed" movement in music.  He was doing it before it was cool.

This site contains a substantial section on music theory (including everything that you might want to know about pitch standards through the centuries as well as different temperaments). There is also a substantial dictionary with terms translated to the European languages (often including the difference between American and British usages).  A basic dictionary of composers is also available.  It is light on content, but it does contain a little info of a number of obscure old and contemporary composers that I have been unable to find anything about elsewhere.

Added resources includes staff paper to print in a large variety of standard formats as well as some you may not known that you need (how about staffs on the right side of the page with space for notes on the left for a theory class?)

Dolmetsch Online

IMSLP/Petrucci Music Library

I am still often surprised about how many musicians do not know about this great resource.  This is a library of music that is in the public domain.  In general this means that it was published before sometime in the 1920's, but most classical music that one might be interested in was written well before that.  This is a HUGE collection of scans of music from at least the Renaissance to the early part of the 20th century.  Available is the complete Bach-Gesellschaft Ausgabe as well as other editions, all of the Scarlatti sonatas that you could ever want, all of the Beethoven you could ask for, etc.  In many instances there are scans of manuscripts by the composers and other contemporaries.

Besides all of the known composers, you can find music from lesser known and forgotten composers. For example, we know that Alberti wrote a bass, but did he do anything for the right hand (he did).  I have even found the first known published piece written specifically for the piano -- Sonate Da Cimbalo di piano, e forte ... by D. Lodovico Giustini di Pistoia; Op. 1; published in Firenze, 1732 (about 8 years before Bach saw his first piano).

You can also search by genre.

It is a great place to find and try some different music by composers of whom you may or may not have heard.  I should add that it contains much more than piano music -- full orchestral scores and sometimes parts, string solos, trios, quartets, etc.

The home page displays new additions and language selection.  The composers page allows you to search music by composers.

IMSLP/Petrucci Music Library - Home

IMSLP/Petrucci Music Library - Composers

These links are also available in the link section to the right.

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