Monday, October 22, 2007

Fallen asleep

Sad news from the blogosphere today. The marvelous resource, the International Music Score Library Project (IMSLP) has closed up shop after a couple of cease-and-desist letters from Universal Editions. IMSLP (fondly called I'm by Kyle Gann) was a treasured resource for sheet music lovers, with all kinds of public domain scores, and even the occasional enlightened contemporary composer (including Frederic Rzewski) who made some of his or her music available under the Creative Commons license agreements. My piano teacher asked me to look for a waltz by the romantic composer-pianist Mischa Levitsky. It's completely out of print from every source I searched, but it was available at IMSLP. Reading an article about a Beethoven cello sonata and want to look at the score? I could drive to the local university library, pay a couple of bucks to park and spend a couple of hours round trip, or I could just go to IMSLP. It was a tremendous resource, but essentially the work of only one person (although there were a number of editors and admins who helped). There are discussions in the various IMSLP forums about what happens next, and hopefully it will resurrect itself with some kind of institutional support.

Hat tip: Daniel Wolf.

Update: ongoing coverage at the Rambler.

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