Tuesday, September 15, 2015

eScores - The Classical Scores Library

Although eBook and Streaming Audio and Video services are well-known and popular, the San Francisco Public Library also makes scanned musical scores available online.

Many musicians are already aware of the IMSPL - International Music Score Library Project - a site that shares links to scanned music scores in the public domain.  While this site is very complete, including almost all of the standard repertoire of classical music, it has a few drawbacks.  First, because of copyright laws very little contemporary music can be included.  Second, it relies on older editions of works that are not always the best engraved or best edited editions of the works.

The Classical Scores Library created by Alexander Street Press is a subscription database that the San Francisco Public Library offers to our Library card holders.  It holds more than 30,000 works in an online format that can be viewed and printed.

These scores are cataloged and can be found when performing a normal search of our online catalogs.  An author search in our Bibliocommons for Brahms, Johannes produces 550 results.

There are two places to filter results to find scores.  Online scores from the Classical Scores Library can be filtered through Books and printed scores can be filtered through the Music & Sound (both noted on the lower left hand side of the image above with an "X").

Clicking on the triangle to the right of Books reveals a box to limit the search to eBook - the online scores.  Clicking on the triangle to the right of Music & Sound reveals a box to limit the search to Printed Music, or scores.  You can limit your search to either format or to both formats.  It's important to remember that limiting your search to Printed Music (scores) will filter away the online scores.

Once a check mark is planted in the eBook box, your search is immediately filtered to online scores.  Chose the links that say "View electronic book" or "Access restricted to subscribers" (we are subscribers - enter your library card and pin number).

This will open a new window where you can view the score.   Just above the music are a number of icons that will assist you in viewing or print the music.

The default setting is for a single full-sized page to display (the red border around an upright rectangle at the left).  The parallel rectangles to the right will allow two pages to be viewed at a time, often a more convenient way to peruse the score.  The adjacent grid of 16 scores will display thumbnails of multiple pages.  The plus and minus symbols enlarge or shrink the image.  You can specify which page of the score you wish to view, or arrow to navigate through the score.  The right-most icon on this bar prepares the score to be printed out.

The printing options bar that appears allows you to select the pages you wish to print and to change paper size.  The print icon is found near the right end of this bar.

You can also search for eScores using the classic catalog.  Select Advanced Search and use eBook as a material type and your search will be limited to online scores.

If you need any assistance tracking down scores or sheet music, contact the Art, Music and Recreation Center at 415-557-4525.

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