Tips On Downloading Music From IMSLP

Much of our music falls under Public Domain, which is to say, due to its age it no longer falls under copyright constraints.  The source we use for this music is the Petrucci Music Library at IMSLP.org.  They can be reached by clicking here:

Again, as the music falls within the public domain, there is no cost to download or print music from this site.   Although there are options to purchase music available through this site, the music we use from this site is always free.  The South Jersey Youth Orchestra and Friends will never ask you to purchase your music on this site.

Also available on IMSLP is an option to become a member for a small fee.  If you would like to support the music library in this way, it is entirely at your discretion.  However, we want to emphasize that you do not need to do this in order to obtain your music from the site.

When trying to print music we see that it can be a bit confusing to try and get your download, which is why this page exists.  Here you will find instructions on downloading your music without it costing anything.

When you follow the link and arrive on the page, you have several options.   You can hear recordings of music.  This is highly advisable, as it is a huge help to playing the music when you know how it is supposed to sound.  To hear a recording, simply select the one you would like to hear and press ‘play’.

To get to your music, scroll to the part of the page that says “Sheet Music”.  Ignore the tab that says “Full Scores”.  You don’t need this.  A score is the entire piece of work, including every note for every instrument in the composition.  It can be as much as 60 or 70 pages long!

The next tab is “Parts”.  This is the one you want.  Proceed as follows:

  • Click on the “Parts” tab.  That will open a list of links to music for each instrument.
  • Find your instrument.  Click on it.
  • Another screen will appear that has big button on top that says “Start Download”, or maybe just “Download”.  Ignore this.  It’s an ad for something that you don’t need.
  • Underneath in very small letters you will see this: “Your download will continue in __ seconds.” with a clock counting down from 15 seconds remaining.  Wait it out.
  • After the time elapses, you will then see “Click here to continue your download.”
  • Please click on this blue sentence (download link).
  • Please ignore the material under the download link that offers membership options.  Again, we emphasize that membership is not necessary to get the music.
  • After clicking on the download link, you will finally arrive at your music.  It’s a PDF.  From here, you can print your music.
  • Only print the pages you need.  For example, the Flute part for Beethoven’s 9th Symphony is 31 pages long.  However, Flute I is only pages 1 to 16.  Flute 2 is pages 17 to 28, and Piccolo is pages 29 to 31.  You get all of these combined in the one link, so you will have to tell your printer which of these pages you want.

I realize this seems overly simple, but my intention in this is to make it as easy as possible to quickly and easily locate and print just what you need, and nothing that you don’t.  As always, please do not hesitate to ask any questions you have.