Why I love IMSLP

This is a forum for people to share stories about how IMSLP has helped them.

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heatherreichgott
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Why I love IMSLP

Postby heatherreichgott » Thu Sep 08, 2011 6:23 pm

I can't believe no one has posted here yet!

I am a professional pianist, piano teacher and dance accompanist.

I am not independently wealthy and have to choose my score purchases carefully. (I own the Urtext Beethoven sonatas, the Well-Tempered Klavier, complete Schubert sonatas, Rhapsody in Blue and maybe a dozen others.) However, my life involves playing a lot of different pieces. Much of my repertoire is public-domain composers.

BEFORE IMSLP
1. I was mostly limited in my teaching to what I owned.
2. My personal library dictated my working pieces on the piano, not the other way around.
3. I once spent FIVE HOURS in the Mount Holyoke College music library searching for waltzes for piano in a particular tempo, for ballet class. I found about 10 waltzes.
4. Ballet scores were the Holy Grail. I could never find them, and even when I could, they'd be very expensive.

WITH IMSLP
1. I found the perfect Mozart piece for a student in 5 minutes on IMSLP in between lessons.
2. I have learned at least 40 classical performance pieces from IMSLP scores, for free.
3. I have a collection of over 500 pieces for ballet class repertoire, most downloaded from IMSLP. They magically weigh less than 4lbs because I carry my laptop to class now instead of a bunch of paper.
4. I can use the Category Walker to find waltzes in less than a minute.
5. I own, for free, the scores to Don Quixote, Sleeping Beauty, Nutcracker, Raymonda, Sylvia, both versions of Swan Lake, and some oddities like La Pavilion d'Armide.
6. I can totally impress the dance teachers I work for by downloading and performing pretty much any pre-1923 music they ask for, right there during class.

I love IMSLP!

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Re: Why I love IMSLP

Postby pml » Thu Sep 08, 2011 8:55 pm

The honour of a great first post for this section of the forums are all yours then. Thanks Heather!
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Philidor
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Re: Why I love IMSLP

Postby Philidor » Fri Sep 09, 2011 6:16 am

heatherreichgott wrote:both versions of Swan Lake

That's two too many... :shock: :? :lol: JUST JOKING! Welcome Heather!

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Re: Why I love IMSLP

Postby steltz » Fri Sep 09, 2011 11:29 am

I love chamber music, and am passionate (or insane) enough to run an annual 1-week chamber music camp (the Franschhoek Mountain Chamber Music Workshop) for high school (sometimes primary school) students. Each student is put in 3 groups, preferably with works from different periods and instrument combinations, and at the end of the week, there are two concerts for the parents/public. We generally take 40-45 students.

I start by organizing the larger groups (septets/octets), and then throw in a standard string quartet or two, a woodwind quintet, and by the time I get 2/3 organized, it becomes clear that there will be some "odds and ends" groups -- sometimes we can make standard groupings out of them, but don't have easy enough music for them. Other times there are strange instrument groupings left over. Also, for the last couple of years we have had at least one good alto saxophone player who also has to do 3 pieces. Oh, dear.

Before IMSLP, we were restricted to what was available at my university library. The "odds and ends" groups were hard to find music for. Post-IMSLP, it is still a lot of work (sometimes I have to create individual parts from a score), but the choices are endless. Also, for pianists that live far away, they can download their parts from IMSLP ahead of time and practice them, and I don't have to worry about permission to transcribe parts for saxophone.

The 2011 "odds and ends" items that came from IMSLP were:
Corrette, 3rd Concerto Comique for strings and harpsichord (from 6 Concertos, op.8 )
Dubois, Suite no.2 for 2 flutes, oboe, 2 clarinets, horn, 2 bassoons (transcribed to accommodate 2 sax players)
Kuhlau, Grand Trio in e, op.86 for 3 flutes
Kronke, Deux Papillons, op.165 for 2 flutes, piano
Reinecke, Trio in C, op.159 no.1 for violin, cello, piano (from 3 Easy Piano Trios, op.159)

The 2010 "odds and ends" items that came from IMSLP were:
Albinoni, Sinfonia in G
Bonis, Suite en trio, op.59 for flute, violin, piano
Dittersdorf, Notturno in D for 4 flutes
Glazunov, Novellettes op.15 for string quartet
Gounod, Petite Symphonie for flute, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 horns, 2 bassoons
Hasse, Concerto in F for oboe, chalumeau (clarinet), bassoon, continuo
Komitas (Vardapet), 14 Armenian Dances for string quartet
Kronke, Chamber Concerto in Old Style, op.112 for flute, 2 violins, viola, cello, double bass (we left out a harp part)
Labor, Quintet, op.11 for clarinet, violin, viola, cello, piano
Molbe, Octet, op.47 for clarinet, english horn, bassoon, 2 violins, viola, cello, double bass

If I get time, I'll post some earlier ones.
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Re: Why I love IMSLP

Postby Philidor » Fri Sep 09, 2011 7:02 pm

This thread would make a great IMSLP Journal article. Would anyone mind if I wrote one, linking to the thread?

imslp-love.jpg
imslp-love.jpg (53.06 KiB) Viewed 8922 times

NLewis
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Re: Why I love IMSLP

Postby NLewis » Fri Sep 09, 2011 11:43 pm

No problem at all!

heatherreichgott
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Re: Why I love IMSLP

Postby heatherreichgott » Mon Sep 26, 2011 3:49 am

Sure!

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Re: Why I love IMSLP

Postby Teo » Wed Nov 16, 2011 1:01 am

heatherreichgott wrote:... I can totally impress the dance teachers I work for by downloading and performing pretty much any pre-1923 music they ask for, right there during class.

I love IMSLP!

I :heart: them too! :roll:

Congrats on a greeeat fist post in this topic. So I have to know! You print the scores then read them, right? I mean.. one can't sight-read from laptop can they?

-Teo

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Re: Why I love IMSLP

Postby pml » Wed Nov 16, 2011 1:52 am

Straight off a screen or using a data projector? Trust me, you most certainly can. Even for small ensemble music.

PML
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Re: Why I love IMSLP

Postby Philidor » Fri Feb 10, 2012 6:34 am

magicinads wrote:
Teo wrote:
heatherreichgott wrote:... I can totally impress the dance teachers I work for by downloading and performing pretty much any pre-1923 music they ask for, right there during class.


That is awesome! however being here in the US, does that mean i can only download items in the US public domain or is it ok to download Canadian content that may be protected by US copyright law?

The key is to obey the law. If the music's copyright where you live, you must buy it in the normal way.

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Re: Why I love IMSLP

Postby Kmce33 » Tue Mar 06, 2012 4:43 am

Philidor wrote:This thread would make a great IMSLP Journal article. Would anyone mind if I wrote one, linking to the thread?

imslp-love.jpg


Why would anyone want to create a IMSLP hate thread? I'm new here but I can see myself logging back in for many more times to come!!! 8)

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Re: Why I love IMSLP

Postby steltz » Sun Apr 01, 2012 7:58 am

I just got back from the 2012 Franschhoek Mountain Chamber Music Workshop. There was quite a big IMSLP presence this year, and some new pieces from IMSLP that we tried were:

JC Bach, Quartet in C for flute and string trio
Pierné, Pastorale Variée
Cui, Petit Duo, op.56
Molter, Concertino in F, MWV 8.9
Kursch, Kammertrio no.2
Puccini, Crisantemi
Telemann, Concerto in D, TWV 43:D7 arranged by Michel Rondeau (high school trumpet player with D trumpet!)

Pieces that we've used before from IMSLP that got re-used were:
Lefebvre, 2nd Suite for Winds
Telemann, Concerto in D for 4 violins

We were also able to download coaching scores for works that we had only parts for (Mozart, String Quartet K.156, Haydn, String Quartet no.9), and I emailed parts for pianists, or they downloaded them, to practice ahead of time (Saint-Saëns' Septet, Dvorak Bagatelles, Bridge Miniatures).

Finally, during the second concert one of the violin parts went missing. I whipped out the laptop, set up the printer that had already been packed in the car, and printed a new one.
bsteltz

heatherreichgott
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Re: Why I love IMSLP

Postby heatherreichgott » Wed Jun 06, 2012 5:56 pm

Teo wrote:You print the scores then read them, right? I mean.. one can't sight-read from laptop can they?


Sorry for the belated reply.

I started out printing everything and putting it in binders, but after a couple years I got tired of carrying all that paper. I do in fact read from a laptop. I use landscape view in fullscreen mode, one page at a time, with the laptop turned sideways on the music rack. I also have a USB foot pedal that acts as a large Page Up/Page Down or Up Arrow/Down Arrow key, so I can turn pages with my foot.

The only major disadvantage is there's no reasonable way to write in scores--fingerings, cuts etc. PDF annotation tools are currently either expensive with way more features than I need (Acrobat Professional) or free but with an interface that makes it very hard to write simple marks (Okular). So for pieces where lots of writing is necessary, I still do print things out.

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Re: Why I love IMSLP

Postby Teo » Thu May 07, 2015 9:23 pm

Hi Heather,

Now I'm the one who took so long! I don't have notifications on I guess, but I can't tell you how happy I am about your reply here!

For about 3 years I was reading from a little Toshiba laptop at a cottage, it was sitting on a keyboard I took to the cottage. I remember those days fondly, but now, 8 years later, I almost never actually read a score from a screen and play it - maybe 2 bars to hear the melody or something.

The reason this is so interesting to me is: I have achieved one of my highest goals, making nice readable, playable scores, of a wide variety of music, romantic piano solo to latin jazz etudes to rearranged masters (Mozart, Schubert, Rachmaninoff, Vivaldi etc..) and I have self-published 6 books of them which fulfills that score-creating goal.

But to be "relevant," or up-to-date, I imagine many music students, maybe even classrooms, are reading music on-line, on various screens. I hear the arguments for symphonies to use laptops or ipads or something, but I know, conductors probably feel they've done it this way for hundreds of years, and like you said, its easier to just write something on the paper score in front of you!

I think after a generation of music students are totally happy with screens maybe it'll change, and In some future real musicians can use my scores that I have online.

I have books in Word doc format, then the scores are separate in pdf files. Would you suggest any additional formats such as Nook, Kindle, ePub or Mobipocket?


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