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Researching in the Performing Arts @ CCM

Music Score Facsimiles

We may gain insights into creative processes across the history of Western art music by studying composers' notated musical sources, usually in the form of manuscripts, sketches, and early printed editions. When consultation of original source materials is not practical or possible, we may turn to published facsimiles, when they are available.

Music score facsimiles are reproductions of music source materials, ranging from simple black and white photocopies to full-color high resolution reproductions that attempt to duplicate the look and feel of the original, sometimes even including the cover and binding. The term also encompasses digital images; see Digital Facsimiles for links to online facsimile resources and sheet music collections.

Our highest quality facsimiles are classed in ML96.4 — ML96.5 and do not circulate outside the library. See also the featured "Facsimile of the Month" on display in the CCM Library.

Reproductions of composers' manuscripts are found in the libraries' online catalog under the subject subdivision: 
"... --Manuscripts--Facsimiles". For example, Library resources that include Beethoven manuscripts or manuscript pages in facsimile reproduction can be discovered by the following search (click link below):

The best way to search the catalog for print facsimiles is to combine the term "facsimiles" with other search terms in a keyword search:

  • beethoven manuscripts facsimiles
  • rusconi codex facsimiles
  • civico museo bibliografico musicale Q 15 facsimiles

Note that manuscript collections may have distinctive titles or may be known only by their conserving library and shelf number.

Complete list of the CCM Library's score facsimiles held in the ML96.5 call number range

See also below:

Examples of facsimiles in print from the CCM Library collections

Examples of digital facsimiles

More and more facsimiles of original musical sources are available online as digital images. Resources that include links to digital images of music sources are:

  • List of online digital musical document libraries – offers access to collections of several thousand digitized music documents (typically originating from printed or manuscript musical sources). Some contain scanned images, some contain fully encoded scores.
  • Digital Resources for Musicology
    See "2, Digital Score Reprints" to discover:
    • digital facsimiles of manuscript scores by various composers (including Beethoven, Brahms, Chopin, Handel, Liszt, Mendelssohn, Mozart, Schubert, Schumann, and others)
    • sheet music collections available online
  • Sheet Music Consortium
    The Sheet Music Consortium now provides cross collection searching to 22 sheet music collections and a total of 226,914 items.
  • RISM online
  • Digital Image Archive of Medieval Music (DIAMM) – a leading resource for the study of medieval manuscripts, featuring images and metadata for thousands of manuscripts, scholarly resources and editions, digital restoration of damaged manuscripts and documents, & publication of high-quality facsimiles
  • Early Music Online – from the British Library
  • Loeb Music Library Digital Scores and Libretti – from Harvard University
  • The Juilliard Manuscript Collection – a digitized collection of 140 autograph manuscripts, sketches, engravers proofs and first editions
  • Munich DigitiZation Center – nearly 3 million digitized manuscripts, prints, music, maps, photographs, newspapers and magazines
  • Bach Digital – Johann Sebastian Bach’s autograph manuscripts
  • Beethoven Works – digital archives from the Beethoven-Haus Bonn
  • The Bizet Catalogue – a list of Bizet's works, providing essential information for each work, including the history and content, manuscript and printed sources, & documentary materials relating to the composition, performance and publication.
  • Chopin Early Editions – from the University of Chicago
  • Copland Collection – 982 items in the Library of Congress's Aaron Copland collection available in facsimile online
  • Digital Interactive Mozart Edition (DIME) – aims at making accessible the works of Wolfgang Amadé Mozart (1756–1791) in digital formats. Access is free of charge for everybody for scholarly, private and pedagogical purposes
  • Schumann Autograph Manuscripts – from the University Library Bon

And there's always Google Images.

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