The Historic American Sheet Music archive
July 22, 2008 4:59 PM   Subscribe

The Historic American Sheet Music archive at the Duke University Library has over 3000 pieces published in the United States available online, from the 1850s up to 1920. Composers represented include well-known names such as Scott Joplin, Irving Berlin, and John Philip Sousa. All the music is now in the public domain, and may be printed and performed freely. [Note: Language or stereotypes may occasionally be NSFW.]
posted by Upton O'Good (7 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
This is actually truly cool, I am a shameless bibliophile & play piano, so I will actually really enjoy going through this!

I like the Fairies Burial!

Thanks Upton
posted by MsCoco@6:58 at 6:12 PM on July 22, 2008

*modest cough*
posted by mwhybark at 8:55 PM on July 22, 2008

There's also a good collection of sheet music in the archives at Mississippi State, mostly available as PDFs. The blues section looks pretty interesting.

(And following interrobang's lead, this is the Joplin rag, this is the Irving Berlin song, and this is the Sousa march.)
posted by Upton O'Good at 9:03 PM on July 22, 2008

Damn it! And I searched the archives, too. Sorry, mwhybark. In my defense, it's at a different URL.
posted by Upton O'Good at 9:06 PM on July 22, 2008

The University of Maine has a very similar online library, but they took it a step further and used a music OCR program to turn the scanned sheet music into listenable midi files. It brings an amazing dimension to these old pieces of American culture.
posted by aperturist at 10:54 PM on July 22, 2008 [1 favorite]

No biggie, Upton. My post was ages ago and you're highlighting a different angle than I did. I just had that "hey!" feeling when I clicked through to your destination and wanted to make sure the threads were linked.
posted by mwhybark at 10:28 PM on July 31, 2008

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