ChoralWiki:Sheet music requests and questions

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Sheet music requests and questions

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Announcements and special topics (most recent first)

Use of this forum


Use this forum for MUSIC REQUESTS and QUESTIONS about availability, including Copyright issues. It is an alternative to the corresponding forum on the external Bulletin Board.

General topics (most recent first)

Attribution of Venia in morte Josquini, cantores suavissimi (Benedictus Ducis)


Upon examining the music, I found that the note material is (almost) identical to that of Musae Iovis (Benedictus Appenzeller), which I knew from before. Then I went on to search for sources, and could find nothing on this piece with attribution to Ducis at DIAMM or CMME. My question is: the one edition that is uploaded to CPDL, which source is it based on? It is user Willem Verkaik who uploaded it, so maybe he can answer to this, but any other that has a clue, please comment.

Interesting Copyright Court Case in the U.S.

  • Posted by: Vaarky 16:58, 7 September 2008 (PDT)

An interesting U.S. federal district court decision: IO Group vs. Veoh

More information about registering is here. It doesn't look like CPDL has registered. I spoke tonight with an attorney at the firm that represented the defendant, and am in the process of scheduling a meeting to get more information for CPDL.

PD Designation Include 'Arrangement'?


I'm looking specifically at the Barbershop listing of 30 songs
At the bottom of each PDF sheet music file it says,

"Distributed 1999 by the Choral Public Domain Library (
Edition may be freely distributed, duplicated, performed, or recorded."

Does that mean that the 'arrangements' as well are pre 1923 and so are public domain and don't requiring sync fee compensation?

Reply by: Vaarky 16:41, 7 September 2008 (PDT)


The notice you quote does not necessarily mean it is pre-1923, and it does not necessarily mean it is public domain.

It means that the person who uploaded the score asserts that they have the necessary permission to do so. In some cases this means that it is in the public domain, but in other cases it may be that the person uploading the score is the composer or other copyright holder, or that they have the permission of the copyright holder. When a composer uploads their work to CPDL, it certainly does not mean that they are consigning it to the public domain.

The notice on the edition does indicate that it can be freely recorded. Does that cover what you meant?

Copyright information mismatch

  • Posted by: Choralia 01:19, 8 August 2008 (PDT)

I've noted that some CPDL editions that are hosted on the CPDL servers show non-CPDL copyright statement (e.g., "personal").

This page states that "The CPDL copyright license applies to all scores and texts which reside on the CPDL server". If this statement is correct, I think that copyright information of all the scores hosted on the CPDL servers should be changed to "CPDL". If this statement is wrong, it should be corrected to avoid a mismatch.

A topic was started on the old phpBB2 forums, approximately with the same subject, without any reply (probably because the phpBB2 forum failed in that period).

What's the opinion of the admins?


Reply by: Vaarky 01:28, 8 August 2008 (PDT)


In that case, and in any case, there should be prominent and explicit disclosures near the the point of assent when uploading and some kind of opt-in based consent mechanism such as an unchecked box they need to check). For example: Do you agree to CPDL copyright rules for this score? (click here to see CPDL copyright rules). site for rating choral pieces



I just stumbled on a new site that's still in beta version, but it allows directors to rate choral pieces and search through a large database of choral music. I like that eventually (given the site takes off) we'll be able to get specific feedback about whether a piece will work for our individual choirs or not. You might check it out: Anyone else been there yet?


Reply by: Vaarky 17:44, 2 August 2008 (PDT)


Hi, Iris, and thanks for the pointer. I've often wondered thought how nice it would be if CPDL scores showed voice ranges in some standardized format. The idea of rating the appeal is nice too. I think they're going to need more detail for difficulty, since a younger grade level could find a piece very challenging but an older grade level might not--it's pretty relative. I'm curious to see how it develops.

How CPDL gets the copyrights on sheetmusic?

  • Posted by: Jaap, 10:45, 31 July 2008


On the sheetmusic that comes from the CPDL, it is mentioned that CPDL possess the copyright(s) and everyone should freely use this material. The CPDL, for however it may be, claims the copyright(s).

I should like to know how and with what criteria CPDL all this material have previously investigated so CPDL can be owner of these copyrights particulary in Europe. Further, in this connection it is a pity that on the sheetmusic there mostly is not a mention of i.e. the origin of the CPDL material.


jaap douma

Reply by: Vaarky 03:42, 31 July 2008 (PDT)


Do you mean the copyright notice printed on the actual score? That is put there by the individual editor who creates the score. They vouch for the provenance of the individual score and assert the nature of its copyright. Or do you mean on the CPDL page created specifically for that score?

I agree that it is a pity that most of the editors do not specify what version of the music their edition is based on.

Copyrights: More restrictions in Europe?


Hi, A Question that concerns me is the following issue: In CHORALWIKI: "About Copyright" it is mentioned that in Europe there are 5 seperate copyrights with a single composer. But from the board of copyrightholders in the Netherlands I got a message concerning the music and sheetmusic that is offered by CPDL should not be legal while this music should not be precise the original creation of that composer. In German , it is not the same as the UrText. For example, a work created in 1300 should not exactly be used in the CPDL sheetmusic. The sheetmusic offered by CPDL should be divergent and possibly been edited.

I can't hardly believe that allegation but can someone help me to clear this problem?

regards, jaap douma

Reply by: Choralia 22:43, 31 July 2008 (PDT)


In my opinion, the fact that a work in the public domain cannot be modified is in contrast with the definition of "public domain", as it is normally intended. I don't think that any copyright law can state anything about public domain works, as, by definition, public domain works are out of the scope of copyright.

Anyway, I've found that Wikipedia has an article in English about the Dutch copyright law (see here), so I looked into it. The only phrase where I found a reference to the concept of "precise original" with respect to "modified" is the following:

Generally, the owner of a copy of a copyrighted product can do with the copy as they please, even without actual ownership of the copyright, provided no copies are made and the product is not modified. Those who acquire modified copies from the copyright holder are also bound by these limitations.

This is completely different than saying that a work created in 1300 cannot be used today as it was, but it must be modified. Rather, it seems a provision so that a copyright holder retains his/her rights on derivative works, too. It's a completely different matter. It does not apply to public domain works, as copyright itself does not apply to them.

Reply by: Barrebies


Thanks for your contribution! It helps a lot to overlook this topic. I have read minutely the linked article both in the English and the Dutch version and they are in my opinion not identical. But we without doubts both agree that the quoted part from that article says " when you have a copy made from the original work and the author(s) are > 70 years passed, you have the copyright" . So my question is still " is the music and sheetmusic that is offered by CPDL identical to that original so CPDL has actual the copyrights?" Can the users be sure that it is not modified by the contributant?

regards, Jaap Douma

Reply by: Choralia 23:23, 5 August 2008 (PDT)


First of all, it is probably worth to remark that any work that is in the public domain can be freely used and modified by anybody, because, by definition of public domain, nobody has the rights to restrict the possible use of a public domain work.

Then, if a work in the public domain has been somewhat modified by somebody (let's name "editor" such a person), one may wonder what is allowed and what is not allowed to do with the modified work. I'm not an attorney, but I think we have to distinguish two different situations:

1) if the editor has added no creative elements (so, for example, he/she has simply transcribed the music, or transposed it to a different pitch without changing anything else, etc.), the resulting score is in the public domain too, because copyright is only applicable to creative elements. So, the resulting work can be further used and modified by anybody without any permission from the editor, as the editor holds no copyright on it;
2) if the editor has added some creative elements, the editor holds the copyright relevant to such creative elements. So, the editor has the right to decide whether, under which conditions, and by whom his/her work can be used, performed, further modified, and whatever else. Among infinite possible choices about copyright, the editor may opt for releasing his/her work under the standard CPDL copyright conditions, which are in fact a "right to freely distribute, duplicate, perform, or record" (see details here) the work, provided that distribution, duplication, performance and recording are not made for profit.

I think that saying that "CPDL has the copyright" is quite a misconception. Probably it's more correct saying that the editor (who is the very person holding the copyright if creative components are present) generously opted for releasing his/her work under the standard copyright policy proposed by CPDL. In such a case, everybody can freely distribute, duplicate, perform, or record the work under no-profit conditions.

Copyright only if simular to the original


Good Afternoon, I have learned that " most of the CPDL musical offers" could be legal even in Europe. But in spite of that I have a question about the copyright when I use cpdl material.

If in Europe the cpdl material mostly is legal, in the Netherlands nevertheless you may copy and freely use it with the following restrictions: "composer . . died more than 70 years ago" conform with the cpdl-rules.

AND you have used an "original script from that composer" , in German a UrText.

My question is in this relation: ' how can I be sure that the cpdl material is obtained from the original material?'

For music from the middle ages it means that the sheetmusic is similar to that original from say 1300.

Who can help me on this topic?

regards, jaap douma

Reply by: Vaarky 09:20, 28 July 2008 (PDT)


Some editions on CPDL state the editions they are based on, and even carefully indicate any changes they have made between the original version and the one on CPDL. Other editions on CPDL do not indicate which edition they are based on. I think you can only be sure that you are free of exposure under this law if the edition indicates what it's based on, and then you check whether that is the UrText. I am not a lawyer, however.

P.S. I'm testing the new reply template and it looks pretty.

Vincenzo Ruffo

  • Posted by: Skeswani 14:32, 13 July 2008 (PDT)

I would be grateful if someone would upload more of Ruffo's later sacred works, particularly his Masses (such as Missa Sanctissimae Trinitatis). It is surprising that he has only one work represented on CPDL. Thank you.

Jacob Handl's O Admirabile Commercium

  • Posted by: Dburdette 12:24, 23 June 2008 (PDT)

Hi. I'm looking for a PD copy of Jacob Handl's SSAATTBB O Admirabile Commercium. I have a copy of the Ernest White edited version published by Theodore Presser but was hoping to find a PD copy for my choir. If anyone knows of where to find a PD copy, it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Reply by: Vaarky 16:38, 17 July 2008 (PDT)


Not public domain, but Handlo has an edition (we sang it tonight) for $15.50 at:

Reply by: Vaarky 08:58, 1 August 2008 (PDT)


I've created an entry for this request so it's indexed: Request:O Admirabile Commercium (Jacob Handl)

Orlando di Lasso


Please, if anyone can help me to find a piece of Lassus "Poi che'l mio largo pianto"! I do need it very much indeed! Thanks!

  • Posted by: AucsLib 12:48, 18 May 2008 (PDT)

Until a few months ago a copy of a score called Chi chi li chi was available here at CPDL, but it was mis-attributed to Andrea Gabrieli. It wasn't rightly included in the di Lasso section, but in any case it has been removed completely now. Is there any way for me to get a hold of it or any other arrangement of this piece? Any help would be greatly appreciated!


Hi! I don't know why the search engine doesn't bring this score, but it is still available at CPDL. As for the authorship, it seems many composers of the time made arrangements for this popular theme. Lassus himself had two versions, a 3 and a 6 voci. Giovanni Domenico da Nola also made one. I just heard a recording of di Lassus' setting and it is indeed very similar to this score available here, but there are still diferences, which leads me to conclude this is in fact a Gabrieli's work as stated. ---inbedded note--- the search engine didn't find it because each of the elements of the title are 3 characters or less. Elements of 3 characters or less are eliminated from a search - and are guarenteed to yeild no results. Thry searching for "1v" which occurs in hundreds of scores - you find no results.---- Johnhenryfowler 00:37, 6 August 2008 (PDT)


Googling on this subject, I incidentally found that Giovanni Domenico da Nola's setting was already at CPDL, uploaded by user Alqasar on 2007-10-15. A page for this score now exists and can be found here.

  • Posted by: AucsLib 16:27, 20 May 2008 (PDT)

Thank you very much!

New interesting paragraph of the Italian copyright law

  • Posted by: Choralia 08:24, 17 May 2008 (PDT)

On February 9, 2008, a new paragraph (para. 1b of art. 70) of the Italian copyright law came into force. The original text in Italian is the following:

È consentita la libera pubblicazione attraverso la rete internet, a titolo gratuito, di immagini e musiche a bassa risoluzione o degradate, per uso didattico o scientifico e solo nel caso in cui tale utilizzo non sia a scopo di lucro. Con decreto del Ministro per i beni e le attività culturali, sentiti il Ministro della pubblica istruzione e il Ministro dell’università e della ricerca, previo parere delle Commissioni parlamentari competenti, sono definiti i limiti all’uso didattico o scientifico di cui al presente comma.

It can be roughly translated as follows:

It is allowed to freely publish through the internet network, at no charge, low resolution or degradated images and music, for educational or scientific use, and only in the case that such a use is not made for profit. The limits for the educational or scientific use are defined with a decree of the Ministry of Cultural Activites, with the advice of the ministry of Education, of the ministry of University and Research, and of the competent committees of the Parliament.

Even though the precise meaning of "low resolution or degradated images and music" is yet to be defined in a specific decree, this seems a rather innovative principle, applicable to choir training aids (so, this is of great interest for me), but probably also to non-public-domain study scores for amateur choirs, provided that such scores are "rough enough" with respect to the copyrighted originals.

Does anybody know whether similar provisions exist in other countries, too (besides the well known "fair use" of the U.S. regulations)?

Suitability of orchestral parts


It was suggested on my talk page that I ask the powers that be here whether it is appropriate to upload non-choral orchestral parts to choral pieces such as this one. I've assumed it will only be a matter of time before that choral score is added, but I find it hard to make out the precise scope of ChoralWiki. For example, are 'unison (one-per-part) and piano' scores officially welcome?


Hi Richard. Good question! Put simply, any work which contains one or more voices is welcome at CPDL. This includes works for unison voices, solo vocal works, and choral works.

Orchestral parts are most definitely welcome on CPDL, as long as the work they are for is scored for choir (or, a solist or group of soloists). Solo vocal works are also most welcome (obviously they're even more welcome with a vocal score as well!) I've recently been playing around with Henry Purcell's page to separate the choral and solo vocal works. The only thing to be aware of is that there is a whole set of separate categories for solo vocal works - if you're not sure that you've applied the right one, just ask here and someone will help you out. Unison works, for example, are not categorised as solo vocal as they are most likely to be sung by a choir in usison - see Jerusalem (Charles Hubert Hastings Parry) for an example. I hope this answers your question.

Request for: Eustache du Caurroy - 'Missa pro defunctis'

  • Posted by: paololux 13:00, 8 May 2008 (PDT)

Could anyone upload the score of wonderful Eustache du Caurroy's Missa pro defunctis (requiem)? In particular I would like to teach my choir the first part: "Requiem aeternam". Thank you everybody, Paolo.

  • Posted by: Vaarky 06:02, 31 July 2008 (PDT)

There is a page that automatically collects requests on CPDL, and I notice that there is no Request filed there. Requests made via ChoralWiki:Request a Score are automatically indexed at Category:Requests.

I tried to create an entry for this piece at Request:Missa pro defunctis (Eustache du Caurroy) so it shows up when people review the list of what music has been requested. You can use the Watch feature to monitor that page. Please feel free to make changes/corrections.

I did have some questions about the Requests process that I posted on the discussion page for the piece, which seems to be behaving strangely (discussion link remains red, but when clicked takes me to edit the discussion page rather than viewing it). Appreciate someone taking a look.

Request for: Elgar - 'Give unto the Lord'

  • Posted by: Rogmufa 05:46, 5 May 2008 (PDT)

Could anyone be persuaded to produce the vocal score for this wonderful anthem (maybe with just cues from the organ part)?

It has been on the 'request' list for some years, with Robert Nottingham as a volunteer. (Robert has recently produced a high quality score of another of Elgar's anthems, 'Great is the Lord', but I think he is too busy at the moment to take on another score!)

Thanks, Roger.


Just hang on a few more weeks, Roger. It's in the works!


Hello Robert: it is Welsford here (you remember, broke up a fight between you and the then Pres of Leics. Choral Soc. Is it you that has volunteered to do the 'Fear not, O land' of Elgar too? I am keen to do it for Harvest and this will be the third year so would like to produce a set of our own. Is it you? Who is it? Tell me, tell me! Will


Hello Lard (sorry - Will). Jolly good thing you broke up that fight - I thought she was about to knock my block off! I can do that piece of Elgar for you as well, if you like, though I don't recall volunteering to do it. I think I have a copy lying around somewhere...

The Creation by Haydn

  • Posted by: John 06:03, 29 April 2008 (PDT)

Is it possible to make available the full score of The Creation by Haydn?


Since it's such a large work, you may have more success asking at the IMSLP (International Music Score Library Project) or on the IMSLP forums.

Scanned scores

  • Posted by: Carlos 04:21, 16 April 2008 (PDT)

I found elsewhere two Bach's Cantatas in PDF format scanned from paper scores. They haven't any copyright info, should I assume they're copyrighted?


I'm not a lawyer, yada yada yada...

I'd be inclined to assume they are copyright but in the absense of any details of editor or publisher, there's not much you can do to find out. It's a tricky one but because Bach is in the pd and also as the editorial additions will be minimal at best, I suggest that you can copy it with a clear concience. Now if the composer was not in the pd or an editor is listed then that would be a different matter entirely, of course.

  • Posted by: Vaarky 16:51, 17 July 2008 (PDT)

Not sure what country you're in. You should assume the edition is copyrighted unless the edition says so or you have actual reason to believe its copyright expired.

Score for Corsican Chant

  • Posted by: Karen 08:06, 16 April 2008 (PDT)

I'm studying music theory and would like to look at any score of traditional Corsican chant, but I can't find any on line or at the local (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee) music library. Any leads would be greatly appreciated! Thank you. Karen

  • Posted by: joachim 17:10, 30 July 2008 (PDT)

I have Vinu di Petra, an edition of (some) Corsican pieces edited by Chantal Landi and Marie Colonna de' Paoli. Published by Van de Velde (Paris). ISMN: M-56005-264-9.

Message for "Violino" who requested other language choral pieces

  • Posted by: dwsolo 17:54, 15 April 2008 (PDT)

Hi "Violino" There's a Greek one that you might like:

It's called Apolytikion (a dismissal at the end of a service) and is based on the original Byzantine chant

Kind regards


I've reposted a missing score

(moved here from: CPDL support, help, and feedback)


See: I was glad (Henry Purcell)

I've reposted Andrew Crookall's score of Henry Purcell's "I was glad" If there is any reason to restore the old CPDL number to this reposting someone that knows how to find this information out is invited to make the change.


Thanks for that, John. It seems that Raf deleted a number of score pages which contained Andrew Crookall's editions when his site went down. I remember restoring How beautiful upon the mountains (John Stainer) that I found by chance (it was still linked from the composer page as I recall). The CPDL numbers are around the 8000 mark but it's anyone's guess as to which ones were Andrew Crookall's... in my opinion, new catalogue numbers are fine in this case. Please do post any more lost editions that you have on your computer.

  • Posted by: Rogmufa 05:51, 5 May 2008 (PDT)

Great! I have been looking for this score - it is a great piece, which I am thinking of using. - Roger. (PS one needs a degree in Computer Science to drive this forum :-) )