User:Bobnotts/Help:Browsing and searching CPDL

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How can I browse scores?

To search for a score, simply click on 'Music scores' in the navigation box which appears on the left side of every page. This will open up a list of all sheet music on CPDL. There are many subcategories that can also be perused.

How can I search for a score?

See ChoralWiki:Advanced search.

How can I download files?

If you find a listing for a piece (or a composer), then you only need to click on an icon or the name of a notation file in order to open the file. Every composer and composition page has a 'legend' which gives the most common icons used. If you click on a given icon, you will either open a PDF file, open a MIDI file, or be sent to an affiliated website which has the score that you want. You may need a software program. You also may need to save the file to your computer. The legend is shown below.

L E G E N D Disclaimer How to download
File details.gif File details
Question.gif Help

(IMPORTANT NOTE: Do NOT click on the icons in the red LEGEND box, instead click on icons to the right of the CPDL ID# in a score page or to the right of the the Score Title in a composer page. Clicking in the Legend box will merely send you to this help page.)

Trying to update your old out-of-date files ? Click here.

What software do I need?

You don't need any special software to browse or search the CPDL site itself. If you can read this, you can use CPDL.

However, to view and download individual scores, you'll need to install some other software on your computer. Almost all scores on CPDL are available in Portable Document Format (PDF), which means you can open and print them using a free program called Adobe Reader. To download this program, click the button below:


Other formats

Because scores on CPDL have been contributed by many different users, they are provided in many different formats. Some of the most common formats are:

  • MIDI files: These are audio files, not scores. Most Windows and Mac computers can play MIDI files without any additional software, using a built-in sound card and speakers. Simply click on any MIDI link to open and playback the MIDI file.
  • Finale files: Finale is another widely-used scorewriting program. To view, playback and print Finale files, you will need to install the free Finale Viewer or the free music editing program Finale Notepad.
  • Image files: Some scores are provided as GIF images -- essentially, large photos of individual pages in the score. You can view and print these images directly in your web browser without any extra software, but you can't play them back or edit them.
  • Other formats: Some scores are in other formats, depending on the scorewriting program that the editor used to create them. In most cases, to open scores in these formats, you will need to install your own copy of the scorewriting program in question.

What if I can't find what I'm looking for?

If you've searched for a score and it definitely doesn't exist, you can request it on the CPDL forums. Other users will see the request and may be able to help you by posting a public domain edition to CPDL, or by creating a new edition.

Alternatively, you can help to support CPDL by ordering your sheet music through SheetMusic Plus, a site with which we have a partnership. If you visit using the link below, 8% of everything you spend there will come to CPDL.

What if there's more than one composer with the same name?

Where several composers have the same or similar names, CPDL uses what's called a disambiguation page to clear up the confusion.

For instance, CPDL contains scores by more than one composer called Bach: Johann Sebastian Bach, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, Johann Ludwig Bach, and so on. So, if you just type 'Bach' in the search box, CPDL has to try and guess which one you mean. In this case, it'll guess that you mean JS Bach and take you to his page - and it will present you with a message explaining what it's done.

But in case this guess is wrong, there's also a page called Bach (disambiguation). This page lists all the Bachs who have a presence (as it were) on CPDL. So, if you don't want JS, simply go to the disambiguation page and choose the one you want.

Try it now: type 'Bach' in the search box on the left, then click Go.