About this project
Liberated so far: 25 works, 24 composers!
OpenScore wants to digitise and liberate all public domain sheet music, including the great classics of Mozart, Beethoven and Bach. Our community aims to transfer history’s most influential pieces from paper into interactive scores which you can listen to, edit and share. Together, we can make sheet music accessible to everyone. For free, for any purpose, for evermore.
A MUSIC REVOLUTION: The power of digital.
With your help, we can bring static sheet music to life again. By creating new interactive editions, we unlock endless possibilities. A true tipping point in music history. Because, unlike music on paper or PDF, digital scores allow convenient playback, editing and sharing. Digital scores can also be parsed by software tools for research, analysis and machine learning purposes.
Compare it to the interactive mapping revolution Google Maps set in motion in 2004. The internet fuelled dramatic and dynamic changes in the way we map our world today. Massive crowdsourcing projects like Wikipedia and Project Gutenberg have democratized knowledge, putting information and power in the hands of ordinary people. With OpenScore, we want to do the same for sheet music!
CREATED FOR MUSICIANS, BY MUSICIANS: The power of communities.
Digitizing public domain music is a huge undertaking. That’s why we will harness the power of the online community to produce crowdsourced transcriptions. OpenScore brings together the two largest sheet music communities to tackle this challenge: MuseScore and IMSLP. After transcription, all scores will be fully checked and reviewed to assure accuracy with the original pieces. Together, we can unlock old sheet music for free for everyone. Without any copyright restrictions.
FOR EVERYONE, FOR ANY PURPOSE
OpenScore aims to make sheet music accessible and adaptable for everyone, for any purpose. Whether you are a musicologist, publisher, teacher or student who is learning to read music. Whether you are an experienced composer producing his own medleys or newborn arranger making copies to share with friends. Furthermore, the unlocked open digital data is an endless source for smart adaptations for blind and partially sighted, gamers, developers or visual artist.
FOR FREE, FOR EVERMORE
The OpenScore editions will be released under Creative Commons Zero, allowing unlimited copying, adapting and sharing. You can use OpenScore editions to create your own musical arrangements, which you can publish and sell without having to pay a penny in royalties. The sky's the limit!
AND STYLISH TOO
Each OpenScore Edition will have a unique cover image designed by digital artist Nicholas Rougeux. The cover image is a visual representation of the music in the score.
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
Long story short: we depend on your help to liberate the works below. The initial transcription effort will concentrate on a specific set of pieces selected by you, our beloved Kickstarter backers, with a few additional pieces that we think will be of greatest interest to the general public and the wider music community. With your crowdfunding support, you back our online community to transcribe, check and review original paper sheet music into accurate interactive scores.
WHAT IS THE MONEY FOR?
The money from the Kickstarter will be used to coordinate the crowdsourced transcription process. Each of the works to be transcribed is divided into small sections a few pages in length. These are given out to MuseScore’s users, who do the transcription and send it back after a few days. The transcriptions are checked and, once completed to a satisfactory standard, they are assembled together to create a preview of the full score. The preview is published for peer-review, and once the review process is complete the score is marked as validated and ready for use. To this end, platforms for transcription and peer-review will be created, hence facilitating the automation process.
In short, your money pays for:
- Coordinating the crowd-transcription effort
- Reviewing crowd-transcriptions
- Assembling OpenScore editions
- Developing the platform and automation tools for scalability
- Supporting open source!
HOW MANY PIECES?
At some point we would like to expand OpenScore to all public domain music, but this depends on the success of the initial campaign. If we reach the funding goal we will start out by liberating 100 pieces. We have a shortlist of around 30 Iconic Works that we want to transcribe first, and the remaining pieces can be nominated by backers to get up to the total of 100. If we exceed the funding goal then we will do more pieces. We will liberate one extra piece for every €450 (~500 USD) we receive above the initial target, up to a maximum of 1000 pieces!
Support us, by liberating.
Choose the piece or composer that you want to liberate. If the work has not been marked as liberated yet, you can be the one to back it. Remember, the work and composer must be listed on IMSLP as being in the public domain worldwide. Check to make sure nobody else has already liberated the piece: https://goo.gl/SwdKxj
As soon as you have selected your reward, send us a message to tell us which piece or composer you would like to see liberated. All you need to send is a link to the IMSLP page (e.g. this work or this composer). We will get back to you if your chosen piece or composer is ineligible for liberation and ask you to pick another. We will contact you for other information once the campaign is over.
Support us, by dedicating.
Now is your chance to dedicate the piece you love to someone that matters. This optional dedication will appear in all versions of the finished score. Art for the heart! Remember, the work must be listed on IMSLP as being in the public domain worldwide. See if your piece is available for dedication: https://goo.gl/SwdKxj
As soon as you have selected your reward, send us a message to tell us which piece you would like to dedicate. All you need to send is a link to the work's IMSLP page (e.g. this one). We will get back to you if your chosen piece is ineligible for liberation and ask you to pick another. We will contact you for other information (such as the text for your dedication) once the campaign is over.
Here are some examples of dedications from the Open Well Tempered Clavier project.
BWV 853, E flat Minor Fugue - For Ken and Saundra Thomas. You have given me the joy of Bach, the discipline of music and an understanding of sacrifice. Joy, discipline, understanding and sacrifice: four elements bound into any great love.
Randall BWV 857, F Minor Fugue - Für meine Frau Ute, die mich für klassische Musik begeistert hat.
Martin Grüner BWV 858 - F# Major Fugue Many thanks to Kimiko who has helped us to discover such modern feelings in J.S. Bach’s music!
BWV 869, B Minor Fugue - To my lovely and loving wife Elizabeth
Join the music revolution!
Let's set Mozart, Bach, Beethoven and many other composers free!
Risks and challenges
OpenScore’s crowdsourced transcription effort relies on the support and commitment of the MuseScore community, without whom it would not be possible to deliver digital sheet music editions on this scale and under such open licensing terms. Hundreds of MuseScore.com members had already signed up to take part in OpenScore before the Kickstarter was launched, and we expect many more to do so in the coming weeks and months.
As a proof of concept, we have already created OpenScore Editions of Faure’s Requiem, a major classical piece for choir, orchestra and organ. This piece was deliberately chosen to represent some of the most challenging choral and orchestral notation OpenScore is likely to encounter. We tested the full crowdsourcing process, from dividing up the score and sending it out to members of MuseScore’s community, checking the resulting transcriptions for quality and consistency, making corrections where necessary, and joining finished transcriptions together to create a full score ready for peer review.
You can read more about the liberation of Faure’s Requiem, and see the OpenScore transcription, on the OpenScore Blog.
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