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HLMU 2310: Intro to Music Literature

Finding a Musical Score

Search CU Books

Do an Advanced Search in CU Books. Search the composer's last name & limit material type to MUSIC SCORE.

And you will find sources like this: 


Search OhioLINK

Do an Advanced Search in OhioLINK, limiting to Music Score or Music Score Manuscript.



Browse Websites

Search websites with free or public domain sheet music like: 

Defining Types of Musical Scores

You'll need to understand the difference between manuscript, facsimile, and published editions of musical scores.

  • Manuscript: An unpublished, usually handwritten music score. If the manuscript includes the composer's writing, it is called an autograph.
  • Facsimile edition: Photographic reproduction of manuscript or print source.
  • Published edition: Could include critical or scholarly editions, or collected or complete works


You also can identify if the score is a full-score, piano reduction, performance score, or scholarly edition

  • Full score: Contains complete details of a work for orchestra, with or without voices, as it is intended to be performed. Full scores are generally large enough large enough to be read by a conductor. 
  • Piano reduction: Full orchestration reduced for keyboard with a separate staff for the soloist; also an orchestra score reduced to a piano version.
  • Performance scores: Can include full scores, conductor's scores, piano-vocal scores, transcriptions and arrangements and other scores to support solo instrument, voice, and chamber music performance.
  • Scholarly edition: Intended as a scholarly, authoritative source based from primary sources and the composers intent. Contains commentary to explain editorial differences and explanation.

Modified from Music: Scores by Creighton Barrett at Dalhousie Libraries