19th Century Bandmaster Patrick S. Gilmore. Photo from the George Grantham Bain Collection at the Library of Congress
The BandMusic PDF Library is in the process of making freely available public domain sheet music from 1880-1922. The collection currently contains more than 3,000 titles encompassing the eclectic range of genres represented by 19th- and early 20th-century band music: marches, arranged opera overtures and concert works, ragtime pieces, dances, and music for solos with band accompaniment. Composers include the Western classical giants Beethoven, Wagner, and Tchaikovsky, as well as composers who specialized in the band medium, including John Philip Sousa, Patrick Gilmore, and Arthur Pryor. Appealing equally to scholars, fans, and performers alike, availability of scores in the collection uses a scale from 1-4, ranging from scans available “as published” to scans that have been cleaned and updated for modern band performances. The BandMusic PDF Library offers PDF guides to selecting music and finding playable music.
The UB Music Library’s collection includes recordings featuring many of the works that are now so easily accessible online. Recordings include band arrangements of Wagner (LPs 2550 & 17374) and collections of arrangements of well-known works (CD Marine Band Retrospective, as well as the LP series Gems of the Concert Band and Favorite Overtures). Additionally, you may wish to browse reference sources to find more information on the ensembles and works found in the BandMusic PDF Library, Band Music Guide, published by The Instrumentalist Company, and William H. Rehrig’s The Heritage Encyclopedia of Band Music.
For those whose tastes run more in the direction of early music, The Stanford University Department of Music and the University Libraries Archive of Recorded Sound are presenting streaming audio of university organist Dr. Robert Huw Morgan’s performances of the complete organ works of J.S. Bach. The series of recitals, which ran from June 2009 to June 2010, commemorated Dr. Morgan’s tenth anniversary at the university, as well as the twenty fifth anniversary of the Fisk-Nanney Organ, on which Dr. Morgan performed his recitals. To hear another example of Stanford’s Fisk organ in action, ask at the Music Library about CD 1095: D. Buxtehude and his Time: Harald Vogel Plays on the Dual-Temperament Fisk-Organ at Stanford University.
Visitors to the website can access the work they are seeking either by program or by BWV number. If you wish to listen to Dr. Morgan’s performances while following along with the score, the Music Library offers several options including The Complete Organ Works, one set edited by Charles-Marie Widor and Albert Schweitzer and the other by Alan Ridout.
This post was written by one of the Music Library’s graduate student assistants, Daniel Weaver, a graduate of the Department of Library & Information Studies and a current Musicology MA student.