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Document sharing websites as source for sheet music


cedar

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While searching for the occasional leadsheet over the past year, I have discovered a number of document-sharing websites that are "virtual" (pun-intended) treasure-troves of sheet music. Perhaps most of you have been aware of these sites for years, but most musicians I know are not.

 

I am guessing that the most prominent of such sites is Scrib (https://www.scribd.com/), which operates by a monthly subscription fees. I do not pay for the service, but it's clear that there is a ton of sheet music available on it.

 

But an even greater resource, I think -- and currently free - is "Docslide" (URL: http://docslide.us/). The "about" page states as follows:

 

DocSlide is startup project with goals: Create community to share documents and knowledge online.

And to accelerate the development of the community, DocSlide support members to share unlimited documents.

 

To be blunt, I have very mixed feelings about a free-site such as Docslide. On one hand, it is an astonishing resource for free music. Indeed, there is a wide variety of commercially-published sheet music. I have found some pretty obscure commercial material, as well as various hand-written and non-commercial transcriptions. You have to check out the site yourselves if you really want to get a sense of the scope of what is available. (For example, on a whim, I just searched for "Cedar Walton" and found some commercial transcriptions of his solos that I had never seen before.)

 

But I also feel guilty about getting materials this way and cannot understand how Docslide is even operating. Looks to me like composers, artists and publishing companies are not getting compensated properly. I would probably be less conflicted if I was paying a membership fee (as required by Scribb), but not sure that is a logical distinction since I doubt the artists are getting properly compensated there either.

 

So, I am starting this discussion (1) to let everyone know of Docslide and similar resources; and (2) ask for opinions about using the sites.

 

I will also mention one other site I recently discovered: Issuu - https://issuu.com/ I had to join Issuu to print out materials but there was no cost.

 

Thoughts?

 

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