Where to order chamber music scores?

January 28, 2020, 10:07 AM · My son needs 2 copies of the original score for a somewhat rare string quartet (Korngold String Quartet #1) for a local competition. We were able to obtain one through Amazon; the only other supplier listed canceled my order because they can't get it. I have found places to order it (from Europe) but we need it in 2.5 weeks and that doesn't seem likely.

Does anybody have any ideas how we can obtain another copy of the score?

Replies (11)

January 28, 2020, 10:12 AM · A university library on interlibrary loan?
Edited: February 1, 2020, 10:34 AM · I have gotten hard to find scores (out of print, etc) from my local public library via interlibrary loan. See if your score is available on interlibrary loan by searching on the interlibrary loan catalog
If the score is available, WorldCat will show what libraries have it, in order of distance from you. Your local public library can order it for you. There is a charge at a university library, but I got my scores at no charge from the public library.
You could also try to consult Indiana University music library, an excellent source.
Edited: January 28, 2020, 10:29 AM · I just checked: University of Chicago libraries and Cornell University libraries have #1 and #3 in the stacks. I believe you are near UChicago libraries. Get it from the stacks to start working on in 2.5 weeks and order it so you have it by the time they will want to perform it.
January 28, 2020, 11:07 AM · Thank you. I looked through our library options and our Chicago public library main branch actually has it, surprisingly. I can also get scores through Northwestern and University of Chicago with my husband's ID if needed, but the public library is much easier. This solves my temporary problem, but I still do need to obtain two more copies for a later competition, so I guess I will just order from Europe now.

I miss places like Patelson's in NYC. We still have Performer's Music here in Chicago (which is what I will probably use to order the scores from Europe), but they are much smaller and you often have to order stuff. I swear I could find anything at Patelson's.

January 28, 2020, 12:28 PM · FWIW we've had very good luck ordering from Presto Music in the UK, https://www.prestomusic.com/sheet-music for things with limited availability here e.g. Wiener Urtext, Stainer and Bell, etc.

I *really* hate that when a competition asks for multiple originals of the score, like I'm supposed to go out and buy a second copy just for that event. One purchased score for a quartet, ok. Adjudicators looking at that plus a copy has to be fair use. Increasingly I've seen where one original plus copies has been good enough.

January 29, 2020, 8:35 AM · I would try to contact the organizers and explain the situation to them. Maybe they compromise and accept the one copy.

Stan is right: What do they need the two copies for?

Also: This copy right stuff is getting out of hands. We have now much more intense enforcement of it than before the internet became a thing. It would be nice if in return stuff moved quicker into the public domain; copyright is supposed to protect the creators, not their grand children.

January 29, 2020, 9:11 AM · Copyright legislation is indeed getting out of hand, and this appears to be driven mainly by Hollywood and major publishing houses, with knock-on effects in other countries.

Korngold died in 1957, so his copyright is going to be around for a few years yet. I've heard that orchestral parts of his Violin Concerto are notoriously expensive to hire, which may explain why performances are comparatively rare. This is why one of my local orchestras decided to remove it from its performance calendar, even though a soloist well capable of playing it would have been available.

Edited: January 29, 2020, 4:39 PM · If you are committed to buying the scores, my amateur guess is that you could download the IMSLP version while they are in the mail without violating fair use standards. Not to say you won't be crucified by the Feds for it, but they probably have bigger things to worry about.

[Edit: I now see that you already have one, and just need a second physical copy to meet an application standard. NVM.]

January 31, 2020, 2:10 PM · I have a very stupid question about IP in music.

In science, you can use someone's knowledge in not-profit aims (research, f.ex). I would expect the same with music: if I play it with no profit (competition), why i can not just make a photocopy of scores and enjoy? What if i sing in the bathroom, should i pay as well?

January 31, 2020, 5:03 PM · I just learned today that one of our quartet players found sources of music (and I presume, scores) on line at bookfinder.com .

I am familiar with that website because we have used it for years to price books for our Friends of the Library bookstore.

Edited: January 31, 2020, 8:19 PM · K Ch - what you are referring to is called "fair use." And here is an outline of the four factors that aid courts in determining if an alledged infringement qualifies as fair use:

Measuring Fair Use: The Four Factors

I assume your science analogy is similar to a quotation in an academic paper? Someone uses a small portion of someone else's research to build their new argument.

Obviously your music examples are a little silly. Making photocopies of copyright-protected music (particularly if you copy the entire work) takes away from the copyright holder's potential sales of the music (factors #3 and #4) - playing in the bathroom is lower risk than a concert hall (factor #1). If your musical scenarios take into consideration the four factors of fair use than you can determine how low risk or not a use might be.

I'm sure others can attest to this as well, schools and non-profits pays fees to purchase/borrow and perform copyright-protected music, granted their fees are typically lower than commercial uses. And as always - in any serious situation it is best to consult an IP attorney with questions.

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