Choral Public Domain Library

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Choral Public Domain Library
CPDL logo.gif
Web address
Commercial? No
Type of site
Music score library
Registration Optional (required for contributing)
Available in English with some help pages in other languages
Owner CPDL community
Created by Rafael Ornes
Launched December 1998
Current status Active

The Choral Public Domain Library (CPDL) is a sheet music archive which focuses on choral and vocal music in the public domain or otherwise freely available for printing and performing (such as via permission from the copyright holder).


The site was launched in December 1998 by Rafael Ornes.[1] In 2005 CPDL was ported, or converted, to wiki format.[2]In July 2008, Ornes stepped back from the site administration and turned the operational responsibilities to a group of the site administrators. A transition committee was formed which subsequently incorporated CPDL as a non-profit under California state law and now operates CPDL.[2]

In addition to making sheet music scores available, the wiki format supports additional features including:

  • original texts, their sources and translations;
  • cross-indexing of choral music using criteria including musical genre, period, and number and voicing of choral parts;
  • composer information;
  • description and performance considerations can be included for works;
  • contents of collections of choral music;
  • community discussion such as through "Talk" pages related to composers or specific works.

Music is available for free download in a variety of formats, including score images in PDF, PS and TIFF format, sound files in MIDI and MP3 formats, and in the notation formats supported by various notation programs, including Finale, Sibelius, NoteWorthy Composer, Encore, and the open source GNU LilyPond. Most scores on CPDL are distributed under an open-source license. As of 31 December 2013, CPDL archives over 17,200 scores by more than 2,200 composers, contributed by over 960 editors and contributors. It includes large numbers of scores from the Renaissance and Baroque eras, including nearly complete vocal works by William Byrd and Tomás Luis de Victoria in excellent editions.[citation needed]

CPDL is suggested as a resource by departmental or faculty websites at Kent State University, Northern Illinois University, the University of Oregon, the University of Western Ontario, the Internet Public Library of the University of Michigan, the University at Albany, The State University of New York, by the UCLA Music Library, by the libraries at the Universities of Boston[3] and Stanford and by inclusion by faculty members in syllabi for courses at the University of Wisconsin–Oshkosh.[4] It is recommended by the Iowa and Massachusetts chapters of the American Choral Directors Association, and is included in the resource database of Intute, an association of Institutions in the UK.[5]

See also


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  2. 2.0 2.1 CPDL
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External links