How Classical Music Publishers Are Going Digital?

by | Jul 27, 2017

Sometimes it seems that the classical music publishing world is stuck in the past.

Even today, conductors and librarians who wish to get specific sheet music, will have to make a postal order or visit a music shop, and orchestras still have to wait for the material to be delivered.

The good news is that this is slowly changing as major publishers are taking steps to get up to date, bringing musicians what they need and want.

“You do not need more space on your shelf, but get the complete scores including all accompanying texts of the printouts on your iPad.” Bärenreiter

The Bärenreiter Study Score Reader App

Bärenreiter is a German classical music publishing house, founded in 1923.  Bärenreiter is known for its Urtext editions which offer the latest in musicological research as well as excellent layout.

With their free app, you will be able to buy a constantly growing number of editions in the Bärenreiter Store, where you can purchase the great masterpieces of classical music from Bach to Debussy.

Good news, as a conductor, you will also find 34 study scores available, including the introductions and the critical commentaries.

Visit Bärenreiter website
Download the app

Bärenreiter Digital Score – Tzigane

G. Henle Digital Score – Violin Sonata

The Henle Library app

Henle publishing house, another German outlet,  was founded on 20 October 1948 by Günter Henle. Henle is also known for its publications of Urtext editions of music on a scholarly basis, in particular from the 18th and 19th centuries.

With the realisation that the digital future is inevitable, Henle has now developed an app for performers, students and teachers. It combines the publishing heritage of G. Henle Verlag with must have features for the professional classical musician.

The app itself is free to download and comes with in-app-purchases, meaning you can get access to their digital catalog from within the app.

With one click, the app gives musicians playing together the ability to see the different fingerings for the same piece. Lastly, you can purchase just the part you need without having to buy the complete score saving you lots of money.

Visit Henle website

Download the app

The Boosey & Hawkes online persual scores

Boosey & Hawkes, is a leading independent publisher of contemporary classical music. Formed in 1930 through the merger of two well-established British music businesses, the company controls the copyrights to many major, 20th-century music pieces. 

In 2011 Boosey & Hawkes launched their “Online Scores”  offering free online viewing of 1500 orchestral, opera, and large ensemble scores from the B&H catalogue.

To be able to use them you must first register online.

Visit Boosey & Hawkes website

Visit their online store 

Online study score of Symphony No.3 Copland

Inside the Faber app – Unit 1

The Faber Music app – Mastering Piano with Lang Lang


Faber Music was founded in 1965 as a sister company to Faber and Faber.

Publishing, marketing, digital, promotion, copyright, media and administration, Faber does it all.

In 2015, Faber Music launched their first app with superstar concert pianist Lang Lang, pioneering the digital learning experience for a new generation of players.

The “mastering the piano with Lang Lang” App reflects the printed publications, sharing the same warm-up exercises, studies and pieces although these have been enhanced with a range of brand new practice tools including a digital notebook and metronome. Every unit explores a particular area of piano technique and contains an exclusive coaching video from Lang Lang.

Visit the website
Download the app

Schott Project New York

Schott Music was founded by Bernhard Schott in Mainz, Germany in 1770 and is recognized today as a forward thinking, modern family-owned company.

PSNY, or Project Schott New York, is a digital music publishing edition. Still, just in pilot mode, PSNY’s catalog features over 70 new works by more than 30 of the most exciting composers of our time, each Composer Edition is a published edition of the composer’s self-published work.

Composers, performers, and music lovers all play an active role on the PSNY site, which has been designed expressly to accommodate and promote a new online space for the discovery and discussion of new music.

Visit the website

PSNY – Digital score by composer – Shiroi Ishi

Donemus Digital Score – Distant Light for organ

Donemus & Art of Sound Music online stores

Here are two examples of 100% online stores. A great example of the digital transition that is happening.

While Donemus publishing has been in existence since 1947 and has published works of over 600 Dutch composers, Art of Sound Music has only been around since 2007.

They both share a common interest in pushing for more scores to be digitized by the major publishers.

The Donemus webstore gives an insight into the full catalog of over 11,000 works under the control of Donemus. Many of these works have already been digitized and can be purchased and downloaded immediately. No more waiting for the postman.

Art of sound music sells high quality scores to chamber groups, soloists, bands, choirs and orchestras over the web. Visitors to artofsoundmusic.com can purchase instantly web-printable sheet music.

Visit the Donemus shop

Visit Art of sound and music

In Conclusion

With these new digital offerings, publishing houses are clearly trying to make it as easy as possible for musicians to easily browse, preview and use their high-quality works thanks to digital possibilities.

After all, classical music publishers do proceed into the digital world. Old or new, traditional or contemporary, big or small, step by steps the publishers create digital solutions to fit the needs of today’s musicians

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