Renting Orchestral Digital Scores

by | Oct 31, 2017

Renting orchestra sheet music can be a real pain for music librarians. Not only can it take weeks for music materials to be delivered, but they usually arrive with markings scribbled all over them. Librarians have to painstakingly erase the existing markings, and repeat the process once the orchestra is done with the set, ensuring that it is returned in the best possible condition.

Well, here’s the good news. Renting digital scores entirely solves these issues by eliminating shipping time and offering librarians and players a pristine digital version, every single time.

The Donemus Publishing House Case Study

Donemus Publishing House of Contemporary Classical Music

So are there any publishers out there currently offering an effective and secure digital score rental system? The answer is yes: Donemus Publishing House. Their pioneering webshop offers an impressive selection of PDF-formatted digital rental scores for both ensembles and orchestras.

Davo van Peursen, Donemus’s CEO, kindly shared some of his insights into renting digital scores with the Newzik team. This is what he had to say…

NEWZIK: How are orchestras able to rent digital scores from your webstore?

DONEMUS: The Donemus webstore gives an insight into the full catalog of over 13,000 works under the control of Donemus. All of these works have already been digitized and can be rented and downloaded immediately. No more waiting for the postman.

What happens to the digital content once the project has been completed?

You can keep the score and the set of parts for your library. PDFs can be stored to your hard disk for your own archive. It does not allow the sharing of any of the printed parts or the digital files with any other person, orchestra, ensemble or organization.

What happens if an orchestra plans on performing a piece for which it had rented the digital scores in the past?

If they would like to perform the piece later on after the first concert, they don’t need to repurchase the score. You need to at least pay for another set of parts in PDF (even though you might not use them, but prefer to use your archived files or prints from before) and a new license for the upcoming performance.

Is this rental system successfully upheld by your clients?

Yes, massively so by orchestras. We as the publisher are happy also with this option. Roughly 40% of our sales/rentals are now in PDF. All PDFs are watermarked on the fly at the moment of ordering. So the dates of the performances specified in the rental license are printed on each page of each part as at least a warning against abuse of the PDFs.

Do clients really re-order the PDF if they perform a second time?

Yes, professional orchestras come back for new rental-licenses all the time. Amateurs might tend to try it illegally, but so far luckily we don’t seem to see much abuse with this.

How do you track the rented digital scores?

We track it by Google Alerts for all our composers and check those alerts carefully.

How could the Newzik software help secure your digital rental scores?

We have PDFs, If these are used within the Newzik software, it might be a great option if the publisher would be notified. For example, the rental PDF could automatically disappear inside the Newzik software after the rental expiration date.

Donemus is the perfect example of how, in this day and age, PDF scores can be made available instantly and easily. Rather than battling with the restrictions of an old-fashioned system, new technologies and platforms are paving the way towards a digitalized future that is far more user-friendly, cost-efficient and – most importantly – secure. Just like renting a movie in the iTunes Store.