… because classical music customers are never dishonest:

Classical music may not command the column inches of Amy Winehouse or U2, but it is, at least, not in decline, helped by a generally honest customer base who do not download operas illegally, ….

I read it here.

I attempt to get students to understand that doing things legally is the right way to go. I don’t allow copies of sheet music — they need to purchase the music or use a library copy. And I remind them that downloading music illegally affects even yours truly; anyone who’s been on a recording in the past “x” years (I’m not sure of the number) receives an annual check based on the percentage of sales of all music. But I certainly hear about illegal downloads of classical music and I see copies of sheet music everywhere. What always surprises me most is that I see a number of colleagues doing this. It’s difficult to complain about the general public doing things illegally if we are going to do things illegally as well. Or at least it seems that way to me. But I’m just an oboe player.


  1. Ok, I admit to having a copy of the horn parts for the Schumann Konzertstuck (here’s a sample: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YffIYPQVkhc) – does that count? They’re not really something one can excerpt, exactly…would they be public domain by now?

  2. You raise a great point here. Plus, the vast majority of the sheet music (at least the music I use) can be purchased legally as instant, printable downloads from the publisher. It’s generally less expensive and saves me a trip to a store. I think it would take me longer and cause more headache finding a “free, illegal” version than it would just to buy it the right way.

  3. Schumann is probably in the public domain, unless it was something that was more recently edited, Tim.

    Yeah, Rob, it’s probably quicker to legally purchase a download. I think a lot of players just don’t think they should have to pay for music. (Funny how the same people would not want to play for free. Go figure.)