The Henselt Library houses over 2,000 rare scores of nineteenth-century piano music, many of which are not generally available elsewhere. As an online library, it is committed to the principle of making this key archive material publically available for download free of charge using easily available file formats.
The Henselt Library consists of public domain scores that are mostly for piano 2 hands, with a small number of concerto scores and reductions. Both original works and transcriptions are represented, ranging from miniatures and salon pieces to major sonatas and extended tone-pictures. This variety reflects the importance of the piano in both public concert life and in more intimate surroundings.
The nineteenth-century is the key point in the growth of the piano both as an expanded and strengthened instrument and in terms of its increased repertoire responding to the rise of the virtuoso and the popularity of the piano as a domestic instrument. The Henselt Library offers an opportunity to experience this period through many worthwhile but forgotten works.
All of the music is “rare” in the sense that the majority is both unknown today and extremely difficult to obtain, and in many cases remains unrecorded and unperformed. It has been made available in the Library thanks to the dedicated work of many enthusiasts around the world who have shared a commitment to the open distribution of nineteenth-century music.
Music files are presented directly in .pdf format. We request that visitors save files to disk (right-click and select “Save Target”) rather than viewing them online, since this saves bandwidth.
The collection is arranged in alphabetical order by surname of the composer. Transcriptions and arrangements are listed under the name of the transcriber or arranger. A small number of multi-composer volumes as well as anonymous compositions and transcriptions are listed separately.
Usage of materials
Since all material in the Library is in the public domain, no restrictions on its use are imposed. It is hoped that its ready availability will stimulate interest in performance and scholarly activity concerning these works.
About the Library sources
Material included in the Library collection originates from diverse sources.
Principally, its sources are authorized photocopies of public domain scoreholdings in major reference libraries around the world. These scores have then been digitized by experts and enthusiasts and shared with the public via the internet.
Many of the scores that form part of the Library collection are not available elsewhere via the internet. The Library hopes that it will be in a position to offer these scores a long-term and stable home.
The Library is aware that a minority of scores are imperfect in various aspects for reasons beyond our control. You may find that problems such as missing pages or illegible staves occur infrequently. We are not normally able to correct these problems, and all scores are provided on an “as is” basis on the principle that, with such rare material, it is preferable to have an imperfect score available rather than none at all. It goes without saying that any contribution of replacement digitized scores that overcome these problems will be welcomed.
In general, the Library welcomes additional contributions of digitized scores provided both the work and the edition represented are clearly and unambiguously in the public domain. It is happy to acknowledge the donor when this is desired. To discuss donating a score, please click here to contact us.
Collected works of Sigismond Thalberg
The Henselt Library is most grateful to Mathieu Poirier for sharing with all of us his collection of rare Thalberg scores.
Works of Alexander Dreyschock
The Henselt Library is most grateful to Mathieu Poirier for sharing with all of us his collection of rare Dreyschock scores.
The Library is a research centre of the Western Orthodox University. and is attached to the University’s Henderson Memorial School of Music. It is also associated with the Romantic Discoveries Recordings project (an associate research centre of the University) which is dedicated to creating CD recordings of previously unrecorded nineteenth-century piano music.
It is the intention of the Library that only works which are believed in good faith to be in the public domain should be available via the download facilities of the Henselt Library. Nevertheless, a copyright statement is included as follows:
Fair Use Notice: This web site may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. In accord with our nonprofit mission, we are making such material available for educational purposes to advance understanding of political, human, religious, and social issues.
We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material.
The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in reviewing the included information by virtue of their perusal of the various educational pages and links from this web site.
The Henselt Library makes no guarantee that the files provided for download in the Henselt Library are public domain in your country and assumes no legal responsibility or liability of any kind for their copyright status. Please obey the copyright laws of your country and consult the copyright statute itself or a qualified IP attorney to verify whether a certain file is in the public domain in your country or if downloading a copy constitutes fair use. BY CLICKING ANY LINK ON THIS SITE, YOU ACKNOWLEDGE THAT YOU UNDERSTAND AND AGREE TO THE ABOVE DISCLAIMER. Please leave this site if you do not agree.
If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
No breach of copyright intended: We have endeavoured to ensure that this site does not use copyrighted work in a way that constitutes copyright infringement or breach of agreed license conditions. If you believe that material on this site infringes copyright or licensing terms please contact us at the earliest opportunity.
1. When you contact us you must give us the information we need in order to identify the work or works that are the subject of copyright/licensing infringement;
2. You must give us information that allows us to accurately locate and access the material in question;
3. You must give us your contact information, including your full name, postal address, telephone number and email address.