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Ottaviano Petrucci's Musical Revolution and his Legacy in the Digital World
From the Renaissance Print to the Petrucci Music Library: A Journey through the Access and Preservation of Classical Music
The legacy of Ottaviano Petrucci, a pioneer in the history of music printing, continues to be recognized and celebrated, especially among classical music history enthusiasts. Petrucci not only revolutionized the production of musical scores but also paved the way for the diffusion and democratization of music. His innovations made music more accessible, reaching beyond the elite who had exclusive access to rare and expensive musical manuscripts.

Today, this spirit of accessibility and sharing of music finds its continuation in the International Music Score Library Project (IMSLP), also known as Petrucci Music Library. Founded in 2006, the IMSLP offers a vast digital archive of sheet music, with over 225,893 works, 735,849 scores, and 80,634 recordings. This resource makes music from various composers, eras, and styles easily accessible to a global audience, continuing Petrucci's mission to make music a common good.

The Werner Icking Music Archive (WIMA), another significant project in the field of digital music, followed a similar path. Founded by Werner Icking and then run by Christian Mondrup, WIMA facilitated the distribution of public domain sheet music before merging with the IMSLP in 2012. This merger further expanded the IMSLP's collection, cementing its role as one of largest digital music libraries in the world.

Therefore, Ottaviano Petrucci's innovative contribution in the field of music printing still lives on today, reflected in the expansion and democratization of access to classical music. Projects like the IMSLP and WIMA are not only a tribute to his vision, but continue his transformative impact on the world of music. They celebrate and preserve the richness and variety of the world's musical heritage, making classical music accessible and enjoyable to an increasingly broad and diverse audience.

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The life and work of Ottaviano Petrucci: The Gutenberg of Music

In 1501 he created the first printed score in history



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