OT: Obtaining scores

I need two scores (Kabalevsky, Symphony #4 and Prokofiev, the “1941” Suite).

While it’s highly likely I don’t know the best places to look, the Prokofiev printed is available on Amazon as Japanese import (zen-on score?). But I’ve only found the Kabalevsky available for rental at Schirmer.

I’ve never rented a score before, either digital or printed and I’m very doubtful it is legal to copy a rented score even for personal non-commercial use. The whole rental option seems surprisingly confusing!

How do people obtain scores that don’t seem to be readily available? Grateful for any suggestions (and advice on rental would be especially appreciated). Thanks!

Do you live near a university with a music library? Many university libraries have affordable card options for non-affiliates, and some will also have fancy book scanners that you can use.

I’ve also noticed that Schirmer/AMP posts many contemporary scores on Issuu. Not sure about Kabalevsky, but worth a look.


What is your budget? It’ll cost ya! :slight_smile:

I found quite a few spots selling the Zen-on miniature score also.

Kabalevsky does not go out of copyright until 2038. So you wont find him on IMSLP and so on. So I can’t imagine you would find his works on Issuu.

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Sikorski is the publisher for Kabalevsky.

No Symphonies here. You may have to contact them to see if they have back catalogue stock. Assuming it was Sikorski that published them.

Thank you for this information. Issuu has 4 of Kabalevsky’s works for on-demand download, but alas not the one I need. I’m researching music libraries near me.

Would anyone mind sharing their impression about the quality of Zen-On scores - I’ve never heard of them and some reviews on Amazon suggests they are all miniature size. Although $26 for that vs $280 on ebay is quite a difference!

The Zen-On publications I have seen are all very carefully engraved, with attention to editorial detail and beautiful layout. A little bit smaller staff size than European publishers, but extremely clear.

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For the Kabalevsky, you could contact Sikorski via SINFONIE NR. 4 c-moll (note the ‘Score for Viewing - Inquiry’ link).

The first and third symphonies can be viewed online:
SYMPHONY NO. 3 for choir and orchestra

There’s little that can’t be found if one ventures onto Russian web sites but it sounds as though you want to keep to the strait and narrow.

See the ‘Scores for Viewing’ section:
Kabalewski, Dmitri [Kabalevsky, Dmitri] | Sikorski Music Publishers

Not even music libraries per se: university libraries in general are great, because if they don’t have it, they can ILL (inter library loan) it from thousands of other libraries. I’ve gotten my hands on a few obscure scores this way.

Thank you @tristis. The piece I need isn’t on that list sadly, but - again - I had no idea that this option existed at all. So far my (highly superficial) impression is that this entire market is a complete mess, completely disorganized and disjointed. I’m sure they are not estimating the $$ of the potentially lost sales, but oh well…

I found a score available in a college library in Connecticut not too far from me, but after trying for half hour to find a page where I can sign up and not succeeding, I simply gave up.

Many publishers (including G. Schirmer) have a digital perusal option, generally at no cost. If you don’t need a hard copy, this might be an option.

If you fill in the form that appears when one clicks ‘Score for Viewing - Inquiry’ on Kabalevsky, Dmitri: SINFONIE NR. 4 c-moll | Sikorski Music Publishers, they may well send you something.

Good luck anyway.

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Done! Let’s see what they say. Many thanks

It’s interesting that you are inquiring about such repertoire. I’m an avid classical record collector and the mention of such pieces makes my ears itch to do some listening.

You may have heard of (or be a member of) the Google Group called “Symphonyshare”. Members freely share out of print recordings, 78 transfers, radio airchecks and anything having to do with classical recordings.

I’d suggest you join the group and post a request regarding the obtaning of these scores. Consider this an unofficial invitation from a member of the group.


There’s plenty of current recordings of the Kabelevksy. It’s the score the OP was after which is problematical.

Ok. So it is Sikorski, and Boosey and Hawkes.

Here’s the rental:


Appears to be restricted to a list of certain countries.

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It’s also available for rental in the US via Schirmer. I opened an account with Zinfonia for that but when it started asking for my ASCAP and BMI details it occurred to me that it’s likely illegal to copy a rental score. I’m not pursuing this for now. Someone asked a similar question on the VI forum and this whole copyright thing ended up becoming even more confusing!


@ebrooks a pity. I guess that’s the end of this exploration. FWIW I looked at National Library of Australia, and they do not have a copy, nor does the State Library of Victoria in Melbourne where I live. I tried for you. :slight_smile:

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I found out yesterday that the Kabalevsky symphony was premiered at Carnegie Hall in 1957 or so and he actually used to quite popular in the US for a time. A lot of his scores were purchased and this one published in 1958 in USSR is available in more than a dozen universities.

But the best news is that my tiny local town library participates in ILL . The only thing left for me to find out is if “research” books (apparently a distinct classification from “public”) are going to be made available via ILL to a town library. I’m picking up my library card tomorrow.

Thanks for the library tip @Romanos @adtino! And thank you @Andro for checking in Australia!

Meanwhile, no response from Sikorski for now.