IMSLP:Scanning music scores

Image scanning is the preferred method for converting scores to images that can be uploaded to IMSLP. We recommend scanning at a minimum resolution of 600 dpi (ppi) monochrome, with CCITT Level 4 compression. See the Talk page for further details.

  1. Score submissions should be scanned in black and white, unless color is used purposefully in the score. Color scores are much larger in file size than black and white. Grayscale may be permitted if it enhances legibility.
  2. Align the page of the book to the edge of scanner to avoid any skew.
  3. Adjust the brightness and/or contrast settings until you get the best scan.
  4. An underexposed image will have broken notes, staff lines, etc. Overexposure better preserves the details in the sheet music. This also improves the accuracy of Music OCR (optical character recognition) software.
  5. Crop out all edges and parts of the image that are off the page, providing uniform margins.
  6. Note that in most printed scores the possible page turns or section ends are at the bottom of a right page (with an odd page number). If you skip the introduction or blank pages, make sure odd pages remain odd in the scan you provide. Otherwise those who print it in double-side or booklet mode will obtain nasty page turns. This may require inserting a blank page between the cover and the first page of music.

All scan submissions must be PDFs (information on file formats). Please also scan the covers and title pages, as they contain vital information that serves for identification of the publication!

  1. For a method that is labor intensive, but produces extremely high quality scans, see IMSLP:High Quality Scanning.
  2. For converting external scans to high quality monochrome (600 dpi), see: Image Conversion.
  3. For Unix tips for processing scans, see this page.
  4. Feel free to ask other users for advice on scanning! Two such users who would be more than happy to help are Daphnis and Piupianissimo.

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