IMSLP:Score submission guide/Layout of Work Pages

This is the offical guide to correct submission style on IMSLP. It is targeted at IMSLP moderators/admins, and anyone who wants to help with the maintenance of IMSLP. It is also very helpful for file submitters.


Layout of Work Pages

As the scope of the IMSLP continues to widen (with many new sets of orchestral parts being added), it is all the more important to keep to a set of common guidelines as new resources are added. The following standards have been agreed for the content and structure of the work pages devoted to each composition (or book), which always contain of a series of headings and file descriptions.


The information given on all pages should follow the same basic sequence:

  • Scores (default) - used for piano music, voice and piano, choral pieces
    • Complete (Work)
    • Selections (multiple extracts from the Complete Work)
    • Scores of extracts from the Complete Work (by name)
  • Scores and Parts - used for works with 2 to ca.12 separate parts
    • Complete (Work)
    • Selections (multiple extracts from the Complete Work)
    • Scores and Parts of extracts from the Complete Work (by name)
  • Full Scores - used for larger works like Concertos, Symphonies, Operas
    • Complete (Work)
    • Selections (multiple extracts from the Complete Work)
    • Full Scores of extracts from the Complete Work (by name)
  • Parts - used for larger works like Concertos, Symphonies, Operas or in absence of Scores altogether
    • Complete (Work)
    • Selections (multiple extracts from the Complete Work)
    • Parts from extracts of the Complete Work (by name)
  • Vocal Scores = used only for vocal/choral works with ensemble accompaniment
    • Complete (Work)
    • Selections (multiple extracts from the Complete Work)
    • Vocal Scores of extracts from the Complete Work (by name)
  • Arrangements and Transcriptions
    • Complete = Arrangements of the Complete Work
    • Selections = Arrangements of multiple extracts from the Complete Work
    • Arrangements of extracts from the Complete Work (by name)

Important Notes:

  • Not all these headings will be needed for every work page, and headings should be omitted if they are irrelevant (e.g. "Vocal Scores" in the case of chamber pieces", or "Complete" if there are no extracts listed).

The headings are explained in more detail below.

Scores, Full Scores

Under these headings we put all files relating to the work with its original scoring (whether for orchestra, piano, or any other form). This should be consistent with the "General Information" section further down the work page. It will not include other arrangements or transcriptions by anyone else or even the composer themselves.

If the original work was written for a solo performer, a solo with keyboard accompaniment, or a chamber ensemble with keyboard accompaniment (like Piano Trios, Piano Quintets, etc.), the heading "Full Scores" should be changed to "Scores (the default), Piano Scores", "Organ Scores", or "Scores and Parts", etc. Any subsequent orchestrations should be listed below under "Arrangements and Transcriptions".

The editions should be listed chronologically, with the earliest published at the top.

If some of the full scores relate only to excerpts from the whole work, then sub-headings (level 4 "====" in the Wiki) can be added:

  • Complete [= entire work]
  • Selections [= scores containing two or more extracts]
  • [Title of Extract 1]
  • [Title of Extract 2]

The above sub-headings are not needed if this category only consists of scores for the complete work.

In the case of published concert suites from an opera or ballet score, etc., it may be necessary to create a a separate work page for the suite — particularly if any of the music in the suite differs from the music in the original work (as in the case of Tchaikovsky's three ballet suites).

If the scoring of a single extract is modified for a concert performance, such as Wagner's Ride of the Valkyries, then it would be appropriate to place this item under "Arrangements and Transcriptons" (see below).

Sometimes works have become well-established in versions that were realized by others, such as Rimsky-Korsakov's completion of Mussorgsky's works. And sometimes a composer issued the same work in different forms, as in the case of Tchaikovsky's overture-fantasia "Romeo and Juliet". The rules in this case are:

  • The full score should be assumed to be the version last prepared by the composer themselves, unless noted otherwise.
  • Any differences from the standard version should be noted in the "Misc. Comments" section of the file descriptions.

Where a composer has subsequently orchestrated the whole of a work originally for smaller forces, it may be helpful to consider the original and orchestral forms as 1st version and 2nd version respectively. An example of this approach can be found on the page for Dvořák's Slavonic Dances.

However, it is strongly recommended that headings for different versions be used sparingly, and they should be regarded as special exceptions to the usual rule. If in doubt, leave them out, and seek advice on the work's "Discussion" page

Parts, Scores and Parts

This heading should include any instrumental parts which are derived from the full score. They should be listed in score order, typically starting with "Piccolo" and running down to "Double Basses", except in the case of solo instruments in concertos, etc., which should always be listed first.

  • The names of the instruments should be given in English, with different parts for the same instruments described as "Flute 1", "Flute 2", "Oboe 2/English horn", "Bass Clarinet (B)", "Trombone 2/3", "Cellos/Double Basses", etc.
  • Solo instruments in concertos and concert pieces should be labelled as such, e.g. "Bassoon (solo)", "Cello (solo)".
  • Wind Parts should always be in the singular e.g. "Flute 1", even listing multiple wind parts e.g. "Clarinet 1, 2, 3".
  • Multiple wind parts in the same family (if files are listed by family name) should be listed as such in arabic numerals e.g. "Flute 1, 2, 3".
  • Files can either have 1 wind part e.g. "Clarinet 1", "Clarinet 2", "Bassoon 1" etc. or multiple wind parts e.g. "Bassoon 1, 2" etc.
  • When listing instruments that are transposing mainly woodwinds and brass instruments usually Clarinets, Horns and Trumpets, they should be lablled as such for single instrument parts e.g. "Clarinet 1 (B)", "Horn 1 (F)", "Trumpet 1 (C)", etc.
  • The parenthesis for transposing keyed instruments should be used e.g. "(F)" and acts and assumes as such for e.g. "in F", "in B, etc.
  • Multiple wind parts that are transposing should be listed as such e.g. "Clarinet 1, 2 (B)"; "Horn 1, 2, 3, 4 (F)"; "Trumpet 1, 2, 3 (C)", etc.
  • For transposing instruments that use many keys, that should be labelled as such e.g. Clarinet 1, 2 (B/A); Horn 1, 2, 3, 4 (E/D/B) etc.
  • String sections should always be listed in the plural (i.e. "Violins I", "Violins II", "Violas", "Cellos", "Double Basses")
  • The strings (usually violins) are the only instruments to be labelled with Roman numerals (I and II).
  • The use of "Cello" is preferred to "Violoncello", and "English Horn" preferred to "Cor Anglais".
  • The use of "Basses" is preferred to "Double Basses".
  • Parts which are split into separate movements should be merged into a single part for each instrument employed. Instead of four separate oboe parts for a four-movement symphony, there should be a single oboe part.

If there are several sets of parts, these should be listed in date order of publication, with the earliest first.

If some of the parts relate only to excerpts from the whole work, then sub-headings (level 4 "====" in the Wiki) can be added:

1.2.1. Complete [= entire work]
1.2.2. Selections [Multiple extracts]
1.2.3. [Title of Extract 1]
1.2.4. [Title of Extract 2]

For chamber works where the parts and complete score were issued together as a set, the parts can be listed directly underneath the complete score, without the need for separate "Parts" heading, with the main heading as "Scores and Parts" instead of "Full Scores". This schema is intended for chamber works ranging from accompanied solos, duets on up to ensembles of 4-5 players.

Vocal Scores

Do not use this heading for works where the original instrumentation is voice(s) with piano, e.g. lieder. This heading will only be required for works that include both voices and orchestra, such as operas, cantatas, masses, some incidental music, etc. A vocal score is defined for our purposes as one which includes voices together with a piano arrangement of the orchestral parts. This is consistent with the term agreed for use in international library cataloguing, and other phrases (such as "Vocal-Piano Score", "Piano-Vocal Score", "Choral Score", etc.) should not be used.

If some of the vocal scores relate only to excerpts from the whole work, then sub-headings (level 4 "====" in the Wiki) can be added:

1.3.1. Complete [= entire work]
1.3.2. Selections [Multiple extracts]
1.3.3. [Title of Extract 1]
1.3.4. [Title of Extract 2]

The above sub-headings are not needed if this category only consists of complete vocal scores.

If there are multiple examples in different languages of the texts of vocal scores, these can be indicated with level 5 headings if needed for clarity, e.g.:

=====German / English=====
=====Russian / Spanish / Albanian =====

Under most circumstances, the language is handled by means of inserting an added field ( |Language= ) into the file entry itself.

Arrangements and Transcriptions

Here we include all later arrangements or transcriptions that don't come under the heading of "Original Work". These include piano reductions of orchestral works, as well as later orchestrations/reductions made by the composer themselves. They should be placed on pages for the original work, unless:

  • the form of the new work is changed from the original (e.g. concert paraphrases, fantasias, cadenzas, variations), so that it doesn't represent a straightforward orchestration or reduction of a work for other forces.
  • the arrangement or transcription is part of an larger work (like Tchaikovsky's "Mozartiana" suite), or collections of short pieces arranged for a particular instrument that can't be split due to their layout
  • they represent additions to existing works by other composers (like Binder's overture to Orpheus in the Underworld)
  • the composer of the original work can't be identified (e.g. traditional folk-songs)

See also Linking (below).


If some of the arrangements/transcriptions relate only to excerpts from the whole work, then sub-headings (level 4 "====" in the Wiki) can be added:

1.4.1. Complete [= entire work]
1.4.2. Selections [Multiple extracts]
1.4.3. [Title of Extract 1]
1.4.4. [Title of Extract 2]

The above sub-headings are not needed if this category only consists of complete arrangements and transcriptions.

The arrangements or transcriptions should be listed in descending order of instrumentation (i.e. orchestrations first, solo piano versions last). For example:

  • For Orchestra
  • For Wind Band
  • For Chorus (also Chorus and Piano)
  • For Strings
  • For 8 Guitars
  • For 2 Violins, 2 Violas, 2 Cellos and Piano
  • For 6 Saxophones
  • For 2 Violins, Viola, Cello and Piano
  • For 4 Kazoos
  • For Violin, Cello and Piano
  • For Violin and Piano
  • For Piano 4 hands
  • For Piano solo

These descriptions should be used as sub-sub-headings (level 5 "=====" in the Wiki) so that they can be easily seen in the contents list at the top of each page. (Level 4 headings ("====") should be used to differentiate between complete works and extracts, as described above).

The names of instruments ("Piano") or groups of players ("Orchestra", "Quartet") should be capitalised in the headings, but not other words ("solo", "with"). To avoid confusion over the term "Piano Duet", the terms "For Piano 4 hands", "For 2 Pianos, 4 hands" or "For 2 Pianos, 8 hands" should be used as appropriate. These terms are also recognised by our automatic arrangement tagger, which places the arrangement in the correct category.

The sub-headings should all start with the (capitalised) word "For...", and end with the surnames of the arrangers, e.g.

1.2.1. For Orchestra (Ravel)
1.2.2. For Voices with Piano (Beethoven)
1.2.3. For Violin with Piano (Kreisler)
1.2.4. For Euphonium solo (Postlethwaite)

Note: For voices or solo instruments where accompaniment is provided by piano or by orchestra, the terms "with Piano" and "with Orchestra" should be used. For instruments sharing the limelight, "and" should be used instead (e.g. "For Flute and Clarinet").

The descriptions of the files will contain the full names of the arranger in the "Arranger" section, and the exact scoring (if this is not immediately apparent) under "Misc. Comments". If the arrangement is anonymous, then the parentheses should be omitted from the heading.

If there are multiple arrangements for the same combinations of instruments, they should be listed alphabetically by the surname of the arranger (anonymous arrangements coming last). Use normal score order if you need a 'tie-break', e.g.

1.2.1. For 2 Flutes
1.2.2. For Horn and Trumpet
1.2.3. For Violin with Piano

If the arrangement is for orchestra, and there are separate instrumental parts, then the parts can be listed directly below the orchestration, without the need for separate sub-headings.


Arrangements which no longer resemble the structure of the original work, and which may be styled "Fantasia on", "Potpourri on", "Selections from", "Variations on", etc. should normally appear only on the work page of the composer who made this arrangement/transcription. We should avoid having the same file duplicated on more than one page wherever possible.

If the new version of a work qualifies for a different page from the original, then there should be "See also" links from the original work to the arrangement, and vice-versa, like this:

See also Concert Paraphrase on 'Eugene Onegin', Op.81, by Paul Pabst

If the page for the original work doesn't exist yet, then it should be created, even if for now it only contains the "See also" link

Books and Librettos

In the case of books and librettos, the headings "Original Text" and "Translations" may be used if required, e.g.

1.1. Original Text
1.2. Translations
1.2.1. English (Newmarch)
1.2.2. German (Juon)

At the moment it is not possible to change the heading "Music Files" that appears at the top of each page.

Summary of Headings

Summary of Headings
Wiki level 3
Wiki level 4
Wiki level 5
Used for Main headings Complete works, excerpts, versions Arrangements, transcriptions, translations
Examples Full Scores
Vocal Scores
Arrangements and Transcriptions
Books and Librettos
Complete Work
Original version
Duet (Act II, No.10)
Chant sans paroles (No.3)
Andante cantabile
For Cello with Orchestra
For Kazoo quintet
For Piano 2 hands
English text

Misc. Notes on Work Pages

In general, a basic order would be (all level 3 headings)

  1. Roles (Dramatic works only)
  2. Section Listing
  3. Publication History
  4. External Links
  5. Copyright Status (only if some very special status applies, e.g. strange U.S. status)

Other headings should be applied only as necessary. Other extra information should go above the first heading.

File Information

See: IMSLP:Score submission guide/File Information


For works like Má Vlast, JB 1:112 (Smetana, Bedřich), L'estro armonico, Op.3 (Vivaldi, Antonio), Der Ring des Nibelungen, WWV 86 (Wagner, Richard), etc., the best option is to separate the individual works into their own work pages and link them all to the "collection page" in a numbered list (correct order, of course) with the heading "See under the individual pieces in the collection:". Note: This only applies to works that were brought together as a collection by the composer, but were individually published and conceived. (Of course, Ring is an exception, but that is because the operas are well-known individually, and it's a stretch to call it a cohesive work anyway)

A collection is any publication or assemblage of more than one work, either by a single composer or by multiple composers. A "work" is generally any item intended to be performed in one hearing - anything from a song to four-act opera. If an given publication is not something which is intended be performed in in hearing, it is most likely a collection consisting of several works. There are certain works - often of a pedagogical nature - where the items have been ordered in a particular sequence by the composer which fall between the two categories (Bach's WTC being an excellent example). Before Beethoven's time, nearly all things except for very large works such as operas or oratorios were issued as collections, frequently in groups of 6 or 12 typically under a single opus number. This was in large part due to the expense of paper and the nature of printing in the period from the late 15th century to around 1825. By the late 18th and into the 19th century, the manufacture of paper improved and the cost went down, which facilitated improvements in printing as well. Collections continued to be issued and are still issued today. The types encountered most often since the classical era are selections of best-known items, along with volumes of arrangements, books of complete genres ("the complete sonatas"), etc.