The world stock of music rolls is disintegrating and several enthusiasts around the world are attempting to conserve this rich musical archive before it is lost forever. This site is dedicated to placing scan images, and the MIDI files derived from, them into the public domain. All the material you find here may be freely copied and distributed.
Contributions are welcomed from anyone, the only provisio being that, for copyright reasons, the source material for any item submitted must date from before 1940.
The site is still at an experimental stage and has a very free form. It will change and develop in response to demand and the material submitted. All contributions are welcome. You may submit anything from a few MIDI files, a properly presented zip package with listings and notes or complete webpages of your own design. If you wish to become a major contributor we will set up your own area of the site which you may modify and maintian to your own requirements.
Anything relating to the conservation of music rolls is welcome. Don't worry too much about quality. A bad scan is better than no scan at all and will often help to identify items which need to be revisited.
Some high quality Ampico MIDIs
Tom Lear's Karakoke Files
A large collection of MIDI files
CIS scans from Richard Stibbons
MIDI files of rolls by Billy Mayerl
Anthony Robinson's area
Committed to the conservation of music rolls
Site Copyright Policy
The copyright position relating to music rolls is highly complex and largely untested. However, here in the UK, there is a growing awareness that the aggressive assertion of rights could be counter productive. Roll scanning provides a classic demonstration because, unless we copy this material now, much of it will be lost for ever. No-one would benefit if that were to happen. This matter is under active review by the British Government, who are considering the issue in those terms. Meanwhile, as site operator, I accept responsibility for dealing with any rights problems which might arise.
The above comments relate to the music and performances. In this country, there are no rights problems with the rolls as artefacts provided they are old, for which reason I have arbitrarily set 1940 as the latest date for material we will handle.
The scans themselves, and derived MIDI files, are another issue. In legal terms, scanning a music roll is no different to photocopying a published book. Unless caution is exercised with regard to the age of the material, it could well be argued that those who do this are infringing, rather than acquiring, rights. The question of rights to the computer files created by scanning old rolls is a can of worms which, in my view, is best left unopened.
The material on this site has been drawn from many sources and it is quite possible that you may find some of your work which has circulated round the grapevine and found it's way here without your permission. If you feel aggrieved by this, please contact me and I will immediately remove it as a matter of courtesy.