Music Lithuania: The First Online Music Store to Focus on Works by Lithuanian Composers
Music Information Centre Lithuania presents Musiclithuania.com – the first online music store to focus on music by Lithuanian composers. More than 2000 print and digital sheet music and records released by Music Information Centre Lithuania and partners will be available for purchase there.
In order to encourage the lawful use of intellectual property the legal access to music records and audiovisual work has been in discussion for some time now. These discussions and processes have been taking place across Europe, and Lithuania is no exception. Music Information Centre Lithuania decided to focus on the area that is often less considered – the legal use of music scores.
Common in the World, New in Lithuania
According to Asta Pakarklytė, the director of the Music Information Centre Lithuania, we are used to borrowing, copying or downloading sheet music for free online. This poor practice is not only harmful for the economic welfare and stability of the composers, but it also distorts the whole music market in the country.
“There is no way that in developed countries a student or a pupil intentionally uses illegally copied music scores in their music lessons, or even more that a performer plays from illegally obtained sheet music. It is normal to buy music scores elsewhere, but in Lithuania the discussions have only just begun. This is partially caused by the absence of those music publishers that meet the standards of the publishers from the older democracies and that operate according to industry standards and intellectual property management principles. These standards would insure the sustainability of the music ecosystem” – says Pakarklytė.
This situation is not only determined by established habits, but also by the absence of a platform to provide legal access to the music scores of Lithuanian composers. Therefore in the last few years Music Information Centre Lithuania, with support from the Lithuanian Council for Culture and Protection of Copyright Law and Related Rights Programme, has been focusing on the development of this kind of digital access.
Sheet Music in Digital
In the first ever Lithuanian composers’ online music store professional and amateur performers will be able to find sheet music: from solo pieces for various instruments to orchestral compositions. The store will also offer sheet music for beginners and children. One of the most important features of the Musiclithuania.com online store, which would appeal to music performers, is the wide range of digital music scores with parts.
Matas Drukteinis, the project leader, believes that the new store will significantly contribute to the promotion of Lithuanian composers and the growth of the Lithuanian music repertoire internationally. “This online store dedicated to increasing accessibility to the music of Lithuanian composers is not only the first, but I believe will also prove to be the most durable digital service.”
According to Drukteinis Musiclithuania.com will be the platform offering the widest range of Lithuanian compositions for a long time. The customers can find here broad range of products: works by professional classical composers such as Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis or Vytautas Bacevičius; music by modern music innovators such as Bronius Kutavičius, Osvaldas Balakauskas, Onutė Narbutaitė; and experimental music by the younger generation. At the moment the platform contains around 2000 publications as well as releases and by the end of the year this figure will increase even more.
“We pay the most attention to the digital music scores and sheet music. Both in aiming for ecological sustainability and in meeting contemporary needs, we feel that offering music scores in digital format is the direction we should be taking”, – maintains Drukteinis.
Benefit for All
One of the reasons for taking this project forward and introducing the Music Lithuania online music score shop to the market was the violation of Lithuanian composers’ rights. Lithuanian composers lose a substantial amount of income because of the illegal use of their work.
The composers published on the online store will receive a percentage of the revenue for each music score sold. Although this won’t be their main source of income, it will allow the composers to dedicate more time to their art. The music performers and teachers should also be interested in this as they often request the composers to create new compositions, especially for less common instruments or for their specific ensembles”, – says the project leader Drukteinis.From now on all the publications by Music Information Centre Lithuania – sheet music, albums, vinyl records – will be available on Musiclithuania.com. The goals and activities of the organisation are supported by the Lithuanian Council for Culture and the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania. Project partners – Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania and the Lithuanian Composers’ Union.