Purchasing information on Foulds' works

Buying the music of John Foulds is a tricky business today, for while in his day many of his works were published, his swift disappearance from the British musical scene mean't that works were left to languish in back catalogues. The twentieth century was a period of conglomeration for music publishing, and tracing the present owner of long-forgotten companies is not always easy. Bluntinstrument has begun a quest here to make it easier for anyone interested to obtain a copy of his published music. Since most of his printed works were published in his lifetime these are now out of copyright, so making a personal copy from a library is now possible without contacting a publisher. However, distribution of such copies over the web still must be done with permission of the original owner, so copyright still has that card to play. (And then there are the works in manuscript which will be covered by copyright until after 2039.) Although long out of popular circulation it is still possible to obtain some of Foulds's music in the usual commercial fashion.

There is, however, a recent exception, and perhaps there are others we can find elsewhere in future.

Keltic lament (cello, piano) - Sky Dance Press (2012)

Publishers often hold copies of out-of-print works, making money by photocopying and charging an almost-new price. Here are the biggies who owned most of the rights.

Boosey & Hawkes
BMG Music Publishing (UK)

Then there are sheet music sales websites such as.


Downloading for free

Websites allowing free download of printed music come in three flavours: (a) the commercial site giving the occasional freebie to entice the customer to stick around and type in his credit card details, (b) digitisation efforts of media corporations and national libraries, (c) sites that rely on music owners and the occasional library or private collection to scan and donate their works.

Foulds, newly out of UK copyright at least, has yet to make an impact here, and there is no real quality control. For anyone checking for newly digitised works from category (c), a good place to bookmark is IMSLP, which, although large, currently only has an incomplete version of the Essays in the modes for download:



Page added 2003.04.13
Updated: 2012.12.01