Books in the Public Domain

Thanks to people and organizations on the internet, we can now view (and often download) books that are no longer under copyright law. 

The links below are split into general categories of books related to:

These links have been derived from several different sources, most notably the PublicDomainReprints project, which serves as a central catalog of public domain books.  Other sources include Project Gutenburg and Universal Library.  

In addition, many universities and other public institutions maintain searchable archives.  For example, see the University of Pennsylvania's online book collection.  And if you're interested in historic Christian music, CyberHymnal is the spot for you.

What to do with these files?  Well, you can download them and read them on your computer or print them out.  Or you can send them to Lulu to have them professionally printed and bound.  

Texts available through PublicDomainReprints can be sent directly to Lulu, without any other effort on your part.  You can then order them from Lulu, usually at a very nominal cost.  If you live outside the U.S., you might not be able to download these books (for reasons which escape me).  Your U.S. friends could send you a copy, however.

I'm always on the look-out for interesting texts, so please let me know if you want others added to this list.

 

Books for piano technicians and piano owners:

Piano Tuning: A Simple and Accurate Method for Amateurs - Fischer, J. Cree (Jerry Cree), 1871-

Modern piano tuning and allied arts : including principles and practice of piano tuning, regulation of piano action, repair of the piano, elementary principles of player-piano pneumatics, general construction of player mechanisms, and repair of player mechanism - White, William Braid, 1878-1959

Annual catalog of the Walter Spry Piano School, 1906-1907 - Walter Spry Piano School

The Ampico Reproducing Piano Inspectors Instruction Book 1919

Illustrated and descriptive catalogue of grand and upright piano actions, keys and hammers, organ keys, reeds and reed boards, piano and organ tools and supplies - The Otto Higel Co. Ltd.

 

Books related to keyboard history and development:

The M. Steinert collection of keyed and stringed instruments : with various treatises on the history of these instruments, the method of playing them, and their influence on musical art - Steinert, Morris, 1831-1912

The pianoforte, its origin, progress, and construction; with some account of instruments of the same class which preceded it; viz. the clavichord, the virginal, the spinet, the harpsichord, etc.; to which is added a selection of interesting specimens of music composed for keyed-stringed instruments, by Blitheman, Byrd [and others] .. - Rimbault, Edward F. (Edward Francis), 1816-1876

How the piano came to be - Glover, Ellye Howell

US Patent 2600910: Piano construction

The history of the pianoforte : with an account of the theory of sound & also of the music and musical instruments of the ancients - Brinsmead, Edgar, 1847 or 8-1907

Books related to piano music and  performance:

Piano Mastery: Talks with Master Pianists and Teachers - Brower, Harriette, 1869-1928

An Elizabethan virginal book; being a critical essay on the contents of a manuscript in the Fitzwilliam museum at Cambridge - Naylor, Edward W. (Edward Woodall), 1867-1934

The sources of keyboard music in England - Van den Borren, Charles, 1874-1966

Translation of Les origines de la musique de clavier en Angleterre

The Physical Basis Of Piano Touch And Tone - Otto Ortmann

Grand lady of piano jazz : oral history transcript / 1994 - Teagarden, Norma 1911-

The pianoforte and its music - Krehbiel, Henry Edward, 1854-1923

Reminiscences of Morris Steinert - Steinert, Morris, 1831-1912

The pianolist; a guide for pianola players - Kobbé, Gustav, 1857-1918

The art of the player-piano : a text-book for student and teacher - Grew, Sydney, 1879-

The pedals of the piano-forte and their realtion to piano-forte playing and the teaching of composition and acoustics - Schmitt, Hans, 1835-1907

Pianoforte music: its history, with biographical sketches and critical estimates of its greatest masters - Fillmore, John Comfort, 1843-1898

Pedalling in pianoforte music - Lindo, Algernon H

The art of pianoforte playing - Pauer, Ernst, 1826-1905

The Act Of Touch In All Its Diversity An Analysis And Synthesis Of Pianoforte Tone Production - Tobias Matthay (1903)

The Visible And Invisible In Pianoforte Technique - Tobias Matthay (1947)

Celebrated pianists : past and present : a collection of 116 biographies of great pianoforte players - Ehrlich, A. 1842-1921

 

Other Keyboard Music

The Bardic Museum - Edward Jones (1802)

Musical and Poetical Relicks of the Welsh Bards - Edward Jones (1808)

Colonial carols for children : being fifteen songs which are arranged with piano accompaniment - Terhune, Anice Morris Stockton

Dick's quadrille call-book, and ball-room prompter ... To which is added a sensible guide to etiquette and proper deportment in the ball and assembly room, besides seventy pages of dance music for the piano.

The Arkansas Traveller's songster: containing the celebrated story of the Arkansas Traveller, with the music for violin or piano, and also extensive and choice collections of new and popular comic and sentimental songs - Making of America Project

The beauties of melody; a collection of the most popular airs, duets, glees, &c., of the most esteemned authors, ancient and modern: comprising those of Arne, Handel, Haydn, Mozart ... &c. Also a selection of the best ... Irish melodies; with appropriate words, written expressly for them: the symphonies and accompaniments enitrely new, and composed for this work. Interspersed with many of the beautiful Scotch melodies ... Arranged for the voice, with an accompaniment for the piano-forte, &c. To which is prefixed, observations and instructions on music, particulary vocal and accompaniment - Plumstead, W. H

British Folk-Music Settings Nr. 4, "Shepherd's Hey" - Anonymous

Traité de la danse; seul guide complet renfermant 200 danses différentes de salons, grands bals, sociétés, théâtre, concert, province et étranger, avec 500 dessins et figures explicatives, - Eug. Giraudet ... suivi d'un appendice contenant environ 30 danses diverses pour piano. This is the seventeenth edition of a popular French manual that was revised into a larger edition in the mid-1880s entitled La danse, la tenue, le maintein... The manual gives a short history of dance, appropriate etiquette, and describes many of the popular ballroom dances such as the waltz, quadrille, and polka. However, the Giraudet includes many curious dances, schottisch polkée sautée, ganlovienne, and a tarentelle for twelve performers, as well as several dances from previous...

My favorite folk songs - Sembrich, Marcella, 1858-1935

The English country dance, graded series. Containing the description of the dances together with the tunes by Cecil J. Sharp (Volume 1) - Sharp, Cecil J. (Cecil James), 1859-1924 -- there are eight volumes, of which seven are available though InternetArchives

The sword dances of Northern England; songs and dance airs - Sharp, Cecil James -- there are several of these, as well.