Photocopy Rules

These rules apply to all ADMTA Events and musical performances.

For TMTA Student Affiliate and MTNA Activities, please check their individual event rules.

Photocopying of music is illegal.

“The United States Copyright Law, A Guide for Music Educators.”

  1. For all ADMTA events, students must provide original music for the judge.
  2. If Original music is not provided for the judge, the student WILL BE ALLOWED TO PLAY, but will automatically receive a “NO RATING.”
  3. If the music is out of print, permission to copy should be obtained in writing from the publisher and be submitted with the photocopy. If permission cannot be obtained from the publisher, then the Student Events Chair and the Event/Festival Chair should be notified for consideration of an exception.
  4. Music printed from computer CDs of public domain music is allowed as Original music at ADMTA and SA events. The “permission to copy” letter included in the CD must be attached to, and presented with, the music.
  5. If music is not required to be memorized for an ADMTA event, the ONE original MUST still be provided for the judge. If a second copy is not available, a photocopy may be used by the student, if necessary.
  6. Judges do have the right to retain any photocopies used in an ADMTA event and destroy these photocopies.


Much repertoire is now legitimately available online, either from sites that charge fees for downloads, or from those that provide free copies of music that is in the public domain.

In recognition of this new resource, scores that have been downloaded from the Internet will be accepted for use at contests and festivals. Because such scores may be difficult to distinguish from illegal photocopies, the teacher and/or student must bring proof to the event that a score is downloaded and be prepared to show such proof to a judge and/or the Chair of the event. Should proof not be provided at the event, the student will automatically receive a “NO RATING.” Should the event is a competitive one (i.e. a contest) the student will be disqualified. Proof that music is downloaded can be provided in several ways, including, but not limited to:

  1. A printed receipt or other proof of purchase for the score. If an annual membership is involved, then provide a printed or otherwise easily accessible receipt of annual membership along with the ID number for the score downloaded.
  2. A URL address from where the score was downloaded from. Some sites will automatically print this on a downloaded score, but NOT ALWAYS.
  3. A printed URL at the bottom of the score provided, added by the computer from which the music was printed. Please look to see if this is present if you plan to use this as proof.

In case of disagreement, the Event Chair’s decision is final. Event entrants/contestants who do not provide sufficient proof that sheet music has been legally downloaded (and not illegally photocopied) will be permitted to perform, but will receive a no rating. In a competitive event they will be disqualified.

It may be noted that editions of standard repertoire from free download sites vary widely in accuracy and completeness. Teachers are advised/encouraged to use standard editions whenever feasible.

Multiple sheets should be taped, stapled or placed in a binder so that judges looking at downloaded scores do not have to deal with piles of loose paper.