When sheet music is in the public domain, you can freely:
copy and distribute it
perform it in public
The public domain consists of all the creative work to which no exclusive intellectual property rights (copyrights) apply. Those rights may have expired, been forfeited, expressly waived, or may be inapplicable.
Find Print Music Scores in Cabell Library: The scores are located on the North-East corner of the general book collection, on the 3rd floor, Cabell Library. If you need help locating your score, see any staff member at the service desk or request the score through VCU Libraries Seach or ILLiad.
See Resources menu for opera libretti and synopses
Music Scores in Series and Collected Editions
To determine if a musical work was published in a collected edition or anthology, try the following reference works.
There are also alternative sources such as song indexes and repertoire resources in VCU Libraries collections.