Below is a list of websites for free and paid-for sheet music resources.
To suggest more websites, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Choral and Band Sheet Music Sites
Looking for choral or band music? Here are a few sites to check out. www.BandMusicDirect.com - This vendor only provides scores in a proprietary format
www.ChoralMusicDirect.com - This vendor only provides scores in a proprietary format
Commercial Popular Music
Musicnotes.com - Sheet Music and Guitar Tab Downloads for Nearly 250,000 Arrangements. Over 260,000 Music Books. More than 3 million Customers.
Free Classical Sheet Music Sites
There are a staggering number of websites providing free and public domain music scores. This article lists just a few of many websites available. Please notify us at email@example.com if you find any sites that violate copyrights, and we will remove those sites from our list immediately.
One of the best known sites for music scores in the public domain:
Free offerings from one of the best classical music resources online. Most songs available with MP3 files and in multiple formats (PDF, MIDI, Scorch, etc.)
Pianist and master pedagogue Walter Cosand graciously shares his amazing public domain score collection online:
Free public domain scores, available in an eclectic variety of file formats (PDF's, Finale, etc.):
A resource where registered members "share" music scores with each other:
The Horowitz Scores online:
a free resource mainly devoted to transcriptions by the legendary pianist Vladimir Horowitz:
Free scores of works by J. S. Bach:
Sibley Music Library at the Eastman School of Music
Wikifonia is a place for musicians to publish and collaborate on lead sheets:
Classic Ragtime Piano resource:
Free Piano Collection for Beginners:
Free Piano music in graded levels:
American Sheet Music resource from the Library of Congress:
Mozart Resource: Neue Mozart-Ausgabe Online:
Indiana University Sheet Music Collection
Bach Gesellschaft - site in English and Korean
Online Opera, Song, Orchestra, Choral,and Chamber Music Scores, among others:
Classical and Jazz Sheet Music Sites
Looking for classical and jazz sheet music? Here is a list of music websites to explore. Please notify us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you find any sites that violate copyrights, and we will remove those sites from our list immediately.
www.EveryNote.com - You'll find a collection of over 20,000 popular and hard-to-find scores from over 1,000 composers. The site was started by Soviet-born pianist Mark Zeltser, who made it his goal to offer "every classical note ever written." Dr. Zeltser maintains the site with the help of his programmer (and wife) Violetta.
www.VirtualSheetMusic.com - This is a popular site for classical music scores in PDF formats. They also offer Jazz and popular tunes, but those files are only available to print paper versions. Virtual Sheet Music also provides a free iPad reader app for classical selections, and most offerings also include an MP3 audio file to help you hear how the music goes. Great for students and teachers.
Faber Music E-Partners - Faber Music provides digital sheet music storefronts for a number of notable publishers, such as:
http://www.sheetmusicarchive.net/ - This collection includes over 22,000 classical music pieces, with over 100,000 total pages of sheet music! Download and print scores for piano, violin, ensembles, orchestra and choirs. Customers are free to use sheet music for public performance.
http://verified.codes/MusicNotes - MusicNotes.com coupon page
Sheet Music Overview
On April 12, 2009, The New York Times reported on the closing of a small sheet music store a stone's throw away from Carnegie Hall. For over six decades, Patelson's had been a musical mecca for classical musicians who would browse through its musty stacks of sheet music bins and work up the courage to ask an indignant employee about the best edition for Chopin Etudes or the availability of an obscure work by Szymanowski. The passing of Patelsons highlighted the new realities of the digital age for retail sheet music. And with the powerful advent of tablet computers like the iPad, we are on the brink of seeing another transformation from online shopping and physical delivery of paper sheet music (a la Amazon Books) to downloads of digital versions directly into tablets and computers (a la Amazon Kindle).
More and more, the question of "how do I get sheet music into my digital reader?" will be answered by downloadable options from the Internet. Getting digital sheet music from the Internet is still a foray into the electronic "Wild Wild West" in many respects, and you'll find viable commercial options as well as a staggering array of free ones from resources that range from legitimate to dubious. Before we go into a listing of sites and apps over the next few chapters in "From Paper to Pixels", it might be helpful to get a bird's eye view of some general aspects of the types of sheet music files you'll find available for download in the above links.
Static vs. Dynamic
PDFs created from scans of paper music are basically "static" files - in other words, you can read the music as it appears on the page, but you can't modify the notes other than to draw digital ink markings or to type text on the page. For all intents and purposes, PDF files display music just like physical paper. You can't transpose the music into a different key or change the size of the printed notes, other than by changing the zoom options or using a larger monitor.
Dynamic files, on the other hand, display music in formats that can be modified. Text files of lyrics can be edited to change the words, and the font properties can be altered to modify its size, style, and color. In some cases, chord symbols can be identified and transposed to any key on the fly. In the case of traditional music notation, not only can you transpose the music into any key, but (depending on the app) you can also hear the notes played back in a variety of tempi (speeds) and sometimes with different instrumentation for multi-part scores.
Portable vs. Proprietary
The universal nature of PDF and text files make them easy to migrate from computer to computer. That makes them extremely portable - great news for reading musicians, perhaps, but a commercial quandary for composers and publishers trying to make a living from selling sheet music. Proprietary formats are generally favored by commercial sheet music sources. They either provide a limited number of times that you can physically print the music you purchase, or they can be read in custom apps that can be used by licensed users, preventing them from copying and distributing their music beyond their own tablets and computers. Understandably, most free sites use portable file formats and most commercial sites use proprietary files and custom readers. In the book, we'll take a look at resources for both types and discuss pro's and con's for each.