No matter what instrument or genre of music you play, we all spend time finding free sheet music online to download. To make your search easier, here are a few sites that you should know about.
International Music Score Library Project (IMSLP)
The International Music Score Library Project (IMSLP) Petrucci Music Library is a fantastic resource for Public Domain music. They host works by over 19,000 composers including 62,000 mp3 recordings and 520,000 music scores. Public Domain sheet music is often older, which is fantastic if you are learning classical music, as a great deal of useful material will be copyright free. Other works on IMSLP are under the Creative Commons Attribution licence, and can be used as long as the composer or arranger is credited properly. Pieces can be previewed (a useful feature for checking it’s the right version) and then downloaded as PDF easily from IMSLP.
Another great site is the Mutopia Project, which aims to provide free sheet music for everyone. They host 1,675 pieces of music that are in the Public Domain or under Creative Commons licenses. While Mutopia has fewer pieces on offer than IMSLP, these pieces are all free in PDF, MIDI, and editable LilyPond file formats. These options are all beneficial for the 21st Century musicians’ needs, and is a real plus point for Mutopia.
Gutenberg Sheet Music Project
The Gutenberg Sheet Music Project was involved in digitising Public Domain sheet music between 2001 – 2006, but their collection of completed scores is still available online. Focusing on chamber music, the collection includes works by composers including Brahms and Beethoven.
SheetMusicEden is not as easy to navigate as the previous sites but is host to over 200,000 sheet music titles nonetheless. Sheet Music Fox has Public Domain music and also provides external links to sites where you can purchase copyrighted music.
8notes is one of the simplest free sheet music sites to navigate, as they categorise by genre. Offering search categories of classical, pop & rock, jazz, traditional, film & TV, by country, by decade, wedding, Christmas, funeral, children, Christian, and new music is a nice touch. It’s then possible to search within these categories, meaning finding sheet music and browsing for inspiration is much more straightforward.
Choral Public Domain Library
ChoralWiki is the home of the Choral Public Domain Library and is an American charitable organisation. ChoralWiki CPDL currently hosts free scores of at least 35,569 choral and vocal works by at least 3,547 composers. The site based on Wikipedia’s format, is clear and easy to use, and is definitely one to bookmark for any choral music enthusiast.
Once you have found your free sheet music online, PlayScore 2 can help you get the most from your pieces. Using the latest in Optical Music Recognition technology, PlayScore 2 reads your printed or PDF scores and plays them, meaning the app can be used as an interactive playback tool for music study and performance practice. You can convert your free scores to MIDI, MusicXML, and share these files quickly and easily with PlayScore 2.
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