Guide on Where to Buy Sheet Music

When Buying Sheet Music

When you are looking for places where to buy sheet music, there are online and offline options:

• Check your local music stores. They usually have instructional books that cater to both teachers and students.

• Sheets of various genres are also available at varying proficiency levels.

• You might want to look for those that specialize in band instruments because they typically have piano music sheets for vocal and instrumental solos.

• You may also find sheets of music at your local bookstores.

• The internet is also a good source of piano music sheets.

When Buying Sheet Music Online

How do you know where to buy sheet music online?

• You'll find a lot of online music stores that offer piano music sheets.

• Music retail stores may have more stocks compared to the local offline sellers.

• Prices vary, depending on how old or new the sheets are and their availability.

• You may also find online auction sites that offer hard to find music sheets.

Purchasing online is easier compared to going to the actual stores:

• When you have decided where to buy sheet music, go to the music site and browse for the list of music sheets you intend to buy.

• From the interface, you'll find music grouped according to the musicians, songs titles, genres, and instruments.

• There are sites that require you to download particular software for free so you can easily download the sheet you wish to purchase. This will also allow you to easily print the music sheet you bought.

• There are sites that offer subscription plans good for a year. Most of these sites also have a free trial period offer and then charge you with a minimum amount of monthly subscription fee should you decide to continue on with your subscription. You might get a discount if you purchase a one year subscription plan.

• It is also important that you are aware of the inclusions in the subscription fee.

• Create a shortlist of the sites you intend where to buy sheet music. This will make it easier to compare rates. Choose the one that can give you value for your money: those that can offer you more download options.

• Make sure that you know the site's policies and regulations when it comes to purchasing and downloading.

• Online transactions can be risky so you have to make sure that you are dealing only with reputable sites. Keep in mind that you will have to input personal and bank account information when you register to these sites so utmost care is needed when choosing for the best site.


Source by Lillie J Morell

The Basic Parts of a Sheet Music Stand

Music stands come in several varieties and styles, and can be made from many different materials. But with few exceptions, they all share the same basic parts. From lower to upper these consist of the “base”, the “shaft”, and the “tray”.

The Base

The base of a sheet music stand will most often have three legs and be of either a tri-pod or standard, fixed-base design. A tri-pod base attaches the tops of the legs to the shaft part way up from the floor, with three bottom contact points on the ground. These types of legs are almost always foldable or collapsible. Virtually all folding and portable sheet music stands are designed this way. A stand with a standard base will also often have three contact points on the ground, but the other end of the legs will usually be steel-welded to the bottom of the shaft. This will give the stand more stability, but will sacrifice the ability of the stand to easily fold down into a smaller space for more convenient carrying. Most stands found in schools are of this type.

The Shaft

The middle part of the music stand, which connects the base with the tray, is the shaft. If the stand is height- adjustable, then most likely the shaft will have two tubes, one inside the other. These tubes will telescope and then lock at the desired height. If a stand has a standard base, then it is highly likely that the shaft will be of a “one piece” design. That is, the outer tube will be a single piece and will not collapse to any shorter than the minimum playing height. If a stand has a tri-pod base, then it may have a one, two, or three-piece shaft (or more). Multiple-piece shafts will either telescope down to a very small size for ease of transport, or the pieces will separate and thus take up much less room side by side. Naturally, the single piece shaft is considered the strongest, however, folding and portable music stand shafts have become much stronger in the last few years.

The Tray

The part of a sheet music stand which actually holds the music is commonly called the tray or the “desk”. The tray consists mainly of two parts. The vertical backing is called the “bookplate”, and is usually either a single, solid piece, or is constructed from several interconnecting bars that have spaces between them (as with folding stands). The horizontal support (which keeps the sheet music from falling to the floor) is called the “shelf” or the “lip”. The average depth of a shelf is about two inches, but this can vary depending on the intended use of the stand. If a musician intends to read music from books, for example, then a stand with a deeper shelf would be needed. The shelf usually comes as either a single, attached piece, or is in two parts which fold together at the middle. The entire tray (bookplate plus shelf) may or may not be adjustable for tilt angle, and varies in size and strength.

Sheet Music Stand Differences

These are the basic parts of the vast majority of music stands you will encounter. Most of the exceptions will be in favor of artistic design and come from stands that are very beautiful, but sometimes not easily portable. Some examples include music stands with solid (legless) bases, duel-shafted stands, and jazz or “big band” style cardboard stands. And given that there are a myriad of sheet music stand designs, having a grasp of the basic workings of one of the most important pieces of equipment a musician will use is helpful for two reasons. Growing your general musical knowledge is always important; and becoming familiar with these specific terms will make you better able to compare different stands for your own musical needs.


Source by William S Woodruff

How To Discover Out-Of-Print Sheet Music

Sheet music and music books are easier to find than ever, thanks to many on-line retailers. For working musicians, big, fat “fake books” containing lead sheets (i.e., simplified sheet music stripped down to bare essentials) are still popular.

You might ask, “Paper and ink sheet music? — In this day and age, with all-digital this-and-that?”

Yes. People still buy sheets of paper with music notation printed on it, to learn and to memorize, and especially to play for their own pleasure and satisfaction. Amateur musicians buy sheet music to play along to. Student musicians buy sheet music to learn from the masters. They seek sheet music of popular songs and classical solo pieces.

Unfortunately, not all songs get published in the form of sheet music. Some songs you hear on an album are not chosen by its publisher to justify the expense of having sheet music created for it.

Also, even if a song was published, songs have a kind of shelf life, where the sheet music is available for a while, but their supply is not replenished by the publisher. If you don’t buy the sheet music within the first year or two, you might never get the chance.

At some point, demand for a song’s sheet music becomes so low that retailers have no incentive to keep no-longer in-demand sheet music in stock. When this happens, the song is technically”out of print.”

But that brings up an interesting question:

Q. How do you find sheet music which is either no longer in print, or never was in print?

Q. How would you find a “hard to find” song?

The simple solution is easy advice to give because it is three little words: “Find the publisher.” But that simple solution is not easily realized.

The steps to find the publisher are easy. But just because the steps are easy, that does not imply success. Your chances are low that a publisher will respond to your letter or phone call with a real solution.

Nonetheless, despite long odds of success, there are three basic steps you can take to at least give it a shot. Listed below are the steps I recommend you take.

Step #1: Find the right song from among all those songs with the same title.

Beware: Song titles are not copyrightable, according to the U.S. Copyright Office. Therefore, there will be countless songs using identical titles. So if your favorite song is titled something like “Sunday Morning” or “My Girl,” then you will have to weed through countless songs by other writers, other publishers, and other recording artists, to find the right song by the right person(s).

Step #2: Look up the song title in the databases of all the performing rights organizations.

Lucky for you, all published songs which are still protected by copyright are surely registered somewhere in a database maintained by one of the organizations responsible for collecting money on behalf of songwriters. Such organizations are called “performing rights organizations.” In the U.S., the two biggest performing rights organizations are ASCAP and BMI, with the smallest one being SESAC. They all have on-line search engines which list the songs for which they are responsible. If you know who wrote the song in which you are interested, and have the exact title, then you will eventually run into the correct entry in the database, even if you have to skip over 10 or 20 songs with the exact same title. But until you look, you won’t know if your song is under the control of ASCAP or BMI or SESAC.

Step #3: When you find the right song in the database, write down the name and address of the publisher.

Your task is almost complete. You will need to contact the publisher and ask the publisher how to obtain sheet music for your song. Writing a letter the old fashioned way is probably your best bet, since you will have the help of the U.S. Postal Service to forward your letter to the appropriate address or appropriate company.

I cannot vouch for the customer service of any given publisher. They may respond quickly, or not at all. They may have e-mail access for their customer service department, or they may be next-to-impossible to reach at all.

Beware, again: Publishing houses go out of business regularly. If your targeted publisher has merged with another company, or has filed for bankruptcy, then your task of reaching a sympathetic person at the right publishing house is low. This is another reason to write a letter instead of telephoning or e-mailing. — You get help from the U.S.P.S. to go one step farther than you could on your own. A change of name, or a change of headquarters, can throw your bloodhounds off the scent of a promising trail.

That last step of “contacting the publisher” completes the process. It’s that simple.

Now, you are at the mercy of the Fates whether your letter will arrive at the right address, and reach the right party. Even then, if the right party has no budget and no resources to do support for its customers or support for the fans of the given recording artist, then you are out of luck. Remember, tiny publishing companies have no budget for any personalized customer support. They tend to just sit back and collect royalties, and are not interested in one more sale, here and there, every couple weeks. They just don’t have the staff for any kind of personalized service. There’s no profit in selling their modest inventory one song at a time.

On the other hand, since countless tiny publishing companies have administration relationships with the huge publishing houses, there is a chance that your letter may reach the large company, who in turn is administering hundreds of tiny publishing companies. The big publishing house may point you in the right direction, like referring you to a major retail outlet with official ties to that big publisher.

In summary: Even though your chances of obtaining out-of-print sheet music of your favorite song is low, the steps you can take are so easy to do that you might as well take a chance and invest the time of an on-line look-up and invest the cost of a postage stamp and mail your letter. At least, you can dash off a quick e-mail and see what happens. You might even get lucky and reach a knowledgeable representative who has the right contacts.

And who knows? If enough people write that letter, then the publishing house might think, “Hey, there is a market demand for this song. Let’s cash in on this surge of interest and print up one more run and ride this wave of popularity all the way to the bank.”

And you will celebrate by sitting down with your guitar or piano and playing your brand new sheet music.


Source by Kim Goldsworthy

Beatles Orchestration and Beatles Sheet Music

Beatles sheet music has always been available but is rarely represented well due to the intricate production of their recorded music which is rich and timeless … More so in the later years of their recording careers. Most of this production is attributed to George Martin although a lot of input was made from the Beatles themselves.

I personally have spent many years getting lost in the intricate arrangements of some of the songs on the later albums and each time I listen I still manage to hear them in a different way. The albums Magical Mystery Tour, Abbey Road, and Sgt Pepper are among those who I feel have on the whole more mature arrangements. The white album is a little different as the work seems to be a conglomeration of compositions of four individuals as opposed to a single group.

There is a lot of other beetles sheet music on the market today and there is no problem in finding arrangements of their songs for all manner of instruments and combinations from guitar to flute, trumpet trombone, sax recorder accordion brass band, wind band full symphonic orchestra etc. The list just goes on and on. Most of the arrangements or translations available leave a lot to the imagination and only cover the basic melody and harmony of each song

I recently came across a wonderful book which contains the scores for most of the beetles songs. The book called Beatles – The complete scores is published by Hal Leonard and is exactly what it says, the complete scores. Each and every Beatles song with a wonderfully transcription of the recorded version of their songs, includes all guitar and vocal parts, bass and drums along with every other instrument used in some songs is a great amount. This type of score is really interesting if you are like me and simply curious about how these songs are structured or if you need to make an arrangement of a particular song for a group or band.

The most popular form of Beatles sheet music downloaded from the Internet is in TAB format for guitar. This format has become more and more popular over the last few years as more and more guitarists are learning to read music in this form as opposed to the more traditional musical notation.

There is a link to a web site which sell hard copies or downloadable copies of most of the different arrangements of the Beatles sheet music if you are interested.


Source by Andy B

Discovering Sheet Music For the Holidays

With only few weeks until the holidays many start their preparations and rehearsals for upcoming concerts and celebrations. For many the annually returning question is what to play? Will it be something new or the same evergreens from last year? Will it be something traditional and classical or perhaps an original contemporary theme? If you are having difficulties deciding what to play, particularly taking into account your limited (or perhaps non existing) budget for new sheet music, here are few ideas that may be of help.

Know your audience

Probably the most important factor in making your performance a success is to know who will be in the audience and what they will likely appreciate listening to. For example, would they appreciate, or even expect, sing-a-long evergreens? What kind of music are they familiar with, and hence, will they recognise what you play? Also take into account the setting and context of your concert: is your music to support a fundraiser held in the mall or a concert in your local church? On this note, keep in mind that for many people the Holidays are not necessarily equal to Christmas. If you know that, for example, many people with a different religion are attending it may be a nice gesture to include music in their traditions in your program. In short, don’t automatically go for what you would like to play. Take this liberty only for as far as your audience will likely appreciate it.

Know your fellow musicians

Unless you are performing solo, the abilities of your fellow musician(s) will largely determine what you can play. This is not necessarily a matter of limitation. In fact, although some musicians with whom you play may have, for example, limited reach or dexterity, they may have excellent improvisation skills, are experts with other genres, may be able to play several instruments or sing, or may even be great (physical) comedians. Whatever the case, try and leverage from these strengths. It almost certainly will result in something original for your audience to enjoy.

Secondly, if there will be other musicians, choirs, or bands on the program, either before, after, or alternating with your performance, try and agree to perform (at least) one common piece together. This makes for a great transition in the overall program, from one act to another, or as grand finale. It almost always creates the awareness or impression with your audience something special is happening.

Look beyond your instrumentation

There are many resources for free and affordable sheet music online. Often, however, it is hard to find suitable, let alone original, scores for your particular instrumentation, especially when you are trying to play together with others as suggested above. In searching for sheet music don’t limit yourself to literally the instruments you have available within your group or band. Music written for violin or strings, for example, could be used for trumpet or brass as well. Music written for clarinet could be played by saxophone. And bass tuba could easily be replaced by baritone saxophone or bass trombone and vice versa.

To some degree, in a few scenarios, this may require some skills from the musician; for example transposing a part written for an instrument in C to play on an instrument in B-flat. Often, however, there should be little difficulty. A saxophone player who can improvise or a pianist, for example, may have sufficient information in reading a guitar part containing chords. Two things are important in determining what alternatives you can use: 1) the range of the music (highest and lowest notes); 2) the tuning of the music (C, F, B flat, E flat, etc.) versus the tuning of the instrument that is to play it. Make yourself a shortlist of alternative instruments which you could use, whether or not with small adjustments like transposing keys or adjusting the range one octave up or down. You will find many musical works you never considered before.

Happy Holidays!


Source by Patrick Vergouwen