Sheet Music Online

Written by Serena Berger
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The ability to buy sheet music online is a virtual holy grail for musicians of all skill levels. Until recently, the catalogs of music available online were fairly limited; but within the last year or two this convenient format has grown in popularly and become easier than ever to use. There are now extensive selections of classical, jazz, and popular music pieces available for downloading online.

An obvious advantage to buying sheet music online is the amount of money that you can save. Buying sheet music from a music store can become outrageously expensive, especially if you are looking for rare pieces. Furthermore, if you are not yet a particularly strong player but you don't want to be limited to the pieces in a book intended for teaching beginning and intermediate musicians, it can be hard to find a music store which offers arrangements of pieces of music you'll actually want to play which are also at your skill level. The inconvenience of searching and then waiting for special orders, then paying exorbitant rates for your music can start to make the whole objective of playing for fun seem a lot more like work.

In addition to saving money and time by purchasing sheet music online, you also gain the convenience of being able to print out multiple copies of the music whenever you choose. If you want to mark up a copy with fingerings, chord analysis, or notes for practice, you can print out a fresh copy of the music any time you find you'd prefer a clean copy. The convenience of being able to print out multiple copies of your sheet music also becomes apparent if you have children beginning lessons who tend to lose their music or don't maintain it neatly.

Sheet Music Online for Music Lessons

All of this should also give you some idea of the advantages of sheet music online if you are a music teacher. Instead of telling a student to go to the store to buy a book of music and waiting for him to order it and pick it up, you can go to a website while the student is at lessons, pull up the piece you want, download it, and print it out for the pupil to take home that same day. Especially with young students, if you want to keep them excited about their lessons, you don't want them to feel as though they're being put on pause when you can so easily keep up the pace of their learning and keep them engaged in music.

Some of the best sites for sheet music online will have sound files of all the pieces available to download. To protect copyrights and protect their business, these sites cannot show you the entire piece of sheet music itself online, as too many people will illegally copy it. Having MIDI, .wav, or other sound files available on the sheet music site serves a dual purpose, however: first, you can make sure by listening that you would be getting a piece that is indeed the piece you were thinking of; and, if you're feeling ambitious or just browsing, you have a fantastic opportunity to be exposed to new music, which is then conveniently available for purchase.

Another advantage of sheet music online is that you can often find pieces transcribed or arranged for an instrument or ensemble other than that for which they were initially composed. Pianists can play solo arrangements of chamber works, and soloists can find versions of popular songs which allow them to enjoy music they typically don't get to play by themselves. For most amateur musicians, playing an instrument is about enjoying what you play, so being able to select among pieces outside of a recital repertoire is likely to give you a better chance to express your personal taste and immerse yourself in music you love.

Enriching Your Musical Life with Online Sheet Music

If you have a piano sitting around your house that you hardly ever use, an online music catalog can provide the impetus you need to play again. Perhaps you've had guests at your house who have asked you to play, and you haven't had anything prepared or have felt too self conscious to attempt a Beethoven or Mozart piece when you know you'd make mistakes. If you look online, you can find a number of great Broadway or popular songs that you could print out to have available if guests ask you to play. Then you can say, "I'll play if you'll sing," and everyone will end up having an enjoyable night of making music together to remember.

One thing to consider if you are going to be looking for sheet music online is whether you can find a site that offers membership advantages. While the prices of online sheet music are wonderfully low to begin with, you can find considerable savings if you invest in a membership with unlimited downloads from a website's catalog. You will have access to hundreds, even thousands, of pieces that you can try; from very easy arrangements of the most popular classical works to the most difficult concerti and chamber works, you will find pieces to challenge you or provide hours of casual fun. If you are a musician at any level of ability with a computer and a printer, you can start using the Internet to enlarge your musical library now.

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