Where do people download music sheets for free?
There's a list here of websites.
but I'm curious where people usually get theirs.
I download out-of-copyright classical sheet music from IMSLP.org .
Depends on what you're looking for.
I agree that it depends on what you're looking for. When I type "Haydn String Quartets IMSLP" I get hits. When I type "Philip Glass Violin Concerto IMSLP" I am directed instead to places where I can pay for it. And they don't have *any* Jean-Luc Ponty tunes.
Try this site in addition to the IMSLP site noted above: http://classicalsheetmusicgratis.org/violin
I will download music just to take a look, but I also buy sheet music because I like studying the fingerings and bowings of various editors.
IMSLP if it's not copyrighted, otherwise I either google it (there are sometimes free samples or full scores), or get it from a library.
I get a lot of mine from IMSLP like many others here.
My daughter has been practicing with Prof Bruce Berg's PDFs lately. It's wonderful to be able to get updated editions for free.
In IMSLP you can easily find pieces by specific composers, or alternatively music for any number or combination of instruments. Hover over "Scores" then click on "Instrumentation/genre". Then, if you like, "Instrumentation" and "Chamber-Instrumental". "Show" will then give you the choice of music from 1 to many players. After that "sub-genres" gives you the choice of a specific instrument or combination of instruments. Having groped your way through the labyrinth, Aladdin's cave opens!
Mr. Jones, I admire your melding 2 completely different stories and cultures.
It's just a talent. I could have added "onto a garden of delights" but not much grows down there
Many libraries have large collections of hand-written music that is now getting digitized and made available for free. Some of that material will eventually show up on IMSLP, but not all.
Like Julie, I enjoy bound editions, and I don't mind shelling out for a piece that I'm going to enjoy working on for a couple of months. However being the only one in a quartet who feels this way gets expensive. :)
I'm glad that some have discovered my editions of Bruch G, Lalo Symphonie Espagnole, Saint Saens #3, and Mendelssohn. They are notated on finale, have an urtext version, and piano reduction. You can download them for free at https://www.baylor.edu/music/index.php?id=925996
Bravo Bruce for your excellent editions. My only issue with them is that there aren't more!
If you have an interest in Irish instrumental folk music, then a very good source is https://thesession.org/, which is free. Immediate membership is there if you want to contribute to the website's lively discussion forum or to submit tunes.
I am using 8notes.com and fiddlerman.com. Probably to easy for most other people, but good for beginners.
@Paul Deck: The reason you won't find Philip Glass at IMSLP is because he is a contemporary composer whose music is still in copyright. IMSLP (which is in Canada) only has music whose copyright has expired in Canada (only 50 years after the death of the composer, as opposed to 70 years internationally, and longer in the US thanks to Disney Corp. and Mickey Mouse). Many of the pieces there are available but still in copyright in the US and the rest of the world that have longer than the 50 years of copyright protection that Canadian law offers. Read the disclaimers on each piece before you print them out, as it would be illegal to do so in the U.S. if they are still in copyright here. If someone is still alive, or dead less than 50 years, you will not find their music at IMSLP at all.
Joel, yes -- I chose the Glass concerto specifically to illustrate that very point. But you made it more clearly. I didn't know the difference between US and Canadian law. That's important.
I only use those services when the music is out of print, which is quite annoyingly too often; then I print it out. If the music is in print and public domain, I prefer to have a "proper" score of the parts involved regardless-PDF scores are not for me.
IMSLP has modern, self-published compositions.
Like Adalberto, I like to have a "proper" score too. If I'm going to study a concerto, it needs to be a scholarly modern edition. But if one of my kids is playing a part in a Haydn string quartet at music camp, I'm not buying a whole opus with score and parts just for that.
www.scoreexchange.com used to have some free scores, but they just changed their policy. They all MUST sell for a price; however, that price can be as little as $0.01. There is a FAC sheet here somewhere that listed www.sibeliusmusic.com; however, that site is now shut down (Scoreexchange took its place).
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