11 of the Best Free Sheet Music Sites

11 of the Best Free Sheet Music Sites

11 of the best free sheet music sites for music teachers

11 of the Best Sheet Music Sites

This post was updated 8 September 2016

 

If you’re a music teacher on a tight budget it can be difficult to find the money to purchase sheet music for the myriad of music ensembles, instrumental and vocal students you may have at your school.  

It’s good to know that these days there are literally hundreds of websites that offer free sheet music and a large percentage (not ALL) of the titles are also copyright-free so you can arrange, transpose or transform the original to your heart’s content.  I’ve listed a few sites below, but if you’d like to find more, just search Google for “free sheet music”.

 

1. International Music Score Library Project

The IMSLP (Petrucci Music Library) website houses a collection of public domain scores and Creative Commons licensed scores from a range of composers.  There are more than 110,400 works by more than 14,400 composers and the site also includes some MP3 recordings of performances that are available to download.

2. Mutopia

A collection of classical sheet music in the public domain.  Their collection of modern editions and arrangements is also growing.  All the music on Mutopia has been typeset using Lilypond notation software and the Lilypond files are freely available, alongside the PDF version of the score.

3. The Gutenberg Sheet Music Project

The Gutenberg Sheet Music Project was a sister project of the electronic book-sharing site Project Gutenberg from approximately 2001-2006.  Although it is no longer active, there is still an accessible collection of completed scores on the site.

4. Choral Music Public Domain

Founded in 1998, the Choral Music Public Domain site focuses on sharing free choral and vocal scores as well as texts, translations and other useful information.  There are currently more than 3600 choral and vocal works by at least 2754 composers.

5. Band Music PDF Library

Described as a collection of “music from the Golden Age of the American town band”, the Band Music PDF Library includes marches, waltzes, rags, theater music, solo works and more.

6. Sheet Music Fox

An advert-heavy site that has public domain music as well as links to other sites containing copyrighted music (available for purchase).

7. Free Scores

Like some of the other sites listed above, this one contains a variety of public domain scores and also scores from current composers.  Check the licence page for details of how each piece can be used.

8. EZ Folk

Folk songbooks from the late 1800’s and early 1900’s printed in their entirety for ukulele, guitar, banjo and harmonica.  The site also includes “how to play” tutorials and courses.

9. 8-Notes

8Notes.com offers original arrangements of free public domain songs and instrumental pieces.  The sheet music is provided in a GIF format (lower quality image format).  You can pay $20 to subscribe for a year which gives you access to the PDF versions of scores and removes the ads from the site.  They also have a useful riffs/licks section if you just want to know the basic main riff of a pop song

10. Mus Open

Mus Open is a non-profit focused on increasing access to music by creating free resources and educational materials. The site has a collection of recordings, sheet music, and textbooks.

11. Public Domain Sherpa

Although the sites above offer free sheet music it’s wise to be aware that not all titles are completely copyright-free.  Public Domain Sherpa offers a run-down of many sheet music sites (including ones not listed here) and lets you know whether the music may be subject to copyright restrictions.

Download a copy of this article

Would you like to take a copy of this with you? Click on the download button below and we’ll send a copy straight to your email inbox. You’ll also receive weekly music tech tips and news (if you don’t already). You can unsubscribe at any time.

Click here to download

By | 2017-02-23T15:19:40+00:00 November 15th, 2009|Music Tech Tips, Music Technology Resources|17 Comments

About the Author:

I love to simplify technology for music teachers. I help teachers from all around the world through the Midnight Music Community – an online professional development community where teachers can take online courses, ask questions and receive personalised help for the music tech goals.

17 Comments

  1. Maria Lj November 15, 2009 at 9:56 pm - Reply

    “Free” doesn’t always mean music is in public domain or without copyright…

    On SibeliusMusic.com, “free” usually means that a visitor can print out a score without first paying for the copy of the music! But most of the scores by self-publishers or small publishers of contemporary composers are copyrighted editions, just like common printed sheet music bought from any music store. So it is not free to distribute, arrange or transform, unless you get the publisher’s and the composer’s permission. Transposing directly online before printing is ok, though, when that option is set by the publisher.

    BTW, the search function on SibeliusMusic has been dysfunctional for months, so if they haven’t fixed it yet (any day now, it is said), it’s better to google for “sibeliusmusic” + your search terms, to get a relevant result!

    • katiesw1 November 16, 2009 at 1:04 pm - Reply

      Yes – you’re absolutely right Maria, as I noted under the link to the final website in my list, Public Domain Sherpa. Many of these titles are $$ free, but it’s absolutely necessary to check the copyright implications by checking the licensing arrangements for each title. However, with the growing support for Creative Commons I imagine there will be an increasing number of sheet music titles available in coming years which you will be able to arrange or transform with pre-approval from the composer.

  2. Music Teacher November 16, 2009 at 3:41 pm - Reply

    Wow, looks great. Thanks for sharing these links and useful music teaching resources that most music educators out there can use today in their classrooms and studios. Creative and innovative music teaching doesn’t mean it has to be expensive; music teachers like us can still use it without overspending. Using innovative music teaching software and applications can take our music teaching experience to the next level. I also do agree with what Maria and Katie have said on the availability and accessibility of free sheet music as well as the importance of checking the licensing arrangements for each title. Again, thanks for this post and more power. See you around. Til your next posts!

  3. […] 11 of the Best Free Sheet Music Sites: “If you’re a music teacher on a tight budget it can be difficult to find the money to purchase sheet music for the myriad of music ensembles, instrumental and vocal students you may have at your school.  It’s good to know that these days there are literally hundreds of websites that offer free sheet music and a large percent of the titles are also copyright-free so you can arrange, transpose or transform the original to your heart’s content”.  Hat-tip: James Frankel […]

  4. Cary November 17, 2009 at 9:55 pm - Reply

    Very helpful. Thanks!

  5. lala November 21, 2009 at 4:04 am - Reply

    Two very helpful resources:
    http://wikifonia.org, hundreds of free leadsheets, you can transpose on site, publish and edit the sheets.
    http://pianofiles.com, hundred thousands of sheets to trade.

  6. […] -Assistive Music Technology: “So just what is the SoundBeam and how does it work? SoundBeam is a device that converts […]

  7. elissamilne December 28, 2009 at 6:05 am - Reply

    Just a thought – some music of mine (published by Faber Music and available at all good music shops) turned up on the Sibelius site – some rude person decided to create a copy and make it free without asking the permission of my publishers or myself.

    So free music in this case was fell off the back of a truck free, and everyone printing it off and saving their dollars was doing so was participating in the theft.

    An underwhelming example of ‘free’.

  8. […] (Englisch) zum Einstieg in MuseScore zu finden sind. Viel wichtiger für mich ist jedoch der Post 11 of the Best Free Sheet Music Sites, der, wie der Name schon sagt meine Sammlung von Seiten für freie Musik […]

  9. HumerGu February 12, 2010 at 9:44 pm - Reply
  10. […] Wardrobe presents 11 of the Best Free Sheet Music Sites posted at […]

  11. […] 24. Music Tech Tips – Author Katie Wardrobe runs a music technology training business in Australia and is also a qualified teacher. When asked about her blog, Wardrobe describe it as a site which “demystifies” the use of technology in the classroom by providing video tutorials and articles which give “concrete step-by-step instructions explaining how to get the most out of notating, recording, teaching, learning and playing music.” Recommended posts: “Tutorial: How to Convert Audio Files Using iTunes,” “Cool Online Instruments and Games for the Music Classroom,” ”Musescore in 10 easy steps,” and “11 of the Best Free Sheet Music Sites.” […]

  12. Tammy Summerour December 15, 2010 at 7:10 pm - Reply

    Thanks! This received me additional than something I’ve discovered up to now.

  13. catherine April 10, 2014 at 10:05 pm - Reply

    awesome sites info for the best music ever…..

  14. Ellie October 15, 2015 at 12:49 am - Reply

    http://www.jellynote.com should definitely we on this list – beautiful design with LOADS of songs PLUS you can search for sheet music by instrument, difficulty and genre!!!

  15. lfg2k April 23, 2016 at 5:27 am - Reply

    And here is a rather new free sheet music site

    http://www.sheetmusicexchange.com/

  16. Music Misc. | Pearltrees September 28, 2016 at 11:01 am - Reply

    […] 11 of the Best Free Sheet Music Sites | Midnight Music. 11 of the Best Sheet Music Sites This post was updated 8 September 2016 If you’re a music teacher on a tight budget it can be difficult to find the money to purchase sheet music for the myriad of music ensembles, instrumental and vocal students you may have at your school. It’s good to know that these days there are literally hundreds of websites that offer free sheet music and a large percentage (not ALL) of the titles are also copyright-free so you can arrange, transpose or transform the original to your heart’s content. I’ve listed a few sites below, but if you’d like to find more, just search Google for “free sheet music”. 1. International Music Score Library Project The IMSLP (Petrucci Music Library) website houses a collection of public domain scores and Creative Commons licensed scores from a range of composers. 2. […]

Leave A Comment