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Posted By: PamDD Free sheet music? - 04/28/15 03:17 AM
I'm looking for free sheet music like Rogers and Hammerstein, but I'm coming up empty. Either the sheet music has been removed due to copyright issues, or the websites are hard to navigate. Are there really totally free sites with a large selection? I searched this forum before posting but didn't see any answers to this question, so my apologies if I'm missing it. Thanks!
Posted By: RaggedKeyPresser Re: Free sheet music? - 04/28/15 04:56 AM
It's like going out looking in the stores for free food.
There is no such thing.
Somebody has to produce it and not under slave labour.
Posted By: jotur Re: Free sheet music? - 04/28/15 07:52 AM
There are totally free sites with large selections, but not of Rodgers & Hammerstein. Those are still under copyright.

But for older stuff try the Lester Levy Collection online at Johns Hopkins.

Cathy
Posted By: Finfan Re: Free sheet music? - 04/28/15 11:46 PM
If such sites exist they are pirate sites of questionable legality. Anything that is still copyrighted will require you to pay a fee for the sheet music.
Posted By: joyoussong Re: Free sheet music? - 04/29/15 01:29 AM
I've been able to borrow a lot of stuff from the public library. Also, universities often have music libraries.
Posted By: Scout Re: Free sheet music? - 04/29/15 01:31 PM
Originally Posted by PamDD
I'm looking for free sheet music like Rogers and Hammerstein, but I'm coming up empty. Either the sheet music has been removed due to copyright issues, or the websites are hard to navigate. Are there really totally free sites with a large selection? I searched this forum before posting but didn't see any answers to this question, so my apologies if I'm missing it. Thanks!


The IMSLP (International Music Score Library Project), of the Petrucci Music Library, has just about anything one could want that's in the public domain. It's the first place I look for everything--a truly wonderful resource. As of today, they have 313,620 scores and 34,980 recordings. They often have several different editions or versions of scores, and you can choose which to print out. The site is thorough and well organized. I don't work there, I just use it practically every day! It's a dot-org address.
Posted By: PhilipInChina Re: Free sheet music? - 04/29/15 02:19 PM
Just looked at that. It is amazing!
Posted By: JohnSprung Re: Free sheet music? - 04/30/15 12:25 AM
Anything from 1923 and onward is still under copyright, with a few exceptions, such as Nazi and pre-1954 Soviet copyrights.

1922 and older is Public Domain.

Most of the Hopkins/Levy stuff is 1922 and older, it's a gold mine for that era.

Posted By: Medden Re: Free sheet music? - 04/30/15 06:51 AM
In the UK I think copyright extends for 70 years, so we get up to 1945.

In Australia it's only 25 years on some works.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries'_copyright_lengths

So Rogers and Hammerstein music may be available freely in some countries, but it may be illegal to download and view it in a country with a longer copyright date.
Posted By: Stephen Hazel Re: Free sheet music? - 05/01/15 05:36 PM
If you have questionable morals like me,


instructions on how to download illegally removed

And, well, if you decide to practice it, buy it from an authorized source to relieve your guilt a little bit.
Posted By: Purkoy Re: Free sheet music? - 05/01/15 10:43 PM
I wouldn't want to dampen anyone's enthusiasm to investigate and play new lines of music, but not paying for material still in copyright devalues the work of those who create music and those who make it available, and bit by bit, makes it less attractive to those who do the work. I've seen it happen in the world of photography, where people I know have had images pirated more often than they've been bought, resulting in a significantly damaged income, and weakening of the worth of their work in the market. There is plenty of genuinely out of copyright music for those of impecunious means, but the labourer is surely worthy of his hire.
Posted By: Stephen Hazel Re: Free sheet music? - 05/01/15 11:04 PM
So Purkoy, if I pay for every song I practice and use, am I still on the up and up as far as "paying for material still in copyright".

I'm not the greatest piano player in the world. I can't look at a score and hear every nuance of the arrangement right then and there without playing it. There are a lot of scores I've bought, and practiced only to find that the arrangement is too simplistic / I can't sing that high / arrangement is for guitar / arrangement is so difficult I'll probably never master it / arrangement is boring / arrangement is just plain terrible.

I'm using this pirate stuff as a "try before you buy" thing. I won't be buying sheet music unless I can hear that it's an arrangement I like and am willing to put in the effort to practice.

If I pay the composers/arrangers I like, is it ok if I don't pay the composers/arrangers I don't like?
Posted By: malkin Re: Free sheet music? - 05/01/15 11:05 PM
Originally Posted by Purkoy
I wouldn't want to dampen anyone's enthusiasm to investigate and play new lines of music, but not paying for material still in copyright devalues the work of those who create music and those who make it available, and bit by bit, makes it less attractive to those who do the work. I've seen it happen in the world of photography, where people I know have had images pirated more often than they've been bought, resulting in a significantly damaged income, and weakening of the worth of their work in the market. There is plenty of genuinely out of copyright music for those of impecunious means, but the labourer is surely worthy of his hire.


Yes, and making referrals to pirating sites endangers this forum as well.
Posted By: bennevis Re: Free sheet music? - 05/01/15 11:45 PM
I don't know if this will help, but www.musicnotes.com will let you see (and print out) the first page of any sheet music you're interested in, before deciding whether to buy.

For many songs, they have several different arrangements of varying difficulties.
Posted By: Stephen Hazel Re: Free sheet music? - 05/02/15 01:04 AM
> making referrals to pirating sites endangers this forum as well.

how so?

ask any kid in high school. this is common knowledge.

I've bought lots of stuff from musicnotes and all the other legal outlets. For pop, nothing compares to those karaoke midi files. There are arrangements for pop that are far superior to all that's available legally. Lyrics, melody NOT mixed into piano part, backing drums and strings and bass and synth.

So i find a good arrangement in the pile, practice it, find some terrible arrangements on musicnotes and pay for that so (hopefully) the copyright holder gets what they deserve.

I think that still follows the spirit of copyright, eh?
Should I have to pay for lots of arrangements I don't like until I finally find one I do like?
Posted By: casinitaly Re: Free sheet music? - 05/02/15 08:03 AM
Let us be clear.

Piano World does not support, condone or promote the illegal downloading of any type of material.

Posted By: Purkoy Re: Free sheet music? - 05/02/15 11:31 PM
Originally Posted by Stephen Hazel
If I pay the composers/arrangers I like, is it ok if I don't pay the composers/arrangers I don't like?


I don't want to take this thread down a route that's going to be a dead end. Nor do I want to appear to be jumping up on some moral high horse. All the same, I've seen people I know have their work pirated, copied, and re-used, to the extent that of hundreds of copies of their work that have been used, only three or four have been paid for, and in some instance, the copyright pirates have been commercial outfits, making profit from the labours of others, and relying on the difficulty and costs in many jurisdictions of prosecuting a case under copyright legislation. One wouldn't normally go around supermarkets, picking up the produce and eating it, then deciding not to pay because one doesn't like the taste. Nor buy a newspaper, then take it back for a refund because that day's news was depressing. It would be unusual to go to a piano recital and decide not to pay for a ticket in case you didn't like the interpretation. There are some publishers, as has been pointed out, who will allow a sample page or two to be downloaded, to allow the prospective buyer to get a flavour before purchase. Copyright infringement is not an appropriate alternative to 'try before you buy'.

The OP's enquiry appeared to assume, quite innocently, that there was such a thing as R&H material available without copy restrictions. That isn't the case, and it's perfectly in order to give guidance to the OP about this.

There is no shortage of material that is truly out of copyright, for pianists of all levels. If you ran a taxi service, only for your passengers to default on the fare, how long would you want to stay in the taxi business?
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