For beginner and amateur musicians, there are many online websites offering free sheet music. But once you begin to visit these sites, you will find that many of them are thinly disguised search portals with broken links or front-ends to lure you into purchasing something related to music. We here at MakeUseOf are always happy to show you the truly free sites that you can make use of, so without further ado, here are the best sites where you can find free sheet music to print.
Listed by PC Magazine as one of the Top 100 Websites of 2009, this site is a treasure trove of free public domain sheet music, as well as a thriving community of music lovers. There are over 39,000 scores for 18,000+ works and thousands are being added every month. You will find multiple versions of sheets for popular works, all available for download as PDF files. While some PDFs are typeset using software and are clearer, some are scanned versions.
The International Music Score Library Project (IMSLP) or Petrucci Music Library has its own forum where you can participate in general music discussion, send score requests, etc. You can also follow the IMSLP on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook. Suffice it to say that if the sheet music of the classical work you’re looking for is not available here, you’re probably a professional musician who should not be looking for free websites to download sheet music!
The Choral Public Domain Library (CPDL), specializes in choral music and has over 10,000 different works. Apart from scores, you can find lyrics, translations, and information about composers. Most scores are available as downloadable PDF files, some are also accompanied by MIDI files, while others are linked to clearly marked external websites.
CPDL supports advanced search so that you can search scores by title, composer, period, genre, voicing, and even lyrics. You can also browse in different ways such as alphabetically, by category, by composer, etc. CPDL is a community driven website, with over 500 contributors, so you can add your own scores and contribute to it.
Mutopia offers free sheet music to print for over 1600 classical works. You will find all the popular composers like Bach, Beethoven, Chopin and Mozart and works for all types of instruments like Piano, Violin, Guitar, Cello and Organ. You can browse by Instrument, Composer, or Style. The Advanced Search is very impressive, allowing you to search using various filters.
Again, this is a volunteer-driven project, using the LilyPond software to create beautiful A4 or Legal sized sheets. For each work, you get PDF or PostScript files as well as MIDI files, along with a preview image and basic information about the musical work.
This site is a combination of free sheet music hosted within the site and a searchable directory of links to other websites for sheet music. I suggest you browse the sheet music downloads within that site here, rather than experimenting with the search or clicking the advertisements.
The number of sheet music downloads is quite limited. The reason this website was worth including in this list is because of the free articles available here. This assorted collection of articles ranges from beginner guides for different instruments to information about sheet music, instruments, etc.
Free Scores has almost 15,000 free sheet music scores available for download as PDF files. Their search is quite impressive, as you can search in many different ways: by instruments, composers, etc. For example, within works for Piano, you can search by style (genre), and instrumentation (piano solo, or with specific other instruments). Many music sheets have accompanying MIDI or MP3 files.
If you are a composer or musician, you can register for free on the site to distribute your own music. While most of the sheet music on the site is classical and in public domain, some contemporary composers have added their own music to this site for sharing.
This is a rare website that offers free piano sheet music downloads for popular modern tunes. You will find 270+ tunes from the Beatles to Celine Dion and Justin Timberlake. You can browse alphabetically, or by search by artist or song name. The sheets are clear PDF files, downloaded as .ZIP archives. You can register to become a member and upload your contributions.
ABC Music has their own Twitter account and Facebook fan page as well, but unfortunately there don’t seem to be any updates to the site or these accounts since May “˜09. If you are interested in getting sheets for modern songs, grab it from here while it lasts.
Did we miss any quality site for free sheet music that is your favorite? Did you get the sheets for the works you were looking for? Do tell us in the comments!