Monday, July 05, 2010

Alternatives: The Legal Way to Find Sheet Music

One of the most important factors in the fight against copyright infringement is making sure that the people who do legally want to buy sheet music know where to find it. Since I started talking about this issue, two fantastic new sites have appeared and I want to make sure you all know about them.

Originally created by Brian Lowdermilk and Kait Kerrigan as a way to launch their own self-published sheet music, this site is blowing up to include a huge database of musical theater material written in the last few years by a number of young (or not-so-young, like me), up-and-coming songwriters, and they're adding more songs and more writers on a regular basis. The site is great and has several search features (genre, voice type, style) and many links to YouTube videos so you can hear and see the song being performed before you purchase. It's my belief that the music available here is among the most prevalent on the "trade" sites, so if you're looking for something REALLY REALLY CONTEMPORARY, this is where you should go first. (Determining which are the good songs and which are not is up to you.)

I just found out about this site today, and I'm pretty sure it's brand new. One of the things we writers have said we need is a centralized "clearing house" site that helps potential sheet music consumers figure out where to go to purchase sheet music or read bios or watch videos for their favorite composers. And here it is -- a way to navigate through all of the information and browse the websites of theatrical composers, both contemporary and classic. If I taught a class in musical theater, this would be my number one digital resource.

You all know that I love www.musicnotes.com but I'm aware of several other sites out there, including www.sheetmusicplus.com and www.sheetmusicdirect.com and www.freehand.com. What others do you use? And how about those of you who aren't in America? Anything to add?

Thanks!

9 comments:

Natalie said...

totalsheetmusic.com is a division of Alfred Music Publishing, and not only do they have a pretty wide selection of sheet music available for download, their prices are also lower than most other sites, which makes them a great resource.
For example, I purchased the sheet music for "Back to Before" from Ragtime for $2.95 on totalsheetmusic.com, whereas if I'd purchased the same sheet music from musicnotes.com, it would have cost me $6.25

commoncents said...

Very Very interesting!

Keep up the great work!!

Steve
Common Cents
http://www.commoncts.blogspot.com

David Rigano's Theatre Reviews said...

Thank you so much for getting the word out about these wonderful sites. The most important thing is that people know where to find the sheet music they want legally, and also educate themselves on other exciting new composers!

Dennis Tobenski said...

How interesting that I should come across your blog, and this post in particular - I've been putting together a site very similar to NewMusicalTheatre.com (which I hadn't heard of until today) that is geared more toward concert music by self-publishing composers!

It's NewMusicShelf.com, and I'm currently building the composer roster. My aim is for the site to be open and as helpful to as many of my fellow composers as possible.

Dennis Tobenski
www.dennistobenski.com
www.newmusicshelf.com

commoncents said...

Thanks for posting - I really like your blog!!!

Steve
Common Cents
http://www.commoncts.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

I like to use www.pianofiles.com - it's free AND the authors/writers get paid! Win win!

Georgia Stitt said...

Hi, Anonymous. Actually, pianofiles.com is one of the very worst offenders. The writers don't get paid, which is exactly the problem. I encourage you to use one of the other sites mentioned here. It is my hope that pianofiles.com will be taken down, Napster-style, before too long.

Anonymous said...

Ahhh - I didn't know that Georgia (I'm the poster of the www.pianofiles.com comment) - I have deleted my account; and shall from know on be using one of your reccomended sitets. Apologies for my ignorance - it's no excuse! Please accept my apology.

Georgia Stitt said...

Every little bit helps. Thanks, anonymous!