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Where I go for Free Sheet Music

What if I told you that you had completely FREE access to THOUSANDS of pieces of music?

I'm not lying. Nor am I trying a sales pitch on you. I simply want to tell you of a very valuable resource that a lot of people aren't aware of. 

The website with the magic:Music Magic

I am talking about IMSLP. (International Music Score Library Project) On their website, IMSLP explains exactly what they are.

"IMSLP stands for International Music Score Library Project and started on February 16, 2006.

It is a project for the creation of a virtual library of public domain music scores based on the wiki principle; it is also more than that.

Users can exchange musical ideas through the site, submit their own compositions, or listen to other people's composition; this makes IMSLP an ever-growing musical community of music lovers for music lovers."[1]

Their website is: https://imslp.org

This website is a central gathering place for thousands of pieces of music that are in the public domain.

That means artists like Beethoven, Mozart, Bach, Franz Liszt, Prokofiev, Debussy, etc. are all FREE. 

What is the public domain?What is public domain?

Good question! Due to musical copyright protection, there are many limits as to how you can use and distribute music. The public domain has a lot of rules, but generally:

  • "Musical Works published with a valid Copyright Notice of 1922 or Earlier are in the public domain in the United States."
  • "Essentially ALL Sound Recordings are under copyright protection until 2067 in the United States."
  • "Copyright protection outside the USA is determined by the laws of the country where you wish to use a work.  Copyright protection may be 50 to 70 years after the death of the last surviving author, 95 years from publication date, or other copyright protection term.:"[2]

This means that all these classical artists are completely free for your use!

My big mistake:My big mistake

There was a piece of music that I really, really wanted to get. The song was "Wedding at Troldhaugen" by Edvard Grieg.

When you go to a music store, there usually is a song in a book, but not a single sheet. Depending on the music store, you may find it, you may not. I couldn't find this song anywhere in the store except in one book.

That book cost me over $20. 

I got this one song for more than $20. Sure it came with other songs, but I don't know them, and I'm not ready to play them. 

What I should've done:

IMSLP! That's what I should've done! IMSLP Homepage

This is from the homepage on IMSLP.[3]

As you can see, they have THOUSANDS of works, thousands of scores, thousands of composers. It's just an amazing website. 

I could've just gone to this website. Check this out. 

Wedding Day at TroldHaugen on IMSLP[4]

I could've instead gone to this website, (For free) and printed it off. Could have saved $20. Now I think of every time single time I bought a book when I wanted one song...

Books are great. Don't get me wrong, but when I only want one piece out of that book, I'd rather print it off. Don't you?

Should've Used IMSLP

Basically this website is amazing. You can look up next to any song that you want and it's there. Any artist, any piece, tons of instruments, and in many languages. This website is AMAZING.

If you plan on downloading a ton of music, it works, but you have to wait for 15 seconds in-between downloads. 

For another example, this website has 935 compositions (as of 10/9/18) in alphabetical order from J.S. Bach! that's a LOT![5]

Bach Listings on IMSLP

There are tons of ways you can participate in this wonderful world, and everything they offer is free. It is a marvelous resource for obtaining sheet music. You can get a membership to support the website and avoid the wait time and help keep this website going, but it is a wonderful resource that is there for you. 

The bottom line:

Music is expensive, but not with IMSLP

Sheet music is expensive. It really is. This website will allow you to take advantage of what all these wonderful artists have left behind for us, save money, and have a larger collection of music.

 

It provides a free resource for people to study and to become better at music. It is just a great resource. So check it out here:

Look. I'm NOT benefiting from IMSLP for endorsing them. I'm in no way related to or affiliated with IMSLP. It is simply an AMAZING website for any musician to know about. It is definitely a place you need to know about to propel your musical career. 

I do, however, run this website. Any and all support is VERY appreciated! That support doesn't have to just be buying stuff from the store. It could be commenting on the post, emailing me your thoughts of the website, or following our social media pages. Anything helps. 

I appreciate you all! -Michael Winters

Citations:

[1]: https://imslp.org/wiki/IMSLP:FAQ

[2] https://www.pdinfo.com/copyright-law/copyright-and-public-domain.php

[3] https://imslp.org/wiki/Main_Page

[4] https://imslp.org/wiki/Lyric_Pieces,_Op.65_(Grieg,_Edvard)

[5] https://imslp.org/wiki/Category:Bach,_Johann_Sebastian