Are you learning to play an instrument? Perhaps you're a keen admirer of classical music? Or are you a music teacher looking for student material?
If you answered "yes" to any of those questions, you'll need a steady supply of sheet music.
In this piece, we're going to show you the best sites for finding and printing free sheet music. These sites will let you download everything from well-known classical works to new interpretations of 20th-century rock classics.
Keep reading to find out more.
8notes splits its content into three sections: Instruments, Styles, and Artists. It means no matter what type of music you specialize in, you will be able to find something to suit your needs. Almost all the sheet music on the site has an accompanying MP3 or MIDI file so you can listen to the track while you browse the rest of the content.
And there's not just sheet music. A whole section of the site is devoted to additional material. You'll find everything from music theory lectures to guitar scales.
For $20 per year, you can become a subscriber. Subscribers have access to longer and more advanced works, a MIDI converter, and an ad-free site.
Anyone who uses sheet music will know about IMSLP. The site was founded in 2006 and now offers the largest collection of free printable sheet music anywhere on the web.
At the time of writing, the library has 170,000 individual works, 540,000 scores, 65,000 recordings, 20,000 composers, and 555 performers. It's enough content to last you a lifetime. The search feature is straightforward; there are filters for period, nationality, instrument, language, and genre.
The site also has a thriving multi-language forum section. You can request scores, chat about the music you've downloaded, and share your musical success stories.
The downside of Pianotte is it focuses exclusively on sheet music for pianists. The upside is it has a significant amount of modern music. If you're more into Coldplay than Chopin, it should be your first port of call. It even has some of the most popular music from recent years.
It might not be the most aesthetically-pleasing page to look at, but the site more than makes up for it with its content. There are several hundred tracks for you to download, all of which are delivered in PDF format.
You can browse by A-Z listings, genre, latest additions, and most popular.
Musopen is another one of the best sheet music websites. It lets you browse and download royalty-free music recordings, sheet music, and music education materials and apps.
The site has two membership levels. The free tier restricts you to five downloads per day, standard lossy audio, and the standard release schedule for new content. If you are a professional and need a greater level of access, you can pay $55/year and enjoy unlimited downloads, high-quality lossless audio, HD radio, and early releases.
The free sheet music mainly focuses on older artists and classical composers; you're not going to find Justin Bieber's latest hit. To make navigation easier, you can search by composer, instrument, time period, or musical form.
In total, Musopen boasts more than 100,000 classical music PDF files. You can either download them onto your computer or save them in your Musopen account so you can refer back to them later.
There are more than 2,000 pieces of music on Mutopia Project, each of which has a Creative Commons license. That means you can modify, print, copy, distribute, perform, and record anything you download without fear of legal repercussions.
The site specializes in classical music, but there is a growing amount of new music and rearrangements for you to sample. Each download includes a PDF and MIDI file.
Mutopia is volunteer-driven; all the downloads have been painstakingly typeset using Lilypond. You can see which projects the volunteers are currently working on by clicking the In Progress tab at the top of the screen.
ChoralWiki is a registered charity in the United States. The site offers sheets for nearly 25,000 choral and vocal works and covers almost 3,000 composers. In addition to free sheet music downloads, you can also download texts, translations, MP3 files, and MIDI files.
The site splits the search function into two sections: Composer and Music. Each of the two sections has been further divided into sub-categories, allowing you to filter by death year, era, nationality, genre, language, and more.
Because ChoralWiki is a community-driven wiki, anyone can add new content to the site. It has quickly grown in popularity and users are continually adding new content.
Making Music Fun is great if you're not fully proficient with your instrument of choice. Rather than offering complex works from history's greatest composers, it takes you on a journey, helping you learn a musical instrument little-by-little.
The site has been designed with total beginners in mind. You won't just find sheet music; there are also study guides, music theory worksheets, classroom resources, and even entire lesson plans. The content is primarily for teachers who want to distribute the material to their students, but it's also an excellent self-study resource.
Sheet music is available for the guitar, violin, piano, flute, recorder, oboe, saxophone, trombone, harp, trumpet, cello, and clarinet. There is also music for budding vocalists.
Each instrument's section is sub-divided into beginner, easy, and intermediate works. Once you reach an advanced level, it is better to start using some of the other sites on this list.
What About Finding Rare Sheet Music?
We've listed some of the best sites for finding and printing free sheet music, but the list is by no means exhaustive. There are hundreds of similar sites on the internet, so with enough digging, you should be able to find the composition you're looking for, no matter how rare it is.
Digital music may be more convenient, but there are still plenty of reasons to listen to vinyl records.