Free Online PDF Sheet Music for Classical Musicians
Today, an increasing number of musicians are seeking online resources for sheet music; from performers wishing to play from an original manuscript to teachers who require a simple arrangement, or even composers who are simply looking for inspiration from some of the greatest composers. Basically, free online PDF resources are invaluable.
IMSLP: The World’s Public Domain Sheet Music
IMSLP is one of the largest and most well-known platforms to find free public domain music scores online. The project was launched in 2006 and includes an impressive 370,000 scores for more than 110,000 different pieces, from over 14,000 composers worldwide. The greatest advantage of IMSLP is the huge offering of orchestral material, including parts.
MUSOPEN: Set Music Free
Musopen is another free platform that hosts public domain pieces. Unlike IMSLP, Musopen usually provides only one edition per piece, resulting in a much smaller library. The platform also hosts orchestral pieces, although in most cases you’ll only find the full score, not the parts.
MUTOPIA: Free Sheet Music for Everyone
Mutopia was created in 2000, with a library of more than 2000 pieces of free sheet music. All the scores are recopied (not scanned), which means that the PDF quality is always very good. The downside, however, is that users don’t get the original edition. This platform focuses mainly on classical music, with a smaller selection of Jazz, Pop and Folk sheet music.
NMA Online: Mozart Digitized Versions
The digital version of Neue Mozart-Ausgabe (NMA) aims to make Mozart’s compositions widely accessible to the public, both for educational and personal use. It offers the musical texts and the critical commentaries of the entire Neue Mozart-Ausgabe (New Mozart Edition). Since the printed editions were published by Bärenreiter-Verlag, the quality of the scores is of the highest standard. Unfortunately, like Mutopia, only the full scores are provided.
ChoralWiki: Choral Public Domain Library
This choral public domain library, founded in 1998 – and renamed ChoralWiki in 2005 – supplies a large selection of PDF vocal and choral scores, as well as texts, translations, and other useful information for choirs and singers.
Free-scores: Free Digital Music Libraries
The Free-scores.com platform mostly provides transcriptions and arrangements for famous and original pieces written by contemporary composers. In terms of classical music, Free-scores.com is mainly useful for teachers and beginners who are looking for the arrangements of well-known classical pieces.
Thankfully, many platforms understand the importance of making free sheet music accessible, especially when it comes to classical pieces that are in the public domain. So before you purchase a hard copy, or spend hours in a library, take a minute to check if the score you are looking for can be found online.