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Koji Kondo
Koji Kondo
Koji Kondo (近藤浩治 Kondō Kōji?, born August 13, 1960) is a Japanese video game composer and sound director who has been employed at Nintendo since 1984. He is best known for scoring numerous titles in the Mario and The Legend of Zelda series.
Red Garland
Red Garland
William McKinley "Red" Garland, Jr. was an American modern jazz pianist. Known for his work as a bandleader and during the 1950s with Miles Davis, Garland helped popularize the block chord style of piano playing
Franz Schubert
Franz Schubert
Franz Peter Schubert (German pronunciation: ; January 31, 1797 – November 19, 1828) was an Austrian composer. He wrote some 600 Lieder, nine symphonies (including the famous "Unfinished Symphony"), liturgical music, operas, some incidental music, and a large body of chamber and solo piano music. He is particularly noted for his original melodic and harmonic writing.

Schubert was born into a musical family, and received formal musical training through much of his childhood. While Schubert had a close circle of friends and associates who admired his work (amongst them the prominent singer Johann Michael Vogl), wide appreciation of his music during his lifetime was limited at best. He was never able to secure adequate permanent employment, and for most of his career he relied on the support of friends and family. He made some money from published works, and occasionally gave private musical instruction. In the last year of his life he began to receive wider acclaim. He died at the age of 31 of "typhoid fever", a diagnosis which was vague at the time; several scholars suspect the real illness was tertiary syphilis.

Interest in Schubert's work increased dramatically in the decades following his death. Composers like Franz Liszt, Robert Schumann and Felix Mendelssohn discovered, collected, and championed his works in the 19th century, as did musicologist Sir George Grove. Franz Schubert is now widely considered to be one of the greatest composers in the Western tradition.
K-On!
K-On! (けいおん! Keion!?) is a Japanese four-panel comic strip manga written and illustrated by Kakifly. The manga started serialization in Houbunsha's seinen manga magazine Manga Time Kirara since the May 2007 issue, and also started a bimonthly serialization in Houbunsha's magazine Manga Time Kirara Carat since the October 2008 issue. A thirteen-episode anime adaptation produced by Kyoto Animation aired in Japan between April and June 2009. An additional original video animation episode was released in January 2010. A second season, titled K-On!! (with two exclamation marks), began airing in Japan from April 7, 2010. The title of the series comes from the Japanese word for light music, keiongaku (軽音楽?), but in the Japanese context is similar to pop music.
Keith Jarrett
Keith Jarrett
Keith Jarrett (born May 8, 1945 in Allentown, Pennsylvania) is an American pianist and composer.

His career started with Art Blakey, Charles Lloyd and Miles Davis. Since the early 1970s he has enjoyed a great deal of success in both classical music and jazz, as a group leader and a solo performer. His improvisation technique combines not only jazz, but also other forms of music, especially classical, gospel, blues and ethnic folk music.

In 2003 he received the Polar Music Prize, being the first (and to this day only) recipient not sharing the prize with anyone else.
Duke Ellington
Duke Ellington
Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington (April 29, 1899 – May 24, 1974) was an American composer, pianist, and bandleader.

Recognized during his life as one of the most influential figures in jazz, if not in all American music, Ellington's reputation has increased since his death, including a special award citation from the Pulitzer Prize Board.

Ellington called his style and sound "American Music" rather than jazz, and liked to describe those who impressed him as "beyond category", including many of the musicians who served with his orchestra, some of whom were themselves considered among the giants of jazz and remained with Ellington's orchestra for decades. While many were noteworthy in their own right, it was Ellington that melded them into one of the most well-known orchestral units in the history of jazz. He often composed specifically for the style and skills of these individuals, such as "Jeep's Blues" for Johnny Hodges, "Concerto for Cootie" ("Do Nothing Till You Hear from Me") for Cootie Williams and "The Mooche" for Tricky Sam Nanton. He also recorded songs written by his bandsmen, such as Juan Tizol's "Caravan" and "Perdido" which brought the "Spanish Tinge" to big-band jazz. After 1941, he frequently collaborated with composer-arranger Billy Strayhorn, who he called his alter-ego.

One of the twentieth century's best-known African-American celebrities, Ellington recorded for many American record companies, and appeared in several films. Ellington and his orchestra toured the United States and Europe regularly before and after World War II. Ellington led his band from 1923 until his death in 1974. His son Mercer Ellington took over the band until his death from cancer in 1996. Paul Ellington, Mercer's youngest son, took over the Orchestra from there and after his mother's passing took over the Estate of Duke and Mercer Ellington.
Morris Albert
Morris Albert
Morris Albert (born Maurício Alberto Kaisermann, 7 September 1951, São Paulo, Brazil) is a Brazilian singer and songwriter, famous for his 1975 hit single "Feelings".

Albert began his career singing and playing guitar for a number of bands. In 1973, at a time when many Brazilian artists were using anglicised names in attempts to break into the US market, he released his first album, which featured "Feelings", the song that would eventually bring him worldwide success. The international release of "Feelings" sold over 300.000 copies and reached #7 on the Billboard Magazine Hot 100 in 1975 and #2 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary charts. "Feelings" was also recorded and performed by many other artists, such as Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Sarah Vaughan, Johnny Mathis, Ray Conniff and The Offspring.

Morris Albert now lives in Italy with his family, and still performs around the world.
Gottschalk
Gottschalk
Louis Moreau Gottschalk was an American composer and pianist, best known as a virtuoso performer of his own romantic piano works. He spent most of his working career outside of the United States.
Rodgers and Hammerstein
Rodgers and Hammerstein
Richard Rodgers (1902 – 1979) and Oscar Hammerstein II (1895 – 1960) were a well-known American songwriting duo, usually referred to as Rodgers and Hammerstein. They created a string of popular Broadway musicals in the 1940s and 1950s during what is considered the golden age of the medium. With Rodgers composing the music and Hammerstein adding the lyrics, five of their shows, Oklahoma!, Carousel, South Pacific, The King and I, and The Sound of Music, were outstanding successes. In all, among the many accolades that their shows (and their film versions) garnered were thirty-four Tony Awards, fifteen Academy Awards, the Pulitzer Prize, and two Grammys.
Thomas Tallis
Thomas Tallis
Thomas Tallis (c. 1505 – 23 November 1585) was an English composer. Tallis flourished as a church musician in 16th century Tudor England. He occupies a primary place in anthologies of English church music, and is considered among the best of England's early composers. He is honoured for his original voice in English musicianship. No contemporary portrait of Tallis survives: the earliest, painted by Gerard van der Gucht, dates from 150 years after Tallis died, and there is no certainty that it is a likeness.
Avril Lavigne
Avril Lavigne
Avril Lavigne Whibley (born September 27, 1984), better known by her birth name of Avril Lavigne, is a Canadian Grammy award-nominated rock singer, musician, fashion designer and actress. In 2006, Canadian Business Magazine ranked her the seventh most powerful Canadian in Hollywood.

Lavigne's debut album, Let Go, was released in 2002. Over 16 million copies were sold worldwide and it was certified six times platinum in the United States. Her second and third albums, Under My Skin (2004) sold over 8 million copies and The Best Damn Thing (2007) currently over 6 million copies sold respectively, reached number one on the U.S. Billboard 200. Lavigne has scored six number one songs worldwide to date and a total of eleven top ten hits, including "Complicated", "Sk8er Boi", "I'm With You", "My Happy Ending", and "Girlfriend" which became #1 hits in the ARC Top 40. In December 2007, Lavigne was ranked at #7 in the Forbes "Top 20 Earners Under 25", with an annual earnings of $12 million. Currently, Avril Lavigne has sold about 30 million albums worldwide.

Rufus Wainwright
Rufus Wainwright
Rufus McGarrigle Wainwright (born July 22, 1973) is a Grammy-nominated, Canadian-American singer-songwriter. He has recorded five albums of original music, EPs, and tracks on compilations and film soundtracks.

In addition to his baritone singing voice, he plays piano and guitar, often switching between the two instruments when performing live. While some songs feature just Wainwright and his piano, his later work is often accompanied by rock instrumentation or a symphony orchestra, displaying complex layering and harmonies with an operatic feel. Wainwright is an opera fan and likes Franz Schubert's Lieder. Some of Wainwright's songs are described as "popera" (pop opera) or "baroque pop". Many of his compositions are densely packed amalgams of strings, horns, operatic choruses, ragtime rhythms, with a warm vocal timbre.

He often performs with his sister, Martha Wainwright, on backup vocals. Despite critical acclaim, Wainwright has experienced limited commercial success in the United States, although the release of Release the Stars saw increased media attention there, as did the associated 2007 U.S. tour.
Oscar Peterson
Oscar Peterson
Oscar Emmanuel Peterson, CC, CQ, O.Ont. (August 15, 1925 – December 23, 2007) was a Canadian jazz pianist and composer. He was called the "Maharaja of the keyboard" by Duke Ellington, "O.P." by his friends, and was a member of jazz royalty. He released over 200 recordings, won seven Grammy Awards, and received other numerous awards and honours over the course of his career. He is considered to have been one of the greatest jazz pianists of all time, who played thousands of live concerts to audiences worldwide in a career lasting more than 65 years.
Alan Parsons Project
Alan Parsons Project
The Alan Parsons Project were a British progressive rock band active between 1975 and 1990, founded by Eric Woolfson and Alan Parsons.

Most of the Project's titles, especially the early work, share common traits (likely influenced by Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon, on which Parsons was the audio engineer in 1973). They were concept albums, and typically began with an instrumental introduction which faded into the first song, often had an instrumental piece in the middle of the second LP side, and concluded with a quiet, melancholic, or powerful song. The opening instrumental was largely done away with by 1980; no later Project album except Eye in the Sky featured one (although every album includes at least one instrumental somewhere in the running order). The instrumental on that album, "Sirius", eventually became the best-known (or at least most frequently heard) Parsons instrumental because of its use as entrance music by various American sports teams, most notably by the Chicago Bulls during their 1990s NBA dynasty as well as during broadcasts of Pittsburgh Steelers games on their flagship station WDVE (which is coincidentally a classic rock station) just before the start of the game itself or the second half. It was also used as the entrance theme for Ricky Steamboat in pro wrestling of the mid 1980's.

The group was notable for using several vocal performers instead of having a single lead vocalist. Lead vocal duties were shared by guest vocalists chosen by their vocal style to complement each song. Woolfson sang lead on many of the group's hits (including "Time" and "Eye in the Sky") and the record company pressured Parsons to use him more, but Parsons preferred "real" singers, which Woolfson admitted he was not. In addition to Woolfson, Chris Rainbow, Lenny Zakatek, John Miles, David Paton and The Zombies' Colin Blunstone made regular appearances. Other singers, such as Arthur Brown, Procol Harum's Gary Brooker, Dave Terry aka Elmer Gantry, Vitamin Z's Geoff Barradale and Marmalade's Dean Ford, have recorded only once or twice with the Project. Parsons himself only sang lead on one song ("The Raven") through a vocoder, and can be heard singing backup on a few others, including "To One in Paradise". Both of those songs appeared on Tales of Mystery and Imagination.
Dido
Dido
Dido Florian Cloud de Bounevialle O'Malley Armstrong (born 25 December 1971), is an English BRIT Award-winning and Grammy Award-nominated singer and songwriter.

Dido's mother, Claire (born Collins), is a French poet and her father, William O'Malley Armstrong (9 November 1938 – 22 December 2006) was an Irish publisher and former managing director of Sidgwick & Jackson.

Informally named after the mythical Carthaginian queen, Dido was educated at Thornhill Primary, City of London Girls' and Westminster School. Because she was born on Christmas Day, in childhood she celebrated, rather in the manner of the British monarch, an "official" birthday on 25 June.

After she stole a recorder from school at age five, her parents enrolled her at the Guildhall School of Music in London, England. By the time she reached her teens Dido had learned to play the piano, recorder and the violin. After her teens and whilst working as a literary agent, Dido studied law at Birkbeck, University of London, however, she never completed this course, deciding instead to take up music full-time. After learning the guitar, she showcased her skills to audiences during her 2004 Life for Rent tour.
Paul Hindemith
Paul Hindemith
Paul Hindemith (16 November 1895 – 28 December 1963) was a German composer, violist, violinist, teacher, music theorist and conductor.
Howard Shore
Howard Shore
Howard Leslie Shore (born October 18, 1946) is a Canadian composer, notable for his film scores. He has composed the scores for over 40 films, most notably the scores for The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, for which he won three Academy Awards. He is also a consistent collaborator with director David Cronenberg, having scored all but one of his films since 1979. Shore has also worked with Martin Scorsese, Jonathan Demme, David Fincher and many other filmakers.
He has also composed a few concert works including one opera, The Fly, based on the plot (though not his score) of Cronenberg's 1986 film premiered at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris on 2 July 2008., a short piece Fanfare for the Wanamaker Organ and the Philadelphia Orchestra, and a short overture for the Swiss 21st Century Symphony Orchestra.
Shore is a three-time winner of the Academy Award, and has also won two Golden Globe Awards and four Grammy Awards. He is the uncle of film composer Ryan Shore.
Thomas Newman
Thomas Newman
Thomas Montgomery Newman (born October 20, 1955) is an American composer best known for his many film scores.

Newman has been nominated for fourteen Academy Awards and three Golden Globes, and has won two BAFTAs, six Grammys and an Emmy Award. Newman was honored with the Richard Kirk award at the 2000 BMI Film and TV Awards. The award is given annually to a composer who has made significant contributions to film and television music.
Nelson Faria
Nelson Faria
Nelson Faria (born March 23, 1963) is a Brazilian guitarist.At the Guitar Institute of Technology in California, his teachers included Joe Diorio, Frank Gambale, Ted Greene, Scott Henderson, and Joe Pass. On television he performed with Paulo Moura on Rhapsody in Bossa, with Baby do Brasil on Acústico, and with Leila Pinheiro on Na Ponta da Língua. His debut album, Ioiô, was released in 1993. He recorded a Brazilian tribute to the Beatles with Bororó, Marcos Suzano, and José Namen. Faria has also worked with Nana Caymmi, Zélia Duncan, Cássia Eller, Edu Lobo, and Milton Nascimento.
Sarah McLachlan
Sarah McLachlan
Sarah Ann McLachlan, OC, OBC (born January 28, 1968) is a Grammy-winning Canadian musician, singer and songwriter.

She is known for the emotional sound of her ballads. Some of her most popular songs include "Angel", "Building a Mystery", "Adia", "Possession", "Fallen", "I Will Remember You", and "World on Fire". As of 2006, she has sold over 40 million albums worldwide. Her best-selling album to date is Surfacing, for which she won eight Juno Awards and three Grammy Awards. In addition to her personal artistic efforts, she founded the Lilith Fair tour, which showcased female musicians in the late 1990s.

Her 1991 album, Solace, was her mainstream breakthrough in Canada, spawning the hit singles "The Path of Thorns (Terms)" and "Into the Fire". Solace also marked the beginning of her partnership with Pierre Marchand. Marchand and McLachlan have been collaborators ever since, with Marchand producing all of McLachlan's albums and occasionally co-writing songs.

1994's Fumbling Towards Ecstasy was an immediate smash hit in Canada. From her Nettwerk connection, her piano version of the song "Possession" was included on the first Due South soundtrack in 1996. Over the next two years, Fumbling Towards Ecstasy quietly became McLachlan's international breakthrough as well, scaling the charts in a number of countries.

Following the success from Fumbling Towards Ecstasy, McLachlan returned in 1997 with Surfacing, her best selling album to date. Earning her two Grammy awards and four Junos, the album has since sold over 11 million copies worldwide and brought her much international success
Caetano Veloso
Caetano Veloso
Caetano Emanuel Viana Teles Veloso, or known as Caetano Veloso, is a Brazilian composer, singer, guitarist, writer and political activist. He was recognized as one of the best songwriters of the century and considered Bob Dylan of Brazil.
Cat Stevens
Cat Stevens
Yusuf Islam, (born Steven Demetre Georgiou on 21 July 1948), best known by his former stage name Cat Stevens, is a British musician of Greek Cypriot and Swedish ancestry. He is a singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, educator, philanthropist and prominent convert to Islam.

As Cat Stevens, he sold over 60 million albums around the world since the late 1960s. His albums Tea for the Tillerman and Teaser and the Firecat were both certified as Triple Platinum by the RIAA in the United States (three million sales each); his album Catch Bull at Four sold half a million copies in the first two weeks of release alone, and was Billboard's number-one LP for three consecutive weeks. His songwriting has also earned him two ASCAP songwriting awards for "The First Cut Is the Deepest," which has been a hit single for five different artists, and has been instrumental for others in establishing their musical careers.

Stevens converted to Islam at the height of his fame in 1977. The following year, he adopted his Muslim name Yusuf Islam, sold all his instruments and awards for charity, and left his music career to devote himself to educational and philanthropic causes in the Muslim community. He turned to his mother to help him decide the best candidate to wed, and thus, in an arranged marriage, took his vows with Fauzia Mubarak Ali, eventually producing five living children from the union.

He has been given several awards for his work in promoting peace in the world, including 2003's World Award, the 2004 Man for Peace award, and the 2007 Mediterranean Prize for Peace. In 2006, he returned to pop music, with his first album of new pop songs in 28 years, entitled An Other Cup.

He lives with his wife, children and grand-child in London. Yusuf Islam spends part of each year in Dubai.
Nightwish
Nightwish
Nightwish is a Finnish rock quintet, formed in 1996 in the town of Kitee, Finland. Nightwish is considered one of the bands responsible for the development and rise in popularity of symphonic metal at the end of the 1990s, as well as the creation of the subgenre symphonic power metal.

Although they have been prominent in their home country since the release of their first single, “The Carpenter” (1997) and debut album Angels Fall First, they did not achieve worldwide fame until the release of the albums Oceanborn, Wishmaster and Century Child, which were released in 1998, 2000 and 2002 respectively. Their 2004 album, Once, which was sold over than 4 million copies, led to Nightwish video clips being shown on MTV in the United States and inclusion of their music in U.S. movie soundtracks. Their biggest U.S. hit single, “Wish I Had an Angel” (2004), made it onto three U.S. film soundtracks as a means to promote their North American tour. The band produced three more singles and two music videos for the album, as well as “Sleeping Sun”, from the 2005 “best of” compilation album, Highest Hopes, prior to vocalist Tarja Turunen’s dismissal.

In May 2007, former Alyson Avenue frontwoman, Swede Anette Olzon, was revealed as Turunen’s replacement, and in the autumn, the band released a new album Dark Passion Play, which was sold over 2 million copies. A tour supporting the album is currently in progress.
The Beatles
The Beatles
The Beatles were a pop and rock group from Liverpool, England formed in 1960. Primarily consisting of John Lennon (rhythm guitar, vocals), Paul McCartney (bass guitar, vocals), George Harrison (lead guitar, vocals) and Ringo Starr (drums, vocals) throughout their career, The Beatles are recognised for leading the mid-1960s musical "British Invasion" into the United States. Although their initial musical style was rooted in 1950s rock and roll and homegrown skiffle, the group explored genres ranging from Tin Pan Alley to psychedelic rock. Their clothes, styles, and statements made them trend-setters, while their growing social awareness saw their influence extend into the social and cultural revolutions of the 1960s. After the band broke up in 1970, all four members embarked upon solo careers.

The Beatles are one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed bands in the history of popular music, selling over a billion records internationally. In the United Kingdom, The Beatles released more than 40 different singles, albums, and EPs that reached number one, earning more number one albums (15) than any other group in UK chart history. This commercial success was repeated in many other countries; their record company, EMI, estimated that by 1985 they had sold over one billion records worldwide. According to the Recording Industry Association of America, The Beatles have sold more albums in the United States than any other band. In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked The Beatles number one on its list of 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. According to that same magazine, The Beatles' innovative music and cultural impact helped define the 1960s, and their influence on pop culture is still evident today. In 2008, Billboard magazine released a list of top-selling Hot 100 artists to celebrate the chart's fiftieth anniversary; The Beatles reached #1 again.
Evanescence
Evanescence
Evanescence is an American rock band founded in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1995 by singer/pianist Amy Lee and guitarist Ben Moody.

After recording two private EPs and a demo CD named Origin, with the help of Bigwig Enterprises in 2000, the band released their first full-length album, Fallen, on Wind-up Records in 2003. Fallen sold more than 15 million copies worldwide and helped the band win two Grammy Awards. A year later, Evanescence released their first live album, Anywhere but Home, which sold more than one million copies worldwide. In 2006, the band released their second studio album, The Open Door, which has sold more than four million copies.

The band has suffered several line-up changes, including co-founder Moody leaving in 2003, followed by guitarist John LeCompt and drummer Rocky Gray in 2007. Lee is now the only original member of Evanescence remaining in the band.
Gabriel Faure
Gabriel Faure
Gabriel Urbain Fauré (12 May 1845 – 4 November 1924) was a French composer, organist, pianist, and teacher. He was the foremost French composer of his generation, and his musical style influenced many 20th century composers. His harmonic and melodic language affected how harmony was later taught.
Yasunori Mitsuda
Yasunori Mitsuda
Yasunori Mitsuda (光田 康典 Mitsuda Yasunori?, born January 21, 1972) is a Japanese video game composer, sound programmer, and musician. He has composed music for or worked on over 35 games, and has contributed to over 15 other albums. He is best known for his compositions for the video games Chrono Trigger, Chrono Cross, Shadow Hearts, Shadow Hearts: Covenant, Xenogears, Xenosaga Episode I, and Mario Party. He began composing video game music for his own games in high school, and after graduation attended Junior College of Music in Tokyo. In 1992 upon graduation he joined Square (now Square Enix) as a composer after seeing a magazine advertisement in an office he was visiting with his professor.
Despite his job title as a composer, Mitsuda worked for two years as a sound engineer. In 1994, after threatening to quit to Square's vice president, Hironobu Sakaguchi, he was assigned to compose the soundtrack to Chrono Trigger. After the game's success and the music's acclaim, he went on to compose several other games for Square, including Xenogears. In 1998 Mitsuda left Square to work as a freelance composer, founding his own music production studio, Procyon Studio, in 2001 as well as his own record label, Sleigh Bells. The company has since expanded to nine employees, and Mitsuda continues to compose for video games, as well as for anime series and his own independent albums.
Irene Cara
Irene Cara
Irene Cara Escalera (March 18, 1959) is an American singer. Cara won an Academy Award in 1984 in the category of Best Original Song for co-writing "Flashdance... What a Feeling". She is best known for her recordings of the songs "Fame" and "Flashdance... What a Feeling". She also starred in the 1980 film version of Fame.

Cara's father, Gaspar Cara (died in 1994), was an African-American and Puerto Rican. Her mother, Louise Escalera, is of French and Cuban descent. She has two sisters and two brothers.

She married Hollywood stuntman Conrad Palmisano in 1986. They divorced in 1991.

She lives in Florida and continues work in preparation for her band Hot Caramel's album. She also has her own production studio. She appeared in season 2 of CMT's reality show Gone Country, but left the show realizing she “was not cut out for reality television.”

Vanessa Carlton
Vanessa Carlton
Vanessa Lee Carlton (born August 16, 1980) is an American soft rock/Piano pop singer, songwriter, and pianist best known for the Billboard top five, Grammy-nominated single "A Thousand Miles" from her debut album, Be Not Nobody which was released April 30, 2002, and certified platinum in the U.S.

Her music, along with that of her contemporary Michelle Branch to whom she is sometimes compared, has had an influence on female solo pop singer-songwriters in the 21st century, including Kate Voegele, Lights, Sara Bareilles (another piano pop artist), Colbie Caillat and Tristan Prettyman.

Carlton's second album, Harmonium (released November 9, 2004), debuted at number 33 on the U.S. Billboard 200 and had sold 179,000 copies as of February 2006, with the single "White Houses," peaking at 86 in the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. She subsequently parted company from her record label A&M, though she still holds a dedicated fanbase.

Her third album, Heroes and Thieves, was released on October 9, 2007 by the The Inc./Universal Motown record labels.
Rachmaninoff
Rachmaninoff
Sergei Vasilievich Rachmaninoff (1 April 1873 - 28 March 1943) was a Russian composer, pianist, and conductor. He was one of the finest pianists of his day and, as a composer, the last great representative of Russian late Romanticism in classical music. Early influences of Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov and other Russian composers gave way to a thoroughly personal idiom which included a pronounced lyricism, expressive breadth, structural ingenuity and a tonal palette of rich, distinctive orchestral colors.

Understandably, the piano figures prominently in Rachmaninoff's compositional output, either as a solo instrument or as part of an ensemble. He made it a point, however, to use his own skills as a performer to explore fully the expressive possibilities of the instrument. Even in his earliest works, he revealed a sure grasp of idiomatic piano writing and a striking gift for melody. In some of his early orchestral pieces he showed the first signs of a talent for tone painting, which he would perfect in The Isle of the Dead, and he began to show a similar penchant for vocal writing in two early sets of songs, Opp. 4 and 8. Rachmaninoff's masterpiece, however, is his choral symphony The Bells, in which all of his talents are fused and unified.

Rachmaninoff sometimes felt threatened by the success of modernists such as Scriabin and Prokofiev and wondered whether to cease composing even before he left Russia. His musical philosophy was rooted in the Russian spiritual tradition, where the role of the artist was to create beauty and to speak the truth from the depths of his heart. In his last major interview, in 1941, he admitted his music, like Russian music, was a product of his temperament. He said, on another occasion, "The new kind of music seems to create not from the heart but from the head. Its composers think rather than feel. They have not the capacity to make their works exalt—they meditate, protest, analyze, reason, calculate and brood, but they do not exalt."
Genesis
Genesis
Genesis are an English rock band that formed in 1967. The band currently comprises the longest-tenured members Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks. Past members Peter Gabriel, Anthony Phillips and Steve Hackett also played major roles in the band in its early years. Genesis are among the top 30 highest-selling recording artists of all time with approximately 150 million albums sold worldwide.
James Moody
James Moody
James Moody (March 26, 1925 – December 9, 2010) was an American jazz saxophone and flute player and very occasional vocalist, playing predominantly in the bebop and hard bop styles.Moody had an unexpected hit with "Moody's Mood for Love," a 1952 song written by Eddie Jefferson that used as its melody an improvised solo that Moody had played on a 1949 recording of "I'm in the Mood for Love." Moody adopted the song as his own, recording it with Jefferson on his 1956 album Moody's Mood for Love and performing the song regularly in concert, often singing the vocals himself.
Leonard Cohen
Leonard Cohen
Leonard Norman Cohen, CC, GOQ (born September 21, 1934) is a Canadian singer-songwriter, musician, poet and novelist. Cohen published his first book of poetry in Montreal in 1956 and his first novel in 1963. His work often deals with the exploration of religion, isolation, sexuality and complex interpersonal relationships. Famously reclusive, spending years in a Zen Buddhist monastery, and possessing a persona frequently associated with mystique, he is extremely well-regarded by critics for his literary accomplishments and for producing an output of work of high artistic quality over a five-decade career.

Musically, Cohen's earliest songs (many of which appeared on the 1967 album, Songs of Leonard Cohen) were rooted in European folk music. In the 1970s, his material encompassed pop, cabaret and world music. Since the 1980s his high baritone voice has evolved into lower registers (bass baritone and bass), with accompaniment from a wide variety of instruments and female backing singers.

Over 2,000 renditions of Cohen's songs have been recorded. Cohen has been inducted into both the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame and is also a Companion of the Order of Canada, the nation's highest civilian honour. While giving the speech at Cohen's induction into the American Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 10, 2008, Lou Reed described Cohen as belonging to the "highest and most influential echelon of songwriters".
Gackt
Gackt
Gackt Camui (神威 楽斗 Kamui Gakuto?, born July 4, 1973), better known by his stage name Gackt, is a Japanese musician, singer, songwriter and actor. He has been active since 1993, first as the frontman of the short-lived independent band Cains:Feel, and then for the now defunct visual kei rock band Malice Mizer, before starting his solo career in 1999. He has released nine studio albums and, with forty-six singles released, holds the male soloist record for most top ten consecutive singles in Japanese music history. His single "Returner (Yami no Shūen)", released on June 20, 2007, was his first single to reach the number one spot on the Oricon charts. He became the first Japanese artist to release his music catalog on iTunes in October 2007.

Besides being established in the modern entertainment industry, his music has been used as theme songs for video games (Final Fantasy VII), anime films (Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam) and television series. In addition to his music career Gackt has acted in a few films, including a film he wrote, Moon Child, and his international debut Bunraku, and TV series such as the NHK drama Fūrin Kazan. He also performed live in theatre stage plays, one of which was written, composed and directed by him: Moon Saga - Mysteries of Yoshitsune I&II.
Brinley Richards
Brinley Richards
Henry Brinley Richards (13 November 1817 – 1 May 1885) was a Welsh composer, who also published some works under the pseudonym 'Carl Luini'.Richards was born in Hall Street, Carmarthen, his father being organist at St Peter's Church in the town and an organiser of local musical events. Richards won a prize at the Gwent-Morgannwg Eisteddfod of 1834, held at Cardiff, for his arrangement of the popular folk song, "The Ash Grove". As a result, he received the patronage of the Duke of Newcastle; this enabled him to study at the Royal Academy of Music. After completing his studies, he went to Paris where he became a pupil of Frédéric Chopin. It was in Paris that his first major work, the Overture in F Minor, was performed.
Scott Joplin
Scott Joplin
Scott Joplin (between June 1867 and January 1868 – April 1, 1917) was an American musician and composer of ragtime music. He remains the best-known ragtime figure and is regarded as one of the three most important composers of classic ragtime, along with James Scott and Joseph Lamb, and also a precursor to Stride Piano. Decades after his death, his music enjoyed a considerable surge of popularity and critical respect in the 1970s, especially for his most famous composition, "The Entertainer."

Even at the time of publication, Joplin's publisher John Stark was claiming that the rags had obtained classical status, and "lifted ragtime from its low estate and lined it up with Beethoven and Bach".
Saint Saens
Saint Saens
Charles-Camille Saint-Saëns (9 October 1835 – 16 December 1921) was a French composer, organist, conductor, and pianist, known especially for The Carnival of the Animals, Danse Macabre, Samson and Delilah, Havanaise, Introduction and Rondo capriccioso, and his Symphony No. 3 (Organ Symphony).
Debussy
Debussy
Achille-Claude Debussy (August 22, 1862 – March 25, 1918) was a French composer. Along with Maurice Ravel, he is considered one of the most prominent figures working within the field of Impressionist music, though he himself intensely disliked the term when applied to his compositions. Debussy was not only among the most important of all French composers but also was a central figure in all European music at the turn of the twentieth century.

Debussy's music virtually defines the transition from late-Romantic music to twentieth century modernist music. In French literary circles, the style of this period was known as Symbolism, a movement that directly inspired Debussy both as a composer and as an active cultural participant.
Katy Perry
Katy Perry
Katy Perry (born Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson; October 25, 1984) is an American singer-songwriter. She has risen to prominence with her 2008 single "I Kissed a Girl" which has become a worldwide hit topping the charts in more than 20 countries, including United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Ireland, and the United States, where it was the 1000th Billboard Hot 100 number 1. Perry has stated in the press that it's thanks to successful British singer-songwriters Amy Winehouse and Lily Allen that more female artists had been appearing on the charts. She went on to say that Winehouse and Allen "have introduced America to great music". She is known for her unconventional style of dress, often humoristic, bright in color and reminiscent of different decades, as well as her frequent use of fruit-shaped accessories, mainly watermelon as part of her outfits. Perry has a contralto vocal range.
Alan Menken
Alan Menken
Alan Menken (born July 22, 1949 in New Rochelle, New York) is an American Broadway and an eight-time Academy Award winning composer and pianist. Menken has collaborated with several renowned lyricists including Howard Ashman (1950-1991), Tim Rice and Stephen Schwartz.
Victor Herbert
Victor Herbert
Victor August Herbert (February 1, 1859 – May 26, 1924) was an Irish-born, German-raised American composer, cellist and conductor. Although Herbert enjoyed important careers as a cello soloist and conductor, he is best known for composing many successful operettas that premiered on Broadway from the 1890s to World War I. He was also prominent among the tin pan alley composers and was later a founder of the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP). A prolific composer, Herbert produced two operas, a cantata, 43 operettas, incidental music to 10 plays, 31 compositions for orchestra, nine band compositions, nine cello compositions, five violin compositions with piano or orchestra, 22 piano compositions and numerous songs, choral compositions and orchestrations of works by other composers, among other music.

In the early 1880s, Herbert began a career as a cellist in Vienna, Austria, and Stuttgart, Germany, during which he began to compose orchestral music. Herbert and his opera singer wife, Therese Förster, moved to the U.S. in 1886 when both were engaged by the Metropolitan Opera. In the U.S., Herbert continued his performing career, while also teaching at the National Conservatory of Music, conducting and composing. His most notable instrumental compositions were his Cello Concerto No. 2 in E minor, Op. 30 (1894), which entered the standard repertoire, and his Auditorium Festival March (1901). He led the Pittsburgh Symphony from 1898 to 1904 and then founded the Victor Herbert Orchestra, which he conducted throughout the rest of his life.

Herbert began to compose operettas in 1894, producing several successes, including The Serenade (1897) and The Fortune Teller (1898). Even more successful were some of the operettas that he wrote after the turn of the 20th century: Babes in Toyland (1903), Mlle. Modiste (1905), The Red Mill (1906), Naughty Marietta (1910), Sweethearts (1913) and Eileen (1917). After World War I, with the change of popular musical tastes, Herbert began to compose musicals and contributed music to other composers' shows. While some of these were well-received, he never again achieved the level of success that he had enjoyed with his most popular operettas.
Final Fantasy VIII
Final Fantasy VIII
Final Fantasy VIII (ファイナルファンタジーVIII Fainaru Fantajī Eito) is a role-playing video game developed and published by Square for the PlayStation console. Released in 1999, it is the eighth main installment in the Final Fantasy series. Set on an unnamed fantasy world with science fiction elements, the game follows a group of young mercenaries, led by Squall Leonhart, as they are drawn into a conflict sparked by the sorceress Edea. After defeating Edea, the protagonists learn that she was under the control of Ultimecia, a sorceress from the future who wishes to compress time. During the quest to defeat Ultimecia, Squall struggles with his role as leader and develops a romance with one of his comrades, Rinoa Heartilly.

Development began in 1997, during the English localization of Final Fantasy VII. The game builds on the visual changes brought to the series by Final Fantasy VII, including use 3D graphics and pre-rendered backgrounds, while also departing from many Final Fantasy traditions. It is the first Final Fantasy to use realistically proportioned characters consistently, feature a vocal piece as its theme music, forego the use of magic points for spellcasting, and deviate from the series' traditional means of increasing a character's power.

Final Fantasy VIII was mostly well received by critics, who praised its originality and visuals while criticizing some of its gameplay elements. It was voted the 22nd-best game of all time in 2006 by readers of the Japanese magazine Famitsu. The game was a commercial success; 13 weeks after its release, Final Fantasy VIII had earned more than US$50 million in sales, making it the fastest-selling Final Fantasy title until Final Fantasy XIII, a multi-platform release. It was later ported to Windows-based personal computers and became available on PlayStation Network as a PSone Classics title in 2009. As of December 2013, it has sold more than 8.5 million copies worldwide.
Henry Mancini
Henry Mancini
Henry Mancini (April 16, 1924 – June 14, 1994) was an American composer, conductor and arranger. He is remembered particularly for being a composer of film and television scores. Mancini also won a record number of Grammy awards, including a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1995. His best-known works are the jazz-idiom theme to The Pink Panther film series ("The Pink Panther Theme"), the Peter Gunn Theme (from the so-named series) and "Moon River".

Mancini was nominated for an unprecedented 72 Grammys, winning 20. Additionally he was nominated for 18 Academy Awards, winning four. He also won a Golden Globe Award and was nominated for two Emmys.
Mancini won a total of four Oscars for his music in the course of his career. He was first nominated for an Academy Award in 1955 for his original score of The Glenn Miller Story, on which he collaborated with Joseph Gershenson. He lost out to Adolph Deutsch and Saul Chaplin's Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. In 1962 he was nominated in the Best Music, Original Song category for "Bachelor in Paradise" from the film of the same name, in collaboration with lyricist Mack David. That song did not win. However, Mancini did receive two Oscars that year: one in the same category, for the song "Moon River" (shared with lyricist Johnny Mercer), and one for "Best Music, Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture" for Breakfast at Tiffany's. The following year, he and Mercer took another Best Song award for "Days of Wine and Roses," another eponymous theme song. His next eleven nominations went for naught, but he finally garnered one last statuette working with lyricist Leslie Bricusse on the score for Victor/Victoria, which won the "Best Music, Original Song Score and Its Adaptation or Best Adaptation Score" award for 1983. All three of the films for which he won were directed by Blake Edwards. His score for Victor/Victoria was adapted for the 1995 Broadway musical of the same name.
Théodore-César Salom
Théodore-César Salomé (20 January 1834 – 26 July 1896) was a French organist and composer.Théodore Salomé was born in Paris. He completed all of his musical studies at the Conservatoire de Paris, under the tutelage of François Bazin for harmony and accompaniment, and François Benoist for organ. He won several honorable awards, including: second prize in harmony (1855), second prize in organ and in harmony (1856), second and third prize in harmony and organ (1857), and second prize in harmony (1859). His cantata Atala was awarded the premier Second Grand Prix of the Prix de Rome in 1861. In the same year Théodore Dubois was awarded the first grand prize, and Eugène Anthiome and Titus Constantin won the deuxième Second Grand Prix.
Luciano Pavarotti
Luciano Pavarotti
Luciano Pavarotti, Italian tenor. He is one of the most important vocal artists in the modern opera era. He was born in 1935 in Modena, Italy. His first musical experience was in the city choir with his father Fernando. When he was young, he went to Wales with his father, Gioachino Rossini.
Kansas
Kansas
Kansas is an American progressive rock band which became a popular arena rock group in the 1970s, with hit singles such as "Carry On Wayward Son" and "Dust in the Wind". Kansas has remained a classic rock radio staple and a popular touring act in North America and Europe.
Mozart
Mozart
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, full name Johann Chrysostom Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (27 January 1756 – 5 December 1791) was a prolific and influential composer of the Classical era. His over 600 compositions include works widely acknowledged as pinnacles of symphonic, concertante, chamber, piano, operatic, and choral music. Mozart is among the most enduringly popular of classical composers, and many of his works are part of the standard concert repertoire.

Mozart's music, like Haydn's, stands as an archetypal example of the Classical style. His works spanned the period during which that style transformed from one exemplified by the style galant to one that began to incorporate some of the contrapuntal complexities of the late Baroque, complexities against which the galant style had been a reaction. Mozart's own stylistic development closely paralleled the development of the classical style as a whole. In addition, he was a versatile composer and wrote in almost every major genre, including symphony, opera, the solo concerto, chamber music including string quartet and string quintet, and the piano sonata. While none of these genres were new, the piano concerto was almost single-handedly developed and popularized by Mozart. He also wrote a great deal of religious music, including masses; and he composed many dances, divertimenti, serenades, and other forms of light entertainment.

The central traits of the classical style can be identified in Mozart's music. Clarity, balance, and transparency are hallmarks of his work.
Keane
Keane
Keane are an English piano rock band, first established in Battle, East Sussex in 1995, and taking their current name in 1997. The group comprises composer, bassist, and pianist Tim Rice-Oxley, lead vocalist Tom Chaplin and drummer Richard Hughes. Their original line-up included founder and guitarist Dominic Scott, who left in 2001. Keane are known for using a piano as their lead instrument instead of guitars, significantly differentiating them from most rock bands. The inclusion of a distorted piano effect since 2006 and various synthesizers are now a common feature in their music that nowadays combines the piano rock sound used during their first album and the alternative rock sound which developed during 2005. Acoustic and power ballads are a highlight in the group's music, including fan favourite songs such as "On a Day Like Today" and "We Might as Well Be Strangers".

Their first two studio albums, Hopes and Fears and Under the Iron Sea achieved success in the United Kingdom upon release and very high sales worldwide: their multi-award-winning debut was the best-selling British album of 2004, and their sophomore sold up to 222,000 copies during its first week on sale in June 2006. In May 2008, both Hopes and Fears (#13) and Under the Iron Sea (#8) were voted by readers of Q magazine within the best British albums ever; Keane, The Beatles, Oasis and Radiohead were the only musical acts having two albums in the top 20.

The band's third studio album, Perfect Symmetry will be released in October 13, 2008.
Prokofiev
Prokofiev
Sergei Sergeyevich Prokofiev (Russian: Сергей Сергеевич Прокофьев; Ukrainian: Сергій Сергійович Прокоф'єв) (27 April 1891 – 5 March 1953) was a Russian composer, pianist and conductor who mastered numerous musical genres and came to be admired as one of the greatest composers of the 20th century.

Prokofiev was a soloist with the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Piero Coppola, in the first recording of his Piano Concerto No. 3, recorded in London by His Master's Voice in June 1932. Prokofiev also recorded some of his solo piano music for HMV in Paris in February 1935; these recordings were issued on CD by Pearl and Naxos. In 1938, he conducted the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra in a recording of the second suite from his Romeo and Juliet ballet; this performance was also later released on LP and CD. Another reported recording with Prokofiev and the Moscow Philharmonic was of the First Violin Concerto with David Oistrakh as soloist; Everest Records later released this recording on an LP.
Celine Dion
Celine Dion
Céline Marie Claudette Dion (born March 30, 1968 in Charlemagne, Quebec) is a Canadian singer, and occasional songwriter and actress.

Dion had first gained international recognition in the 1980s by winning both the 1982 Yamaha World Popular Song Festival and the 1988 Eurovision Song Contest.

Dion's music has been influenced by genres ranging from rock and R&B to gospel and classical, and while her releases have often received mixed critical reception, she is renowned for her technically skilled and powerful vocals.
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is a one act musical comedy with music and lyrics by William Finn and a book by Rachel Sheinkin. The show centers around a fictional spelling bee set in a geographically ambiguous Putnam Valley Middle School in Putnam County, NY. Six quirky adolescents compete in the Bee, run by three equally-quirky grown-ups. The spellers learn that winning isn't everything.

The 2005 Broadway production, directed by James Lapine, has earned good reviews and box-office success and was nominated for six Tony Awards, winning two, including Best Book. The show has spawned various other productions in the U.S., a national tour with performances two in Canada and Australian productions.

An unusual aspect of the show is that three or four real audience members are invited on stage to compete in the spelling bee alongside the six young characters. During the 2005 Tony Awards, former Presidential candidate Al Sharpton competed. Another amusing aspect of the show is that the official pronouncer provides ridiculous usage examples when asked to use words in a sentence. For instance, for the word "palaestra," he says, "Euripides said, 'What happens at the palaestra stays at the palaestra.'" At some shows, adult-only audiences (over age 16) are invited for "Parent-Teacher Conferences," also known as "adult night at the Bee." These performances are peppered with sexual references and profanity inspired by R-rated ad-libs made during rehearsals.

Spelling Bee, together with The Drowsy Chaperone, Xanadu, and others, is part of a Broadway trend to present musicals uninterrupted by an intermission, with a relatively small cast and short running time of less than two hours.
Within Temptation
Within Temptation
Within Temptation is a Dutch rock/metal band. The band was founded in 1996 by vocalist Sharon den Adel and guitarist Robert Westerholt. Their music is described as symphonic metal, gothic metal, although in an interview, Den Adel said they fell into a symphonic rock genre with various influences, and in a later interview with 3VOOR12, Sharon stated that "we consider ourselves more a symphonic rock band ... we are in my opinion no gothic band".

After the release of their first album Enter, the band became prominent in the underground scene. However it was not until 2001 that they became known to the general public, with the single "Ice Queen" from the album Mother Earth, which reached #2 on the charts. Since then, the band won the Conamus Exportprijs five years in a row. Their next album The Silent Force debuted at #1 on the Dutch charts, as did their latest, The Heart of Everything. In 2008 they released a live DVD and CD, Black Symphony, recorded with the Metropole Orchestra.

On August 11, 2009 Within Temptation announced that they would be releasing a live album consisting of acoustic sets from their theatre tour, entitled An Acoustic Night At The Theatre, which was released on October 30th.
Big Bang
Big Bang
Big Bang (Korean: 빅뱅), commonly stylized as BIGBANG, is a Korean boyband made up of five Korean singers. Although their debut was somewhat successful, it was not until the release of "거짓말" ("Lies") that the group gained mainstream success.

Big Bang's music style can be classified for the most part as hip pop music (as seen with the songs "La, La, La" and "Goodbye Baby"), with a little vibe of R&B (as seen with the songs "We Belong Together" and "Forever With You"), dance ("Shake It") and mainstream ("This Love") music. Rock with "Oh My Friend". Finally, becoming the greatest hit songs of 2007, (as seen with the songs "Lies", "Last Farewell", and "Haru Haru (Day By Day)") electronica is seemingly becoming the new music trend in Korea. However, the members have branched out into different genres in their solo work, including singing ballads and mainstream pop music. Big Bang even once mentioned in an interview that if they want to, they might do trot someday. Daesung's first digital single, "Look at Me, GwiSun" ("날 봐, 귀순"), was a trot song, which had been somewhat controversial considering Big Bang's primary focus on hip-hop.

The members of Big Bang often contribute to writing lyrics for their own music as well as composing despite only debuting in 2006. The most notable from the group to compose and write is leader G-Dragon, as he has composed and written numerous songs for the group, including "Lies" and "Last Farewell." Aside from G-Dragon, the others members have contributed to writing lyrics as well. T.O.P has also written a song for their third mini album Stand up, called "Good Man". On a whole, Big Bang has received praises from critics, fans, and other singers alike for contributions to their own materials.
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