Purchasing sheet music on-line

A summary of the issues and options for purchasing liturgical music from on-line sources.

This is a listing some of the more common on-line shops which supply sheet music, with a focus on classical / choral / sacred works.

Purchasing on-line has a number of advantages over traditional approaches.

It is especially useful for church musicians who need to obtain resources at short notice - especially for funerals and similar events.

However the choice can be overwhelming, and it may be difficult to know before purchasing whether what you are selecting is what you actually want.

On-line retailers:

Many church-music publishers have on-line purchase options on their websites.

Some also have on-line download options which let you download versions suitable for being inserted into other document.  These include:
  • HymnPrint.net - GIA's tool for downloading sheet music (mainly melody editions) of published hymns.

MusicNotes.com - is a commercial company, which sells a variety of sheet music on-line, including some recent works.  Their site shows a free preview of the first page.  Purchased versions sometimes contain printable sheet music and an interactive, downloadable digital sheet music file includes a transposition option.

Amazon sells some downloadable sheet music, though this tends to be classical instrumental scores rather than choral material.

Non-commercial / free sites:

www.free-scores.com - appears to have a lot of instrumental arrangements, rather than choral ones.

Choral Public Domain Library - a massive library almost all choral scores

GodSongs.net - the hymn library associated with LiturgyTools.net, offering lead-sheet scores for a range of mainly folk-style hymns.

International Music Score Library Project (IMSLP), AKA the Petrucci Music Library  - another large library of choral scores.

Mutopia Project - another library of scores for classical music which is free from copyright restrictions

Musicano's Religious gentre - this is a site that lets composers distribute their works directly.   Some choose to provide licences for free, while others charge.

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