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Rossini
Rossini
Gioachino Antonio Rossini (February 29, 1792 – November 13, 1868) was a popular Italian composer who created 39 operas as well as sacred music and chamber music. His best known works include Il barbiere di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville), La Cenerentola and Guillaume Tell (William Tell).

Rossini's most famous opera was produced on February 20, 1816 at the Teatro Argentina in Rome. The libretto by Cesare Sterbini, a version of Pierre Beaumarchais' infamous stage play Le Barbier de Séville, was the same as that already used by Giovanni Paisiello in his own Barbiere, an opera which had enjoyed European popularity for more than a quarter of a century. Much is made of how fast Rossini's opera was written, scholarship generally agreeing upon two weeks. Later in life, Rossini claimed to have written the opera in only twelve days. It was a colossal failure when it premiered as Almaviva; Paisiello’s admirers were extremely indignant, sabotaging the production by whistling and shouting during the entire first act. However, not long after the second performance, the opera became so successful that the fame of Paisiello's opera was transferred to Rossini's, to which the title The Barber of Seville passed as an inalienable heritage.
John Williamson
John Williamson
John Robert Williamson AM (born 1 November 1945 in Quambatook, Victoria) is an Australian country music singer-songwriter. He is well-known for playing in RSL clubs at various venues around Australia. Williamson has released over thirty-two albums, ten videos, five DVDs, and two lyric books. He has received more than twenty-three Golden Guitar Awards at the Country Music Awards of Australia and has won two A.R.I.A. Awards for Best Australian Country Record. Williamson has also featured in a number of television series as well as This is Your Life. Many of his albums have gone Gold and Platinum and continue to do so. He has sold more than 2,000,000 albums in Australia alone. In 1970 Williamson's first song, Old Man Emu, went to No.1 and became gold. Another one of his classics, Mallee Boy, became triple-platinum and won him an A.R.I.A. Award.
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.
Vivaldi
Vivaldi
Antonio Lucio Vivaldi (March 4, 1678 – July 28, 1741), nicknamed il Prete Rosso ("The Red Priest"), was a Venetian priest and Baroque music composer, as well as a famous virtuoso violinist; he was born and raised in the Republic of Venice. The Four Seasons, a series of four violin concerti, is his best-known work and a highly popular Baroque piece.

Many of Vivaldi's compositions reflect a flamboyant, almost playful, exuberance. Most of Vivaldi's repertoire was rediscovered only in the first half of the 20th century in Turin and Genoa and was published in the second half. Vivaldi's music is innovative, breaking a consolidated tradition in schemes; he gave brightness to the formal and the rhythmic structure of the concerto, repeatedly looking for harmonic contrasts and innovative melodies and themes. Moreover, Vivaldi was able to compose nonacademic music, particularly meant to be appreciated by the wide public and not only by an intellectual minority. The joyful appearance of his music reveals in this regard a transmissible joy of composing; these are among the causes of the vast popularity of his music. This popularity soon made him famous in other countries such as France which was, at the time, very independent concerning its musical taste.

Vivaldi is considered one of the composers who brought Baroque music (with its typical contrast among heavy sonorities) to evolve into a classical style. Johann Sebastian Bach was deeply influenced by Vivaldi's concertos and arias (recalled in his Johannes Passion, Matthäuspassion, and cantatas). Bach transcribed a number of Vivaldi's concerti for solo keyboard, along with a number for orchestra, including the famous Concerto for Four Violins and Violoncello, Strings and Continuo (RV 580).
Chopin
Chopin
Frédéric Chopin (1 March 1810 – 17 October 1849) was a Polish composer and virtuoso pianist of the Romantic period. He is widely regarded as the greatest Polish composer, and ranks as one of music's greatest tone poets.

He was born in the village of Żelazowa Wola, in the Duchy of Warsaw, to a Polish mother and French-expatriate father, and in his early life was regarded as a child-prodigy pianist. In November 1830, at the age of 20, Chopin went abroad; following the suppression of the Polish November Uprising of 1830–31, he became one of many expatriates of the Polish "Great Emigration."

In Paris, he made a comfortable living as a composer and piano teacher, while giving few public performances. A Polish patriot,

Chopin's extant compositions were written primarily for the piano as a solo instrument. Though technically demanding, Chopin's style emphasizes nuance and expressive depth rather than virtuosity. Chopin invented musical forms such as the ballade and was responsible for major innovations in forms such as the piano sonata, waltz, nocturne, étude, impromptu and prelude. His works are mainstays of Romanticism in 19th-century classical music.
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.
Daniel Powter
Daniel Powter
Daniel Richard Powter (born February 25, 1971) is a Canadian Grammy Award-nominated recording artist. He grew up in Vernon, in the Okanagan Valley region of British Columbia.

Daniel Powter released his debut album "I'm Your Betty" in 2000. The album, limited to a very small print, contains 10 songs, two of which "More Than I" and "Negative Fashion" were both featured on the television show Higher Ground (TV series).

Daniel Powter's first piano pop single, "Bad Day" debuted not in his home country of Canada, but rather in Europe in mid-2005. It was chosen by Warner Bros. Records as a submission for commercial production and was subsequently chosen by Coca-Cola as the theme song for an ad campaign in Europe. Additionally, "Bad Day" was used extensively by American Idol in its fifth season. To date, this is his most notable hit.

On July 2, 2005, Powter performed at the Berlin installment of Live 8, a simultaneous group of concerts in nine countries intended to raise awareness of poverty in Africa and put pressure on world leaders for aid.

The video for "Bad Day" features actress Samaire Armstrong, best known for her role as Anna on the popular American television show The O.C. with Jason Adelman.
david guetta
david guetta
Pierre David Guetta (French pronunciation: ​; /ˈɡɛtə/; born 7 November 1967) is a French DJ, music programmer, record producer and songwriter. He has sold over nine million albums and thirty million singles worldwide. In 2011, Guetta was voted as the number one DJ in the DJ Mag Top 100 DJs poll. In 2013, Billboard crowned "When Love Takes Over" as the number one dance-pop collaboration of all time.

Born and raised in Paris, he released his first album, Just a Little More Love, in 2002. Later, he released Guetta Blaster (2004) and Pop Life (2007). Guetta achieved mainstream success with his 2009 album One Love which included the hit singles "When Love Takes Over", "Gettin' Over You", "Sexy Bitch" and "Memories", the first three of which reached number one in the United Kingdom. The 2011 follow-up album, Nothing but the Beat, continued this success, containing the hit singles "Where Them Girls At", "Little Bad Girl", "Without You", "Titanium" and "Turn Me On". He has been called the "grandfather of EDM".[5
Oasis
Oasis
Oasis are an English rock band that formed in Manchester in 1991. The group was formed by Liam Gallagher (vocals), Paul Arthurs (guitar), Paul McGuigan (bass) and Tony McCarroll (drums), who were soon joined by Liam's older brother Noel Gallagher (lead guitar, lead vocals). Oasis have sold more than 50 million records worldwide, have had eight UK number-one singles and have collected 15 NME Awards, 5 Brit Awards and 9 Q awards. The Gallagher brothers are the band's leading songwriters and the only continual members. The present lineup is completed by guitarists Gem Archer and Andy Bell, as well as unofficial drummer Chris Sharrock.

The band initially gained prominence performing on the Manchester club circuit. They were signed to independent record label Creation Records and afterwards released their debut album Definitely Maybe in 1994. The following year, the band recorded (What's the Story) Morning Glory? (1995) with their new drummer Alan White, whilst rivaling with Britpop peers Blur in the charts. The Gallagher brothers were featured regularly in tabloid newspapers for their sibling rivalry and wild lifestyles, cultivating reputations both as bad boys and as a band of the people. At the height of their fame, Oasis released their third album, Be Here Now (1997). It became the fastest-selling album in UK chart history, but lost much of its long-term appeal after the initial hype and positive reception tempered. The band suffered a notable decline in popularity in America and lost three long-time members between recording and releasing Standing on the Shoulder of Giants (2000) and Heathen Chemistry (2002).

Their sixth album Don't Believe the Truth (2005), despite turbulent recording, became their best-selling and best-received album in a decade. The following year, the band released a compilation album entitled Stop the Clocks. In February 2007, Oasis received the BRIT Award for outstanding contribution to music. Dig Out Your Soul, the seventh studio album by the band, is set to be released on October 6, 2008, with the lead single from that album, "The Shock of the Lightning", set to be released on 29 September 2008.
Charlie Parker
Charlie Parker
Charles Parker, Jr. (August 29, 1920 – March 12, 1955), famously called Bird or Yardbird, was an American jazz saxophonist and composer.
Parker, with Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington, is widely considered to have been one of the most influential jazz musicians. Parker acquired the nickname "Yardbird" early in his career, and the shortened form "Bird" remained Parker's sobriquet for the rest of his life, inspiring the titles of a number of Parker compositions, such as "Yardbird Suite", "Ornithology" and "Bird of Paradise."
Parker played a leading role in the development of bebop, a form of jazz characterized by fast tempos, virtuoso technique, and improvisation based on harmonic structure. Parker's innovative approaches to melody, rhythm, and harmony exercised enormous influence on his contemporaries. Several of Parker's songs have become standards, including "Billie's Bounce", "Anthropology", "Ornithology", and "Confirmation". He introduced revolutionary harmonic ideas including a tonal vocabulary employing 9ths, 11ths and 13ths of chords, rapidly implied passing chords, and new variants of altered chords and chord substitutions. His tone was clean and penetrating, but sweet and plaintive on ballads. Although many Parker recordings demonstrate dazzling virtuosic technique and complex melodic lines – such as "Ko-Ko", "Kim", and "Leap Frog" – he was also one of the great blues players. His themeless blues improvisation "Parker's Mood" represents one of the most deeply affecting recordings in jazz. At various times, Parker fused jazz with other musical styles, from classical to Latin music, blazing paths followed later by others.
Gluck
Gluck
Christoph Willibald Ritter von Gluck (born 2 July 1714 Erasbach, Upper Palatinate; died 15 November 1787 in Vienna) was a composer of the 18th century, most noted for his operatic works. After many years at the Habsburg court at Vienna, Gluck brought about the practical reform of opera's dramaturgical practices that many intellectuals had been campaigning for over the years. With a series of radical new works in the 1760s, among them Orfeo ed Euridice and Alceste, he broke the stranglehold that Metastasian opera seria had enjoyed for much of the century.

The strong influence of French opera in these works encouraged Gluck to move to Paris, which he did in November 1773. Fusing the traditions of Italian opera and the French national genre into a new synthesis, Gluck wrote eight operas for the Parisian stages. One of the last of these, Iphigénie en Tauride, was a great success and is generally acknowledged to be his finest work. Though extremely popular and widely credited with bringing about a revolution in French opera, Gluck's mastery of the Parisian operatic scene was never absolute, and after the poor reception of his Echo et Narcisse, he left Paris in disgust and returned to Vienna to live out the remainder of his life.
Bach
Bach
Johann Sebastian Bach (31 March 1685 – 28 July 1750) was a German composer and organist whose sacred and secular works for choir, orchestra, and solo instruments drew together the strands of the Baroque period and brought it to its ultimate maturity. Although he introduced no new forms, he enriched the prevailing German style with a robust contrapuntal technique, an unrivalled control of harmonic and motivic organisation in composition for diverse musical forces, and the adaptation of rhythms and textures from abroad, particularly Italy and France.

Revered for their intellectual depth and technical and artistic beauty, Bach's works include the Brandenburg concertos; the Goldberg Variations; the English Suites, French Suites, Partitas, and Well-Tempered Clavier; the Mass in B Minor; the St. Matthew Passion; the St. John Passion; The Musical Offering; The Art of Fugue; the Sonatas and Partitas for violin solo; the Cello Suites; more than 200 surviving cantatas; and a similar number of organ works, including the celebrated Toccata and Fugue in D Minor.

While Bach's fame as an organist was great during his lifetime, he was not particularly well-known as a composer. His adherence to Baroque forms and contrapuntal style was considered "old-fashioned" by his contemporaries, especially late in his career when the musical fashion tended towards Rococo and later Classical styles. A revival of interest and performances of his music began early in the 19th century, and he is now widely considered to be one of the greatest composers in the Western tradition.
Moritz Moszkowski
Moritz Moszkowski
Moritz (Maurice) Moszkowski (23 August 1854 – 4 March 1925) was a German composer, pianist, and teacher of Polish descent. Ignacy Paderewski said, "After Chopin, Moszkowski best understands how to write for the piano". Although little known today, Moszkowski was well-respected and popular during the late nineteenth century.

His music is brilliant, but has also been described as "devoid of the masculine and the feminine". He wrote over two hundred small-scale piano pieces, which brought him much popularity – notably his set of Spanish Dances, Op. 12, for piano duet (later arranged for solo piano, and for orchestra ). His early Serenade, Op. 15, was world-famous and appeared in many guises, including the song Liebe, kleine Nachtigall. Today he is probably best known for his fifteen Études de Virtuosité, Op. 72, which have been performed by virtuoso pianists such as Vladimir Horowitz and Marc-André Hamelin. Surprisingly, their first complete recording was not until 1970 (by Ilana Vered). Many of his small but brilliant piano pieces, such as Étincelles (Sparks), are used as encore performances at the end of classical concerts.
He also wrote larger scale works including the Piano Concerto in E major, Op. 59 (1898), the Violin Concerto in C major, Op. 30, three orchestral suites (Opp. 39, 47, 79), and a symphonic poem Jeanne d'Arc, Op. 19.
He wrote the opera Boabdil der letzte Maurenkönig, Op. 49, on the historical theme of the capture of Granada. It was premiered at the Berlin Court Opera on 21 April 1892, and appeared in Prague and New York the following year. It did not stay in the repertoire, but its ballet music was very popular for a number of years. He wrote a three-act ballet Laurin in 1896.
Hans Zimmer
Hans Zimmer
Hans Florian Zimmer (born September 12, 1957) is a German film score composer and music producer. He has composed music for over 100 films, including Hollywood blockbusters such as the Pirates of the Caribbean series, Gladiator, The Lion King, The Da Vinci Code and The Dark Knight.

Zimmer spent the early part of his career in the United Kingdom before moving to the United States. He is the head of the film music division at DreamWorks studios, and works with other composers through the company which he founded, Remote Control Productions. His work is notable for integrating electronic music sounds with traditional orchestral arrangements.
Bela Bartok
Bela Bartok
Béla Viktor János Bartók (pronounced /ˈbɑrtɒk/ (Wells 1990), Hungarian pronunciation: ) (March 25, 1881 – September 26, 1945) was a Hungarian composer and pianist. He is considered to be one of the greatest composers of the 20th century and is regarded, along with Liszt, as his country's greatest composer (Gillies 2001). Through his collection and analytical study of folk music, he was one of the founders of ethnomusicology.
Mika
Mika
Mica Penniman (born 18 August 1983), known as Mika, is a Lebanese-born, London-based, Grammy-nominated and BRIT Award-winning singer-songwriter, who has a recording contract with Casablanca Records and Universal Music. He rose to fame around the end of 2006 and the start of 2007. His birth name is Michael Holbrook Penniman.
Lenny Kravitz
Lenny Kravitz
Leonard Albert "Lenny" Kravitz (born May 26, 1964) is an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, and arranger whose "retro" style incorporates elements of rock, soul, funk, reggae, hard rock, psychedelic, Folk, and ballads.

In addition to singing lead and backing vocals, Kravitz often plays all the guitar, bass, drums, keyboards, and percussion himself when recording. He won the Grammy Award for "Best Male Rock Vocal Performance" four years in a row from 1999 to 2002. He has sold an estimated 32 millions albums worldwide.
Claude Debussy
Claude Debussy
Achille-Claude Debussy (French pronunciation: ) (August 22, 1862 – March 25, 1918) was a French composer. Along with Maurice Ravel, he was 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 is not only among the most important of all French composers but also a central figure in European music at the turn of the twentieth century.

His music is noted for its sensory component and how it is not often formed around one key or pitch. Often Debussy's work reflected the activities or turbulence in his own life. His 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.
Yoko Kanno
Yoko Kanno
Yoko Kanno (菅野 よう子 Kanno Yōko?, born March 19, 1964 in Miyagi Prefecture, Japan) is a composer, arranger and musician best known for her work on the soundtracks for many games, anime films, TV series, live-action movies, and advertisements. She has written scores for famous animated works, including Macross Plus, Turn A Gundam, Cowboy Bebop, The Vision of Escaflowne, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Wolf's Rain, and is the most trusted composer by veteran and new-wave directors such as Yoshiyuki Tomino, Shinichiro Watanabe and Shoji Kawamori. Kanno has also composed music for J-pop artists, the most notable being Maaya Sakamoto and Kyōko Koizumi. She is also a skilled keyboardist, and is the frontwoman for The Seatbelts, who perform many of Kanno's compositions on the various original soundtracks for which she is responsible.
Paganini
Paganini
Niccolò Paganini (27 October 1782 – 27 May 1840) was an Italian violinist, violist, guitarist, and composer. He was one of the most celebrated violin virtuosi of his time, and left his mark as one of the pillars of modern violin technique. His caprice in A minor, Op. 1 No. 24 is among his best known of compositions, and serves as inspiration for many prominent artists.

Paganini composed his own works to play exclusively in his concerts, all of which had profound influences on the evolution of violin techniques. His 24 Caprices were probably composed in the period between 1805 to 1809, while he was in the service of the Baciocchi court. Also during this period, he composed the majority of the solo pieces, duo-sonatas,trios and quartets for the guitar. These chamber works may have been inspired by the publication, in Lucca, of the guitar quintets of Boccherini. Many of his variations (and he has become the de facto master of this musical genre), including Le Streghe, The Carnival of Venice, and Nel cor più non mi sento, were composed, or at least first performed, before his European concert tour.


Playbill of Paganini's concert at the Covent Garden in 1832. Note that all solo pieces were of his composition, which was typical of all his concerts.

Generally speaking, Paganini's compositions were technically imaginative, and the timbre of the instrument was greatly expanded as a result of these works. Sounds of different musical instruments and animals were often imitated. One such composition was titled Il Fandango Spanolo (The Spanish Dance), which featured a series of humorous imitations of farm animals. Even more outrageous was a solo piece Duetto Amoroso, in which the sighs and groans of lovers were intimately depicted on the violin. Fortunately there survives a manuscript of the Duetto which has been recorded, while the existence of the Fandango is known only through concert posters.

However, his works were criticized for lacking characteristics of true polyphonism, as pointed out by Eugène Ysaÿe. Yehudi Menuhin, on the other hand, suggested that this might have been the result of his reliance on the guitar (in lieu of the piano) as an aid in composition. The orchestral parts for his concertos were often polite, unadventurous, and clearly supportive of the soloist. In this, his style is consistent with that of other Italian composers such as Paisiello, Rossini and Donizetti, who were influenced by the guitar-song milieu of Naples during this period.

Paganini was also the inspiration of many prominent composers. Both "La Campanella" and the A minor caprice (Nr. 24) have been an object of interest for a number of composers. Franz Liszt, Johannes Brahms, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Boris Blacher, Andrew Lloyd Webber, George Rochberg and Witold Lutosławski, among others, wrote well-known variations on these themes.
Ludovico Einaudi
Ludovico Einaudi
Ludovico Einaudi (born 23 November 1955) is an Italian contemporary classical music composer and pianist.

Although Einaudi would prefer not to be labeled as any particular type of genre, he is sometimes referred to as Minimalist. This is despite his music not sharing the key musical properties associated with minimalism. This may be due to his music possessing sparse orchestration and simplistic melodies that some may wish to refer to as 'minimalist' despite not belonging to the musical movement of Minimalism.

Einaudi's own words on the matter reflect this viewpoint, with Einaudi referring to Minimalism as "elegance and openness", despite its more formal definition as a musical movement to which he arguably does not belong.
Vince Guaraldi
Vince Guaraldi
Vincent Anthony "Vince" Guaraldi (July 17, 1928 – February 6, 1976) was an Italian American jazz musician and pianist noted for his innovative compositions and arrangements and for composing music for animated adaptations of the Peanuts comic strip. Guaraldi was born in San Francisco, California. He graduated from Lincoln High School, attended San Francisco State University, and served as an Army cook in the Korean War.

While searching for just the right music to accompany a planned Peanuts television documentary, Lee Mendelson (the producer of the special) heard a single version of "Cast Your Fate to the Wind" by Vince Guaraldi's trio on the radio while traveling in a taxicab on the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California. Mendelson contacted Ralph J. Gleason, jazz columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle and was put in touch with Guaraldi. He proposed that Guaraldi score the upcoming Peanuts Christmas special and Guaraldi enthusiastically took the job, performing a version of what became "Linus and Lucy" over the phone two weeks later. The soundtrack was recorded by the Vince Guaraldi Trio, whose other members were Puzzy Firth standing in bassist for band member Fred Marshall, who was ill at the time, and drummer Jerry Granelli. Guaraldi went on to compose scores for sixteen Peanuts television specials, plus the feature film A Boy Named Charlie Brown as well as the unaired television program of the same name.
Professor Longhair
Professor Longhair
Henry Roeland "Roy" Byrd (December 19, 1918 – January 30, 1980), better known as Professor Longhair or "Fess" for short, was a New Orleans blues singer and pianist. He was active in two distinct periods, first in the heyday of early rhythm and blues and later in the resurgence of interest in traditional jazz after the founding of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival in 1970. His piano style has been described as "instantly recognizable, combining rumba, mambo, and calypso."

The music journalist Tony Russell (in his book The Blues: From Robert Johnson to Robert Cray) wrote that "The vivacious rhumba-rhythmed piano blues and choked singing typical of Fess were too weird to sell millions of records; he had to be content with siring musical offspring who were simple enough to manage that, like Fats Domino or Huey "Piano" Smith. But he is also acknowledged as a father figure by subtler players like Allen Toussaint and Dr. John."
John Rutter
John Rutter
John Milford Rutter CBE (born 24 September 1945) is a British composer, conductor, editor, arranger and record producer, mainly of choral music.
Puccini
Puccini
Giacomo Antonio Domenico Michele Secondo Maria Puccini (December 22, 1858 – November 29, 1924) was an Italian composer whose operas, including La Bohème, Tosca, and Madama Butterfly, are among the most frequently performed in the standard repertoire. Some of his arias, such as "O Mio Babbino Caro" from Gianni Schicchi, "Che gelida manina" from La Bohème, and "Nessun Dorma" from Turandot, have become part of popular culture.

The subject of Puccini's style is one that has been long avoided by musicologists; this avoidance can perhaps be attributed to the perception that his work, with its emphasis on melody and evident popular appeal, lacked "seriousness" (a similar prejudice beset Rachmaninoff during his lifetime). Despite the place Puccini clearly occupies in the popular tradition of Verdi, his style of orchestration also shows the strong influence of Wagner, matching specific orchestral configurations and timbres to different dramatic moments. His operas contain an unparalleled manipulation of orchestral colors, with the orchestra often creating the scene’s atmosphere.

The structures of Puccini's works are also noteworthy. While it is to an extent possible to divide his operas into arias or numbers (like Verdi's), his scores generally present a very strong sense of continuous flow and connectivity, perhaps another sign of Wagner’s influence. Like Wagner, Puccini used leitmotifs to connote characters (or combinations of characters). This is apparent in Tosca, where the three chords which signal the beginning of the opera are used throughout to announce Scarpia. Several motifs are also linked to Mimi and the Bohemians in La Bohème and to Cio-Cio-San's eventual suicide in Butterfly. Unlike Wagner, though, Puccini's motifs are static: where Wagner's motifs develop into more complicated figures as the characters develop, Puccini's remain more or less identical throughout the opera (in this respect anticipating the themes of modern musical theatre).
Stevie Wonder
Stevie Wonder
Stevie Wonder (born Stevland Hardaway Judkins on May 13, 1950, name later changed to Stevland Hardaway Morris) is an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and record producer. A prominent figure in popular music during the latter half of the 20th century , Wonder has recorded more than thirty top ten hits, won 26 Grammy Awards (a record for a solo artist), plus one for lifetime achievement, won an Academy Award for Best Song and been inducted into both the Rock and Roll and Songwriters halls of fame. He has also been awarded the Polar Music Prize.

Blind from infancy, Wonder signed with Motown Records as a pre-adolescent at age twelve, and continues to perform and record for the label to this day. He has nine U.S. number-one hits to his name (on the pop Charts, 20 U.S. R&B number one hits), and album sales totaling more than 150 million units. Wonder has recorded several critically acclaimed albums and hit singles, and writes and produces songs for many of his label mates and outside artists as well. Wonder plays the piano, synthesizer, harmonica, congas, drums, bongos, organ, melodica, and clavinet. In his early career, he was best known for his harmonica work, but today he is better known for his keyboard skills and vocals.
Tori Amos
Tori Amos
Tori Amos (born Myra Ellen Amos on August 22, 1963) is a pianist and singer-songwriter of dual British and American citizenship. She is married to English sound engineer Mark Hawley, with whom she has one child, Natashya "Tash" Lórien Hawley, born on September 5, 2000.

Amos was at the forefront of a number of female singer-songwriters in the early 1990s and was noteworthy early in her career as one of the few alternative rock performers to use a piano as her primary instrument. She is known for emotionally intense songs that cover a wide range of subjects including sexuality, religion and personal tragedy. Some of her charting singles include "Crucify", "Silent All These Years", "Cornflake Girl", "Caught a Lite Sneeze", "Professional Widow", "Spark", and "A Sorta Fairytale".

Amos had sold 12 million records worldwide as of 2005 and has also enjoyed a large cult following. Having a history of making eccentric and at times ribald comments during concerts and interviews, she has earned a reputation for being highly idiosyncratic. As a social commentator and sometimes activist, some of the topics she has been most vocal about include feminism, religion, and sexuality.
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.
G.Verdi
Schumann
Schumann
Robert Schumann, sometimes given as Robert Alexander Schumann, (June 8, 1810 – July 29, 1856) was a German composer, aesthete and influential music critic. He is one of the most famous Romantic composers of the 19th century.

He had hoped to pursue a career as a virtuoso pianist, having been assured by his teacher Friedrich Wieck that he could become the finest pianist in Europe after only a few years of study with him. However, a hand injury prevented those hopes from being realized, and he decided to focus his musical energies on composition. Schumann's published compositions were, until 1840, all for the piano; he later composed works for piano and orchestra, many lieder (songs for voice and piano), four symphonies, an opera, and other orchestral, choral and chamber works. His writings about music appeared mostly in the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik ("The New Journal for Music"), a Leipzig-based publication that he jointly founded.

In 1840, after a long and acrimonious legal battle with his piano instructor Friedrich Wieck, Schumann married Wieck's daughter, pianist Clara Wieck, a considerable figure of the Romantic period in her own right. Clara Wieck showcased many works by her husband as well. For the last two years of his life, after an attempted suicide, Schumann was confined to a mental institution.
Johann Sebastian Bach
Johann Sebastian Bach
Johann Sebastian Bach (31 March 1685 – 28 July 1750) was a German composer and musician of the Baroque period. He is known for instrumental compositions such as the Art of Fugue, the Brandenburg Concertos, and the Goldberg Variations, and for vocal music such as the St Matthew Passion and the Mass in B minor. Since the 19th-century Bach Revival he has been generally regarded as one of the greatest composers of the Western art musical canon.
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.
Bee Gees
Bee Gees
The Bee Gees were a singing trio of brothers — Barry, Robin, and Maurice Gibb. They were born on the Isle of Man to English parents, lived in Chorlton, Manchester, England and during their childhood years moved to Brisbane, Australia, where they began their musical careers. Their worldwide success came when they returned to England and signed with producer Robert Stigwood.

The multiple award-winning group was successful for most of its forty years of recording music, but it had two distinct periods of exceptional success: as a harmonic "soft rock" act in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and as the foremost stars of the disco music era in the late 1970s.

No matter the style, the Bee Gees sang three-part tight harmonies that were instantly recognizable; as brothers, their voices blended perfectly, in the same way that The Everly Brothers and Beach Boys did. Barry sang lead on many songs, and an R&B falsetto introduced in the disco years; Robin provided the clear vibrato lead that was a hallmark of their pre-disco music; Maurice sang high and low harmonies throughout their career. The three brothers co-wrote most of their hits, and they said that they felt like they became 'one person' when they were writing. The group's name was retired after Maurice died in January 2003.

The Bee Gees were inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997; fittingly, the presenter of the award to "Britain's first family of harmony" was Brian Wilson, leader of the Beach Boys, America's first family of rock harmony.

It has been estimated that the Bee Gees' record sales total more than 220 million, easily making them one of the best-selling music artists of all-time. The above figure in record sales does not include record sales for artists for whom they have written and with whom they have collaborated. Their 1997 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame citation says "Only Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Michael Jackson, Garth Brooks and Paul McCartney have outsold the Bee Gees".

Ellie Goulding
Ellie Goulding
Elena Jane "Ellie" Goulding, British singer-songwriter and musician. After working with Polydor Records in 2009, his first shortened album, An Introduction to Ellie Goulding, was released on December 20, 2009 in iTunes and Zune. In 2010, Goulding released his first studio album, Lights
Robbie Williams
Robbie Williams
Robert Peter Maximilian Williams (born 13 February 1974) is a Grammy Award-nominated, 15-time BRIT Award-winning English singer-songwriter. His career started as a member of the pop band Take That in 1990. He left Take That in 1995 to begin his solo career, after selling 25 million records with the group.

His album sales stand at over 55 million, with singles sales over 17 million.

Williams entered the The Guinness Book of World Records when in just one day he sold more than 1.6 million tickets for his 2006 world tour. He has been the recipient of many awards, including fifteen BRIT and six ECHO awards. In 2004, he was inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame, after being voted as the Greatest artist of the 1990s.

Robbie Williams is the artist who is currently featured the most times in the UK Now That's What I Call Music! series. In the first 68 Now!s he has appeared 29 times (including 4 times with Take That). His first appearance was with Take That on Now 22 and his most recent appearance was on Now 66 with "She's Madonna".
Wendy Carlos
Wendy Carlos
Wendy Carlos (born Walter Carlos; November 14, 1939) is an American musician and composer best known for her electronic music and film scores. Born and raised in Rhode Island, Carlos studied physics and music at Brown University before moving to New York City in 1962 to study music composition at Columbia University. Studying and working with various electronic musicians and technicians at the city's Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center, she helped the development of the Moog synthesizer, the first commercially available keyboard instrument created by Robert Moog.
ABBA
ABBA
ABBA was a Swedish Eurovision Song Contest-winning pop music group active between 1972 and 1982. Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus, Anni-Frid Lyngstad (Frida), Agnetha Fältskog are in ABBA. They topped the charts worldwide from the mid-1970s to the early 1980s. The name "ABBA" is an acronym formed from the first letters of each of the group member's given name (Agnetha, Björn, Benny, Anni-Frid).

ABBA gained immense international popularity employing catchy song hooks, simple lyrics, and a Wall of Sound achieved by overdubbing the female singers' voices in multiple harmonies. As their popularity grew, they were sought-after to tour Europe, Australia, and North America, drawing crowds of near-hysterical fans ("ABBAholics"), notably in Australia. Touring became a contentious issue, being particularly unpopular with Agnetha, but they continued to release studio albums to great commercial success. At the height of their popularity, however, both marriages of the band members (Benny with Frida, and Björn with Agnetha) failed, and the relationship changes were reflected in their music, as they produced more thoughtful lyrics with different compositions.

They remain a fixture of radio playlists and are one of the world's best selling bands, having sold around 400 million records world wide; The music of ABBA has been re-arranged into the successful musical Mamma Mia! that has toured worldwide and a movie version was released in July 2008. All four of the former members of ABBA were present at the Stockholm premieres of both the musical (2005) and the film (2008). The film première took place at the Benny Andersson-owned Rival theatre at Mariatorget, Stockholm on 4 July 2008.
Patsy Cline
Patsy Cline
Patsy Cline (September 8, 1932–March 5, 1963), born Virginia Patterson Hensley, was an American country music singer who enjoyed pop music crossover success during the era of the Nashville sound in the early 1960s. Since her death at age 30 in a 1963 private airplane crash at the height of her career, she has been considered one of the most influential, successful and acclaimed female vocalists of the 20th century.

Cline was best known for her rich tone and emotionally expressive bold contralto voice, which, along with her role as a mover and shaker in the country music industry, has been cited as an inspiration by many vocalists of various music genres. Her life and career have been the subject of numerous books, movies, documentaries, articles and stage plays.

Her hits included "Walkin' After Midnight", "I Fall to Pieces", "She's Got You", "Crazy" and "Sweet Dreams". Posthumously, millions of her albums have been sold over the past 46 years and she has been given numerous awards, which have given her an iconic status with some fans similar to that of legends Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley. Ten years after her death, she became the first female solo artist inducted to the Country Music Hall of Fame.

In 2002, Cline was voted by artists and members of the country music industry as number one on CMT's television special, The 40 Greatest Women of Country Music, and in 1999 she was voted number 11 on VH1's special The 100 Greatest Women in Rock and Roll by members and artists of the rock industry. According to her 1973 Country Music Hall of Fame plaque, "Her heritage of timeless recordings is testimony to her artistic capacity."
Adele
Adele
Adele Laurie Blue Adkins (born 5 May 1988 in Enfield, North London), She is the first recipient of the Brit Awards Critics' Choice, which was given to artists who, at the time, had yet to release an album. She debuted at number one with her Mercury Prize nominated debut album 19 in the UK album chart and has since then been certified platinum with sales over 500,000 copies.
Ragtime
Ragtime
Ragtime is a musical with a book by Terrence McNally, lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, and music by Stephen Flaherty.

Based on the 1975 novel by E. L. Doctorow, Ragtime tells the story of three groups in America, represented by Coalhouse Walker Jr., a Harlem musician; Mother, the matriarch of a WASP family in New Rochelle, NY; and Tateh, a Latvian Jewish immigrant. Historical figures such as Houdini, Evelyn Nesbit, Booker T. Washington, J. P. Morgan, Henry Ford, Stanford White, Harry Kendall Thaw, Admiral Peary, Matthew Henson, and Emma Goldman also appear. The music includes marches, cakewalks, gospel and ragtime. The show is mostly sung-through, with very little spoken dialogue.
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."
Wayne shorter
Wayne shorter
Wayne Shorter is an American jazz saxophonist and composer. More recently, in the late 1950s, he emerged as the primary composer and member of Art Blakey's Jazz Reporters. He joined Miles Davis' Second Big Five in the 1960s, where he founded the jazz fusion group Weather Report. More than 20 albums
Astor Piazzolla
Astor Piazzolla
Ástor Pantaleón Piazzolla (March 11, 1921 – July 4, 1992) was an Argentine tango composer and bandoneón player. His oeuvre revolutionized the traditional tango into a new style termed nuevo tango, incorporating elements from jazz and classical music. An excellent bandoneonist, he regularly performed his own compositions with different ensembles.

Piazzolla's nuevo tango was distinct from the traditional tango in its incorporation of elements of jazz, its use of extended harmonies and dissonance, its use of counterpoint, and its ventures into extended compositional forms. As Argentine psychoanalyst Carlos Kuri has pointed out, Piazzolla's fusion of tango with this wide range of other recognizable Western musical elements was so successful that it produced a new individual style transcending these influences. It is precisely this success, and individuality, that makes it hard to pin down where particular influences reside in his compositions, but some aspects are clear. The use of the passacaglia technique of a circulating bass line and harmonic sequence, invented and much used in 17th and 18th century baroque music but also central to the idea of jazz "changes", predominates in most of Piazzolla's mature compositions. Another clear reference to the baroque is the often complex and virtuosic counterpoint that sometimes follows strict fugal behavior but more often simply allows each performer in the group to assert his voice. A further technique that emphasises this sense of democracy and freedom among the musicians is improvisation that is borrowed from jazz in concept, but in practice involves a different vocabulary of scales and rhythms that stay within the parameters of the established tango sound-world. Pablo Ziegler has been particularly responsible for developing this aspect of the style both within Piazzolla's groups and since the composer's death.
Dire Straits
Dire Straits
Dire Straits were an English rock band, formed in 1977 by Mark Knopfler (guitar and vocals), his brother David Knopfler (guitar), John Illsley (bass), and Pick Withers (drums), and subsequently managed by Ed Bicknell. Although the band was formed in an era when punk rock reigned, Dire Straits worked within the conventions of classic rock, albeit with a stripped-down sound that appealed to modern audiences weary of the overproduced stadium rock of the 1970s. In their early days, Mark and David requested that pub owners turn down the amps so that patrons could converse while the band played — indicative of their unassuming demeanor. Despite this oddly self-effacing approach to rock and roll, Dire Straits soon became hugely successful, with their first album going multi-platinum globally.

The band's best-known songs include "Sultans of Swing", "Romeo and Juliet", "Tunnel of Love", "Telegraph Road", "Private Investigations", "Money for Nothing", "Walk of Life", "So Far Away", "Brothers in Arms" and "Calling Elvis".

Dire Straits and Mark Knopfler have sold in excess of 118 million albums to date.
Yanni
Yanni
Yanni (born Yiannis Hrysomallis (pronounced Chrysomallis), (Greek: Γιάννης Χρυσομάλλης, classical transcription Giannis Chrysomallis), on November 14, 1954 in Kalamata, Greece) is a self-taught pianist, keyboardist, and composer. After receiving a B.A. in psychology, he would instead seek a life in music though he had no formal training and could not read a note.

He earned Grammy nominations for his 1992 album, Dare to Dream, and the 1993 follow-up, In My Time. His breakthrough success came with the 1994 release of Yanni Live at the Acropolis, deemed to be the second best-selling music video of all time, (behind Michael Jackson's video for Thriller with nine million units). Yanni has since performed live in concert before in excess of two million people in more than 20 countries around the world. He has accumulated more than 35 platinum and gold albums globally, with sales totaling over 20 million copies. Yanni is considered to be one of the top fundraisers of all time for public television. His compositions have been included in all Olympic Games television broadcasts since 1988, and his music has been used extensively in television and televised sporting events. His music is frequently described as "new age", though he prefers the term "contemporary instrumental". The regents of the University of Minnesota conferred upon Yanni the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.
John Lennon
John Lennon
John Winston Ono Lennon, MBE (born John Winston Lennon; October 9, 1940 – December 8, 1980) was an English rock musician, singer, songwriter, artist, and peace activist who gained worldwide fame as one of the founding members of The Beatles. As a member of the group, Lennon was one of the lead vocalists and co-wrote many of the band's songs with Paul McCartney.

In his solo career, Lennon wrote and recorded songs such as "Give Peace a Chance" and "Imagine". Lennon revealed his rebellious nature and wit on television, in films such as A Hard Day's Night, in books such as In His Own Write, and in press conferences and interviews. He was controversial through his work as a peace activist, artist, and author.

Lennon had two sons: Julian Lennon, with his first wife Cynthia Lennon, and Sean Ono Lennon, with his second wife, avant-garde artist Yoko Ono. After a self-imposed retirement from 1976 to 1980, Lennon reemerged with a comeback album, but was murdered one month later in New York City on 8 December 1980. In 2002, respondents to a BBC poll on the 100 Greatest Britons voted Lennon into eighth place. In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Lennon number 38 on its list of "The Immortals: The Fifty Greatest Artists of All Time" and ranked The Beatles at number one.
Hillsong United
Hillsong United
The Hillsong United band is an Australian rock and worship band, a part of Hillsong Church's youth ministry Hillsong United. Their music is a contemporary style of praise and worship tempered with mainstream rock.

Current members of the Hillsong United band include Jonathon Douglass (J.D.), Jadwin "Jad" Gillies, Holly Watson, Annie Garratt, Bec Gillies, and Michelle Fragar, daughter of Russell Fragar. Michael Guy Chislett plays guitar and Matthew Tennikoff plays bass guitar. Former original drummer Luke Munns made a transition from the drums to front the rock/indie band LUKAS. Popular New Zealand artist Brooke Fraser recently joined the band when she joined the church, first appearing on United We Stand.

The annual Hillsong United CD/DVD was recorded over many years during their October youth conference Encounterfest, with the album released in the first quarter of the following year. The 2007 album All of the Above was the first album to be fully studio recorded, containing videos of songs on the DVD. The band has toured in a number of countries, leading worship to thousands in North and South America, Europe and Asia.
Jamey Abersold
Jamey Abersold
Wilton Jameson "Jamey" Aebersold is an American publisher, educator, and jazz saxophonist. His Play-A-Long series of instructional books and CDs, using the chord-scale system, the first of which was released in 1967, are an internationally renowned resource for jazz education
Dave Grusin
Dave Grusin
Robert David Grusin is an American composer, arranger, producer, and pianist. He has composed many scores for feature films and television, and has won numerous awards for his soundtrack and record work, including an Academy Award and ten Grammy Awards.
Aerosmith
Aerosmith
Aerosmith is an American hard rock band, sometimes referred to as "The Bad Boys from Boston" The band was formed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1970. Guitarist Joe Perry and bassist Tom Hamilton, originally in a band together called the Jam Band, met up with singer Steven Tyler, drummer Joey Kramer, and guitarist Ray Tabano, and formed Aerosmith. By 1971, Tabano was replaced by Brad Whitford, and the band began developing a following in Boston.

They were signed to Columbia Records in 1972 and released a string of multi-platinum albums, beginning with their 1973 eponymous debut album. In 1975, the band broke into the mainstream with the album Toys in the Attic, and their 1976 follow-up Rocks cemented their status as hard rock superstars. The band did not fare well between 1980 and 1984, releasing a lone album, Rock in a Hard Place, which only went gold, failing to match the successes of their previous efforts.

Although Perry and Whitford returned in 1984 and the band signed a new deal with Geffen Records, it wasn't until the band sobered up and released 1987's Permanent Vacation that they regained the level of popularity they had experienced in the 1970s. After 38 years of performing, the band continues to tour and record music.
Richard Wagner
Richard Wagner
Wilhelm Richard Wagner (pronounced /ˈvɑːɡnər/, German pronunciation: ; 22 May 1813 – 13 February 1883) was a German composer, conductor, theatre director and essayist, primarily known for his operas (or "music dramas", as they were later called). Wagner's compositions, particularly those of his later period, are notable for their complex texture, rich harmonies and orchestration, and the elaborate use of leitmotifs: musical themes associated with individual characters, places, ideas or plot elements. Unlike most other opera composers, Wagner wrote both the music and libretto for every one of his stage works. Famous extracts from his operas include the "Ride of the Valkyries" and the Bridal Chorus from Lohengrin, popularly known as the wedding march "Here Comes the Bride".
Initially establishing his reputation as a composer of works such as The Flying Dutchman and Tannhäuser which were in the romantic traditions of Weber and Meyerbeer, Wagner transformed operatic thought through his concept of the Gesamtkunstwerk ("total work of art"). This would achieve the synthesis of all the poetic, visual, musical and dramatic arts, and was announced in a series of essays between 1849 and 1852. Wagner realised this concept most fully in the first half of the monumental four-opera cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen. However, his thoughts on the relative importance of music and drama were to change again and he reintroduced some traditional operatic forms into his last few stage works including Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg.
Wagner pioneered advances in musical language, such as extreme chromaticism and quickly shifting tonal centres, which greatly influenced the development of European classical music. His Tristan und Isolde is sometimes described as marking the start of modern music. Wagner's influence spread beyond music into philosophy, literature, the visual arts and theatre. He had his own opera house built, the Bayreuth Festspielhaus, which contained many novel design features. It was here that the Ring and Parsifal received their premieres and where his most important stage works continue to be performed today in an annual festival run by his descendants. Wagner's views on conducting were also highly influential. His extensive writings on music, drama and politics have all attracted extensive comment; not least for their frequently antisemitic content.
Wagner achieved all of this despite a life characterised, until his last decades, by political exile, turbulent love affairs, poverty and repeated flight from his creditors. His pugnacious personality and often outspoken views on music, politics and society made him a controversial figure during his life. He has remained one to this day. The impact of his his ideas can be traced in many of the arts throughout the twentieth century.
Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson
Michael Joseph Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009) was an American singer, dancer and entertainer. Referred to as the King of Pop, he is the most commercially successful entertainer of all time, and one of the most influential. His contributions to music, dance and fashion, along with a much publicized personal life, made him a global figure in popular culture for over four decades.

Alongside his brothers, he made his debut as lead singer and youngest member of The Jackson 5 in 1964. He began his solo career in 1971. His 1982 album Thriller remains the best-selling album ever, with Off the Wall (1979), Bad (1987), Dangerous (1991) and HIStory (1995) also among the world's best-selling albums. He is widely credited with having transformed the music video from a promotional tool into an art form with videos for his songs such as "Billie Jean", "Beat It" and "Thriller" making him the first African American artist to amass a strong crossover following on MTV. With stage performances and music videos, Jackson popularized a number of physically complicated dance techniques, such as the robot and the moonwalk. His distinctive musical sound, vocal style, and choreography, is credited with stretching across and breaking down cultural, racial, economic, generational, and global barriers that has inspired countless pop, rock, R&B and hip hop artists.

One of the few artists to have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice, his other achievements feature multiple Guinness World Records—including the "Most Successful Entertainer of All Time"—15 Grammy Awards (including the "Living Legend Award" and the "Lifetime Achievement Award"), 26 American Music Awards (24 only as a solo artist, including one for "Artist of the Century")—more than any artist—, 17 number one singles in the US (including the four as a member of the Jackson 5), and estimated sales of up to 750 million records worldwide making him the world's best selling artist in history.

Jackson's personal relationships and life generated controversy for years. His changing appearance was noticed from the late 1970s onwards, with changes to his nose and to the color of his skin drawing media publicity. He was accused of child sexual abuse in 1993 though no charges were brought, and in 2005 he was tried and acquitted when the jury ruled him not guilty on all charges. He married twice, first in 1994 and again in 1996, and brought up three children, one born to a surrogate mother. While preparing for the This Is It concert tour in 2009, Jackson died at the age of 50 after suffering from cardiac arrest. He reportedly had been administered drugs such as propofol and lorazepam, and his death was ruled a homicide by the Los Angeles County coroner. His death triggered an outpouring of grief from around the world with his globally live broadcast memorial service attracting an audience of up to one billion people; as well as a huge surge in his album sales, resulting in him becoming the best selling artist of 2009 with sales in excess of 8.2 million in the United States where he became the first artist ever to have 4 of the top 20 best-selling albums in a single year, and 29 million albums globally, where he had an unprecedented 8 of the top 25 best-selling albums worldwide.
Billie Holiday
Billie Holiday
Billie Holiday, American singer, songwriter, composer. Nicknamed "Lady Day", Billie Holiday is the daughter of a traveling musician father. His childhood, deprived of education, included a poor life. She was raped at the age of 11 and was given boarding at a Catholic school.
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