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Jean Sibelius
Jean Sibelius
Jean Sibelius ( pronunciation (help·info)) (8 December 1865 – 20 September 1957) was a Finnish composer of the later Romantic period whose music played an important role in the formation of the Finnish national identity. His mastery of the orchestra has been described as "prodigious."
The core of Sibelius's oeuvre is his set of seven symphonies. Like Beethoven, Sibelius used each successive work to further develop his own personal compositional style. His works continue to be performed frequently in the concert hall and are often recorded.
In addition to the symphonies, Sibelius's best-known compositions include Finlandia, the Karelia Suite, Valse triste, the Violin Concerto in D minor and The Swan of Tuonela (one of the four movements of the Lemminkäinen Suite). Other works include pieces inspired by the Finnish national epic, the Kalevala; over 100 songs for voice and piano; incidental music for 13 plays; the opera Jungfrun i tornet (The Maiden in the Tower); chamber music; piano music; Masonic ritual music; and 21 separate publications of choral music.
Anton Webern
Anton Webern
Anton Webern (3 December 1883 – 15 September 1945) was an Austrian composer and conductor. He was a member of the Second Viennese School. As a student and significant follower of Arnold Schoenberg, he became one of the best-known exponents of the twelve-tone technique; in addition, his innovations regarding schematic organization of pitch, rhythm and dynamics were formative in the musical technique later known as total serialism.
Anze Hijiri
Mao
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.
Mussorgsky
Mussorgsky
Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky (March 21, 1839 – March 28, 1881), one of the Russian composers known as the Five, was an innovator of Russian music. He strove to achieve a uniquely Russian musical identity, often in deliberate defiance of the established conventions of Western music.

Like his literary contemporary Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Mussorgsky depicts in his music "the insulted and the injured" with all their passion and pain. He raises these characters to tragic heights until the grotesque and majestic coexist. Mussorgsky could accomplish this not simply out of compassion or guilt towards them, but because in his works he almost becomes them. Mussorgsky's music is vivid, confused, feverish and ultimately hypnotizing —again, like Dostoyevsky at his best.

Many of his major works were inspired by Russian history, Russian folklore, and other nationalist themes, including the opera Boris Godunov, the orchestral tone poem Night on Bald Mountain, and the piano suite Pictures at an Exhibition. However, while Mussorgsky's music can be vivid and nationalistic, it does not glorify the powerful and is at times (such as in The Field-Marshal) antimilitaristic. For this reason, it was perceived as being directed against the state and its composer "under suspicion." He, like the others in The Russian Five, were considered dangerous extremists by the emperor and his court. This may have been the reason Tsar Alexander III personally crossed off Boris Godounov from the list of proposed pieces for the imperial opera in 1888.

For many years Mussorgsky's works were mainly known in versions revised or completed by other composers. Many of his most important compositions have recently come into their own in their original forms, and some of the original scores are now also available.
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.
Paul Simon
Paul Simon
Paul Frederic Simon (born October 13, 1941) is an American songwriter, musician, and member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2006, Time magazine called him one of the 100 "people who shape our world." As of 2007, he resides in New Canaan, Connecticut.

He released Paul Simon in 1972, which contained one of his first experiments with world music, the Jamaican-inspired Mother and Child Reunion, and There Goes Rhymin' Simon in 1973. His 1975 album Still Crazy After All These Years is considered to be among his finest work, particularly the title track and the hit single "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover." The One Trick Pony album, Simon's first album with Warner Bros. Records was also paired with a major motion picture of the same name, with Simon in the starring role. Simon's next album Hearts and Bones, while critically acclaimed, did not yield any hit singles and marked a lull in his commercial popularity in the early 1980s.

In 1985, Simon lent his talents to USA for Africa and performed on the famine relief fundraising single "We Are the World". In 1986 he released the immensely popular Graceland, for which he won a Grammy. The album featured the groundbreaking use of African rhythms and performers such as Ladysmith Black Mambazo. In 1990, he followed up Graceland with the commercially successful and consistent successor album The Rhythm of the Saints, which featured Brazilian musical themes.

His 2000 studio album You're the One, did not reach the commercial heights of previous albums but was considered by many fans and critics to be an artistic success and received a Grammy nomination for Album of the Year. Simon's latest album, Surprise, produced by himself and Brian Eno, was released on May 9, 2006. In commenting on US TV show Ellen what drove him to write material for this latest album, Simon noted the events of September 11, 2001 and also turning 60 since his previous album You're the One.
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.
Meat Loaf
Meat Loaf
Michael Lee Aday (born Marvin Lee Aday; September 27, 1947), better known by his stage name Meat Loaf, is an American rock musician and actor of stage and screen. He is noted for the Bat out of Hell album trilogy that he created consisting of Bat out of Hell, Bat out of Hell II: Back into Hell, and Bat out of Hell III: The Monster Is Loose and several famous songs from popular films. The Neverland Express is the name of the band he fronts as its lead singer. In 2001, he changed his first name to Michael. Despite setbacks (including multiple bankruptcies), Meat Loaf has had a successful music career, spawning some of the largest-selling albums, and breaking several records for chart duration. Bat out of Hell, the debut album which had been four years in the making, has sold over 37 million copies. After almost 30 years, it still sells an estimated 200,000 copies annually, and stayed on the charts for over 9 years. Each of the seven tracks on the album eventually charted as a hit single.

Although he enjoyed success with Bat out of Hell and Bat out of Hell II: Back into Hell, Meat Loaf experienced some initial difficulty establishing a steady career within his native United States; however, he has retained iconic status and popularity in Europe, especially the UK, where he ranks 23rd for number of weeks overall spent on the charts, and is one of only two artists with an album never to have left the music charts. With the help of his New York collection of musicians — John Golden, Richard Raskin and Paul Jacobs — his European tours enjoyed immense popularity in the 1980s. In Germany, Meat Loaf became notably popular following the release of Bat out of Hell II but has enjoyed most of his success among pop/rock fans. He ranked 96th on VH1's '100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock'.
Kelly Clarkson
Kelly Clarkson
Kelly Brianne Clarkson (born April 24, 1982) is an American pop rock singer, songwriter, and occasional actress. Clarkson made her debut under RCA Records after she won the highly-publicized first season of the television series American Idol in 2002. She was originally marketed as a pop musician with her debut album Thankful (2003). With the release of her multi-platinum second album Breakaway (2004), Clarkson moved to a more pop rock-oriented style of music. Clarkson's third album, entitled My December, was released on June 26, 2007. Her fourth album is due in fall 2008. Clarkson has sold over 19 million albums worldwide. Clarkson is the most successful American Idol alumna, with eight of her singles becoming Top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100. In 2008, she joined Vh1's list of 10 sexiest women of the new millennium at #8. She also hit #28 on Vh1's Top 30 Hottest Rock Front women.
Christina Aguilera
Christina Aguilera
Christina María Aguilera (born December 18, 1980) is an American R&B/pop singer and songwriter. She was signed to RCA Records after recording "Reflection" A Latin pop album, Mi Reflejo, and several collaborations followed which garnered Aguilera worldwide success, but she was displeased with the lack of input in her music and image.

After parting from her management, Aguilera took creative control over her second studio album Stripped (2002), Aguilera's third studio album Back to Basics (2006), included elements of soul, jazz, and blues music, and was released to positive critical reception.

Aguilera is currently in the studio working on her forthcoming album. Aguilera's work has earned her numerous awards including five Grammy Awards amongst eighteen nominations. She has become one of the most successful recording artists of the decade, racking up sales of more than 37 million albums worldwide.
Death Cab for Cutie
Death Cab for Cutie
Death Cab for Cutie is an American indie rock band formed in Bellingham, Washington in 1997. It began as a solo project of Ben Gibbard, now the band's vocalist and guitarist. Gibbard took the band name from the title of the song written by Neil Innes and Vivian Stanshall and performed by their group the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band in The Beatles' 1967 film Magical Mystery Tour.

Gibbard's first album, You Can Play These Songs with Chords, was released as a demo, leading to a record deal with Barsuk Records. It was at this time that Gibbard decided to expand the project into a complete band, and recruited band members to join. The band has released six studio albums, four EPs, and one demo to date. Their most recent album, Narrow Stairs, was released on May 12, 2008 in the United Kingdom and was released on May 13, 2008 in the United States.
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.
Miley Cyrus
Miley Cyrus
Miley Ray Cyrus (born Destiny Hope Cyrus; November 23, 1992) is an American pop singer and television and film actress. Cyrus is best known for starring as the title character in the Disney Channel series Hannah Montana. Following the success of Hannah Montana, in October 2006, a soundtrack CD was released in which she sang eight songs from the show. Cyrus' solo music career began with the release of her debut album, Meet Miley Cyrus on June 23, 2007, which included her first top ten single "See You Again". Her second album, Breakout, was released on July 22, 2008. Breakout is Cyrus' first album that does not involve the Hannah Montana franchise. Both albums debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200. In 2008, she appeared in the Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert film.

Cyrus also starred in Bolt in 2008, and recorded "I Thought I Lost You" for the soundtrack for which she earned a Golden Globe nomination. She starred in the film spin-off of Hannah Montana, titled Hannah Montana: The Movie which was released on April 10, 2009. In 2008, Cyrus was listed in Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People in The World. Forbes magazine ranked her #35 on the "Celebrity 100" list with earnings of $25 million in 2008. Her rank improved to #29 in 2009.
Darius Milhaud
Darius Milhaud
Darius Milhaud (French pronunciation: ; 4 September 1892 – 22 June 1974) was a French composer and teacher. He was a member of Les Six—also known as The Group of Six—and one of the most prolific composers of the 20th century. His compositions are influenced by jazz and make use of polytonality (music in more than one key at once).
Felix Mendelssohn
Felix Mendelssohn
Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, born, and generally known in English-speaking countries, as Felix Mendelssohn (February 3, 1809 – November 4, 1847) was a German composer, pianist, organist and conductor of the early Romantic period.

The grandson of the philosopher Moses Mendelssohn, he was born into a notable Jewish family, although he himself was brought up initially without religion, and later as a Lutheran. He was recognized early as a musical prodigy, but his parents were cautious and did not seek to capitalise on his abilities. Indeed his father was disinclined to allow Felix to follow a musical career until it became clear that he intended to seriously dedicate himself to it.

Early success in Germany was followed by travel throughout Europe; Mendelssohn was particularly well received in England as a composer, conductor and soloist, and his ten visits there, during which many of his major works were premiered, form an important part of his adult career. His essentially conservative musical tastes however set him apart from many of his more adventurous musical contemporaries such as Liszt, Wagner and Berlioz. The Conservatory he founded at Leipzig became a bastion of this anti-radical outlook.

Mendelssohn's work includes symphonies, concerti, oratorios, piano and chamber music. He also had an important role in the revival of interest in the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. After a long period of relative denigration due to changing musical tastes and antisemitism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, his creative originality is now being recognized and re-evaluated. He is now among the most popular composers of the Romantic era.
Green Day
Green Day
Green Day is an American rock trio formed in 1987. The band has consisted of Billie Joe Armstrong (vocals, guitar), Mike Dirnt (bass guitar, vocals), and Tré Cool (drums, percussion) for the majority of its existence.

Green Day was originally part of the punk rock scene at 924 Gilman Street in Berkeley, California. Its early releases for independent record label Lookout! Records earned them a grassroots fanbase, some of whom felt alienated when the band signed to a major label.

The band has sold over 65 million records worldwide, They also have three Grammy Awards, Best Alternative Album for Dookie, Best Rock Album for American Idiot, and Record of the Year for "Boulevard of Broken Dreams".
The Lighthouse Family
The Lighthouse Family
Lighthouse Family are a British musical duo that rose to prominence in the mid-1990s and remained active until the early 2000s. Vocalist Tunde Baiyewu and keyboard player Paul Tucker formed the act in 1993 in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK after meeting while studying at university. Their 1995 debut album Ocean Drive sold more than 1.8 million copies in the UK alone and established them as a popular easy listening duo throughout Europe.
Eric Coates
Eric Coates
Eric Coates (27 August 1886 – 21 December 1957) was an English composer of light music and a viola player.
Johann Peter Emilius Hartmann
Johann Peter Emilius Hartmann
Johan Peter Emilius Hartmann (14 May 1805, Copenhagen – 10 March 1900, Copenhagen) was a Danish composer.
Henriette Renie
Henriette Renie
Henriette Renié (1875-1956) was a French harpist and composer, a deeply religious woman who lived in poverty for much of her life, but who was independent and successful in a time when fame was socially unacceptable for women. She codified a method for harp which is widely used.
Jekyll & Hyde
Jekyll & Hyde
Jekyll & Hyde is a Broadway musical based on the novel, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson. The original stage conception was by Steve Cuden and Frank Wildhorn. The music was composed by Wildhorn and the lyrics were written by Leslie Bricusse.

The show opened on Broadway on April 28, 1997. There were 44 preview performances starting on March 21. The show ran for 1,543 regular performances, closing on January 7, 2001 and is the longest-running show in the history of the Plymouth Theatre.

Despite the long run, the musical lost money in the end: more than $1.5 million.

The show has also been adapted into a film starring David Hasselhoff and Coleen Sexton. The film was directed by Don Roy King.
Hairspray
Hairspray
Hairspray is a 2007 musical film produced by Zadan/Meron Productions and distributed by New Line Cinema. It was released in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom on July 20, 2007. The film is an adaptation of the Tony Award-winning 2002 Broadway musical of the same name, and a remake of John Waters' 1988 comedy film of the same name. Set in 1962 Baltimore, Maryland, the film follows a "pleasantly plump" teenager named Tracy Turnblad as she simultaneously pursues stardom as a dancer on a local TV show and rallies against racial segregation.

Adapted from both Waters's 1988 script and Thomas Meehan and Mark O'Donnell's book for the stage musical by screenwriter Leslie Dixon, the 2007 film version of Hairspray is directed and choreographed by Adam Shankman. Hairspray stars John Travolta, Michelle Pfeiffer, Christopher Walken, Amanda Bynes, James Marsden, Queen Latifah, Brittany Snow, Zac Efron, Elijah Kelley, Allison Janney, and introduces newcomer Nikki Blonsky as Tracy Turnblad. Hairspray features songs from the Broadway musical written by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, as well as four new Shaiman/Wittman compositions not present in the original Broadway version.

Opening to mostly positive reviews, Hairspray met with financial success, breaking the record for biggest sales at opening weekend for a movie musical, which the film held until July 2008 when it was surpassed by Mamma Mia!. Hairspray went on to become the fourth highest grossing musical film in U.S. cinema history, behind the film adaptations of Grease, Chicago, and Mamma Mia!. Available in a variety of formats, Hairspray's Region 1 home video release took place on November 20, 2007. The USA Network has purchased the broadcast rights to Hairspray and is scheduled to debut the film on cable television in February 2010.

Adam Shankman and John Waters are currently working on a sequel to the film.
Regina Spektor
Regina Spektor
Regina Spektor (born February 18, 1980) is a Soviet-born Jewish-American singer-songwriter and pianist. Her music is associated with the anti-folk scene centered on New York City's East Village.

Spektor has said that she has created 700 songs, but that she rarely writes any of them down. She has also stated that she never aspired to write songs herself, but songs seem to just flow to her. Spektor possesses a broad vocal range and uses the full extent of it. She also explores a variety of different and somewhat unorthodox vocal techniques, such as verses composed entirely of buzzing noises made with the lips and beatbox-style flourishes in the middle of ballads, and also makes use of such unusual musical techniques as using a drum stick to tap rhythms on the body of the piano or chair.

Her lyrics are equally eclectic, often taking the form of abstract narratives or first-person character studies, similar to short stories or vignettes put to song. Spektor usually sings in English, though she sometimes includes a few words or verses of Latin, Russian, French, and other languages in her songs.
Switchfoot
Switchfoot
Switchfoot is an American alternative rock band from San Diego, California. The band's members are Jon Foreman (vocals, guitar), Tim Foreman (bass guitar, backing vocals), Chad Butler (drums, percussion), Jerome Fontamillas (guitar, keyboards, backing vocals), and Drew Shirley (guitar). Known for their energetic live shows, the three guitarists in the line-up often operate simultaneously, building on the pop sensibilities of Jon's songwriting, and, rounded out by Jerome's work on the synthesizer, bringing his industrial roots to the sound, the band works up "the Switchfoot sound"– a melodic crunch of densely layered sound featuring some electronic experimentation, and often driven by hard-charging guitar riffs, while throwing in a few softer, spacey ballads as well.

Switchfoot first gained mainstream recognition after the inclusion of four of their songs in the 2002 movie A Walk to Remember. This recognition led to their major label debut, The Beautiful Letdown, which was released in 2003. It went on to sell over 2.6 million copies and produced the band's best-known singles, "Meant to Live" and "Dare You to Move".

According to Jon Foreman, the name "Switchfoot" is a surfing term. "We all love to surf and have been surfing all our lives so to us, the name made sense. To switch your feet means to take a new stance facing the opposite direction. It's about change and movement, a different way of approaching life and music".
Depeche Mode
Depeche Mode
Depeche Mode (IPA: , də-PESH) are an English electronic band who formed in 1980, in Basildon, Essex. The group's original line-up consisted of Dave Gahan (lead vocals), Martin Gore (keyboards, guitar, vocals, chief songwriter after 1981), Andrew Fletcher (keyboards) and Vince Clarke (keyboards, chief songwriter 1980–81). Vince Clarke left the band after the release of their 1981 debut album, and was replaced by Alan Wilder (keyboards, drums, production) with Gore taking over songwriting. Wilder left the band in 1995 and since then Gahan, Gore, and Fletcher have continued as a trio.

Depeche Mode are one of the most successful, longest-lived bands from the early 1980s. They have had forty-five songs in the UK Singles Chart and #1 albums in UK, US and throughout Europe. According to EMI, Depeche Mode have sold over 75 million albums worldwide, as part of total worldwide record sales (including singles) in excess of 100 million.
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.
The Last 5 Years
The Last 5 Years
The Last Five Years is a one-act musical written by Jason Robert Brown. It premiered in Chicago in 2001 and was then produced off-Broadway in March 2002. Since then it has had numerous productions both in the United States and internationally.
Gloria Estefan
Gloria Estefan
Gloria Estefan (born Gloria María Fajardo on September 1, 1957) is a Cuban American singer and songwriter. she is in the top 100 of best selling music artists with over 90 million albums sold worldwide, with 15.5 million of those alone in the United States. She has won five Grammy Awards becoming among the most successful crossover performers in Latin music to date.

She will be awarded by the Latin Grammy Award Recording Association as the "Person of the Year" in the ceremony to be aired on November 2008, the award will be given to her for her long career of more than 20 years and her worldwide success, she's also the first female singer to receive this prestigious award.
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.
The Smiths
The Smiths
The Smiths were an English alternative rock band, formed in Manchester in 1982. Based on the song writing partnership of Morrissey (vocals) and Johnny Marr (guitar), the band also included Andy Rourke (bass) and Mike Joyce (drums). Critics have called them the most important alternative rock band to emerge from the British independent music scene of the 1980s. The group were signed to the independent record label Rough Trade Records, for whom they released four studio albums and several compilations, as well as numerous non-LP singles. Although they had limited commercial success outside the UK while they were still together, and never released a single that charted higher than number 10 in their home country, The Smiths won a growing following, and remain cult and commercial favourites. The band broke up in 1987 and have turned down several offers to reunite since then.
Natalie Cole
Natalie Cole
Natalie Maria Cole (born February 6, 1950), better known as Natalie Cole is an American singer, songwriter and performer. The daughter of jazz legend Nat King Cole, Cole rode to musical success in the mid-1970s as an R&B artist with the hits "This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)", "Inseparable" and "Our Love". After a period of failing sales and performances due to a heavy drug addiction, Cole reemerged as a pop artist with the 1987 album, Everlasting, and her cover of Bruce Springsteen's "Pink Cadillac". In the 1990s, she re-recorded standards by her father, resulting in her biggest success, Unforgettable... with Love, which sold over seven million copies and also won Cole numerous Grammy Awards.
Blackmore's Night
Blackmore's Night is a Renaissance-inspired folk rock band led by Ritchie Blackmore (electric and acoustic guitar) and Candice Night (lyricist and lead vocals).

The origins of the band lie in 1989 when Candice Night was working at a local New York rock music radio station. She first encountered Ritchie Blackmore, then with Deep Purple, at a football game in which he was playing. The two became romantically involved and discovered that they shared a passionate interest in the Renaissance.
After leaving Deep Purple in 1993 and recording the album Stranger in Us All in 1995, on which Night contributed backing vocals and some of the lyrics, Blackmore became interested in the idea of bringing Renaissance music to a contemporary audience. Night's personality and singing ability made her the natural choice as "frontwoman." In 1997 the pair were ready to launch the band, the name being a pun of their own names, and which would consist of themselves plus session musicians.
Jodie Blackshaw
Coldplay
Coldplay
Coldplay are a rock band formed in London, England in 1997. The group comprises vocalist/pianist/guitarist Chris Martin, lead guitarist Jonny Buckland, bassist Guy Berryman, and drummer/multi-instrumentalist Will Champion. Coldplay have sold 34.6 million albums, and are also known for their hit singles, such as "Yellow", "The Scientist", "Speed of Sound", "Fix You", "Viva la Vida" and the Grammy Award-winning "Clocks".

Coldplay achieved worldwide fame with the release of their single "Yellow", followed by their debut album, Parachutes (2000), which was nominated for the Mercury Prize. Its follow-up, A Rush of Blood to the Head (2002) won multiple awards such as NME's Album of the Year and was later included on Rolling Stone magazine's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list, ranking at #473. Their next release, X&Y (2005), received a slightly less enthusiastic yet still generally positive reception. The band's fourth studio album, Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends (2008), was produced by Brian Eno and released again to largely favourable reviews. All of Coldplay's albums have enjoyed great commercial success.

Coldplay's early material was compared to acts such as Jeff Buckley, U2, and Travis. Coldplay have been an active supporter of various social and political causes, such as Oxfam's Make Trade Fair campaign and Amnesty International. The group have also performed at various charity projects such as Band Aid 20, Live 8, and the Teenage Cancer Trust.
Ary Barroso
Ary Barroso
Ary Barroso (November 7, 1903 in Ubá, Minas Gerais — February 9, 1964 in Rio de Janeiro) was a Brazilian composer, pianist, soccer commentator, and talent-show host on radio and TV. He was one of Brazil's most successful songwriters in the first half of the 20th century.
Bob Lowden
Fletcher Henderson
James Fletcher Hamilton Henderson, Jr. (December 18, 1897 – December 28, 1952) was an American pianist, bandleader, arranger and composer, important in the development of big band jazz and swing music. His was one of the most prolific black orchestras and his influence was vast. He was often known as "Smack" Henderson (apparently named due to his college baseball hitting skills).
Anatoly Alexandrov
Anatoly Alexandrov
Anatoly Nikolayevich Alexandrov (Russian: Анато́лий Никола́евич Алекса́ндров) (May 25 1888 – April 16, 1982) was a Russian composer of works for piano and for other instruments, and pianist. His initial works had a mystical element, but he downplayed this to better fit Socialist realism. He led a somewhat retiring life, but received several honors.
Alexandrov was the son of a Professor of Tomsk University. He attended the Moscow Conservatory (which he left in 1915), where he was a pupil of Nikolai Zhilyayev, Sergei Taneyev and Sergei Vasilenko (theory), Alexander Ilyinsky (composition) and Konstantin Igumnov (pianoforte). His early music revealed the influence of Nikolai Medtner and Alexander Scriabin. He was appointed Professor at the Moscow Conservatory in 1923. Viktor Belyaev, Alexandrov's first biographer, wrote in 1926: "If Myaskovsky is a thinker, and Feinberg a psychologist, then Alexandrov is, before anything else, a poet." Alexandrov was also a strong proponent of Stanchinsky and edited much of his compositions for publication.
Melissa Etheridge
Melissa Etheridge
Melissa Lou Etheridge (born May 29, 1961) is an American rock singer-songwriter and musician. She has received fifteen Grammy Award nominations winning two, one Academy Award and has sold twenty-seven million albums worldwide and almost fourteen million in the United States alone.
Etheridge is known for her mixture of confessional lyrics, pop-based folk-rock, and raspy, smoky vocals. She has also been an iconic gay and lesbian activist since her public coming out in January 1993.
Sean Mortensen
Gerard Kenny
Gerard Kenny
Gerard Kenny (born Gerard W. Kenny, 8 July 1947, New York) is a popular music singer-songwriter.
Schubert
Schubert
Franz Peter Schubert (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, and a large body of chamber and solo piano music. He is particularly noted for his original melodic and harmonic writing.

While Schubert had a close circle of friends and associates who admired his work (including his teacher Antonio Salieri, and the prominent singer Johann Michael Vogl), wider 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. Interest in Schubert's work increased dramatically in the decades following his death and he is now widely considered to be one of the greatest composers in the Western tradition.

While he was clearly influenced by the Classical sonata forms of Beethoven and Mozart (his early works, among them notably the 5th Symphony, are particularly Mozartean), his formal structures and his developments tend to give the impression more of melodic development than of harmonic drama. This combination of Classical form and long-breathed Romantic melody sometimes lends them a discursive style: his 9th Symphony was described by Robert Schumann as running to "heavenly lengths". His harmonic innovations include movements in which the first section ends in the key of the subdominant rather than the dominant (as in the last movement of the Trout Quintet). Schubert's practice here was a forerunner of the common Romantic technique of relaxing, rather than raising, tension in the middle of a movement, with final resolution postponed to the very end.
Traditional
Traditional
Igor Stravinsky
Igor Stravinsky
Igor Fyodorovich Stravinsky (17 June 1882 – 6 April 1971) was a Russian-born, naturalised French, later naturalised American composer, pianist, and conductor.
He is widely acknowledged as one of the most important and influential composers of 20th century music. He was a quintessentially cosmopolitan Russian who was named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people of the century. He became a naturalised French citizen in 1934 and a naturalized US citizen in 1945. In addition to the recognition he received for his compositions, he also achieved fame as a pianist and a conductor, often at the premieres of his works.
Stravinsky's compositional career was notable for its stylistic diversity. He first achieved international fame with three ballets commissioned by the impresario Sergei Diaghilev and performed by Diaghilev's Ballets Russes (Russian Ballets): The Firebird (1910), Petrushka (1911/1947), and The Rite of Spring (1913). The Rite, whose premiere provoked a riot, transformed the way in which subsequent composers thought about rhythmic structure, and was largely responsible for Stravinsky's enduring reputation as a musical revolutionary, pushing the boundaries of musical design.
After this first Russian phase Stravinsky turned to neoclassicism in the 1920s. The works from this period tended to make use of traditional musical forms (concerto grosso, fugue, symphony), frequently concealed a vein of intense emotion beneath a surface appearance of detachment or austerity, and often paid tribute to the music of earlier masters, for example J.S. Bach and Tchaikovsky.
In the 1950s he adopted serial procedures, using the new techniques over his last twenty years. Stravinsky's compositions of this period share traits with examples of his earlier output: rhythmic energy, the construction of extended melodic ideas out of a few two- or three-note cells, and clarity of form, of instrumentation, and of utterance.
He also published a number of books throughout his career, almost always with the aid of a collaborator, sometimes uncredited. In his 1936 autobiography, Chronicles of My Life, written with the help of Walter Nouvel, Stravinsky included his well-known statement that "music is, by its very nature, essentially powerless to express anything at all." With Alexis Roland-Manuel and Pierre Souvtchinsky he wrote his 1939–40 Harvard University Charles Eliot Norton Lectures, which were delivered in French and later collected under the title Poétique musicale in 1942 (translated in 1947 as Poetics of Music). Several interviews in which the composer spoke to Robert Craft were published as Conversations with Igor Stravinsky. They collaborated on five further volumes over the following decade.
Lena Horne
Five for Fighting
Five for Fighting
Five for Fighting is the stage name of American singer-songwriter John Ondrasik. His 2000 album America Town went platinum in the U.S. largely due to the success of the song "Superman (It's Not Easy)" following the September 11 attacks in 2001. The 2004 album The Battle for Everything has also enjoyed chart success in the United States. Ondrasik has also released a DualDisc of his 2004 album which has one side containing The Battle for Everything in its entirety and the other side being a DVD containing bonus footage and the "100 Years" music video. Five for Fighting's fourth album, Two Lights, was released on August 1, 2006.
Ray Charles
Ray Charles
Raymond Charles Robinson (September 23, 1930 – June 10, 2004), known by his stage name Ray Charles, was an American pianist and singer who shaped the sound of rhythm and blues. He brought a soulful sound to country music, pop standards, and a rendition of "America the Beautiful" that Ed Bradley of 60 Minutes called the "definitive version of the song, an American anthem — a classic, just as the man who sung it." Frank Sinatra called him "the only true genius in the business" and in 2004, Rolling Stone Magazine ranked Charles #10 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.

During the late 1960s and into the 1970s, Charles' releases were hit-or-miss, with some big hits and critically acclaimed work. His version of "Georgia On My Mind" was proclaimed the state song of Georgia on April 24, 1979, with Charles performing it on the floor of the state legislature.

He died on June 10, 2004 of hepatocellular carcinoma (liver cancer) at his home in Beverly Hills, California, surrounded by family and friends. His body was interred in the Inglewood Park Cemetery in Inglewood, California. His final album, Genius Loves Company, released two months after his death, consists of duets with various admirers and contemporaries: B.B. King, Van Morrison, Willie Nelson, James Taylor, Gladys Knight, Michael McDonald, Natalie Cole, Elton John, Bonnie Raitt, Diana Krall, Norah Jones, and Johnny Mathis.
Jamiroquai
Jamiroquai
Jamiroquai is a Grammy Award-winning English acid jazz/funk/soul band. Jamiroquai was initially the most prominent component in the early-1990s London-based acid jazz movement, alongside groups such as Incognito, the Brand New Heavies, Galliano, and Corduroy. Subsequent albums have explored other musical directions such as, but not limited to, pop, rock and electronica. Jamiroquai has sold over 2.5 million records in the United States alone and over 21 million records all over the world.

The band name is a blend of Jam session and "iroquai", based on the Iroquois, a Native American tribe. The lineup of the band has changed several times, and the longest serving and now core members of the band are lead singer and songwriter Jason "Jay" Kay and drummer Derrick McKenzie (1994). Despite his self-professed attempts to treat Jamiroquai as a band, Kay has always been at the forefront of how the group is marketed, and has therefore always had the lion's share of media attention, to the point where he is viewed as almost a solo artist. He was the impetus behind the formation of Jamiroquai, deciding to form the band after an unsuccessful audition to become the singer of the Brand New Heavies.
Sara Bareilles
Sara Bareilles
Sara Beth Bareilles (born December 7, 1979) is an American singer-songwriter and pianist. She achieved mainstream success in 2007 with the hit single "Love Song", which brought her into the number one spot on the Billboard Pop 100 chart.

After graduating from college in 2002, Bareilles performed at local bars and clubs (such as the Hotel Cafe and Genghis Cohen in Los Angeles), building a following, before performing in larger venues. She issued two demos of mostly live tracks in 2003: The First One in April and The Summer Sessions in October. In 2004, she appeared as a singer in a bar in the indie film Girl Play, performing the song "Undertow".

In January 2004, Bareilles released her first studio album, Careful Confessions. She signed a contract with Epic Records' A&R executive Pete Giberga on April 15, 2005. The remainder of the year and early 2006 were spent writing and reworking songs for her upcoming album. Her song, "Gravity," appears briefly in the 2006 independent film Loving Annabelle. She also toured as the opening act in 2006 for Marc Broussard's "Carencro" tour.

In mid-2004 she opened for Rocco DeLuca and the Burden during their inaugural headline tour, supported Guster on their first UK tour and co-headlined a tour with Jon McLaughlin. In 2007, Bareilles toured as the opening act for Aqualung and Mika, and later that year opened for several shows on both Maroon 5 and Paolo Nutini's U.S. tours. She also opened for James Blunt on his U.S. Tour in association with VH1 You Oughta Know.
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