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"Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness." Maya Angelou
Ralph MacDonald
Ralph MacDonald
Ralph Anthony MacDonald was a Trinbagonian-American percussionist, songwriter, musical arranger, record producer, steelpan virtuoso and philanthropist.
Traditional
Traditional
traditional music
Hoagy" Carmichael
Hoagy
Hoagland Howard "Hoagy" Carmichael was an American singer, songwriter, and actor. American composer and author Alec Wilder described Carmichael as the "most talented, inventive, sophisticated and jazz-oriented of all the great craftsmen" of pop songs in the first half of the 20th century.
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.
Billy Joel
Billy Joel
William Martin Joel (born May 9, 1949) is an American pianist and singer-songwriter. He released his first hit song, "Piano Man", in 1973. According to the RIAA, he is the sixth best-selling recording artist in the United States.

Joel had Top 10 hits in the '70s, '80s, and '90s; is a six-time Grammy Award winner, and has sold in excess of 150 million albums worldwide. He was inducted into the Songwriter's Hall of Fame (Class of 1992), the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (Class of 1999), and the Long Island Music Hall of Fame (Class of 2006). Joel "retired" from recording pop music in 1993 but continued to tour (sometimes with Elton John). In 2001 he subsequently released Fantasies & Delusions, a CD of classical compositions for piano. In 2007 he returned to recording with a single entitled "All My Life," followed by an extensive "World Tour" from 2006-2008, covering many of the major world cities.
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).
Elvis Presley
Elvis Presley
Elvis Aaron Presley (January 8, 1935–August 16, 1977, middle name sometimes written Aron)a was an American singer, musician and actor. A cultural icon, he is commonly referred to as the "The King of Rock 'n' Roll" or "The King".

In 1954, Presley began his career as the first performer of rockabilly, an uptempo fusion of country and rhythm and blues with a strong back beat. His novel versions of existing songs, mixing "black" and "white" sounds, made him popular—and controversial—as did his uninhibited stage and television performances. He recorded songs in the rock and roll genre, with tracks like "Hound Dog" and "Jailhouse Rock" later embodying the style. Presley had a versatile voice and had unusually wide success encompassing other genres, including gospel, blues, ballads and pop. To date, he has been inducted into four music halls of fame.

In the 1960s, Presley made the majority of his thirty-one movies—mainly poorly reviewed, but financially successful, musicals. In 1968, he returned with acclaim to live music in a television special, and thereafter performed across the U.S., notably in Las Vegas. Throughout his career, he set records for concert attendance, television ratings and recordings sales. He is one of the best-selling and most influential artists in the history of popular music. Health problems, drug dependency and other factors led to his premature death at age 42.
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.
Yiruma
Yiruma
Yiruma (born February 15 1978, Seoul, Korea) is a South Korean piano music composer. He is married to Son Hye-im.

Yiruma is well-known throughout the world, and his albums are sold all over Asia, as well as the United States and Europe. His most famous pieces are "Kiss the Rain", and also "River Flows in You". These pieces are widely mistaken for being associated with the movie Twilight. Although he formerly held dual citizenship as a citizen of the United Kingdom and South Korea, in July 2006 he gave up his British citizenship and entered the Republic of Korea Navy to begin his military service, which is compulsory for all male South Koreans. He has lived in Osaka, Japan for 5 years to promote album sales before giving up his dual citizenship.
Pink Martini
Pink Martini
Thomas Lauderdale worked in politics in 1994 in his hometown of Portland, Oregon. He considered the music at most fundraisers loud and boring. He founded Pink Martini as a remedy, crossing the genres of jazz, classical music, and traditional pop to appeal to a broad audience. During the following year, he called China Forbes, a classmate from Harvard, and invited her to join the band. Their first single, "Sympathique", was nominated for Song of the Year at the Victoires de la Musique Awards in France.

Forbes is monolingual but sings in 15 languages. "All of us in Pink Martini have studied different languages as well as different styles of music from different parts of the world," says Lauderdale. "So inevitably, our repertoire is wildly diverse. At one moment, you feel like you're in the middle of a samba parade in Rio de Janeiro, and in the next moment, you're in a French music hall of the 1930s or a palazzo in Napoli. It's a bit like an urban musical travelogue. We're very much an American band, but we spend a lot of time abroad and therefore have the incredible diplomatic opportunity to represent a broader, more inclusive America… the America which remains the most heterogeneously populated country in the world… composed of people of every country, every language, every religion." Featuring 10–12 musicians, Pink Martini performs its multilingual repertoire on concert stages and with symphony orchestras throughout the world.
Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss I (March 14, 1804 – September 25, 1849; German: Johann Baptist Strauß, Johann Strauss (Vater); also Johann Baptist Strauss, Johann Strauss, Sr., the Elder, the Father), born in Vienna, was an Austrian Romantic composer famous for his waltzes, and for popularizing them alongside Joseph Lanner, thereby setting the foundations for his sons to carry on his musical dynasty. His most famous piece is probably the Radetzky March (named after Joseph Radetzky von Radetz), while his most famous waltz is probably the Lorelei Rheinklänge, Op. 154.
Gavin DeGraw
Gavin DeGraw
Gavin DeGraw (born February 4, 1977) is an American singer-songwriter and musician.

Originally, DeGraw started in Manhattan clubs alongside local pianists Andrew West and Lenny Revell, drawing several of his home town fans. He made his big break when "I Don't Want to Be" was chosen as the theme song for the teen drama One Tree Hill. The song has also been performed on American Idol, Australian Idol and Idol (Norway and Sweden) by various contestants during different seasons. Two of DeGraw's other songs, "Follow Through" and "Chariot," have also achieved popularity and radio play. His song "We Belong Together" was also featured in the 2006 film Tristan and Isolde. In 2004, DeGraw released an acoustic version of his album Chariot called Chariot Stripped. DeGraw and his band recorded the album live in the studio, in only one take on the vocals, seeking an intimate effect.
The Beatles
The Beatles
The Beatles were a pop and rock group from Liverpool, England formed in 1960. Primarily consisting of John Lennon (rhythm guitar, vocals), Paul McCartney (bass guitar, vocals), George Harrison (lead guitar, vocals) and Ringo Starr (drums, vocals) throughout their career, The Beatles are recognised for leading the mid-1960s musical "British Invasion" into the United States. Although their initial musical style was rooted in 1950s rock and roll and homegrown skiffle, the group explored genres ranging from Tin Pan Alley to psychedelic rock. Their clothes, styles, and statements made them trend-setters, while their growing social awareness saw their influence extend into the social and cultural revolutions of the 1960s. After the band broke up in 1970, all four members embarked upon solo careers.

The Beatles are one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed bands in the history of popular music, selling over a billion records internationally. In the United Kingdom, The Beatles released more than 40 different singles, albums, and EPs that reached number one, earning more number one albums (15) than any other group in UK chart history. This commercial success was repeated in many other countries; their record company, EMI, estimated that by 1985 they had sold over one billion records worldwide. According to the Recording Industry Association of America, The Beatles have sold more albums in the United States than any other band. In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked The Beatles number one on its list of 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. According to that same magazine, The Beatles' innovative music and cultural impact helped define the 1960s, and their influence on pop culture is still evident today. In 2008, Billboard magazine released a list of top-selling Hot 100 artists to celebrate the chart's fiftieth anniversary; The Beatles reached #1 again.
Pavel Chesnokov
Pavel Chesnokov
Pavel Grigorievich Chesnokov (Russian: Пáвел Григóрьевич Чеснокóв) (24 October 1877, Voskresensk, Zvenigorod uyezd, Moscow Governorate – 14 March 1944, Moscow), also transliterated Tschesnokoff, Tchesnokov, Tchesnokoff, and Chesnokoff, was an Imperial Russian and Soviet composer, choral conductor and teacher. He composed over five hundred choral works, over four hundred of which are sacred. Today, he is most known for his piece Salvation is Created as well as works such as Do Not Reject Me in Old Age (solo for basso profondo) and movements from various settings of the Divine Liturgy of St John Chrysostom.
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.
J. S. Bach
Johann Sebastian Bach (21 March 1685, O.S.31 March 1685, N.S. – 28 July 1750, N.S.) was a German composer, organist, harpsichordist, violist, and violinist 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 did not introduce new forms, he enriched the prevailing German style with a robust contrapuntal technique, an unrivalled control of harmonic and motivic organisation, and the adaptation of rhythms, forms and textures from abroad, particularly from Italy and France.
Revered for their intellectual depth, technical command and artistic beauty, Bach's works include the Brandenburg Concertos, the Goldberg Variations, the Partitas, The Well-Tempered Clavier, the Mass in B minor, the St Matthew Passion, the St John Passion, the Magnificat, A Musical Offering, The Art of Fugue, the English and French Suites, the Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin, the Cello Suites, more than 200 surviving cantatas, and a similar number of organ works, including the famous Toccata and Fugue in D minor and Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor, as well as the Great Eighteen Chorale Preludes and Organ Mass.
Bach's abilities as an organist were highly respected throughout Europe during his lifetime, although he was not widely recognised as a great composer until a revival of interest and performances of his music in the first half of the 19th century. He is now generally regarded as one of the main composers of the Baroque style, and as one of the greatest composers of all time.
John Coltrane
John Coltrane
John William "Trane" Coltrane (September 23, 1926 – July 17, 1967) was an American jazz saxophonist and composer.

Working in the bebop and hard bop idioms early in his career, Coltrane helped pioneer the use of modes in jazz and later was at the forefront of free jazz. He was prolific, making about fifty recordings as a leader during his recording career, and appeared as a sideman on many other albums, notably with trumpeter Miles Davis and pianist Thelonious Monk. As his career progressed, Coltrane's music took on an increasingly spiritual dimension. His second wife was pianist Alice Coltrane, and their son Ravi Coltrane is also a saxophonist.

He influenced innumerable musicians, and remains one of the most significant tenor saxophonists in jazz history. He received many awards, among them a posthumous Special Citation from the Pulitzer Prize Board in 2007 for his "masterful improvisation, supreme musicianship and iconic centrality to the history of jazz."
Brad Mehldau
Brad Mehldau
Brad Mehldau (born August 23, 1970) is an American jazz pianist. Besides leading his own group, the Brad Mehldau Trio, he has performed with multitudes of renowned artists, including Pat Metheny, Wayne Shorter, Joshua Redman, Christian McBride, Michael Brecker, Chris Potter, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Jimmy Cobb, and classical vocalists Renee Fleming and Anne Sofie von Otter.
Beethoven
Beethoven
Ludwig van Beethoven (16 December 1770 - 26 March 1827) was a German composer and pianist. He was a crucial figure in the transitional period between the Classical and Romantic eras in Western classical music, and remains one of the most respected and influential composers of all time.

Born in Bonn, then in the Electorate of Cologne (now in modern-day Germany), he moved to Vienna in his early twenties and settled there, studying with Joseph Haydn and quickly gaining a reputation as a virtuoso pianist. Beethoven's hearing gradually deteriorated beginning in his twenties, yet he continued to compose masterpieces, and to conduct and perform, even after he was completely deaf.
Toto
Toto
Toto was a Grammy Award winning American rock band founded in 1977 by some of the most popular and experienced session musicians of the era. The band enjoyed great commercial success in the 1980s, beginning with the band's self-titled debut, released in 1978, which immediately brought the band into the mainstream rock spectrum of the time. Continuing with 1982's critically acclaimed and commercially successful Toto IV, Toto became one of the biggest selling music groups of their era. They also composed the theme music for the film Dune. Although their popularity in the United States diminished in the 1990s and 2000s, they continued to tour to sold out arenas, clubs, and theaters internationally. Toto was known for their technical prowess in the studio, as well as a musical style that combines elements of pop, rock, soul, funk, progressive rock, hard rock, R&B, and jazz, making them appeal to a variety of musicians and non-musician listeners. The band has released 17 albums and has sold over 30 million records to date. Their 18th release Falling In Between Live, was released in August 2007. It had been recorded in March 2007 in Paris. As a result of guitarist Steve Lukather's departure from the band, Toto broke up after the last leg of their 2008 tour.
Jamey Aebersold
Jamey Aebersold
Jamey Aebersold (born July 21, 1939 in New Albany, Indiana) is an American jazz saxophonist and music educator. His "Play-A-Long" series of instructional book and CD collections, using the chord-scale system, the first of which was released in 1967, are an internationally renowned resource for jazz education. As of 2009, 126 of these collections have been published by Aebersold, who currently teaches musical improvisation at the University of Louisville. He is also an adept pianist, bassist, and banjoist.
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.
Carter Burwell
Carter Burwell
Carter Burwell (born November 18, 1955) is an American composer of film scores.

Burwell was born in New York City. He graduated from King School in Stamford, Connecticut, and Harvard College.

As a film composer, Burwell has had a long working relationship with the Coen Brothers, providing music for every film they have made (except for O Brother, Where Art Thou?, where he simply provided additional music to a score primarily composed by T Bone Burnett). He enjoys working with left-field directors and has also scored Spike Jonze's films. Among his best known film scores are And the Band Played On (1993), Conspiracy Theory (1997), Hamlet (2000), The Spanish Prisoner (1997), Before the Devil Knows You're Dead (2007), In Bruges (2008) and Twilight (2008).

Burwell, like many composers, studied piano. Starting lessons when he was 7, he studied Mozart mostly, but eventually quit.

In April 2005, Burwell composed and conducted music, performed by The Parabola Ensemble, for the plays "Sawbones" written and directed by the Coen Brothers, "Hope Leaves the Theater" written and directed by Charlie Kaufman and "Anomalisa" written and directed by Francis Fregoli. This was a segment of the sound-only production Theater of the New Ear, which debuted at St. Ann's Warehouse in Brooklyn, NY with support from Sirius Satellite Radio, United Talent Agency and Sony Pictures.

Burwell married Christine Sciulli in 1999.
Domenico Scarlatti
Domenico Scarlatti
Giuseppe Domencio Scarlatti, Madrid, Spain. An Italian composer who has spent most of his life in Spain and Portugal. Although he lived in the Baroque period, his music mostly influenced the classical period.
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.
Elton John
Elton John
Sir Elton Hercules John CBE (born Reginald Kenneth Dwight on 25 March 1947) is an English pop/rock singer, composer and pianist.

In his four-decade career, John has been one of the dominant forces in rock and popular music, especially during the 1970s. He has sold over 200 million records, making him one of the most successful artists of all time. He has more than 50 Top 40 hits including seven consecutive No. 1 U.S. albums, 59 Top 40 singles, 16 Top 10, four No. 2 hits, and nine No. 1 hits. He has won five Grammy awards and one Academy Award. His success has had a profound impact on popular music and has contributed to the continued popularity of the piano in rock and roll. In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked him #49 on their list of the 100 greatest artists of all time.

Some of the characteristics of John's musical talent include an ability to quickly craft melodies for the lyrics of songwriting partner Bernie Taupin, his former rich tenor (now baritone) voice, his classical and gospel-influenced piano, the aggressive orchestral arrangements of Paul Buckmaster among others and the flamboyant fashions, outlandishly excessive eyeglasses, and on-stage showmanship, especially evident during the 1970s.

John was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994. He has been heavily involved in the fight against AIDS since the late 1980s, and was knighted in 1998. He entered into a civil partnership with David Furnish on 21 December 2005 and continues to be a champion for LGBT social movements. On April 9, 2008, John held a benefit concert for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, raising $2.5 million.
Michael Buble
Michael Buble
Michael Steven Bublé (born 9 September 1975) is a Canadian big band singer. He won several awards, including a Grammy and multiple Juno Awards. While achieving modest chart success in the United States, his 2003 self-titled album has reached the top ten in Lebanon, the UK and his home country. However, he did find commercial success in the U.S. with his 2005 album It's Time. He has sold over 18 million albums. Michael has also appeared on the TV series Rove four times.

The album Michael Bublé was released by Warner Bros. Records just before Valentine's Day in 2003. The album was actually first released by the Warner company in South Africa, where the album went into the Top 5 and was certified Gold. Soon after that, it entered the Canadian album charts. As success in the USA was marginal at best, Bublé started visiting countries all over the world, with the album being successful in places like the Philippines and Singapore. He then moved on to placed like Italy and eventually had chart success in the UK, U.S., Australia and elsewhere soon followed with the album going Platinum and reaching the top ten of the album charts in the UK and Canada and going all the way to #1 in Australia. The album has reached the top 50 of the Billboard 200 album charts in the U.S. His version of George Michael's "Kissing a Fool" was released as a single from the album and reached the top 30 of the Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks chart. "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart?" reached the top 30 of the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart as well. His third single "Sway" also reached the top 30 of the Adult Contemporary chart, while a Junkie XL remix of the song reached the top 20 in Australia in May 2004.

Bublé's second studio album, It's Time, debuted as a hugely successful performance. The album reached number 7 on the Billboard 200 album chart and number 2 on the ARIA Album Charts in Australia. It's Time also debuted at number 4 on the UK Album Charts. The album features covers of Beatles and Ray Charles songs, and the hit single "Home".
Disney Pixar
Disney Pixar
Pixar Computer animation company DescriptionPixar Animation Studios is an American computer animation studio based in Emeryville, California, a subsidiary of Walt Disney Studios. Wikipedia Founded: February 3, 1986 Parent organization: Walt Disney Studios (2006—present) Headquarters: Emeryville, California, United States Acquisition date: 2006 Founders: Steve Jobs, Edwin Catmull, Alvy Ray Smith Key people: Jim Morris (President), Pete Docter (Chief creative officer)
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.
Rurouni Kenshin
Rurouni Kenshin
Rurouni Kenshin: Meiji Swordsman Romantic Story is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Nobuhiro Watsuki with an anime adaptation. The fictional setting takes place during the early Meiji period in Japan. The story is about a fictional assassin named Himura Kenshin, formerly known as the "Hitokiri Battōsai" ("Hitokiri Battōsai"? or "Battosai the Manslayer" in the English dub). Kenshin later grieves for all the lives he has taken, and vows that he will never kill again.

The manga initially appeared in Shueisha's Weekly Shōnen Jump from September 2, 1994, to November 4, 1999. The complete work consists of 28 tankōbon volumes which have sold over 47 million copies in Japan as of 2007. The United States release of the manga has been completed by Viz Media. Rurouni Kenshin is subtitled "Wandering Samurai" in some English releases, as a rough translation of "Rurouni." The English-language versions of the OVAs as well the film is released as Samurai X, although the original title was included in the DVD releases. Writer Kaoru Shizuka has written an official Rurouni Kenshin novel titled Voyage to the Moon World. The novel has been translated by Viz and distributed in the United States and Canada.

All of the series music was composed by Noriyuki Asakura and several CDs have been released by Sony Records. The first, Rurouni Kenshin OST 1 was released on April 1, 1996 and contained twenty-three songs that were used during the first episodes of the series. The second one, Rurouni Kenshin OST 2 - Departure was released on October 21, 1996 and contained fifteen tracks that were first used before the start of the Kyoto Arc. The next one, Rurouni Kenshin OST 3 - Journey to Kyoto was released on April 21, 1997 and contained the thirteen tracks that originally used in the Kyoto Arc. For the next arc, Rurouni Kenshin OST 4 - Let it Burn was released on February 1, 1998 and contained twelve tracks.
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.
Aretha Franklin
Aretha Franklin
Aretha Louise Franklin (born March 25, 1942) is an American singer, songwriter and pianist self-named and commonly referred to as "The Queen of Soul". Although renowned for her soul recordings, Franklin is also adept at jazz, rock, blues, pop, R&B and gospel. In 2008, the American music magazine Rolling Stone ranked Franklin #1 on its list of The Greatest Singers of All Time.

Franklin is one of the most honored artists by the Grammy Awards, with 20 Grammys to date, which include the Living Legend Grammy and the Lifetime Achievement Grammy. She has scored a total of 20 #1 singles on the Billboard R&B Singles Chart, two of which also became #1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100: "Respect" (1967) and "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)" (1987), a duet with George Michael. Since 1961, Franklin has scored a total of 45 "Top 40" hits on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

In 1987, Franklin became the first female artist to be entered into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Franklin was the featured singer at the 2009 Presidential inauguration ceremony for Barack Obama.
Cécile Louise Stéphanie Chaminade
Cécile Louise Stéphanie Chaminade
Cécile Louise Stéphanie Chaminade (8 August 1857 – 13 April 1944) was a French composer and pianist. In 1913, she was awarded the Légion d'Honneur, ...
Eric Satie
Eric Satie
Éric Alfred Leslie Satie (Honfleur, 17 May 1866 – Paris, 1 July 1925) was a French composer and pianist. Starting with his first composition in 1884, he signed his name as Erik Satie.

Satie was introduced as a "gymnopedist" in 1887, shortly before writing his most famous compositions, the Gymnopédies. Later, he also referred to himself as a "phonometrician" (meaning "someone who measures sounds") preferring this designation to that of "musician", after having been called "a clumsy but subtle technician" in a book on contemporary French composers published in 1911.

In addition to his body of music, Satie also left a remarkable set of writings, having contributed work for a range of publications, from the dadaist 391 to the American Vanity Fair. Although in later life he prided himself on always publishing his work under his own name, in the late nineteenth century he appears to have used pseudonyms such as Virginie Lebeau and François de Paule in some of his published writings.

Satie was a colourful figure in the early 20th century Parisian avant-garde. He was a precursor to later artistic movements such as minimalism, repetitive music, and the Theatre of the Absurd.
James Brown
James Brown
James Joseph Brown, Jr. (May 3, 1933 – December 25, 2006), commonly referred to as "The Godfather of Soul", "King of Funk", and "The Hardest Working Man in Show Business", was an American entertainer. He is recognized as one of the most influential figures in 20th century popular music and was renowned for his vocals, and feverish dancing.

As a prolific singer, songwriter, bandleader, Brown was a pivotal force in the music industry. He left his mark on numerous artists. Brown's music also left its mark on the rhythms of African popular music, such as afrobeat, jùjú and mbalax, and provided a template for go-go music.

Brown began his professional music career in 1953, and rose to fame during the late 1950s and early 1960s on the strength of his thrilling live performances and string of smash hits. In spite of various personal problems and setbacks he continued to score hits in every decade through the 1980s. In addition to his acclaim in music, Brown was a presence in American political affairs during the 1960s and 1970s, noted especially for his activism on behalf of fellow African Americans and the poor. During the early 1980s, Brown's music helped to shape the rhythms of early hip-hop music, with numerous groups looping or sampling his funk grooves and turning them into what became hip hop classics and the foundations of the music genre.

Brown was recognized by numerous titles, including Soul Brother Number One, Sex Machine, Mr. Dynamite, The Hardest Working Man in Show Business, Minister of The New New Super Heavy Funk, Mr. Please Please Please, The Boss, and the best-known, the Godfather of Soul.
MISIA
MISIA
Mísia is a Portuguese fado singer. Mísia is a polyglot. Despite singing mostly fado, she has sung some of her themes in Spanish, French, Catalan, English, and even Japanese.
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.
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.
Frank Sinatra
Frank Sinatra
Francis Albert "Frank" Sinatra (December 12, 1915 – May 14, 1998) was an American singer and actor.

Beginning his musical career in the swing era with Harry James and Tommy Dorsey, Sinatra became a solo artist with great success in the early to mid-1940s, being the idol of the "bobby soxers". His professional career had stalled by the 1950s, but it was reborn in 1954 after he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

He signed with Capitol Records and released several critically lauded albums (such as In the Wee Small Hours, Songs for Swingin' Lovers, Come Fly with Me, Only the Lonely and Nice 'n' Easy). Sinatra left Capitol to found his own record label, Reprise Records (finding success with albums such as Ring-A-Ding-Ding, Sinatra at the Sands and Francis Albert Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobim), toured internationally, and fraternized with the Rat Pack and President John F. Kennedy in the early 1960s. Sinatra turned 50 in 1965, recorded the retrospective September of My Years, starred in the Emmy-winning television special Frank Sinatra: A Man and His Music, and scored hits with "Strangers in the Night" and "My Way".

Sinatra attempted to weather the changing tastes in popular music, but with dwindling album sales and after appearing in several poorly received films, he retired in 1971. Coming out of retirement in 1973, he recorded several albums, scoring a hit with "(Theme From) New York, New York" in 1980, and toured both within the United States and internationally until a few years before his death in 1998.

Sinatra also forged a career as a dramatic actor, winning the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in From Here to Eternity, and he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor for The Man with the Golden Arm. His also starred in such musicals as High Society, Pal Joey, Guys and Dolls and On the Town. Sinatra was honored with the Kennedy Center Honors in 1983 and awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Ronald Reagan in 1985 and the Congressional Gold Medal in 1997. Sinatra was also the recipient of eleven Grammy Awards, including the Grammy Trustees Award, Grammy Legend Award and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
ZUN
ZUN
ZUN" and is the main programmer, scriptwriter, graphic artist, and music composer. His real name is Jun'ya Ōta
Martin O'Donnell
Martin O'Donnell
Martin "Marty" O'Donnell (born May 1, 1955) is an award-winning American composer known for his work on video game developer Bungie's series, such as Myth, Oni, and most predominately Halo. O'Donnell collaborates with his musical colleague Michael Salvatori for many of the scores; he has also directed voice talent and sound design for the Halo trilogy, and is currently Bungie's Audio Lead.

O'Donnell began his music career writing television and radio jingles as well as scoring for radio and film. O'Donnell moved to composing video game music when his company, TotalAudio, did the sound design for the 1997 title Riven. After producing the music for Myth II, Bungie contracted O'Donnell to work on their other projects, including Oni and the code-named project that would become Halo: Combat Evolved. O'Donnell ended up joining the Bungie staff only ten days before the studio was bought by Microsoft, and has been the audio director for all Bungie projects since.
O'Donnell's score to the Halo trilogy has been called iconic, and the commercial soundtrack release of the music to Halo 2 became the best-selling video game soundtrack of all time. His most recently released work is the music for Halo: Reach, released digitally on September 14, 2010.
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.
Georges Bizet
Georges Bizet
Georges Bizet (25 October 1838 – 3 June 1875) was a French composer and pianist of the Romantic era. He is best known for the opera Carmen.

Bizet was born at 26 rue de la Tour d'Auvergne in the 9th arrondissement of Paris in 1838. He was registered with the legal name Alexandre César Léopold Bizet, but he was baptised on 16 March 1840 with the first name Georges, and he was always known thereafter as Georges Bizet. His father Adolphe Armand Bizet (1810-86) was an amateur singer and composer, and his mother, Aimée Léopoldine Joséphine née Delsarte (1814-61), was the sister of the famous singing teacher François Delsarte.

He entered the Paris Conservatory of Music on 9 October 1848, a fortnight before his tenth birthday. His teachers there were Pierre Zimmermann (fugue and counterpoint; often assisted by his son-in-law Charles Gounod), Antoine François Marmontel (piano), François Benoist (organ) and, on Zimmermann's death, Fromental Halévy, whose daughter he himself later married. He won first prizes for organ and fugue in 1855 and completed his earliest compositions.

His first symphony, the Symphony in C, was written in November 1855, when he was seventeen, evidently as a student assignment. It was unknown to the world until 1933, when it was discovered in the archives of the Paris Conservatory library. Upon its first performance in 1935, it was immediately hailed as a junior masterwork and a welcome addition to the early Romantic period repertoire. The symphony bears a stylistic resemblance to the first symphony of Gounod, first played earlier in the same year, and which Bizet had arranged for two pianos although present-day listeners may discern a similarity to music of Franz Schubert, whose work was little known in France at the time the symphony was written.
In 1857, a setting of the one-act operetta Le docteur Miracle won him a share in a prize offered by Jacques Offenbach. He also won the music composition scholarship of the Prix de Rome, the conditions of which required him to study in Rome for three years. There, his talent developed as he wrote such works as the opera buffa Don Procopio (1858-59). There he also composed his only major sacred work, Te Deum (1858), which he submitted to the Prix Rodrigues competition, a contest for Prix de Rome winners only. Bizet failed to win the Prix Rodrigues, and the Te Deum score remained unpublished until 1971. He made two attempts to write another symphony in 1859, but destroyed the manuscripts in December of that year. Apart from this period in Rome, Bizet lived in the Paris area all his life.
Shortly after leaving Rome in July 1860, but while still touring in Italy, he had the idea of writing a symphony in which each of the four movements would be a musical evocation of a different Italian city – Rome, Venice, Florence and Naples. On hearing of his mother's serious illness he cut short his Italian travels and returned to Paris in September 1860; she died a year later. The Scherzo of the symphony was completed by November 1861, but it was not until 1866 that the first version of the whole symphony was written. He subjected it to a number of revisions through to 1871, but died before ever producing what he considered the definitive version. For this reason, the work is sometimes described as "unfinished", but this is an inaccurate description as it was fully scored. It was published in 1880 as the Roma Symphony.
Ravel
Ravel
Joseph-Maurice Ravel (March 7, 1875 – December 28, 1937) was a French composer of Impressionist music known especially for his melodies, orchestral and instrumental textures and effects. Much of his piano music, chamber music, vocal music and orchestral music has entered the standard concert repertoire.

Ravel's piano compositions, such as Jeux d'eau, Miroirs and Gaspard de la Nuit, demand considerable virtuosity from the performer, and his orchestral music, including Daphnis et Chloé and his arrangement of Modest Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition, uses a variety of sound and instrumentation very effectively.

Ravel is perhaps known best for his orchestral work, Boléro (1928), which he considered trivial and once described as "a piece for orchestra without music."

According to SACEM, Ravel's estate earns more royalties than that of any other French musician. According to international copyright law, Ravel's works are public domain since January 1, 2008 in most countries. In France, due to anomalous copyright law extensions to account for the two world wars, they will not enter the public domain until 2015.
Dean Martin
Dean Martin
Dean Martin (born Dino Paul Crocetti; June 7, 1917 – December 25, 1995) was an American singer, film actor, television personality, and comedian. He was one of the most well known musical artists of the 1950s and 1960s. Martin's hit singles included the songs "Memories Are Made Of This", "That's Amore", "Everybody Loves Somebody", "Mambo Italiano", "Sway", "Volare" and "Ain't That A Kick In The Head?". One of the organizers of The Rat Pack, he was a major star in four areas of show business: concert stage, recordings, motion pictures, and television.
Joe Cocker
Joe Cocker
John Robert "Joe" Cocker, OBE (born 20 May 1944) is an English rock/blues musician, composer and actor who came to popularity in the 1960s, and is most known for his gritty voice, his idiosyncratic arm movements while performing, and his cover versions of popular songs, particularly those of The Beatles. He is the recipient of several awards, including a 1983 Grammy Award for his song "Up Where We Belong", a duet which he performed with Jennifer Warnes. He was ranked #97 on Rolling Stone's 100 greatest singers list.
Jerry Goldsmith
Jerry Goldsmith
Jerrald King "Jerry" Goldsmith (February 10, 1929 – July 21, 2004) was an American composer and conductor most known for his work in film and television scoring.
He composed scores for such noteworthy films as The Sand Pebbles, Planet of the Apes, Patton, Chinatown, The Wind and the Lion, The Omen, The Boys from Brazil, Alien, Poltergeist, Gremlins, Hoosiers, Total Recall, Basic Instinct, Rudy, Air Force One, L.A. Confidential, Mulan, The Mummy, three Rambo films, and five Star Trek films. He was nominated for six Grammy Awards, nine Golden Globes, four BAFTAs, and seventeen Academy Awards. In 1977 he was awarded an Oscar for The Omen.
He collaborated with some of the most prolific directors in film history, including Robert Wise (The Sand Pebbles, Star Trek: The Motion Picture), Howard Hawks (Rio Lobo), Otto Preminger (In Harm's Way), Joe Dante (Gremlins, The 'Burbs, Small Soldiers), Roman Polanski (Chinatown), Ridley Scott (Alien, Legend), Steven Spielberg (Poltergeist, Twilight Zone: The Movie), and Paul Verhoeven (Total Recall, Basic Instinct). However, his most notable collaboration was arguably that with Franklin J. Schaffner, for whom Goldsmith scored such films as Planet of the Apes, Patton, Papillon, and The Boys from Brazil.
Nobuo Uematsu
Nobuo Uematsu
Nobuo Uematsu (植松伸夫 Uematsu Nobuo?, born March 21, 1959) is a Japanese video game composer and musician, best known for scoring the majority of titles in the Final Fantasy series. He is regarded as one of the most famous and respected composers in the video game community. Uematsu is a self-taught musician; he began to play the piano at the age of eleven or twelve, with Elton John as his biggest influence.

Uematsu joined Square (later Square Enix) in 1985, where he met Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi. They have worked together on numerous titles, most notably the games in the Final Fantasy series. After nearly 20 years in the company, he left Square Enix in 2004 and founded his own company called Smile Please, as well as the music production company Dog Ear Records. He has since composed music as a freelancer for video games primarily developed by Square Enix and Sakaguchi's development studio Mistwalker.

A handful of soundtracks and arranged albums of Uematsu's game scores have been released. Pieces from his video game works have been performed in concerts worldwide, and numerous Final Fantasy concerts have also been held. He has worked with Grammy Award-winning conductor Arnie Roth on several of these concerts. In 2002, he formed a rock band with colleagues Kenichiro Fukui and Tsuyoshi Sekito called The Black Mages, in which Uematsu plays the keyboard. The band plays arranged rock versions of Uematsu's Final Fantasy compositions.
Franz Liszt
Franz Liszt
Franz Liszt (Hungarian: Ferencz Liszt, in modern usage Ferenc Liszt, from 1859 to 1865 officially Franz Ritter von Liszt) (October 22, 1811 – July 31, 1886) was a Hungarian composer, virtuoso pianist and teacher. He was also the father-in-law of Richard Wagner. In 1865 he became abbot in the Roman Catholic Church.
Liszt became renowned throughout Europe during the 19th century for his great skill as a performer. He was said by his contemporaries to have been the most technically advanced pianist of his age and perhaps the greatest pianist of all time. He was also an important and influential composer, a notable piano teacher, a conductor who contributed significantly to the modern development of the art, and a benefactor to other composers and performers, notably Richard Wagner, Hector Berlioz, Camille Saint-Saëns, Edvard Grieg and Alexander Borodin.
As a composer, Liszt was one of the most prominent representatives of the "Neudeutsche Schule" ("New German School"). He left behind a huge and diverse body of work, in which he influenced his forward-looking contemporaries and anticipated some 20th-century ideas and trends. Some of his most notable contributions were the invention of the symphonic poem, developing the concept of thematic transformation as part of his experiments in musical form and making radical departures in harmony.
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.
Franz Schubert
Franz Schubert
Franz Peter Schubert (German pronunciation: ; January 31, 1797 – November 19, 1828) was an Austrian composer. He wrote some 600 Lieder, nine symphonies (including the famous "Unfinished Symphony"), liturgical music, operas, some incidental music, and a large body of chamber and solo piano music. He is particularly noted for his original melodic and harmonic writing.

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

Interest in Schubert's work increased dramatically in the decades following his death. Composers like Franz Liszt, Robert Schumann and Felix Mendelssohn discovered, collected, and championed his works in the 19th century, as did musicologist Sir George Grove. Franz Schubert is now widely considered to be one of the greatest composers in the Western tradition.
Lorie Line
Lorie Line
Lorie Line is a pianist and performer from Minneapolis, Minnesota. She has released over 20 albums and tours every year during the Christmas season.

She grew up in Reno, Nevada studying classical piano. At the age of 9, she entered and won annual Statewide competitions until the age of 18, where she enrolled at the University of Nevada, Reno. She received her B.A. in Music, Piano Performance.

Shortly after getting her degree, she and her husband, Tim, relocated to Minneapolis because of his job transfer. Using her piano performance degree, she auditioned for Dayton's and became a full-time pianist, serenading shoppers. It was here (1988-1993) that many fans first came to hear Lorie Line play the piano for the first time. the "shoppers" encouraged Lorie to record her own CD. She did, and became both pianist and vendor at the same time. Little did she know that she was onto something big.

Since then, Lorie Line has turned piano playing into one of the largest independent record companies in the world, Lorie Line Music, Inc. She has sold over 5 million albums, has published over 20 books of music, and has recorded 27 CDs. She, and members of her Pop Chamber Orchestra, performs to 100,000 people on over 85 stages a year. She tours spring, summer, fall and winter.
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.
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."
Lara Fabian
Lara Fabian
Lara Fabian (born Lara Crokaert, January 9, 1970) is a Belgian-Italian international singer who holds Canadian citizenship. Multilingual, she sings in French, Italian and English. She has also sung in Spanish, Portuguese, Russian once in Hebrew on Israel's 60th Independence Day celebrations, and in German in 1988 for a version of "Croire" (ger.: "glauben" eng.: "believe"). She has sold over 18 million records worldwide.
Handel
Handel
George Frideric Handel (Friday, 23 February 1685 - Saturday, 14 April 1759) was a German-born Baroque composer who is famous for his operas, oratorios and concerti grossi. Born as Georg Friedrich Handel in Halle, he spent most of his adult life in England, becoming a subject of the British crown on 22 January 1727. His most famous works are Messiah, an oratorio set to texts from the King James Bible; Water Music; and Music for the Royal Fireworks. Strongly influenced by the techniques of the great composers of the Italian Baroque and the English composer Henry Purcell, his music was known to many significant composers who came after him, including Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven.

Handel's compositions include 42 operas; 29 oratorios; more than 120 cantatas, trios and duets; numerous arias; chamber music; a large number of ecumenical pieces; odes and serenatas; and sixteen organ concerti. His most famous work, the Messiah oratorio with its "Hallelujah" chorus, is among the most popular works in choral music and has become a centerpiece of the Christmas season. Also popular are the Opus 3 and 6 Concerti Grossi, as well as "The Cuckoo and the Nightingale", in which birds are heard calling during passages played in different keys representing the vocal ranges of two birds. Also notable are his sixteen keyboard suites, especially The Harmonious Blacksmith.

Handel introduced various previously uncommon musical instruments in his works: the viola d'amore and violetta marina (Orlando), the lute (Ode for St. Cecilia's Day), three trombones (Saul), clarinets or small high cornets (Tamerlano), theorbo, French horn (Water Music), lyrichord, double bassoon, viola da gamba, bell chimes, positive organ, and harp (Giulio Cesare, Alexander's Feast).
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