guide to reading sheet music

Beginner's Guide for Buying Printed Sheet Music

All About Self Employment

If you are learning to play an instrument, you are part of a growing population that includes 54% of surveyed Americans. More people than ever are purchasing musical instruments and enjoying the benefits of playing music. Although reading music notation is not required to play an instrument, sheet music is still the standard for recording and playing music. 

What is Sheet Music?

Sheet music is the composition of musical notations created by the composer to communicate their intentions for the piece. Playing music begins with reading the sheet music and then adding your own improvisation to create your own performance. Sheet music is offered in traditional paper form and also in digital formats. Printed music is typically offered in three forms:

  • Sheet Music. This consists of single songs that are printed on a few pages and adhered together, usually with staples.
  • Folios. A collection of songs, folios are packaged together for convenience.
  • Classical books. Many classical pieces are long and are packaged in a little book to keep it in order.

Sheet music is available in a variety of arrangements. The publishers of sheet music offer it for different instruments and for varying skill levels. One song may be offered in a number of different arrangements to suit the musician. 

How to Buy Sheet Music

Printed sheet music is available at your local music store, if you are lucky enough to have one in your community. Sadly, local music stores are closing as purchasing moves towards online spaces. Most people enjoy shopping online and purchasing sheet music is no exception. Since we love music and also the people who compose, sell, and perform it, we strongly encourage you to purchase from small businesses. 

Here are a few ways to purchase sheet music online:

  • Brick and mortar turned online. Of the brick and mortar music stores that have remained open, most of them have incorporated an online shopping experience. We love these businesses because they are still encouraging music on a local level and still hire musicians to be on staff.
  • Small online businesses. Creating an online store is now more accessible and provides a perfect opportunity for musicians to create alternative streams of income and also share their own compositions with the world. Away Sheet Music is one such online store and we appreciate your business. 
  • Independent composers. Advanced technology and selling platforms have allowed composers to edit, produce, market, and sell their own music. This creates a connection between the composer and the musician that allows for feedback.
  • Collaborative initiatives. An extension of the composer/publisher model, groups of composers have formed to offer collaborations of combined sheet music and services. 

Once you have identified where you wish to purchase your sheet music, be sure to read the details. You will want to make sure that the sheet music is for your specific instrument and that it accommodates your skill level. Although digital sheet music is available, we always recommend using paper sheet music. 

Add a comment

* Comments must be approved before being displayed.