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Sheet Music   Tags: music, printed_music, sheet_music  

This guide briefly discusses options for locating free sheet music for use in SRJC music classes.
Last Updated: Apr 10, 2013 URL: http://libguides.santarosa.edu/music Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts
Finding Sheet Music Print Page
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Sheet Music

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Where to Find Sheet Music

This guide will help you find written music, whether printed on individual sheets or in books or available online.

 

Finding Sheet Music in Local Libraries

SRJC Libraries

Except for a very few older books of folk songs, the SRJC Library collection does not include much printed music. Some librettos and collections of song lyrics (without music) are available for checkout.

You can use the following Library of Congress numbers to find and browse in the areas of the libraries where those books are shelved. (If you're not actually inside either of the SRJC libraries, you can still click the call number ranges below to see which books are shelved in that area of the libraries.)

Most music books have call numbers which start with the letter M

M =  Music or Scores

M 5 - M 1480  Instrumental Music
M 1495 - M 2065  Vocal Music

ML=- Music Literature (, i.e. books about music) ; Music History

MT = Music Theory and Teaching

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SRJC Music Department

There is a small collection of sheet music in the SRJC Music Department office, but it is not openly accessible, that is you cannot walk in, look around, find some music and check it out. If you are taking a music class at SRJC, your instructor might select pieces of sheet music from this small departmental collection and check them out to you for use during the class.

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Sonoma State University Library

The Sonoma State University Library has a collection of printed scores and music, and these items are listed in their library catalog. To search for musical scores, go to the Advanced Search page of the SSU Library catalog.  In the menu under "Material Type," choose "Music Score," and under "Book or Serial," select "Book."  Towards the top of the page, under the words "Advanced Keyword Search," enter your search terms in whichever boxes are appropriate. For example, to find printed copies of lieder by Franz Schubert,  change pull-down menu for the first search box to "Author" and enter schubert franz in the search box, then set search type for box 2 to Any field and enter lieder in the search box. Under Location, select ANY, under Material Type, select Music Score and under Book or Serial, select Book.

SRJC and Sonoma State University libraries offer reciprocal borrowing privileges for each other's students. To obtain an SSU library card good for one semester, take your current SRJC photo student I.D. card with a validation sticker for this semester to the Circulation Desk at Sonoma State's library. (Faculty will need a current faculty I.D. card and verification of their current teaching status via the schedule of classes.)

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Sonoma County Library (the public library)

The Sonoma County Library offers the following types of printed music in its Central (downtown Santa Rosa) branch:  

  • 16 file cabinet drawers of printed music, mostly in book form (for example, collections of piano pieces) rather than individual pieces of music

  • Within the file cabinets, the music books are arranged in broad categories, such as Popular Music, Classical Music, Chamber Music, Strings--Classical, Strings--Popular, Woodwind instruments, Piano, Violin, Guitar, etc.

  • Vocal music includes a Song File--individual songs. These cannot be checked out, but you may make one photocopy of an individual song for personal use.

  • Some opera librettos and scores are listed in the Library's online catalog and can be checked out.

NOTE: Most of the printed music is not listed in the Sonoma County Library catalog; to see what is available, you will need to go to the Sonoma County Central Library and look in the file cabinets yourself.  If you need help locating something in the file cabinets, ask for help at the Sonoma County Library Reference Desk. Except for the individual song sheets, most of the County Library's printed music can be checked out. You'll need a Sonoma County Library card to do so.

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Finding Sheet Music Online

There are many websites which claim to offer online sheet music which can be printed for free. However, when you reach them, a good number of these sites lead you to sheet music which is for sale. The sites below are better than most at offering and directing you to sheet music that is truly free.

  • IMSLP Petrucci Music Library
    Currently offers over a quarter of a million scores which are in the public domain (i.e. no longer covered by copyright). Search by composer, by nationality, time period, genre and more.
  • Top 6 Sites to Find and Print Free Sheet Music
    Includes information about the contents of each collection, as well as useful tips on finding the free sheet music on sites which also sell music. (Note: Links at the top of this page, directly beneath the title, are advertisements, not the "Top 6" sites.)
  • Online Resources for Music Scholars
    Links to many digitized collections of sheet music. In addition to classical music, sources include broadside ballads, popular music from Africa and the Americas, "Voices from the Dust Bowl," Yiddish sheet music and other specialized collections. From Harvard College Library
  • The California Library Systems Cooperative Song Index
    Contains more than 180,000 song titles (mostly popular music) from over 2,000 sheet music collections (song books, magazines, and other collections). Locate a song, then read instructions for borrowing a copy of the song through your public library or cooperative library system.
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Subject Guide

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Kathy McGreevy
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Doyle Library
Santa Rosa Junior College
Santa Rosa, CA 95401
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