Free Classical Piano Sheet Music Online is Not Always So Hot

Perhaps your piano teacher told you that the internet is now a goldmine for finding free classical piano sheet music. Or, maybe it was your best friend. But wait, there’s one catch! Many sites spam themselves with keywords related to free sheet music and offer horrible versions or editions of piano music although it is free.

No matter how you first found out about the next ‘gold-such’, the good news is that most of the free sheet music that you will find on the first few pages of a web search are made up of classical piano sheet music for which the copyrights have expired or have very low quality editions. The best piano music websites don’t spam their sites with keywords but as a result are harder to find. We try to sift out the best of these sites and link them externally from our detailed blog posts about each composition. Anyone taking regular piano lessons will benefit greatly from this information.

quality not quantity, please

For anyone with an interest to learn piano, free printable classical piano sheet music can be easily downloaded from various websites such as the Petrucci music library or other online libraries and classical music project sites. The music found there usually has expired copyright and can be legally accessed. All original classical piano music sheets by pre-20th century composers such as Beethoven, Mozart, Brahms, etc. are most likely in the public domain now, according to the United States Copyright Law, although the editor may still have his particular edition under copyright.

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For example, the best edition of Beethoven sonatas is Henle’s Urtext, as it is directly related to how Beethoven conceived the work without any unnecessary markings or poor editor’s marking of how some bad musicians ‘thought’ the music should sound. By law, once a piece of music goes out of copyright, anyone can do anything they want to with a piece of public domain music.


Help! I have a concert tomorrow and need to review the tempo marking of Chopin’s 2nd ballade. What can I do? Plenty of websites now give you free access to classical piano sheet music and mp3s. But as we mentioned above, since not all free sheet music offered on the web is of great quality, classical musicians are sometimes quite reluctant in using it.

Most classical musicians use hard copies of high quality editions in their performances of classical piano sheet music by Chopin, Beethoven, Mozart or other great composers due to the detailed nature of their interpretations. However, the internet has even turned the most hardcore puritan classical performers into people who will occasionally download a piece of sheet music found on the internet.

I need something rare like Buxtehude’s keyboard sonata number xx?

People are always very impressed with someone who can amass a huge collection of classical piano sheet music. For those really hard to find gold nuggets, you can use a search engine like pianofiles [dot] com to sift where pianophiles share their music with the world. This is great for finding rare gems you can’t get anywhere else.

The key to benefiting the most from classical music sheets is to find the fine balance between urgency and quality. With even just a basic idea of where to find free classical piano sheet music, such as searching for it using our search engine found to the right, you can find your favorite classical pieces right away. Go ahead, give it a try – type in, for example, “Brahms Piano Concerto 1.”

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