Books, Scores, and Music Tips

Read these 8 Books, Scores, and Music Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Classical Music tips and hundreds of other topics.

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Where can I find downloadable sheet music?

Finding Downloadable Sheet Music

Downloading sheet music is now becoming more popular on the Internet. Many stores also offer ways for you to transpose music to an instrument in a different key instantly, which can save you a lot of time and trouble. A good place to start viewing downloadable music is They have a selection of music available for many different instruments at a minimal cost.

Where can somebody new to classical music go to learn more?

Newcomers to Classical Music

There are many great resources for people new to classical music. A good place to find terms that may seem unfamiliar to you is with Miles Hoffman's book, "The NPR Classical Music Companion: Terms and Concepts from A to Z." This easy to use reference will help you understand what everybody else is talking about.

Where can I find sheet music online?

Buying Sheet Music Online

There is a growing number of online music stores. These websites offer databases where you can search for music in your instrument and preferred genre, then purchase the music online. One of the largest and more complete online music databases is J. W. Pepper ( This continuously growing website offers sheet music for individual instruments, band music, orchestral music, choir music, and church music from many different publishers.

Where can I find original scores?

Original Scores

The New Grove Dictionary of Music often includes locations of composer's manuscripts in the lists of composer's works. These are provided at the end of articles for major composers. Some collections of original manuscripts are housed in national libraries or prominent music libraries and are available to scholars for research purposes.

How do I know which edition to choose when looking for musical scores?


When choosing a musical score, try to find an edition that most closely matches the composer's original score. Most performance editions are edited by a performer or teacher who may have added pedalings, slurs, fingerings and phrasing indications, without explaining his or her editorial decisions. Dover and Henle are just two publishers that preserve the original notation.

Where can I find piano music?

Piano Collections

Buying a collection of music is an easy way to expand your sheet music collection without spending a lot of money. There are many different kinds of collections for any instrument available. Wise Publications offers a piano series titled, "The Complete Piano Player Collection". The series contains classical music even easy enough for the beginner.

What is an arrangement?


An arrangement is a piece that has been transcribed for an instrument or ensemble other than which was originally specified by the composer. For example, Beethoven's symphonies have been arranged for one piano-four hands.

Where can I find more information on musical scores?

Brahms, Symphony No. 4

Composer, Johannes Brahms (b.1833 d.1897), has been considered one of the world's greatest symphony composers. In his lifetime he wrote four symphonies, it is noted that a reading of Sophocles' play, Oedipus Rex, inspired his final symphonic work. Many orchestral scores are available in their entirety with historical essays and the original markings from the composer themselves. The Fourth Symphony (Opus 98) is available in an edition published by Norton Critical Scores.

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Guru Spotlight
Patricia Walters-Fischer