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Yuki Kajiura
Yuki Kajiura
Yuki Kajiura (梶浦 由記 Kajiura Yuki?, born August 6, 1965 in Tokyo, Japan) is a Japanese composer and music producer. She has provided the music for several popular anime series, such as the final Kimagure Orange Road movie, Noir, .hack//Sign, Aquarian Age, Madlax, My-HiME, My-Otome, .hack//Roots, Pandora Hearts, Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Sword Art Online, Tsubasa Chronicle and the Kara no Kyoukai movies (amongst others). She also assisted Toshihiko Sahashi with Mobile Suit Gundam SEED and Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny. Kajiura has also composed for video games, including the cutscene music for Xenosaga II and the entire Xenosaga III game soundtrack.
John Williams
John Williams
John Towner Williams (born February 8, 1932) is an American composer, conductor, and pianist. In a career that spans six decades, Williams has composed many of the most famous film scores in Hollywood history, including Star Wars, Superman, Home Alone, the first three Harry Potter movies and all but two of Steven Spielberg's feature films including the Indiana Jones series, Schindler's List, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Jurassic Park and Jaws. He also composed the soundtrack for the hit 1960s television series Lost in Space as well as the fanfare of the DreamWorks Pictures' logo.

Williams has composed theme music for four Olympic Games, the NBC Nightly News, the rededication of the Statue of Liberty, and numerous television series and concert pieces. He served as the principal conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra from 1980 to 1993, and is now the orchestra's laureate conductor.
Williams is a five-time winner of the Academy Award. He has also won four Golden Globe Awards, seven BAFTA Awards and 21 Grammy Awards. With 45 Academy Award nominations, Williams is, together with composer Alfred Newman, the second most nominated person after Walt Disney. He was inducted into the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame in 2000, and was a recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors in 2004.
John Cage
John Cage
John Milton Cage Jr., American composer, philosopher, writer and oppressor. Born in Los Angeles, Cage finished high school as a top-class student. In 1938 he founded the percussion orchestra in Seattle. The same year he started using a different piano in his concerts.
Elgar
Elgar
Sir Edward William Elgar, 1st Baronet, OM, GCVO (2 June 1857 – 23 February 1934) was an English composer. He is known for such works as the Enigma Variations, the Pomp and Circumstance Marches, The Dream of Gerontius, concertos for violin and cello, and two symphonies. He also composed oratorios, chamber music and songs. He was appointed Master of the King's Musick in 1924.
Muse
Muse
Muse are a British rock band formed in Teignmouth, Devon, United Kingdom in 1994 under the alias of Rocket Baby Dolls. The band comprises Matthew Bellamy (vocals, guitar and piano), Christopher Wolstenholme (bass guitar and backing vocals) and Dominic Howard (drums and percussion). Muse's style can be considered as a mixture of many musical genres, most notably alternative rock, classical music and electronica. Muse are known best for their energetic and visually dazzling live performances and on June 16th & 17th, 2007 became the first band to sell out the newly built Wembley Stadium in London. Muse have released four studio albums with their first, Showbiz, released in 1999, followed by Origin of Symmetry in 2001 and Absolution in 2003. The most recent, Black Holes & Revelations (2006), was also the most critically acclaimed, garnering the band a Mercury Prize nomination and a third place finish in the NME Albums of the Year list for 2006. Muse have won various awards throughout their career including 5 MTV Europe Music Awards, 5 Q Awards, 4 NME Awards and 2 Brit awards.
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.
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.
Gabriel Faure
Gabriel Faure
Gabriel Urbain Fauré (12 May 1845 – 4 November 1924) was a French composer, organist, pianist, and teacher. He was the foremost French composer of his generation, and his musical style influenced many 20th century composers. His harmonic and melodic language affected how harmony was later taught.
Alexander Scriabin
Alexander Scriabin
Alexander Nikolayevich Scriabin (/skriˈæbɪn/; Russian: Алекса́ндр Никола́евич Скря́бин; 6 January 1872 – 27 April 1915) was a Russian composer and pianist. Scriabin's early work is characterised by a lyrical and idiosyncratic tonal language influenced by Frédéric Chopin. Later in his career, independently of Arnold Schoenberg, Scriabin developed a substantially atonal and much more dissonant musical system, accorded to mysticism. Scriabin was influenced by synesthesia, and associated colors with the various harmonic tones of his atonal scale, while his color-coded circle of fifths was also influenced by theosophy. He is considered by some to be the main Russian Symbolist composer.
Scriabin was one of the most innovative and most controversial of early modern composers. The Great Soviet Encyclopedia said of Scriabin that, "No composer has had more scorn heaped or greater love bestowed..." Leo Tolstoy once described Scriabin's music as "a sincere expression of genius." Scriabin had a major impact on the music world over time, and influenced composers like Roy Agnew, Nikolai Roslavets, Sergei Prokofiev and Igor Stravinsky. Scriabin's importance in the Soviet musical scene, and internationally, drastically declined. "No one was more famous during their lifetime, and few were more quickly ignored after death." In the 1970s, for instance, there were only three recordings of his complete (published) sonatas. Yet Scriabin's work has steadily regained popularity in recent years.
The Secret Garden
The Secret Garden
The Secret Garden is a musical based on the 1909 novel of the same name by Frances Hodgson Burnett. The musical's book and lyrics are by Marsha Norman, with music by Lucy Simon. It premiered on Broadway at the St. James Theatre on 25 April 1991 and closed on 3 January 1993 after 709 performances.

The musical, set in 1906, tells of a young English girl, Mary, who is forced to move to England from colonial India when her parents die in a cholera outbreak. There she lives with her emotionally stunted Uncle Archibald and her invalid cousin. Discovering a hidden and neglected garden, and bravely overcoming dark forces, she and a young gardener bring it back to life at the same time as she brings new life to her cousin and uncle.

The Secret Garden garnered the 1991 Tony Awards for Best Book of a Musical, Best Featured Actress in a Musical (Daisy Eagan), and Best Scenic Design (Heidi Landesman). The set resembled an enormous Victorian toy theatre with pop-out figures, large paper dolls, and Joseph Cornell-like collage elements.
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).
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.
The Moody Blues
The Moody Blues
The Moody Blues are a rock band formed in Birmingham, England, in 1964, initially consisting of keyboardist Mike Pinder, multi-instrumentalist Ray Thomas, guitarist Denny Laine, drummer Graeme Edge, and bassist Clint Warwick. The group came to prominence playing rhythm and blues music. They made some changes in musicians but settled on a line-up of Pinder, Thomas, Edge, guitarist Justin Hayward, and bassist John Lodge, who stayed together for most of the band's "classic era" into the early 1970s.
Frank Wildhorn, Leslie Bricusse
Frank Wildhorn, Leslie Bricusse
Frank Wildhorn (born 1959) is an American composer known for his musicals and popular songs.

Leslie Bricusse (29 January 1931) is a British lyricist and composer.

Although best known for his partnership with Anthony Newley, Bricusse has worked with many other composers. Whilst at Cambridge University, he was Secretary of Footlights between 1952 and 1953 and Footlights President during the following year. He married the actress Yvonne Romain.
ZUN
ZUN
ZUN" and is the main programmer, scriptwriter, graphic artist, and music composer. His real name is Jun'ya Ōta
Isaac Shepard
Isaac Shepard
Growing up in a musical family, Isaac Shepard began playing piano/keyboards by ear at the age of twelve and very soon thereafter joined the band his father, James, was singing and playing guitar in at the time. As a member of “Dave and the Reverbs,” Isaac played keyboards at various soup kitchens, homeless shelters, social gatherings, church events, and random venues throughout Southern California.

Within a few years, Isaac’s family (father James, mother Debra, and brother Elijah) joined together to form a family band they named “Four Shepards and a Lamb,” and in 1996 they produced a self-titled CD of original contemporary Christian music. In 1998, Isaac released his first solo album, “On Subtle Ground,” featuring original keyboard instrumentals. Over the years, Isaac has played piano for numerous church worship teams and has continued to collaborate with James, adding piano to the rock “Moment By Moment” CD and to the Beatles/Everly Brothers love-songs tribute album called “From Me To You.” In 2005, Isaac produced his first live piano album, “Swept Away,” a collection of relaxing compositions. In 2008, Isaac produced his second solo piano album, called “Deep Joy.”
Gustav Holst
Gustav Holst
Gustav Theodore Holst (21 September 1874 – 25 May 1934) was an English composer and was a music teacher for nearly 20 years. He is most famous for his orchestral suite The Planets. Having studied at the Royal College of Music in London, his early work was influenced by Ravel, Grieg, Richard Strauss, and fellow student Ralph Vaughan Williams, but most of his music is highly original, with influences from Hindu spiritualism and English folk tunes. Holst's music is well known for unconventional use of metre and haunting melodies.

Holst wrote almost 200 catalogued compositions, including orchestral suites, operas, ballets, concertos, choral hymns, and songs (see Selected works below).

Holst became music master at St Paul's Girls' School in 1905 and director of music at Morley College in 1907, continuing in both posts until retirement.

He was the brother of Hollywood actor Ernest Cossart and father of the composer and conductor Imogen Holst, who wrote a biography of him in 1938.
Joni Mitchell
Joni Mitchell
Joni Mitchell was born on November 7, 1943, in Fort Macleod, Canada. In 1968, she recorded her first, self-titled album. Other highly successful albums followed. Mitchell won her first Grammy Award (best folk performance) for her 1969 album, Clouds. She has won seven more Grammy Awards since then, in several different categories, including traditional pop, pop music and lifetime achievement.
Queen
Queen
Queen were an English rock band formed in 1970 in London by guitarist Brian May, lead vocalist Freddie Mercury, and drummer Roger Taylor, with bass guitarist John Deacon completing the lineup the following year. While it is uncertain how many albums the band has sold, estimations range from 130 million to over 300 million albums worldwide.

The band is noted for their musical diversity, multi-layered arrangements, vocal harmonies, and incorporation of audience participation into their live performances. Their 1985 Live Aid performance was voted the best live rock performance of all time in an industry poll.

Queen had moderate success in the early 1970s, with the albums Queen and Queen II, but it was with the release of Sheer Heart Attack in 1974 and A Night at the Opera the following year that the band gained international success. They have released fifteen studio albums, five live albums, and numerous compilation albums. Eighteen of these have reached number one on charts around the world.

Following Mercury's death in 1991 and Deacon's retirement later in the decade, May and Taylor have performed infrequently under the Queen name. Since 2005 they have been collaborating with Paul Rodgers, under the moniker Queen + Paul Rodgers.
Evanescence
Evanescence
Evanescence is an American rock band founded in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1995 by singer/pianist Amy Lee and guitarist Ben Moody.

After recording two private EPs and a demo CD named Origin, with the help of Bigwig Enterprises in 2000, the band released their first full-length album, Fallen, on Wind-up Records in 2003. Fallen sold more than 15 million copies worldwide and helped the band win two Grammy Awards. A year later, Evanescence released their first live album, Anywhere but Home, which sold more than one million copies worldwide. In 2006, the band released their second studio album, The Open Door, which has sold more than four million copies.

The band has suffered several line-up changes, including co-founder Moody leaving in 2003, followed by guitarist John LeCompt and drummer Rocky Gray in 2007. Lee is now the only original member of Evanescence remaining in the band.
David Lanz
David Lanz
David Lanz (born June 28, 1950 in Seattle, Washington) is a Grammy-nominated New Age pianist. He has released 13 albums, each having some chart success. His most famous album, Cristofori's Dream, topped the New Age charts in 1988, which was Number One on Billboard's first adult alternative/New Age chart for 27 weeks and eventually sold platinum. Natural States peaked at place 125 on the Billboard 200.

Lanz's goal is to have his music create an atmosphere of enlightenment. In an interview with Barnes & Noble, Lanz stated that he wanted to create an atmosphere similar to that of Steven Halpern's music, but with a "more popular hook in it".

Lanz has said himself, " is the most divinely inspired instrument on the planet. It presents a great attraction to our left-right brain relationship. My goal is to create entertainment that also provides enlightenment."
Final Fantasy V
Final Fantasy V
Final Fantasy V (ファイナルファンタジーV Fainaru Fantajī Faibu) is a medieval-fantasy role-playing video game developed and published by Square (now Square Enix) in 1992 as a part of the Final Fantasy series. The game first appeared only in Japan on Nintendo's Super Famicom (known internationally as the Super Nintendo Entertainment System). It has been ported with minor differences to Sony's PlayStation and Nintendo's Game Boy Advance. An original video animation produced in 1994 called Final Fantasy: Legend of the Crystals serves as a sequel to the events depicted in the game. It was released for the PlayStation Network on April 6, 2011 in Japan. An enhanced port of the game, with new high resolution graphics and a touch-based interface, was released for iPhone and iPad on March 28, 2013, and for Android on September 25, 2013.

The game begins as a wanderer named Bartz investigates a fallen meteor. There, he encounters several characters, one of whom reveals the danger facing the four Crystals that control the world's elements. These Crystals act as a seal on Exdeath, an evil sorcerer. Bartz and his party must keep the Crystals from being exploited by Exdeath's influence and prevent his resurgence.

Final Fantasy V has been praised for the freedom of customization that the player has over the characters, achieved through the greatly expanded Job System. Despite being released only in Japan, the Super Famicom version sold more than two million copies. The PlayStation version has earned "Greatest Hits" status, selling more than 350,000 copies.
Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan (born Robert Allen Zimmerman, May 24, 1941 in Duluth, Minnesota) is an American singer-songwriter, author, poet and disc jockey, who has been a major figure in popular music for five decades. Much of Dylan's most celebrated work dates from the 1960s, when he became an informal chronicler and a reluctant figurehead of American unrest. A number of his songs, such as "Blowin' in the Wind" and "The Times They Are a-Changin'",

Dylan's early lyrics incorporated politics, social commentary, philosophy and literary influences, defying existing pop music conventions and appealing widely to the counterculture. While expanding and personalizing musical styles, he has shown steadfast devotion to many traditions of American song, from folk, blues and country to gospel, rock and roll and rockabilly to English, Scottish and Irish folk music, and even jazz and swing.

Dylan performs with the guitar, piano and harmonica. Backed by a changing line-up of musicians, he has toured steadily since the late 1980s on what has been dubbed the "Never Ending Tour." Although his accomplishments as performer and recording artist have been central to his career, his songwriting is generally regarded as his greatest contribution.

During his career, Dylan has won many awards for his songwriting, performing, and recording. His records have earned Grammy, Golden Globe, and Academy Awards, and he has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and Songwriters Hall of Fame. In 1999, Dylan was included in the Time 100: The Most Important People of the Century, and in 2004, he was ranked number two in Rolling Stone magazine's list of "Greatest Artists of All Time."

In 2008, Dylan was awarded a Pulitzer Prize Special Citation for his "profound impact on popular music and American culture, marked by lyrical compositions of extraordinary poetic power."
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.
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.
Tom Harrell
Tom Harrell
Tom Harrell (born June 16, 1946) is a renowned American post-bop jazz trumpeter, flugelhornist, composer and arranger.
BarlowGirl
BarlowGirl
BarlowGirl is a Christian rock/CCM band from Elgin, Illinois. The band is comprised of sisters Alyssa Barlow (lead vocals, bass, keyboard), Becca Barlow (backing vocals, guitar), and Lauren Barlow (lead vocals, drums). The band has won several awards in their genre; their song "Never Alone" was the longest running #1 song in 2004 on Radio and Records Christian Hit Radio (CHR) and Christian Rock charts, and was the "Song of the Year" on both charts. BarlowGirl became the best selling new Christian artist of 2004.

Their song "I Need You to Love Me" was released at the end of 2005. The single broke the record on Christian Radio & Retail Weekly's (CRW) Christian CHR chart by holding the #1 spot for 13 consecutive weeks. Bible Study that was recently released nationwide through LifeWay and Family Christian Stores. The three sisters were youth ambassadors for the National Day of Prayer in 2007.

Gundam Seed Destiny
Gundam Seed Destiny
Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny (機動戦士ガンダムSEED DESTINY Kidō Senshi Gandamu Shīdo Desutinī?) is the second anime television series set in the Cosmic Era universe of Gundam by Sunrise. Set two years after the original Mobile Suit Gundam SEED, Gundam SEED Destiny features many new characters and some returning ones. The series spanned 50 episodes (plus a recap episode entitled "Edited"), aired in Japan from October 9, 2004 to October 1, 2005 at 6:00 p.m. on the JNN TV stations TBS and MBS. The series won the Animage Anime Grand Prix prize in 2004 and 2005.
Eva Cassidy
Eva Cassidy
Eva Marie Cassidy (February 2, 1963 – November 2, 1996) was an American vocalist known for her interpretations of jazz, blues, folk, gospel, country and pop classics. She released her first album The Other Side, a set of duets with go-go musician Chuck Brown in 1992 followed by a live solo album, Live at Blues Alley in 1996. Cassidy was virtually unknown outside her native Washington, DC when she died of melanoma in 1996.

Four years later, Cassidy's music was brought to the attention of UK audiences when her versions of "Over the Rainbow" and "Fields of Gold" were played on BBC Radio 2. Following the overwhelming response, a camcorder recording of "Over the Rainbow" taken at the Blues Alley was shown on BBC Two's Top of the Pops 2. Shortly after, the compilation album Songbird, climbed to the top of the UK Albums Charts, almost three years after its initial release. The chart success in the United Kingdom led to increased recognition worldwide; as of 2003, her posthumously released recordings, including three UK #1s, have sold around six million copies. Her music has also charted top 10 positions in Australia, Germany, Sweden, Norway and Switzerland.
George Enescu
George Enescu
George Enescu, known in France as Georges Enesco, was a Romanian composer, violinist, pianist, conductor, and teacher. He is regarded by many as Romania's most important musician
James Blunt
James Blunt
James Blunt (born James Hillier Blount, February 22, 1974) is an English singer-songwriter whose debut album, Back to Bedlam, and single releases — especially the number one hit "You're Beautiful" — brought him to fame in 2005. His style is a mix of pop, rock and folk. Along with vocals, James Blunt performs a variety of instruments, including piano and guitar. He is signed to Linda Perry's independent American label Custard Records. Blunt won two BRIT Awards and two Ivor Novello Awards, and was nominated for five Grammy Awards in 2006. Blunt subsequently released his second album, All The Lost Souls, in 2007; this album was certified gold within its first week of release. The first single from his second album, "1973", was Blunt's first Global Number 1 in October 2007, beating "You're Beautiful" which peaked at Number 2 in the United World Chart.

Prior to embarking on a career in music, Blunt was an officer in the Life Guards, a reconnaissance regiment of the British Army, and served under NATO in Kosovo during the conflict in 1999. While posted to Kosovo, Blunt was introduced to the work of Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) (Doctors Without Borders), a humanitarian aid group best known for its emergency medical care in conflict-torn regions. Since then, Blunt has supported MSF by holding meet-and-greet auctions at many of his concerts.

Blunt's primary residence is now on the Spanish island of Ibiza, where he wrote many of the songs on his second album.
Puccini
Puccini
Giacomo Antonio Domenico Michele Secondo Maria Puccini (December 22, 1858 – November 29, 1924) was an Italian composer whose operas, including La Bohème, Tosca, and Madama Butterfly, are among the most frequently performed in the standard repertoire. Some of his arias, such as "O Mio Babbino Caro" from Gianni Schicchi, "Che gelida manina" from La Bohème, and "Nessun Dorma" from Turandot, have become part of popular culture.

The subject of Puccini's style is one that has been long avoided by musicologists; this avoidance can perhaps be attributed to the perception that his work, with its emphasis on melody and evident popular appeal, lacked "seriousness" (a similar prejudice beset Rachmaninoff during his lifetime). Despite the place Puccini clearly occupies in the popular tradition of Verdi, his style of orchestration also shows the strong influence of Wagner, matching specific orchestral configurations and timbres to different dramatic moments. His operas contain an unparalleled manipulation of orchestral colors, with the orchestra often creating the scene’s atmosphere.

The structures of Puccini's works are also noteworthy. While it is to an extent possible to divide his operas into arias or numbers (like Verdi's), his scores generally present a very strong sense of continuous flow and connectivity, perhaps another sign of Wagner’s influence. Like Wagner, Puccini used leitmotifs to connote characters (or combinations of characters). This is apparent in Tosca, where the three chords which signal the beginning of the opera are used throughout to announce Scarpia. Several motifs are also linked to Mimi and the Bohemians in La Bohème and to Cio-Cio-San's eventual suicide in Butterfly. Unlike Wagner, though, Puccini's motifs are static: where Wagner's motifs develop into more complicated figures as the characters develop, Puccini's remain more or less identical throughout the opera (in this respect anticipating the themes of modern musical theatre).
Nightwish
Nightwish
Nightwish is a Finnish rock quintet, formed in 1996 in the town of Kitee, Finland. Nightwish is considered one of the bands responsible for the development and rise in popularity of symphonic metal at the end of the 1990s, as well as the creation of the subgenre symphonic power metal.

Although they have been prominent in their home country since the release of their first single, “The Carpenter” (1997) and debut album Angels Fall First, they did not achieve worldwide fame until the release of the albums Oceanborn, Wishmaster and Century Child, which were released in 1998, 2000 and 2002 respectively. Their 2004 album, Once, which was sold over than 4 million copies, led to Nightwish video clips being shown on MTV in the United States and inclusion of their music in U.S. movie soundtracks. Their biggest U.S. hit single, “Wish I Had an Angel” (2004), made it onto three U.S. film soundtracks as a means to promote their North American tour. The band produced three more singles and two music videos for the album, as well as “Sleeping Sun”, from the 2005 “best of” compilation album, Highest Hopes, prior to vocalist Tarja Turunen’s dismissal.

In May 2007, former Alyson Avenue frontwoman, Swede Anette Olzon, was revealed as Turunen’s replacement, and in the autumn, the band released a new album Dark Passion Play, which was sold over 2 million copies. A tour supporting the album is currently in progress.
Zia
Zia
Park Ji Hye (born July 21, 1986), better known by her stage name Zia, is a South Korean singer,Zia's first foray into the music industry was when she participated in the 2003 'BoA-jjang Contest' where she placed first overall. In 2005, she was featured on KCM's song '물론' for his second album. Later on that year, she released a song for the soundtrack of the Korean movie, Shadowless Sword.
Kurt Weill
Kurt Weill
Kurt Julian Weill was a German Jewish composer, active from the 1920s in his native country, and in his later years in the United States. He was a leading composer for the stage who was best known for his fruitful collaborations with Bertolt Brecht.
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).
Count Basie
Count Basie
Count Basie Jazz pianist William "Count" Basie is an American jazz pianist, organist and jazz orchestra conductor.
Date of birth: August 21, 1904, Red Bank, New Jersey, USA Date and place of death: April 26, 1984, Hollywood, Florida, USA Instrument: Piano; Organ
Avenged Sevenfold
Avenged Sevenfold
Avenged Sevenfold is an American rock band from Huntington Beach, California, formed in 1999. The band has achieved mainstream success with their 2005 album City of Evil, which included singles such as "Burn It Down", "Bat Country," "Beast and the Harlot" and "Seize the Day." The band's success followed with their self-titled album, with singles such as "Critical Acclaim", "Almost Easy", "Afterlife", "Scream" and "Dear God".
Ottorino Respighi
Ottorino Respighi
Ottorino Respighi (July 9, 1879, Bologna - April 18, 1936) was an Italian composer, musicologist and conductor. He is best known for his orchestral Roman trilogy: Fontane di Roma - "Fountains of Rome"; Pini di Roma - "Pines of Rome"; and Feste Romane - "Roman Festivals". His musicological interest in 16th-, 17th- and 18th-century music led him to also compose pieces based on the music of this period.

Born in Bologna, he studied composition with Giuseppe Martucci and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. Many sources indicate that he also studied briefly with Max Bruch, but in her biography of the composer, Respighi's wife asserts that this is not the case. Principally a violinist until 1908, he then turned primarily to composition. He lived in Rome from 1913.
Isaac Albeniz
Isaac Albeniz
Isaac Albéniz i Pascual (Spanish pronunciation: ) (May 29, 1860 – May 18, 1909) was a Spanish pianist and composer best known for his piano works based on folk music.

Albéniz’ Suite Española Op.47 is comprised mainly of pieces written in 1886, and grouped together in 1887 in honor of the Queen of Spain. Like many of Albéniz' piano pieces, these works are miniature tone pictures of different geographical regions and musical idioms of Spain. The eight original titles are Granada, Cataluna, Sevilla, Cadiz, Asturias, Aragon, Castilla and Cuba but only the first three titles and Cuba appeared in the original collection. The other pieces were published in later collections, often with different titles. The publisher Hofmeister published all eight titles of Suite Espanola in 1911 after Albéniz’ death, appropriating other pieces for the other four titles so those pieces do not always accurately reflect the geographic designation of the titles, most obviously in the case of Asturias (Leyenda) whose Andalusian flamenco rhythms bear little resemblance to the music of the northern province Asturias. The opus number 47 assigned by Hofmeister has no relation to any chronological order in Albéniz’ oeuvre, in which opus numbers were randomly given by publishers or by Albéniz himself, with some pieces appearing in more than one collection.
Britney Spears
Britney Spears
Britney Jean Spears (born 2 December 1981) is an American singer and entertainer. Born in McComb, Mississippi and raised in Kentwood, Louisiana, Spears first appeared on national television as a contestant on the Star Search program in 1992 and went on to star on the television series The New Mickey Mouse Club from 1993–1994. After a brief membership with the pop musical group Innosense, Spears signed a recording contract with Jive Records, releasing her debut album ...Baby One More Time in 1999 which debuted at number one on the Billboard 200.

The title-track of Spears's debut album and its accompanying music video also established her as an international sex symbol, garnering controversy over the influence of her public image on teenage girls.

Spears is ranked as the eighth best-selling female recording artist in the United States according to the Recording Industry Association of America with 31 million certified albums and one of the world's best-selling music artists having sold an estimated 83 million records worldwide.
Howard Shore
Howard Shore
Howard Leslie Shore (born October 18, 1946) is a Canadian composer, notable for his film scores. He has composed the scores for over 40 films, most notably the scores for The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, for which he won three Academy Awards. He is also a consistent collaborator with director David Cronenberg, having scored all but one of his films since 1979. Shore has also worked with Martin Scorsese, Jonathan Demme, David Fincher and many other filmakers.
He has also composed a few concert works including one opera, The Fly, based on the plot (though not his score) of Cronenberg's 1986 film premiered at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris on 2 July 2008., a short piece Fanfare for the Wanamaker Organ and the Philadelphia Orchestra, and a short overture for the Swiss 21st Century Symphony Orchestra.
Shore is a three-time winner of the Academy Award, and has also won two Golden Globe Awards and four Grammy Awards. He is the uncle of film composer Ryan Shore.
Paul Baloche
Paul Baloche
Paul Baloche (born on June 4, 1962) is an American Christian music artist, worship leader, and singer-songwriter. A native of Maple Shade, New Jersey, Baloche is currently the worship pastor at Community Christian Fellowship in Lindale, Texas. Baloche composes on piano and acoustic guitar, favoring guitar when leading worship. His wife, Rita Baloche, is also a Christian songwriter. Baloche is one of the writers for Compassionart, a charity founded by Martin Smith from Delirious?.

Several Christian artists, such as Michael W. Smith and SONICFLOOd, have recorded Baloche's songs. Many of his songs are among the most performed songs in services according to CCLI, a company that handles copyright licensing of Christian songs and other resource materials for use in churches. Among them are "Open the Eyes of My Heart" (ranked number 2) and "Above All" (ranked number 22), cowritten with Lenny Leblanc. "Above All" was nominated for Song of the Year in both the 2002 and 2003 Dove Awards, and in 2002, Michael W. Smith's recording of that song won Inspirational Recorded Song of the Year. Baloche was also nominated for Songwriter of the Year in 2002. In 2009, Baloche won a Dove Award for Inspiration Recorded Song of the Year as coauthor of "A New Hallelujah" with Michael W. and Debbie Smith.

Baloche uses his position as a recording artist to provide resources for churches. His catalog of six albums is focused on providing worship music for the listener to worship along with, and for churches to use in their own services. His albums are released by Hosanna! Music, a division of Integrity Music. Through Integrity, Baloche has also written a book, God Songs, and released instructional DVDs that cover a variety of issues central to contemporary worship, such as music styles, music theory, creating flow in worship, and guitar techniques (including his methods on open chord voicings). In addition to his material output, Baloche participates in several seminars for worship leaders and musicians throughout North America and Asia.

The 2006 release A Greater Song is a live recording featuring songs by Baloche, some cowritten with worship artists including Matt Redman ("A Greater Song") and former Integrity Music president Don Moen ("Thank You Lord").
The 2009 release Glorious featured the single "Just To Be With You," which Baloche explained "is simply about intimacy with God."
Jim Brickman
Jim Brickman
Jim Brickman (born November 20, 1961) is an American composer and pianist. Brickman is known for his solo piano compositions, which are classified as new age music. However, he is as well known for his original love songs and performing them with vocalists such as Martina McBride, Michael W. Smith, Michelle Wright and others.

His music career started when he was nineteen, when Jim Henson hired him to write tunes for Sesame Street. He was also hired to write commercial jingles while in college.

Brickman signed with Windham Hill Records to release his first album, No Words, in 1994. The song "Rocket To The Moon" from that album was the first solo instrumental song ever to be ranked on Billboard's charts. Four of his albums (By Heart, Picture This, The Gift, and Destiny) have all sold over 500,000 copies, qualifying them as gold records in the United States.

Brickman writes a wide variety of music. Besides his piano compositions and love songs, he has also created arrangements of other songs. Several of his albums feature arrangements of children's music; he has produced two Christmas-themed albums The Gift (1997) and Peace (2003); and his 2005 album Grace concentrates on arrangements of well-known Christian music.
Danny Elfman
Danny Elfman
Daniel Robert "Danny" Elfman (born May 29, 1953) is an American musician, best known for composing music for television and movies, and leading the rock band Oingo Boingo as singer/songwriter from 1976 until its breakup in 1995. He is a frequent collaborator with long-time friend Tim Burton, and has scored all but two of his films. He was nominated for four Academy Awards and won a Grammy Award for Tim Burton's Batman and an Emmy Award for his Desperate Housewives theme. Elfman also wrote the theme for the video game Fable. He is also famous for creating The Simpsons main title theme, and his role as Jack Skellington's singing voice in The Nightmare Before Christmas. He is the Uncle in-law to actress Jenna Elfman.
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.
Johann Pachelbel
Johann Pachelbel
Johann Pachelbel (pronounced /ˈpækəlbɛl/, /ˈpɑːkəlbɛl/, or /ˈpɑːkəbɛl/; baptized September 1, 1653 – buried March 9, 1706) was a German Baroque composer, organist and teacher, who brought the south German organ tradition to its peak. He composed a large body of sacred and secular music, and his contributions to the development of the chorale prelude and fugue have earned him a place among the most important composers of the middle Baroque era.

Pachelbel's work enjoyed enormous popularity during his lifetime; he had many pupils and his music became a model for the composers of south and central Germany. Today, Pachelbel is best known for the Canon in D, the only canon he wrote - although a true canon at the unison in three parts, it is often regarded more as a passacaglia, and it is in this mode that it has been arranged and transcribed for many different media. In addition to the canon, his most well-known works include the Chaconne in F minor, the Toccata in E minor for organ, and the Hexachordum Apollinis, a set of keyboard variations.

Pachelbel's music was influenced by southern German composers, such as Johann Jakob Froberger and Johann Kaspar Kerll, Italians such as Girolamo Frescobaldi and Alessandro Poglietti, French composers, and the composers of the Nuremberg tradition. Pachelbel preferred a lucid, uncomplicated contrapuntal style that emphasized melodic and harmonic clarity. His music is less virtuosic and less adventurous harmonically than that of Dieterich Buxtehude, although, like Buxtehude, Pachelbel experimented with different ensembles and instrumental combinations in his chamber music and, most importantly, his vocal music, much of which features exceptionally rich instrumentation. Pachelbel explored many variation forms and associated techniques, which manifest themselves in various diverse pieces, from sacred concertos to harpsichord suites.
Koji Kondo
Koji Kondo
Koji Kondo (近藤浩治 Kondō Kōji?, born August 13, 1960) is a Japanese video game composer and sound director who has been employed at Nintendo since 1984. He is best known for scoring numerous titles in the Mario and The Legend of Zelda series.
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.
Thelonious Monk
Thelonious Monk
Thelonious Sphere Monk was an American jazz pianist and composer. He had a unique improvisational style and made numerous contributions to the standard jazz repertoire, including "'Round Midnight", "Blue Monk", "Straight, No Chaser", "Ruby, My Dear", "In Walked Bud", and "Well, You Needn't"
Maroon 5
Maroon 5
Maroon 5 is a Grammy Award-winning American pop rock band. Formed with only two members at the French Woods Festival of the Performing Arts and expanded in Los Angeles, the group comprises five members: Adam Levine (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), James Valentine (lead guitar, backing vocals), Jesse Carmichael (keyboards, rhythm guitar, backing vocals), Mickey Madden (bass guitar), and Matt Flynn (drums, percussion).
Kelly Clarkson
Kelly Clarkson
Kelly Brianne Clarkson (born April 24, 1982) is an American pop rock singer, songwriter, and occasional actress. Clarkson made her debut under RCA Records after she won the highly-publicized first season of the television series American Idol in 2002. She was originally marketed as a pop musician with her debut album Thankful (2003). With the release of her multi-platinum second album Breakaway (2004), Clarkson moved to a more pop rock-oriented style of music. Clarkson's third album, entitled My December, was released on June 26, 2007. Her fourth album is due in fall 2008. Clarkson has sold over 19 million albums worldwide. Clarkson is the most successful American Idol alumna, with eight of her singles becoming Top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100. In 2008, she joined Vh1's list of 10 sexiest women of the new millennium at #8. She also hit #28 on Vh1's Top 30 Hottest Rock Front women.
Sara Bareilles
Sara Bareilles
Sara Beth Bareilles (born December 7, 1979) is an American singer-songwriter and pianist. She achieved mainstream success in 2007 with the hit single "Love Song", which brought her into the number one spot on the Billboard Pop 100 chart.

After graduating from college in 2002, Bareilles performed at local bars and clubs (such as the Hotel Cafe and Genghis Cohen in Los Angeles), building a following, before performing in larger venues. She issued two demos of mostly live tracks in 2003: The First One in April and The Summer Sessions in October. In 2004, she appeared as a singer in a bar in the indie film Girl Play, performing the song "Undertow".

In January 2004, Bareilles released her first studio album, Careful Confessions. She signed a contract with Epic Records' A&R executive Pete Giberga on April 15, 2005. The remainder of the year and early 2006 were spent writing and reworking songs for her upcoming album. Her song, "Gravity," appears briefly in the 2006 independent film Loving Annabelle. She also toured as the opening act in 2006 for Marc Broussard's "Carencro" tour.

In mid-2004 she opened for Rocco DeLuca and the Burden during their inaugural headline tour, supported Guster on their first UK tour and co-headlined a tour with Jon McLaughlin. In 2007, Bareilles toured as the opening act for Aqualung and Mika, and later that year opened for several shows on both Maroon 5 and Paolo Nutini's U.S. tours. She also opened for James Blunt on his U.S. Tour in association with VH1 You Oughta Know.
Pachelbel
Pachelbel
Johann Pachelbel (baptized September 1, 1653 – buried March 9, 1706) was a German Baroque composer, organist and teacher who brought the south German organ tradition to its peak. He composed a large body of sacred and secular music, and his contributions to the development of the chorale prelude and fugue have earned him a place among the most important composers of the middle Baroque era.

Pachelbel's work enjoyed enormous popularity during his lifetime; he had many pupils and his music became a model for the composers of south and central Germany. Today, Pachelbel is best known for the Canon in D, the only canon he wrote. In addition to the canon, his most well-known works include the Chaconne in F minor, the Toccata in E minor for organ, and the Hexachordum Apollinis, a set of keyboard variations.

Pachelbel's music was influenced by southern German composers, such as Johann Jakob Froberger and Johann Kaspar Kerll, Italians such as Girolamo Frescobaldi and Alessandro Poglietti, French composers, and the composers of the Nuremberg tradition. Pachelbel preferred a lucid, uncomplicated contrapuntal style that emphasized melodic and harmonic clarity. His music is less virtuosic and less adventurous harmonically than that of Dieterich Buxtehude, although, like Buxtehude, Pachelbel experimented with different ensembles and instrumental combinations in his chamber music and, most importantly, his vocal music, much of which features exceptionally rich instrumentation. Pachelbel explored many variation forms and associated techniques, which manifest themselves in various diverse pieces, from sacred concertos to harpsichord suites.
Prince
Prince
Prince Rogers Nelson (born 7 June 1958 in Minneapolis, Minnesota) is an American musician. He performs simply as Prince, but has also been known by various other names, among them an unpronounceable symbol, leading fans and critics to dub him The Artist Formerly Known As Prince or simply The Artist.

Prince is a prolific artist, having released several hundred songs both under his own name and with other artists. He has won six Grammy Awards and an Academy Award, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004. In 2004, he was named as the top male pop artist of the past 25 years by ARC Rock on the Net, and Rolling Stone Magazine ranked Prince #28 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.

From his early material, rooted in R&B, soul and funk, Prince has expanded his musical palette throughout his career, absorbing many other genres including pop, rock, jazz, new wave, psychedelia and hip hop. Some of his primary influences include Sly Stone, Curtis Mayfield, Jimi Hendrix, Joni Mitchell, James Brown and Carlos Santana. The distinctive characteristics of his early-to-mid 1980s work, such as sparse and industrial-sounding drum machine arrangements and the use of synthesizer riffs to serve the role traditionally occupied by horn riffs in earlier R&B, funk and soul music, were called the "Minneapolis sound" and have proved very influential.
Richard Wagner
Richard Wagner
Wilhelm Richard Wagner (pronounced /ˈvɑːɡnər/, German pronunciation: ; 22 May 1813 – 13 February 1883) was a German composer, conductor, theatre director and essayist, primarily known for his operas (or "music dramas", as they were later called). Wagner's compositions, particularly those of his later period, are notable for their complex texture, rich harmonies and orchestration, and the elaborate use of leitmotifs: musical themes associated with individual characters, places, ideas or plot elements. Unlike most other opera composers, Wagner wrote both the music and libretto for every one of his stage works. Famous extracts from his operas include the "Ride of the Valkyries" and the Bridal Chorus from Lohengrin, popularly known as the wedding march "Here Comes the Bride".
Initially establishing his reputation as a composer of works such as The Flying Dutchman and Tannhäuser which were in the romantic traditions of Weber and Meyerbeer, Wagner transformed operatic thought through his concept of the Gesamtkunstwerk ("total work of art"). This would achieve the synthesis of all the poetic, visual, musical and dramatic arts, and was announced in a series of essays between 1849 and 1852. Wagner realised this concept most fully in the first half of the monumental four-opera cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen. However, his thoughts on the relative importance of music and drama were to change again and he reintroduced some traditional operatic forms into his last few stage works including Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg.
Wagner pioneered advances in musical language, such as extreme chromaticism and quickly shifting tonal centres, which greatly influenced the development of European classical music. His Tristan und Isolde is sometimes described as marking the start of modern music. Wagner's influence spread beyond music into philosophy, literature, the visual arts and theatre. He had his own opera house built, the Bayreuth Festspielhaus, which contained many novel design features. It was here that the Ring and Parsifal received their premieres and where his most important stage works continue to be performed today in an annual festival run by his descendants. Wagner's views on conducting were also highly influential. His extensive writings on music, drama and politics have all attracted extensive comment; not least for their frequently antisemitic content.
Wagner achieved all of this despite a life characterised, until his last decades, by political exile, turbulent love affairs, poverty and repeated flight from his creditors. His pugnacious personality and often outspoken views on music, politics and society made him a controversial figure during his life. He has remained one to this day. The impact of his his ideas can be traced in many of the arts throughout the twentieth century.
Vincent Youmans
Vincent Youmans
Vincent Millie Youmans (September 27, 1898 – April 5, 1946) was an American Broadway composer and Broadway producer.

A leading Broadway composer of his day, Youmans collaborated with virtually all the greatest lyricists on Broadway: Ira Gershwin, Otto Harbach, Oscar Hammerstein II, Irving Caesar, Anne Caldwell, Leo Robin, Howard Dietz, Clifford Grey, Billy Rose, Edward Eliscu, Edward Heyman, Harold Adamson, Buddy De Sylva and Gus Kahn. Youmans' early songs are remarkable for their economy of melodic material: two-, three- or four-note phrases are constantly repeated and varied by subtle harmonic or rhythmic changes. In later years, however, apparently influenced by Jerome Kern, he turned to longer musical sentences and more free-flowing melodic lines. Youmans published fewer than 100 songs, but 18 of these were considered standards by ASCAP, a remarkably high percentage.
John Mayer
John Mayer
John Clayton Mayer (born October 16, 1977) is an American musician. Originally from Connecticut, he attended Berklee College of Music before moving to Atlanta, Georgia, in 1997, where he refined his skills and gained a following. His first two studio albums, Room for Squares and Heavier Things, did well commercially, achieving multi-platinum status. In 2003, he won a Best Male Pop Vocal Performance Grammy Award for "Your Body Is a Wonderland".

Mayer began his career performing mainly acoustic rock and pop, but gradually began a transition towards the blues genre in 2005 by collaborating with renowned blues artists such as B. B. King, Buddy Guy, and Eric Clapton, and by forming the John Mayer Trio. The blues influence can be heard on his album Continuum, released in September 2006. At the 49th Annual Grammy Awards in 2007 Mayer won Best Pop Vocal Album for Continuum and Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for "Waiting on the World to Change". Mayer's career pursuits have extended to stand-up comedy, design, and writing; he has written pieces for magazines, most notably for Esquire. He is also involved in philanthropic activities through his "Back to You" fund and his concern over global warming.
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