The History of Sheet Music

Take a Quick Trip Through The History of Sheet Music – A Fun Infographic

Just like any language, musical notation has evolved over time. The stave, clefs, notes, accidentals, dynamics and other building blocks that we today recognize as notation didn’t always exist. Similarly, it wasn’t always as easy as downloading the sheet music you want in the key you need from anywhere. (Yes, those were dark times, indeed.) From stone to sheets to iPads, the portability of sheet music certainly has improved in the past 5000 years or so. Take a look at other ways notation, sheet music and sheet music publishing have advanced from ancient Mesopotamian beginnings to today. Click here for a printable PDF version. Click here to view the infographic
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TO BALI

Back-to-School Choir Spotlight! New Choral Arrangements of Popular Songs.

Jonathan Miller, Musicnotes choral arranger extraordinaire and director of choral catalog, shares insight into recently added choral arrangements. I’ve been creating a number of new choral settings for songs that have been popular in their original piano-vocal versions. Here are a few that you and your choir might enjoy. “H.O.L.Y.” for STB Choir (Originally performed by Florida Georgia Line) This love song has great bluegrass/gospel harmonies. Mostly I set myself the task of transcribing faithfully the harmonies in the refrain of the original recording. This song would be great to perform either with a vocal trio or a larger ensemble. “Just Like Fire” for SSA Choir Also available for SATB,
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How to

How to Choose Sheet Music for Piano Students

Piano teachers know that the day always comes when a student asks to play a song or piece that isn’t in their method book. If they’re a first or second year student, it’s quite possible that they aren’t ready to play the most difficult (and usually most accurate) arrangement available. As their teacher, it can prove challenging to find appropriate sheet music for piano students. Fortunately, these days there are multiple difficulty levels of nearly any song or piece to choose from, such as those offered here at Musicnotes. What criteria should teachers consider when choosing an appropriate arrangement for a student? In my experience, the three most important skill
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Contrafactum: What’s That?

A lesser-known musical term, contrafactum, refers to a song in which the melody is similar or even identical to another song yet contains different lyrics. One of the most popular examples of contrafacta are “What Child is This” and “Greensleeves.” While the lyrics convey very different meanings, the melody remains the same for both. There are several reasons for why a composer would choose to repeat one melody across two different pieces. Often times, the composer has chosen to reuse the melody from another piece because it brings together the beginning and end of a show. For example, “Come to Me,” also known as “Fantine’s Death,” is sung in the first
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-POP

Tips to Keep You Cool While Playing Hot Summer Gigs + Win a Musicnotes.com Water Bottle & Tee

Festivals, farmers’ markets, garden parties, weddings and sporting events, whether you’re playing under the hot sun or a hazy moon, summertime is prime for outdoor gigs. Unlike the more temperate (climate controlled) indoor venues, there are additional considerations to keep both your body and instrument in prime condition while playing on hot summer days. We’ve put together a quick list of the 5 most essential tips for outdoor summer gigs. Read to the end and enter to win a limited-edition Musicnotes.com Contigo™ reusable water bottle and cool t-shirt! (Note: This contest has ended and winners have been notified via email. Thanks to everyone who entered!) 1. Hydrate Proper hydration is essential
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Choosing the Perfect Audition Piece for You

Tips on how to do well at an audition are more or less universal, but the perfect audition piece is not. (Check out our Updated: 40+ Songs for Stage and Show Auditions blog post.) Each individual musician is different just as every performance of a piece varies ever so slightly from the one previous. There is no “one-size-fits-all” audition piece. Not saying it wouldn’t be nice, but it just doesn’t exist. There isn’t a perfected audition piece that will work for everyone the same. There is, however, a uniquely perfect audition piece for you. Musicnotes.com is here to help guide you through three basic steps to take when selecting the
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Lauren Daigle

Q&A with Song Spotlight Performer, Lauren Daigle!

In October we traveled to Ocean Way Studios in Nashville to record CCM pop/rock sensation, Lauren Daigle for our Song Spotlight series. Watch her performance of “Trust in You” and read the Q&A below for even more musical inspiration. Lauren Daigle graciously took time out of her whirlwind schedule and musical appearances to answer a few of Musicnotes’ most pressing questions, including what inspires her as a writer, how she feels about others playing her songs and her performance tips. Take a read below! Musicnotes: You’ve said your dream is to write music that helps and inspires people. Where do you pull that inspiration from?  Lauren Daigle: The inspiration behind this album came from new seasons of
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Ask a Music Publisher

What YOU Should Know About Music Publishing, with Sean Flahaven of Warner/Chappell Music

Downloading sheet music to play instantly is easy as can be, right? Did you know that before a song makes its way to the huge Musicnotes.com catalogue, joining more than 300,000 other instantly available works, it first takes a journey through a legal process, a proofing process and a technological process? Today, we’re going to focus on the legal part of sheet music publishing with our first-ever Ask a Music Publisher post, with guest expert Sean Flahaven of Warner/Chappell Music. In addition to writing and performing music, there are so many other musical fields that allow you and I to enjoy playing the songs we love. In the most simplistic
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10 Signs Your Bandmate Might be Crushing on You

Cupid’s arrow can strike anywhere, even in the rehearsal room. Have you noticed a little extra attention being thrown your way by a fellow bandmate? Do you think he or she might be interested in harmonizing outside of the band room? Check out our top 10 signs your bandmate has a crush on you below! #10 Your brass-playing beau or boo may also turn down the ick-factor by using the far more charming term ‘water key.’ #9 You’ve most likely built up your tubaist muscles already, why not give someone else the opportunity? #8 If your crush-er is a timpanist, that ‘glance’ might be more of an extended gaaaaaze. #7 Not familiar
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