As a violinist you can expect to be buying violin music - sheet music or recordings - like you buy petrol for your car. Yes my friend, you can stroll down to the local music store and have your pay direct credited to them - that should about see you right.
Or maybe not. Actually, thanks to the internet you can get sources of music - particularly violin sheet music, which are very inexpensive or even free (and legitimate). Lets have a look then at
- Genres of violin music
- Sources of violin sheet music you pay for
- Sources of free violin sheet music
- Suggested recordings of violin music
- kids music
Although the violin originated in Italy and the western classical music scene (I use 'classical' in the general sense, not the strict musical era called 'classical') It has been adopted in a range of genres such as;
- Blue grass
- Country and western
You will also find it used by crossover artists (i.e. players who began in the classical scene and now mix it with the pop music scene)
This site is focused mainly on the classical violin music scene, but you will find that the basic skills you learn as a classical violinist will be useful whatever genre you prefer to play.
Free violin sheet music
Alright – stop just drooling at the thought and join the action – yes you can get free sheet music for the violin (and any other instrument for that matter) and lots of it.
“Umm, so where's the catch?” I hear you say. Okay here's the low down
There is a huge amount of violin music in the classical scene which is in the public domain. That is, it is no longer copyrighted. In the USA, anything first published there before Jan 1 1923 is automatically in the public domain today. In New Zealand where I live, copyright on written scores lasts for 50 years after the authors death. (for recordings it is 50 years from when the recording was made)
Given that Mozart, Beethoven, Vivaldi, Bach etc etc all produced their works well before these time frames, those works are freely available to distribute as we please....but there is a catch – and it's called 'derived works'
Now, make sure you pay attention to this so you don't wind up with some irate copyright holder breathing down your neck!
If I take a public domain work, and create a work based on it, my new work is coprighted. For example, I could take a public domain score of a mozart work and edit the score with my own fingering and phrasing. I would then hold the copyright for this new edition – which is exactly why you cannot legally just go photocopying recent editions of music which is apparently available for free in the public domain.
Alright alright – enough with the legalities – where do you get this stuff? Now that you have the required background go visit the
free violin sheet music
page and start downloading
Violin sheet music you pay for
What? Pay? You mean real hard earned money?
Yes my friend, buy sheet music as in 'fork over your hard earned dollars'. Or yen, or pounds or euros or whatever.
Uhh, so why should I pay when I can get my violin music for free?
Okay, here's why you might want to pay
1.You want a specific edition. Actually, the editing of a score if done properly can add real value.
2.Some people have done a lot of work amassing huge public domain sheet music compilations. In some cases it is sold so cheaply that it just isn't worth your time trying to track it down yourself. My time is worth way more than $2 or $3 for an entire course of wohlfahrt studies for example.
3.You will not always be able to find the piece you want online. The pay for sites have huge libraries of stuff so will probably be able to get you what you want.
4.Some pay for sites offer customised versions of the public domain music. Maybe it was originally written for violin and orchestra, but you want to play it with violin and piano. Perhaps you want a simplified version of a difficult piece. These are derived works which are really useful.
5.You don't want to, or can't print it yourself. The free stuff, and the cheap public domain stuff requires you to print it yourself. You may decide that you would rather just have a professionally printed copy.
Okay, now that you are in the picture, you may proceed to the
violin sheet music
Here I will review a couple of violin music CD's I own that I have particularly enjoyed.
Music for Kids
At time of writing I have 4 children ranging in age from around 9 months to 8 years. I have a few CD's that the kids have really enjoyed which I would like to share. They are not restricted to just violin music, but have a look anyway at my review of our collection of
music for kids