What if I glaze Barbie piano notes

The 9 best sites for legal and free piano sheet music [2021]

Where can I get free piano sheet music? And which PDFs can I legally download? In this post you will find the answer where you can download piano sheet music for free 🙂


A big advantage of the internet: There are an incredible number of piano notes in it. Although printed editions are still the ultimate for me, I appreciate the convenience, speed and free download of piano sheet music from the Internet.

My great-grandfather built up a huge collection of notes from expensive and bound editions that fills a whole large cupboard. This collection is in my parents' house and I still benefit from it today because I can be almost sure that every known classical piano piece can be found there.

A considerable part of my sheet music collection is on my iPad and fits in a small pocket. Very comfortable - but I probably won't make my great-grandchildren happy with it. They would probably laugh at me because of this slow and clunky device.

You can find out how to read sheet music here>

Because the sheet music doesn't go to the computer or tablet by itself, I'll help you in this post to find free and legal PDFs for the piano.

Can I download piano sheet music for free and legally from the Internet?

The internet is full of free piano sheet music. Bought from the sheet music store, they are beautifully bound and “analog”, but often also cost a hefty sum. There is a great temptation to simply download free sheet music and print it out yourself (or play it from the tablet).

Similar to e-books or digital music, there are a few things to keep in mind when downloading sheet music. Usually someone composed or arranged the piece and the rights to the sheet music. On the other hand, there are also sheet music that the rights holder provides free of charge or pieces by composers who have been dead for more than 70 years and are therefore free of rights.

Because the whole thing is very confusing, I'll give you a few rules of thumb as to when grades are legal:

  • A scan / a “self-made” edition of old classical music (for example “Well-Tempered Clavier” from an edition from 1919) => LEGAL
  • A scan of a comparatively new edition of a classic work (e.g. Edition Peters "Songs without Words" from 2005) => ILLEGAL
  • Free piano sheet music for a current pop song => probably ILLEGAL
  • Your own arrangement of a pop song by a musician or composer who makes the piece freely available (e.g. on Musescore) => LEGAL
  • An original piece by a contemporary composer (e.g. Einaudi, Tiersen or Yiruma) => ILLEGAL

Hopefully now you know when to download sheet music safely. So which sites are the best for free piano sheet music now? In the following I list my favorite sites for you:

1. IMSLP

IMSLP stands for International Music Score Library Project and is known as the Petrucci Music Library. Probably the most famous site for downloading free piano sheet music was founded in 2006 and is the largest collection of free piano sheet music on the Internet. Currently (September 2019) there are almost 150,000 works on IMSLP. In addition to sheet music for piano, there are also sheet music for orchestra, voice and other instruments and ensembles.

In addition to the mandatory search function, the filter of sheet music by instrument, composer, epoch or language is particularly practical.
So you can quickly have a list of all available sheet music for piano and two flutes or for four-hand piano. You can find almost every piece by the classical composers (died more than 70 years ago) on IMSLP.

Most of these are scanned notes from very old editions that are of different quality. If you value an excellent and clear typeface, it is best to use the current editions of Edition Peters or Henle Verlag.

2. Mutopia

Mutopia also has a lot of free classical piano sheet music. In contrast to IMSLP, you will not find scans of old editions here, but notes that have been retyped by volunteers using the LilyPond software.

That is why there is no blurring like with some issues of IMSLP at Mutopia, but sometimes I find the "typeface" to take a little getting used to. The site is definitely worth a visit.


What use are the best grades if you can't play well from sight?
In Thomas Forschbach's online course you will learn step by step:

Learn sight reading


3. Free Scores

Free Scores is another collection of free sheet music for various instruments. In addition to classical works, there are also modern pieces, but of course the well-known composers like Einaudi, Tiersen and Co. are missing.

The selection of free scores is very good, but the confusing page structure and the large amount of advertising are somewhat annoying (of course - the page has to finance itself somehow). In addition to free piano sheet music, there are also piano sheet music for a fee directly on the site.

4. MuseScore

MuseScore is actually a free music notation program. The MuseScore website also has a large collection of free piano sheet music that has been created and uploaded by users.

Similar to Mutopia, the notes are all "self-made". Especially for modern pieces, pop songs or film music is MuseScore for me the best point of contact.

Very convenient: Since the songs were recorded by computer, you can also listen to them directly on the homepage and decide whether you like the version of the piece.

As of 2019, you need one to download sheet music from MuseScore Premium accountwhich costs $ 49 a year. Self-created notes that are free from third-party rights are still free of charge. Due to increased copyright discussions, MuseScore decided to link the sheet music download to the Pro account.

These are my absolute favorite sites. Here are a few more pages for free piano sheet music.

5. Swappano

A kind of exchange platform for piano sheet music. You write which grades you have and offer and ask other users if they can send you their grades.

6. 8Notes

Some free classical sheet music, but also playalongs and Sheets to improvise. Some notes are only accessible with a premium account.

7. Band Music PDF Library

Sheet music mainly for band line-ups, focus on music from the USA

8. Music Scores

Another free sheet music collection, also for other instruments and ensembles.

9. Paul W Wells

A small but fine collection of piano arrangements for many pop songs. The focus is on classics by the Beatles, Elton John or George Michael, but there are also modern ones (e.g. The Prodigy).

How you'll never look for pop piano sheet music again

The sheet music for pop songs for the piano are often not easy to find and certainly not free - because the rights to the pieces have not yet expired.

You will of course find what you are looking for on Amazon, where there are plenty of piano sheet music for pop songs or the flat rate offer Oktav. (=> you can read my detailed test on "Oktav" here)

My favorite for pop sheet music is Top Charts Gold, which regularly brings out piano arrangements for the current chart songs. Another good sheet music provider is Sheetmusicdirect.

How about if you never had to look for grades like this again? If you learn to play by ear, you won't need any notes at all. This takes a lot of practice, but it's worth it.

How nice would it be if you listen to your favorite song on the radio, just sit down at the piano and let your own improvisation sound out?

You can either take lessons from a teacher or take an online course.

If you are considering the latter, I warmly recommend this to you Courses from Thomas Forschbach to my heart. There you will learn how to play your favorite songs freely and without notes by ear. No matter what previous knowledge you have.

Another good course is from Daniel Hunziker. Here, too, you learn to play songs by ear. I particularly recommend the Pianoclub bundle, where you have access to a lot of courses (and new ones are added every month).



Common questions about free piano sheet music

Can I print free piano sheet music?

As long as the piano sheet music is legal and free from third party rights, you can also print and copy them. It is best to save it as a PDF and only print it out on one side. The “Amalia Dur” piano portfolio is a perfect aid for organizing multi-page copies. (a detailed test is available here >>)

Which apps are suitable for piano sheet music?

You can conveniently open digital piano sheet music (ideally as a PDF and not as an image file) on your tablet (if necessary also on your smartphone). There are special apps that are more suitable than the classic PDF viewer for displaying these notes. I recommend you either ForScore or Piascore.

Here you can find a list of my favorite apps >>

Where can I find piano sheet music for beginners?

There are also many free piano sheet music for beginners on the net. On many of the pages mentioned here, the grades can be filtered according to level of difficulty. Otherwise you can just follow "Beginner", "Beginner" or "Easy" or. "light" search.

Do you have a favorite piano sheet music site that I forgot? Then in a comment with it 😉