So…a while back I had a brilliant idea. I was sure it would be a hit. The idea came to me one day as I was working on a Christmas arrangement for several of my students. Six of my students wanted to play on ensemble for the Christmas recital. They had played a Patriotic ensemble this summer and loved it and wanted to work on something else as a group. I thought it was a great idea and set about to find something for them. Haha. There was nothing to be found. There were several trios – mostly too easy. There is a good selection of 2 piano/8 hand music, but that would be too hard to adapt for six players. But I could find nothing for 2 piano/12 hand at an intermediate level that would work for the Christmas recital. My students told me I just needed to write something for them. Against my better judgment, I agreed. 🙂 I wrote an arrangement of Hark! The Herald Angels Sing with Away in A Manger. They loved it! They played it beautifully.
Anyway…back to my brilliant idea. I thought it would be wonderful if there was a website dedicated to making available for others all the compositions and arrangements by teachers and others who compose and arrange a little here and there, but probably won’t ever seriously pursue being published (like me :-)). It would be a marketplace of sorts where teachers could set up a little store for themselves and sell their compositions and arrangements to others who might be looking for that very piece or instrumentation or combination, etc. Of course, the site would be set up in a very clean and organized manner to make it easy for visitors to search the site and find what they are looking for. Thousands of people would contribute and could make a little bit of money selling their scores or they could offer them for free for the pure enjoyment of knowing that others around the world could enjoy the fruit of their labors. And the site operator(s) could take a small cut of all the sales to cover the cost of running the site and make some money on the side. Doesn’t that sound like a brilliant idea to you? Well, apparently it did to the folks over at Sibelius Music too because they beat me to it! I came across their site the other day and couldn’t believe how much it resembled what I had envisioned. So much for that idea…
Boasting the availability of 61,633 scores to date, Sibelius Music is chock-full of compositions and arrangements for nearly every instrumentation and genre you can think of. You can view, play, download and print whatever you want right from their site. And many of the pieces listed are offered free of charge. They even offer the option for composers/arrangers to set up their own store and house it right there on their server.
The site is so vast, it feels very overwhelming and somewhat complicated to find what you’re looking for. First time users should definitely stop by the information page to help alleviate these feelings! For those interested in selling their own scores, head on over to the FAQ page for sellers. The Sibelius Music folks seem to have thought of everything. The only problem is that I’m not a Sibelius user. I’m a Finale user. So, who wants to start a site like this for Finale users? 🙂