Have you been looking for affordable ways to get the sheet music for the songs that you’ve always wanted to play? If so, I have some good news for ya because there are a few options. Many sheet music distributors sell their merchandise in bulk which makes smaller sales less significant. Some distributors only offer paper copies which require shipping fees and…the waiting, the insufferable waiting. Others have their selection which is completely downloadable or even printable once you purchase the rights. Here we will discuss the pros and cons of Virtual Sheet Music, a company was designed by passionate music lovers. Let’s find out what they have to offer you!
HEADS UP! This blog uses piano language. The language that all pianists magically use to telepathically communicate with each other!
Virtual Sheet Music Has the Spotlight This Time
What if you could access an entire selection of sheet music at the click of a button? Sounds great, right? Well… there the truth is that it makes me quite jolly. Virtual Sheet Music has an entire catalog and website where countless titles are sold. The positive thing about this website is that you can have sheet music at your fingertips by using your mobile devices. Another unique feature is that you can even access your library while offline. That means, when the power goes out on cold wintery nights, you have something to play! I personally love to do this except I have electric pianos, so it makes it a little hard to play when the power goes out. Regardless, being able to play where ever a piano may be, is quite neat.
Downloadable and/or Printable Sheet Music?
That is correctamundo! It boils down to your personal preference. Do you prefer to stare at a digital version of a piece on your iPad or Chromebook, or do you like a good old-fashioned piece of paper? I remember the days when we all had paper. Those were the days. Nice, soft paper…I always HATED IT! (Sorry for the Spongebob reference…)
Some of you might even like parchment like my dear friend Frederick Chopin with whom I am well acquainted. Well…to an extent. He’s quite dead at the moment, but I do absolutely adore his music. He even wrote his Choping Liszt on parchment paper when he needed to buy groceries.
Anyway, if you couldn’t tell from the name, Virtual Sheet Music has the option to download music virtually and permanently. They also offer printable versions. This is great if you like to have your score right in front of you. The downside is that you can only print copies for yourself, as you have purchased the “license” to do so.
TEACHERS BEWARE! I would not recommend printing free copies for your students or family members! This would invoke the wrath of Virtual Sheet Music and they will probably reach through your iPad and tear your music to shreds before your very eyes! Nooooooooooo….
One of the best deals that Virtual Sheet Music can offer is their Membership program. Members have instant access to Free access to:
1. Over 2,000 classical & traditional titles.
2. Up to 70% off on over 100,000 popular titles.
3. Play along with unique Mp3 accompaniments.
4. Transpose music to print for any instrument.
Their current fee for this is only $37.75 PER YEAR. To put that into perspective, I just purchased a copy of Un Sospiro by Franz Liszt for $12 plus shipping, yeah right. That is one single piece of music. The membership might not include all of your favorite pieces, but they make up for that with their discounts. Another very distinct feature is the ability to transpose music for you next jam jam session or just for fun. If any of you have ever tried to transpose a piece to a different key yourself, just stop, stop right there and let them do it. I’m just kidding, I thoroughly enjoy the challenge of transposing music, but most of the time I’d rather have someone else do it.
Feel free to use the search box below and see if they have what you need!
Let’s Talk About Usability
On the more negative side, their website is known to be well… a bit basic. Some reviews and testimonials state that their site is missing some features and elements that could contribute to a more positive user experience. This is not to say that their product is this way because they are better known for delivering high-quality sheet music. Sometimes, basic sites are easier to navigate. Once downloaded, there are interactive accompaniments for most pieces and users claim that it is easy to flip through pages and change scores relatively quickly.
The Good, the Bad, and the Indifferent
Well now… Let’s look back at the article in a nice little nutshell. Most of you are probably like get me my sheet music now! Everything has its pros and cons so let’s get to the nitty gritty.
- High-quality digital Sheet Music
- Instantly downloadable and printable upon purchase
- Offline viewing of sheet music is supported
- Supported on all Mobile devices
- Printable copies mean that you won’t get nice complete booklets
- Their website and app are a bit basic
- Can be a bit expensive if you’re not a member
Is Virtual Sheet Music Right For You?
I dunno, is it? Virtual Sheet Music has served me well and I personally will recommend it. A lot of people prefer to have music available at the snap of a finger. No one else can beat that. I do have to admit that the membership offer is quite tempting. It really boils down to how you want to read the score. The fact that all mobile devices are supported is a superb addition to their services. It is also impressive how the site was designed by passionate musicians and music lovers with the intent to share that with everybody.
Always aspire to expand you repertoire, just don’t stretch yourself too thin! This could be an excellent opportunity to do exactly that. Or it could be a complete waste of time and resources. T’is up to you.
What’s in your repertoire???
As always, lemme know what you think! Feel free to leave a comment about your experiences with the product or piano in general. I always look forward to hearing about it!