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Introduction to Piano Music

Piano music is generally sold in sheet music or volume format. It can also be published on a coffee mug or a lampshade. For woodwind, brass and string instrumentalists, lampshade music is readable if you play the notes on your instrument while slowly walking around the lamp. Pianists, however, find that reading technique troublesome, especially if the piano wheels don’t work well. Sheet music has the advantage of providing the purchaser with exactly what they are looking for. The disadvantage of sheet music is the price. A volume of popular or classical compositions usually contains many works (often dozens). If you multiply the price of a piece of sheet music by the number of songs in a typical volume of music, you begin to realize how much you are paying for one song in sheet music format.

In classical music, any edition marked as urtext is an edition that has no editorial modifications to the original manuscript of the composer. Usually these types of editions are reserved for composers whose music has withstood the test of time (Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, etc.). Unfortunately, withstanding the test of time usually translates to a deceased composer.

Interpretive editions are the opposite of urtext volumes. As an example, the late pianist and Editor Artur Schnabel created an interpretive edition of Beethoven’s 32 piano sonatas (published by Simon and Schuster). His edition is packed with fingerings and subjective commentary. Although you may or may not agree with some of Schnabel’s suggestions, his thoughts are interesting and enlightening.

Alfred publishing www.alfred.com is a wonderful beginner piano resource. This company also publishes advanced piano repertoire with informative insight, especially in some of their editions of J.S. Bach’s music.

Dover Publications are a reliable publishing source. Their editions of Brahms’ repertoire are second to none. Their books are also very strongly bound and very durable. My purchases have lasted for decades.

Finally, www.halleonard.com will give you access to a tremendous amount of popular piano and vocal music. With all of the above publishers, purchases are fast and reliable.


If you want great sounding music, you have to purchase quality music instruments. This online shop carries a wide variety of keyboards, along with guitars and drums that create the best musical sounds around.  

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