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Billy Joel
Billy Joel
William Martin Joel (born May 9, 1949) is an American pianist and singer-songwriter. He released his first hit song, "Piano Man", in 1973. According to the RIAA, he is the sixth best-selling recording artist in the United States.

Joel had Top 10 hits in the '70s, '80s, and '90s; is a six-time Grammy Award winner, and has sold in excess of 150 million albums worldwide. He was inducted into the Songwriter's Hall of Fame (Class of 1992), the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (Class of 1999), and the Long Island Music Hall of Fame (Class of 2006). Joel "retired" from recording pop music in 1993 but continued to tour (sometimes with Elton John). In 2001 he subsequently released Fantasies & Delusions, a CD of classical compositions for piano. In 2007 he returned to recording with a single entitled "All My Life," followed by an extensive "World Tour" from 2006-2008, covering many of the major world cities.
The Secret Garden
The Secret Garden
The Secret Garden is a musical based on the 1909 novel of the same name by Frances Hodgson Burnett. The musical's book and lyrics are by Marsha Norman, with music by Lucy Simon. It premiered on Broadway at the St. James Theatre on 25 April 1991 and closed on 3 January 1993 after 709 performances.

The musical, set in 1906, tells of a young English girl, Mary, who is forced to move to England from colonial India when her parents die in a cholera outbreak. There she lives with her emotionally stunted Uncle Archibald and her invalid cousin. Discovering a hidden and neglected garden, and bravely overcoming dark forces, she and a young gardener bring it back to life at the same time as she brings new life to her cousin and uncle.

The Secret Garden garnered the 1991 Tony Awards for Best Book of a Musical, Best Featured Actress in a Musical (Daisy Eagan), and Best Scenic Design (Heidi Landesman). The set resembled an enormous Victorian toy theatre with pop-out figures, large paper dolls, and Joseph Cornell-like collage elements.
Chopin
Chopin
Frédéric Chopin (1 March 1810 – 17 October 1849) was a Polish composer and virtuoso pianist of the Romantic period. He is widely regarded as the greatest Polish composer, and ranks as one of music's greatest tone poets.

He was born in the village of Żelazowa Wola, in the Duchy of Warsaw, to a Polish mother and French-expatriate father, and in his early life was regarded as a child-prodigy pianist. In November 1830, at the age of 20, Chopin went abroad; following the suppression of the Polish November Uprising of 1830–31, he became one of many expatriates of the Polish "Great Emigration."

In Paris, he made a comfortable living as a composer and piano teacher, while giving few public performances. A Polish patriot,

Chopin's extant compositions were written primarily for the piano as a solo instrument. Though technically demanding, Chopin's style emphasizes nuance and expressive depth rather than virtuosity. Chopin invented musical forms such as the ballade and was responsible for major innovations in forms such as the piano sonata, waltz, nocturne, étude, impromptu and prelude. His works are mainstays of Romanticism in 19th-century classical music.
Trinh Cong Son
Trinh Cong Son
Trinh Cong Son (Trịnh Công Sơn) (February 28, 1939 – April 1, 2001) was a Vietnamese composer, musician, painter and songwriter. He, along with Pham Duy and Van Cao, is widely considered one of the three most salient figures of modern (non-classical) Vietnamese music.

Trinh Cong Son wrote over 600 songs, and, during the 1960s and 1970s, Joan Baez dubbed him the Bob Dylan of Vietnam for his moving antiwar songs. He became one of South Vietnam's best-known singer-songwriters, after his first hit, Ướt mi (Tearing 'Lashes) in 1957. He was frequently under pressure from the government, which was displeased with the pacifist's lyrics of such songs as Ngủ đi con (Lullaby, about a mother grieving for her soldier son). After the reunification in 1975, Son was sentenced by the new communist government, to "retraining" in a labour camp after his family fled to Canada. However, he was eventually honoured by the government and many officials sent their respects with floral tributes. His often melancholy songs about love and postwar reconciliation earned new acceptance and popularity in later years.

There are two singers' names often associated with Trinh Cong Son. One is Khanh Ly. The other one is Hong Nhung.

Khanh Ly, with her unique vocals, helped popularize Trinh Cong Son music in the early years. They often performed together in South Vietnam University Campuses. The voice and the music seemed to be inseparable.
Later on in his life, Hong Nhung, many years his junior, replaced Khanh Ly's place until his death.
Hundreds of thousands of people gathered at his funeral in Ho Chi Minh city, for a spontaneous ad hoc funeral concert, making such a spectacle the largest in Vietnamese history, next to the funeral procession of Ho Chi Minh. His music remains very popular among Vietnamese, old and young.
Elton John
Elton John
Sir Elton Hercules John CBE (born Reginald Kenneth Dwight on 25 March 1947) is an English pop/rock singer, composer and pianist.

In his four-decade career, John has been one of the dominant forces in rock and popular music, especially during the 1970s. He has sold over 200 million records, making him one of the most successful artists of all time. He has more than 50 Top 40 hits including seven consecutive No. 1 U.S. albums, 59 Top 40 singles, 16 Top 10, four No. 2 hits, and nine No. 1 hits. He has won five Grammy awards and one Academy Award. His success has had a profound impact on popular music and has contributed to the continued popularity of the piano in rock and roll. In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked him #49 on their list of the 100 greatest artists of all time.

Some of the characteristics of John's musical talent include an ability to quickly craft melodies for the lyrics of songwriting partner Bernie Taupin, his former rich tenor (now baritone) voice, his classical and gospel-influenced piano, the aggressive orchestral arrangements of Paul Buckmaster among others and the flamboyant fashions, outlandishly excessive eyeglasses, and on-stage showmanship, especially evident during the 1970s.

John was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994. He has been heavily involved in the fight against AIDS since the late 1980s, and was knighted in 1998. He entered into a civil partnership with David Furnish on 21 December 2005 and continues to be a champion for LGBT social movements. On April 9, 2008, John held a benefit concert for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, raising $2.5 million.
John Lennon Paul McCartney
John Lennon Paul McCartney
Lennon–McCartney (sometimes McCartney–Lennon) was the songwriting partnership between English musicians John Lennon (1940–1980)
Josh Groban
Josh Groban
Joshua Winslow Groban (born February 27, 1981) is a Grammy-nominated American singer-songwriter. He has concentrated his career so far mostly in concert singing and recordings, although he has stated that he wishes to pursue musical theater in the future.

Various music critics have described Groban's voice in different ways, with some referring to him as a tenor and others as a baritone. In performance, Groban's music goes as low as G2 (as in the song "To Where You Are") and extends up to at least B4 flat or the B flat above middle C (as heard in "You Raise Me Up"). He also hits a High B during the Baywatch theme song in his Emmy performance of TV Theme Songs on September 21, 2008.This places his voice lower than the tenor range on the low end, and just short of Tenor C, and therefore above the baritone range, on the high end.

Some of Groban's musical influences have been Radiohead, Paul Simon, Sting, Peter Gabriel, and Björk. He says he is able to look up to anyone, musically, who has pushed the boundaries and stepped outside of the box. As for vocal influences, "anyone who told a story with their songs," including Mandy Patinkin, Klaus Nomi, George Hearn, and Luciano Pavarotti.
John Mayer
John Mayer
John Clayton Mayer (born October 16, 1977) is an American musician. Originally from Connecticut, he attended Berklee College of Music before moving to Atlanta, Georgia, in 1997, where he refined his skills and gained a following. His first two studio albums, Room for Squares and Heavier Things, did well commercially, achieving multi-platinum status. In 2003, he won a Best Male Pop Vocal Performance Grammy Award for "Your Body Is a Wonderland".

Mayer began his career performing mainly acoustic rock and pop, but gradually began a transition towards the blues genre in 2005 by collaborating with renowned blues artists such as B. B. King, Buddy Guy, and Eric Clapton, and by forming the John Mayer Trio. The blues influence can be heard on his album Continuum, released in September 2006. At the 49th Annual Grammy Awards in 2007 Mayer won Best Pop Vocal Album for Continuum and Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for "Waiting on the World to Change". Mayer's career pursuits have extended to stand-up comedy, design, and writing; he has written pieces for magazines, most notably for Esquire. He is also involved in philanthropic activities through his "Back to You" fund and his concern over global warming.
Ryuichi Sakamoto
Ryuichi Sakamoto
Ryuichi Sakamoto (坂本 龍一 Sakamoto Ryūichi?, born January 17, 1952) is an Academy Award-, Grammy-, and Golden Globe-winning Japanese musician, composer, record producer and actor, based in New York and Tokyo. He played keyboards in the influential Japanese electropop band Yellow Magic Orchestra. His 1999 musical composition "Energy Flow" is the first number-one instrumental single in the Japan's Oricon charts history. He was ranked at number 59 in a list of the top 100 most influential musicians compiled by HMV Japan.
Coldplay
Coldplay
Coldplay are a rock band formed in London, England in 1997. The group comprises vocalist/pianist/guitarist Chris Martin, lead guitarist Jonny Buckland, bassist Guy Berryman, and drummer/multi-instrumentalist Will Champion. Coldplay have sold 34.6 million albums, and are also known for their hit singles, such as "Yellow", "The Scientist", "Speed of Sound", "Fix You", "Viva la Vida" and the Grammy Award-winning "Clocks".

Coldplay achieved worldwide fame with the release of their single "Yellow", followed by their debut album, Parachutes (2000), which was nominated for the Mercury Prize. Its follow-up, A Rush of Blood to the Head (2002) won multiple awards such as NME's Album of the Year and was later included on Rolling Stone magazine's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list, ranking at #473. Their next release, X&Y (2005), received a slightly less enthusiastic yet still generally positive reception. The band's fourth studio album, Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends (2008), was produced by Brian Eno and released again to largely favourable reviews. All of Coldplay's albums have enjoyed great commercial success.

Coldplay's early material was compared to acts such as Jeff Buckley, U2, and Travis. Coldplay have been an active supporter of various social and political causes, such as Oxfam's Make Trade Fair campaign and Amnesty International. The group have also performed at various charity projects such as Band Aid 20, Live 8, and the Teenage Cancer Trust.
Justin Bieber
Justin Bieber
Justin Bieber (pronounced /ˈbiːbər/, BEE-bər; born March 1, 1994) is a Canadian pop/R&B singer. His performances on YouTube were seen by Scooter Braun, who later became his manager. Braun arranged for him to meet with Usher in Atlanta, Georgia, and Bieber was soon signed to Raymond Braun Media Group (RBMG), a joint venture between Braun and Usher, and then to a recording contract with Island Records offered by L.A. Reid.

His debut single, "One Time", was released worldwide during 2009, and charted within the top thirty in over ten countries. It was followed by his debut release, My World on November 17, 2009, which was certified platinum in the United States, which at the time gave Bieber the highest debut by a new artist in the year, and made Bieber the first artist to have seven songs from a debut album chart on Billboard's Hot 100 chart. His first full studio release, My World 2.0 was released on March 23, 2010, debuting at number one and within the top ten of several countries. It was preceded by the international hit song, "Baby".
Yanni
Yanni
Yanni (born Yiannis Hrysomallis (pronounced Chrysomallis), (Greek: Γιάννης Χρυσομάλλης, classical transcription Giannis Chrysomallis), on November 14, 1954 in Kalamata, Greece) is a self-taught pianist, keyboardist, and composer. After receiving a B.A. in psychology, he would instead seek a life in music though he had no formal training and could not read a note.

He earned Grammy nominations for his 1992 album, Dare to Dream, and the 1993 follow-up, In My Time. His breakthrough success came with the 1994 release of Yanni Live at the Acropolis, deemed to be the second best-selling music video of all time, (behind Michael Jackson's video for Thriller with nine million units). Yanni has since performed live in concert before in excess of two million people in more than 20 countries around the world. He has accumulated more than 35 platinum and gold albums globally, with sales totaling over 20 million copies. Yanni is considered to be one of the top fundraisers of all time for public television. His compositions have been included in all Olympic Games television broadcasts since 1988, and his music has been used extensively in television and televised sporting events. His music is frequently described as "new age", though he prefers the term "contemporary instrumental". The regents of the University of Minnesota conferred upon Yanni the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.
Brahms
Brahms
Johannes Brahms (May 7, 1833 – April 3, 1897) was a German composer of the Romantic period. He was born in Hamburg and in his later years he settled in Vienna, Austria.

Brahms maintained a Classical sense of form and order in his works – in contrast to the opulence of the music of many of his contemporaries. Thus many admirers (though not necessarily Brahms himself) saw him as the champion of traditional forms and "pure music," as opposed to the New German embrace of program music.

Brahms venerated Beethoven: in the composer's home, a marble bust of Beethoven looked down on the spot where he composed, and some passages in his works are reminiscent of Beethoven's style. The main theme of the finale of Brahms's First Symphony is reminiscent of the main theme of the finale of Beethoven's Ninth, and when this resemblance was pointed out to Brahms he replied that any ass – jeder Esel – could see that.

Ein deutsches Requiem was partially inspired by his mother's death in 1865, but also incorporates material from a Symphony he started in 1854, but abandoned following Schumann's suicide attempt. He once wrote that the Requiem "belonged to Schumann". The first movement of this abandoned Symphony was re-worked as the first movement of the First Piano Concerto.

Brahms also loved the Classical composers Mozart and Haydn. He collected first editions and autographs of their works, and edited performing editions. He also studied the music of pre-classical composers, including Giovanni Gabrieli, Johann Adolph Hasse, Heinrich Schütz and especially Johann Sebastian Bach. His friends included leading musicologists, and with Friedrich Chrysander he edited an edition of the works of François Couperin. He looked to older music for inspiration in the arts of strict counterpoint; the themes of some of his works are modelled on Baroque sources, such as Bach's The Art of Fugue in the fugal finale of Cello Sonata No. 1, or the same composer's Cantata No. 150 in the passacaglia theme of the Fourth Symphony's finale.
Isaac Albeniz
Isaac Albeniz
Isaac Albéniz i Pascual (Spanish pronunciation: ) (May 29, 1860 – May 18, 1909) was a Spanish pianist and composer best known for his piano works based on folk music.

Albéniz’ Suite Española Op.47 is comprised mainly of pieces written in 1886, and grouped together in 1887 in honor of the Queen of Spain. Like many of Albéniz' piano pieces, these works are miniature tone pictures of different geographical regions and musical idioms of Spain. The eight original titles are Granada, Cataluna, Sevilla, Cadiz, Asturias, Aragon, Castilla and Cuba but only the first three titles and Cuba appeared in the original collection. The other pieces were published in later collections, often with different titles. The publisher Hofmeister published all eight titles of Suite Espanola in 1911 after Albéniz’ death, appropriating other pieces for the other four titles so those pieces do not always accurately reflect the geographic designation of the titles, most obviously in the case of Asturias (Leyenda) whose Andalusian flamenco rhythms bear little resemblance to the music of the northern province Asturias. The opus number 47 assigned by Hofmeister has no relation to any chronological order in Albéniz’ oeuvre, in which opus numbers were randomly given by publishers or by Albéniz himself, with some pieces appearing in more than one collection.
Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift
Taylor Alison Swift (born December 13, 1989) is an American country-pop singer-songwriter. In 2006, she released her debut single "Tim McGraw", which peaked at number six on the Billboard country charts. Later in October 2006, she released her self-titled debut album, which produced five hit singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts and was certified 3× Multi-Platinum by the RIAA. The New York Times described Swift as "one of pop's finest songwriters, country’s foremost pragmatist and more in touch with her inner life than most adults".

According to Nielsen SoundScan, Swift was the biggest selling artist of 2008 in America with combined sales of more than four million albums. Swift's Fearless and her self-titled album finished 2008 at number three and number six respectively, with sales of 2.1 and 1.5 million. She was the first artist in the history of Nielsen SoundScan to have two different albums in the Top 10 on the year end album chart. Fearless has topped the Billboard 200 in 11 non-consecutive weeks. No album has spent more time at number one since 1999-2000. It also was the first album by a female artist in country music history to log eight weeks at #1 on The Billboard 200. In mid-January 2009, Swift became the first country artist to top the 2 million mark in paid downloads with three different songs. As of the week ending February 8, 2009, Swift's single "Love Story" became the country song with most paid downloads in history and the first country song to top the Mainstream Top 40 chart. According to the 2009 issue of Forbes, Swift is ranked as the 69th most powerful celebrity with over $18 million dollars in earnings this year.
Hillsong United
Hillsong United
The Hillsong United band is an Australian rock and worship band, a part of Hillsong Church's youth ministry Hillsong United. Their music is a contemporary style of praise and worship tempered with mainstream rock.

Current members of the Hillsong United band include Jonathon Douglass (J.D.), Jadwin "Jad" Gillies, Holly Watson, Annie Garratt, Bec Gillies, and Michelle Fragar, daughter of Russell Fragar. Michael Guy Chislett plays guitar and Matthew Tennikoff plays bass guitar. Former original drummer Luke Munns made a transition from the drums to front the rock/indie band LUKAS. Popular New Zealand artist Brooke Fraser recently joined the band when she joined the church, first appearing on United We Stand.

The annual Hillsong United CD/DVD was recorded over many years during their October youth conference Encounterfest, with the album released in the first quarter of the following year. The 2007 album All of the Above was the first album to be fully studio recorded, containing videos of songs on the DVD. The band has toured in a number of countries, leading worship to thousands in North and South America, Europe and Asia.
Arthur Sullivan
Arthur Sullivan
Sir Arthur Seymour Sullivan MVO was an English composer. He is best known for 14 operatic collaborations with the dramatist W. S. Gilbert, including H.M.S. Pinafore, The Pirates of Penzance and The Mikado.
Georges Bizet
Georges Bizet
Georges Bizet (25 October 1838 – 3 June 1875) was a French composer and pianist of the Romantic era. He is best known for the opera Carmen.

Bizet was born at 26 rue de la Tour d'Auvergne in the 9th arrondissement of Paris in 1838. He was registered with the legal name Alexandre César Léopold Bizet, but he was baptised on 16 March 1840 with the first name Georges, and he was always known thereafter as Georges Bizet. His father Adolphe Armand Bizet (1810-86) was an amateur singer and composer, and his mother, Aimée Léopoldine Joséphine née Delsarte (1814-61), was the sister of the famous singing teacher François Delsarte.

He entered the Paris Conservatory of Music on 9 October 1848, a fortnight before his tenth birthday. His teachers there were Pierre Zimmermann (fugue and counterpoint; often assisted by his son-in-law Charles Gounod), Antoine François Marmontel (piano), François Benoist (organ) and, on Zimmermann's death, Fromental Halévy, whose daughter he himself later married. He won first prizes for organ and fugue in 1855 and completed his earliest compositions.

His first symphony, the Symphony in C, was written in November 1855, when he was seventeen, evidently as a student assignment. It was unknown to the world until 1933, when it was discovered in the archives of the Paris Conservatory library. Upon its first performance in 1935, it was immediately hailed as a junior masterwork and a welcome addition to the early Romantic period repertoire. The symphony bears a stylistic resemblance to the first symphony of Gounod, first played earlier in the same year, and which Bizet had arranged for two pianos although present-day listeners may discern a similarity to music of Franz Schubert, whose work was little known in France at the time the symphony was written.
In 1857, a setting of the one-act operetta Le docteur Miracle won him a share in a prize offered by Jacques Offenbach. He also won the music composition scholarship of the Prix de Rome, the conditions of which required him to study in Rome for three years. There, his talent developed as he wrote such works as the opera buffa Don Procopio (1858-59). There he also composed his only major sacred work, Te Deum (1858), which he submitted to the Prix Rodrigues competition, a contest for Prix de Rome winners only. Bizet failed to win the Prix Rodrigues, and the Te Deum score remained unpublished until 1971. He made two attempts to write another symphony in 1859, but destroyed the manuscripts in December of that year. Apart from this period in Rome, Bizet lived in the Paris area all his life.
Shortly after leaving Rome in July 1860, but while still touring in Italy, he had the idea of writing a symphony in which each of the four movements would be a musical evocation of a different Italian city – Rome, Venice, Florence and Naples. On hearing of his mother's serious illness he cut short his Italian travels and returned to Paris in September 1860; she died a year later. The Scherzo of the symphony was completed by November 1861, but it was not until 1866 that the first version of the whole symphony was written. He subjected it to a number of revisions through to 1871, but died before ever producing what he considered the definitive version. For this reason, the work is sometimes described as "unfinished", but this is an inaccurate description as it was fully scored. It was published in 1880 as the Roma Symphony.
Metallica
Metallica
Metallica is an American heavy metal band that formed in 1981 in Los Angeles, California. Founded when drummer Lars Ulrich posted an advertisement in a Los Angeles newspaper, Metallica's original line-up consisted of Ulrich, rhythm guitarist and vocalist James Hetfield, lead guitarist Dave Mustaine, and bassist Ron McGovney. These last two were later replaced from the band, in favor of Kirk Hammett and Cliff Burton, respectively. In September 1986, Metallica's tour bus skidded out of control and flipped, which resulted in Burton being crushed under the bus and killed. Jason Newsted replaced him less than two months later. Newsted left the band in 2001 and was replaced by Robert Trujillo in 2003.

Metallica's early releases included fast tempos, instrumentals, and aggressive musicianship that placed them as one of the "Big Four" of the thrash metal subgenre alongside Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax. The band earned a growing fan base in the underground music community, and some critics say the 1986 release Master of Puppets is one of the most influential and "heavy" thrash metal albums. The band achieved substantial commercial success with its self-titled 1991 album, which debuted at number one on the Billboard 200. Some critics and fans believed the band changed its musical direction to appeal to the mainstream audience. With the release of Load in 1996, Metallica distanced itself from earlier releases in what has been described as "an almost alternative rock approach", and the band faced accusations of "selling out".

In 2000, Metallica was among several artists who filed a lawsuit against Napster for sharing the band's copyright-protected material for free without the band members' consent. A settlement was reached, and Napster became a pay-to-use service. Despite reaching number one on the Billboard 200, the release of St. Anger in 2003 disappointed some critics and fans with the exclusion of guitar solos, and the "steel-sounding" snare drum. A film titled Some Kind of Monster documented the recording process of St. Anger.
Peter Cornelius
Peter Cornelius
Carl August Peter Cornelius was a German composer, writer about music, poet and translator. Born: December 24, 1824, Mainz, Germany Died: October 26, 1874, Mainz, Germany Children: Carl Maria Cornelius Record labels: Hyperion Records Limited, Preiser Records, BBC Legends Siblings: Carl Adolph Cornelius
Loreena McKennitt
Loreena McKennitt
Loreena Isabel Irene McKennitt, CM, OM, (born February 17, 1957) is a Canadian singer, composer, harpist, accordionist and pianist who writes, records and performs world music with Celtic and Middle Eastern themes. McKennitt is known for her refined, warbling soprano vocals. She has sold more than 14 million records worldwide.
ABBA
ABBA
ABBA was a Swedish Eurovision Song Contest-winning pop music group active between 1972 and 1982. Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus, Anni-Frid Lyngstad (Frida), Agnetha Fältskog are in ABBA. They topped the charts worldwide from the mid-1970s to the early 1980s. The name "ABBA" is an acronym formed from the first letters of each of the group member's given name (Agnetha, Björn, Benny, Anni-Frid).

ABBA gained immense international popularity employing catchy song hooks, simple lyrics, and a Wall of Sound achieved by overdubbing the female singers' voices in multiple harmonies. As their popularity grew, they were sought-after to tour Europe, Australia, and North America, drawing crowds of near-hysterical fans ("ABBAholics"), notably in Australia. Touring became a contentious issue, being particularly unpopular with Agnetha, but they continued to release studio albums to great commercial success. At the height of their popularity, however, both marriages of the band members (Benny with Frida, and Björn with Agnetha) failed, and the relationship changes were reflected in their music, as they produced more thoughtful lyrics with different compositions.

They remain a fixture of radio playlists and are one of the world's best selling bands, having sold around 400 million records world wide; The music of ABBA has been re-arranged into the successful musical Mamma Mia! that has toured worldwide and a movie version was released in July 2008. All four of the former members of ABBA were present at the Stockholm premieres of both the musical (2005) and the film (2008). The film première took place at the Benny Andersson-owned Rival theatre at Mariatorget, Stockholm on 4 July 2008.
Van Morrison
Van Morrison
George Ivan Morrison OBE (generally known as Van Morrison) (born 31 August 1945) is a Grammy Award-winning Northern Irish singer, songwriter, author, poet and multi-instrumentalist, who has been a professional musician since the late 1950s. He plays a variety of instruments, including the guitar, harmonica, keyboards, drums, and saxophone. Featuring his characteristic growl—a unique mix of folk, blues, soul, jazz, gospel, and Ulster Scots Celtic influences—Morrison is widely considered one of the most unusual and influential vocalists in the history of rock and roll. Critic Greil Marcus has gone so far as to say that "no white man sings like Van Morrison."

Known as "Van the Man" by his fans, Morrison first rose to prominence as the lead singer of the Northern Irish band Them, writing their 1964 garage rock classic hit, "Gloria". A few years later, Morrison left the band and embarked on a successful solo career.

Morrison has pursued an idiosyncratic musical path. Much of his music is tightly structured around the conventions of American soul and R&B, such as the popular singles, "Brown Eyed Girl", "Moondance", "Domino" and "Wild Night". An equal part of his catalogue consists of lengthy, loosely connected, spiritually inspired musical journeys that show the influence of Celtic tradition, jazz, and stream-of-consciousness narrative, such as his classic album Astral Weeks and lesser known works such as Veedon Fleece and Common One. The two strains together are sometimes referred to as "Celtic Soul".

Morrison's career, spanning some five decades, has influenced many popular musical artists. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993 and the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2003. In 2000, Morrison ranked number twenty-fifth on American cable music channel VH1's list of its "100 Greatest Artists of Rock and Roll", and in 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Van Morrison forty-second on their list of "Greatest Artists of All Time". Paste ranked him twentieth in their list of "100 Greatest Living Songwriters" in 2006 and Q ranked him twenty-second on their list of "100 Greatest Singers" in April 2007.
Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga (born Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta on March 28, 1986) is an American recording artist. She began performing in the rock music scene of New York City's Lower East Side. She soon signed with Streamline Records, an imprint of Interscope Records, upon its establishment in 2007. During her early time at Interscope, she worked as a songwriter for fellow label artists and captured the attention of Akon, who recognized her vocal abilities, and had her also sign to his own label, Kon Live Distribution.

Her debut album, The Fame, was released on August 19, 2008. In addition to receiving generally positive reviews, it reached number-one in Canada, Austria, Germany, and Ireland and topped the Billboard Top Electronic Albums chart. Its first two singles, "Just Dance" and "Poker Face", co-written and co-produced with RedOne, became international number-one hits, topping the Hot 100 in the United States as well as other countries. The album later earned a total of six Grammy Award nominations and won awards for Best Electronic/Dance Album and Best Dance Recording. In early 2009, after having opened for New Kids on the Block and the Pussycat Dolls, she embarked on her first headlining tour, The Fame Ball Tour. By the fourth quarter of 2009, she released her second studio album The Fame Monster, with the global chart-topping lead single "Bad Romance", as well as having embarked on her second headlining tour of the year, The Monster Ball Tour.

Lady Gaga is inspired by glam rock musicians such as David Bowie and Freddie Mercury, as well as pop music artists such as Madonna and Michael Jackson. She has also stated fashion is a source of inspiration for her songwriting and performances. To date, she has sold over eight million albums and over thirty-five million singles worldwide.
Frank Sinatra
Frank Sinatra
Francis Albert "Frank" Sinatra (December 12, 1915 – May 14, 1998) was an American singer and actor.

Beginning his musical career in the swing era with Harry James and Tommy Dorsey, Sinatra became a solo artist with great success in the early to mid-1940s, being the idol of the "bobby soxers". His professional career had stalled by the 1950s, but it was reborn in 1954 after he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

He signed with Capitol Records and released several critically lauded albums (such as In the Wee Small Hours, Songs for Swingin' Lovers, Come Fly with Me, Only the Lonely and Nice 'n' Easy). Sinatra left Capitol to found his own record label, Reprise Records (finding success with albums such as Ring-A-Ding-Ding, Sinatra at the Sands and Francis Albert Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobim), toured internationally, and fraternized with the Rat Pack and President John F. Kennedy in the early 1960s. Sinatra turned 50 in 1965, recorded the retrospective September of My Years, starred in the Emmy-winning television special Frank Sinatra: A Man and His Music, and scored hits with "Strangers in the Night" and "My Way".

Sinatra attempted to weather the changing tastes in popular music, but with dwindling album sales and after appearing in several poorly received films, he retired in 1971. Coming out of retirement in 1973, he recorded several albums, scoring a hit with "(Theme From) New York, New York" in 1980, and toured both within the United States and internationally until a few years before his death in 1998.

Sinatra also forged a career as a dramatic actor, winning the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in From Here to Eternity, and he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor for The Man with the Golden Arm. His also starred in such musicals as High Society, Pal Joey, Guys and Dolls and On the Town. Sinatra was honored with the Kennedy Center Honors in 1983 and awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Ronald Reagan in 1985 and the Congressional Gold Medal in 1997. Sinatra was also the recipient of eleven Grammy Awards, including the Grammy Trustees Award, Grammy Legend Award and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
Carlos Gardel
Carlos Gardel
Carlos Gardel (11 December 1890 – 24 June 1935) was a singer, songwriter and actor, and is perhaps the most prominent figure in the history of tango. The unerring musicality of Gardel's baritone voice and the dramatic phrasing of his lyrics made miniature masterpieces of his hundreds of three-minute tango recordings. Together with lyricist and long-time collaborator Alfredo Le Pera, Gardel wrote several classic tangos, most notably "Mi Buenos Aires querido", "Por una cabeza" and "El día que me quieras".
Gardel died in an airplane crash at the height of his career, becoming an archetypal tragic hero mourned throughout Latin America. For many, Gardel embodies the soul of the tango style. He is commonly referred to as "Carlitos", "El Zorzal" (The Song Thrush), "The King of Tango", "El Mago" (The Magician) and "El Mudo" (The Mute).
Yann Tiersen
Yann Tiersen
Guillaume Yann Tiersen (born 23 June 1970) is a French musician and composer known internationally for composing the score to the Jean-Pierre Jeunet movie Amélie. His music is recognized by its use of a large variety of instruments in relatively minimalist compositions, often with a touch of either European classical music or French folk music, using primarily the piano, accordion or violin together with instruments like the melodica, xylophone, toy piano, ondes martenot, harpsichord and typewriter. His musical style is reminiscent of Frédéric Chopin, Erik Satie, Philip Glass and Michael Nyman.
G. H. Matos Rodriguez
Beyonce
Beyonce
Beyoncé Giselle Knowles (born September 4, 1981), commonly known as Beyoncé, is an American R&B singer-songwriter, record producer, and actress. Born and raised in Houston, Texas, she enrolled in various performing arts schools, and was first exposed to singing and dancing competitions as a child. Knowles rose to fame in the late 1990s as the lead singer of R&B girl group Destiny's Child, the best-selling girl group of all time.

In June 2003, after a series of commercial successes with the group, Beyoncé released her debut solo album, Dangerously in Love. The album became one of the most successful albums of that year, spawning the number-one singles "Crazy in Love" and "Baby Boy", and earned Knowles five Grammy Awards in a single night in 2004. The formal disbandment of Destiny's Child in 2005 facilitated her continued success as a solo artist. She released her second album, B'Day in 2006, which spawned the UK number-one singles "Déjà Vu" and "Beautiful Liar", as well as the worldwide hit, "Irreplaceable". Knowles has sold 15 million albums and singles worldwide.

The success of her solo albums has established her as one of the most marketable artists in the industry. However, she has also added acting and endorsement deals to her repertoire. In 2006, she starred alongside Steve Martin and Kevin Kline in the comedy The Pink Panther, and that same year, scored the main role in the film adaptation of the 1981 Broadway musical Dreamgirls, which earned her a Golden Globe nomination. Knowles launched her family's fashion line House of Deréon in 2004, and among her many lucrative commercial deals are Pepsi, Tommy Hilfiger, and L'Oréal. Knowles has been with long-time boyfriend Jay-Z since 2002, though they have been discreet about their relationship. After much speculation, they married on April 4, 2008.
Bruno Mars
Bruno Mars
Peter Gene Hernandez (born October 8, 1985), better known by his stage name Bruno Mars, is an American singer-songwriter and music producer. Raised in Honolulu, Hawaii by a family of musicians, Mars began making music at a young age. After performing in various musical venues in his hometown throughout his childhood, he decided to pursue a musical career. Mars began producing songs for other artists, joining production team The Smeezingtons.
He became recognized as a solo artist after lending his vocals and co-writing the hooks for the songs "Nothin' on You" by B.o.B, and "Billionaire" by Travie McCoy. He also co-wrote the hits "Right Round" by Flo Rida featuring Kesha, "Wavin' Flag" by K'naan, and "Fuck You!" by Cee Lo Green. In October 2010, he released his debut album, Doo-Wops & Hooligans. Anchored by the singles "Just the Way You Are" and "Grenade", the album peaked at number three on the Billboard 200. He has been nominated for seven Grammys at the 53rd Grammy Awards, which will be held on February 13, 2011.
Whitney Houston
Whitney Houston
Whitney Elizabeth Houston (born August 9, 1963) is an American singer, actress, and former fashion model. A relative of several prominent soul singers, including her mother Cissy Houston, cousins Dee Dee and Dionne Warwick and godmother Aretha Franklin, Houston began singing at her New Jersey church as a member of a junior gospel choir at age eleven. After she began performing alongside her mother at night clubs in the New York City area, she was discovered by Arista Records label head Clive Davis.
Houston released her debut album Whitney Houston in 1985, which became the best-selling debut album by a female artist at the time of release. Her second studio album Whitney (1987) became the first album by a female artist to debut at number one on the Billboard 200 albums chart. Houston's crossover appeal on the popular music charts as well as her prominence on MTV enabled several African-American women to follow in her success.
Following her marriage to singer Bobby Brown, Houston appeared in her first starring role in the feature film The Bodyguard in 1992. The film's original soundtrack won the 1994 Grammy Award for Album of the Year. Its lead single, Houston's remake of the 1974 Dolly Parton song "I Will Always Love You", became one of the best-selling singles in music history. Houston continued to star in feature films and contributed to soundtracks including Waiting to Exhale (1995) and The Preacher's Wife (1996). After the release of her fourth studio album My Love Is Your Love (1998), she renewed her recording contract with Arista Records in 2001 for a historic $100 million. She subsequently released her fifth studio album, Just Whitney the following year with One Wish: The Holiday Album being released in 2003. Amidst widespread media coverage of personal and professional turmoil, Houston's marriage to Brown ended in 2006.

Houston is one of the world's best-selling music artists, having sold over 190 million albums and singles worldwide. She is ranked as the fourth best-selling female artist in the United States by the Recording Industry Association of America, with 55 million certified albums. She has been listed by Rolling Stone magazine as one of The 100 Greatest Singers of All Time.
Moritz Moszkowski
Moritz Moszkowski
Moritz (Maurice) Moszkowski (23 August 1854 – 4 March 1925) was a German composer, pianist, and teacher of Polish descent. Ignacy Paderewski said, "After Chopin, Moszkowski best understands how to write for the piano". Although little known today, Moszkowski was well-respected and popular during the late nineteenth century.

His music is brilliant, but has also been described as "devoid of the masculine and the feminine". He wrote over two hundred small-scale piano pieces, which brought him much popularity – notably his set of Spanish Dances, Op. 12, for piano duet (later arranged for solo piano, and for orchestra ). His early Serenade, Op. 15, was world-famous and appeared in many guises, including the song Liebe, kleine Nachtigall. Today he is probably best known for his fifteen Études de Virtuosité, Op. 72, which have been performed by virtuoso pianists such as Vladimir Horowitz and Marc-André Hamelin. Surprisingly, their first complete recording was not until 1970 (by Ilana Vered). Many of his small but brilliant piano pieces, such as Étincelles (Sparks), are used as encore performances at the end of classical concerts.
He also wrote larger scale works including the Piano Concerto in E major, Op. 59 (1898), the Violin Concerto in C major, Op. 30, three orchestral suites (Opp. 39, 47, 79), and a symphonic poem Jeanne d'Arc, Op. 19.
He wrote the opera Boabdil der letzte Maurenkönig, Op. 49, on the historical theme of the capture of Granada. It was premiered at the Berlin Court Opera on 21 April 1892, and appeared in Prague and New York the following year. It did not stay in the repertoire, but its ballet music was very popular for a number of years. He wrote a three-act ballet Laurin in 1896.
Fernando Lopes Graça
Fernando Lopes Graça
Fernando Lopes-Graça, GOSE, GCIH (17 December 1906 – November 27, 1994) was a Portuguese composer, conductor and musicologist. Lopes-Graça was born in Tomar, and was influenced by Portuguese popular music, which he also studied, continuing the work of the composer and musicologist Francisco de Lacerda. He was a member of the Portuguese Communist Party and strenuously opposed the Estado Novo and its leader António de Oliveira Salazar. He completed the Dicionário de Música (Dictionary of Music), started by his teacher, Tomás Borba, himself a composer. He died in Parede, near Cascais.
Hairspray
Hairspray
Hairspray is a 2007 musical film produced by Zadan/Meron Productions and distributed by New Line Cinema. It was released in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom on July 20, 2007. The film is an adaptation of the Tony Award-winning 2002 Broadway musical of the same name, and a remake of John Waters' 1988 comedy film of the same name. Set in 1962 Baltimore, Maryland, the film follows a "pleasantly plump" teenager named Tracy Turnblad as she simultaneously pursues stardom as a dancer on a local TV show and rallies against racial segregation.

Adapted from both Waters's 1988 script and Thomas Meehan and Mark O'Donnell's book for the stage musical by screenwriter Leslie Dixon, the 2007 film version of Hairspray is directed and choreographed by Adam Shankman. Hairspray stars John Travolta, Michelle Pfeiffer, Christopher Walken, Amanda Bynes, James Marsden, Queen Latifah, Brittany Snow, Zac Efron, Elijah Kelley, Allison Janney, and introduces newcomer Nikki Blonsky as Tracy Turnblad. Hairspray features songs from the Broadway musical written by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, as well as four new Shaiman/Wittman compositions not present in the original Broadway version.

Opening to mostly positive reviews, Hairspray met with financial success, breaking the record for biggest sales at opening weekend for a movie musical, which the film held until July 2008 when it was surpassed by Mamma Mia!. Hairspray went on to become the fourth highest grossing musical film in U.S. cinema history, behind the film adaptations of Grease, Chicago, and Mamma Mia!. Available in a variety of formats, Hairspray's Region 1 home video release took place on November 20, 2007. The USA Network has purchased the broadcast rights to Hairspray and is scheduled to debut the film on cable television in February 2010.

Adam Shankman and John Waters are currently working on a sequel to the film.
Edward MacDowell
Edward MacDowell
Edward Alexander MacDowell (December 18, 1860 – January 23, 1908) was an American composer and pianist of the Romantic period. He was best known for his second piano concerto and his piano suites "Woodland Sketches", "Sea Pieces", and "New England Idylls". "Woodland Sketches" includes his most popular short piece, "To a Wild Rose". In 1904 he was one of the first seven Americans honored by membership in the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Lee Ritenour
Lee Ritenour
Lee Mack Ritenour is an American jazz guitarist who has been active since the late 1960s. Born: January 11, 1952 (age 67 years), Los Angeles, California, United States Spouse: Carmen Santos Ritenour (m. 1990) Music groups: Fourplay (1991 – 1997), GRP All-Star Big Band, The Love Unlimited Orchestra
Eugène Bozza
Eugène Bozza
Eugène Joseph Bozza was a French composer and violinist. He remains one of the most prolific composers of chamber music for wind instruments. Bozza’s large ensemble work includes five symphonies, operas, ballets, large choral work, wind band music, concertos, and much work for large brass or woodwind ensembles.
Andrew Lloyd Webber
Andrew Lloyd Webber
Andrew Lloyd Webber, Baron Lloyd-Webber (born 22 March 1948) is an English composer of musical theatre, the elder son of organist William Lloyd Webber and brother of the cellist Julian Lloyd Webber. Lloyd Webber started composing at the age of six, and published his first piece at the age of nine.
Lloyd Webber has achieved great popular success, with several musicals that have run for more than a decade both in the West End and on Broadway. He has composed 13 musicals, a song cycle, a set of variations, two film scores, and a Latin Requiem Mass. He has also gained a number of honours, including a knighthood in 1992, followed by a peerage from the British Government for services to Music, seven Tony Awards (and 40 nominations), three Grammy Awards (with an additional 60 nominations), an Academy Award (two other nominations), seven Olivier Awards (with 100 nominations), a Golden Globe, and the Kennedy Center Honors in 2006. Several of his songs, notably "The Music of the Night" from The Phantom of the Opera, "I Don't Know How to Love Him" from Jesus Christ Superstar, "Don't Cry for Me, Argentina" from Evita, "Any Dream Will Do" from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and "Memory" from Cats have been widely recorded and were hits outside of their parent musicals. His company, the Really Useful Group, is one of the largest theatre operators in London.
Producers in several parts of the UK have staged productions, including national tours, of Lloyd Webber's musicals under licence from the Really Useful Group. According to britishhitsongwriters.com, he is the one hundredth most successful songwriter in U.K. singles chart history, based on weeks that his compositions have spent on the chart.
Cole Porter
Cole Porter
Cole Albert Porter (June 9, 1891 – October 15, 1964) was an American composer and songwriter. His works include the musical comedies Kiss Me, Kate, Fifty Million Frenchmen, DuBarry Was a Lady and Anything Goes, as well as songs like "Night and Day", "I Get a Kick out of You", "Well, Did You Evah!" and "I've Got You Under My Skin". He was noted for his sophisticated, bawdy lyrics, clever rhymes and complex forms. Porter was one of the greatest contributors to the Great American Songbook. Cole Porter is one of the few Tin Pan Alley composers to have written both the lyrics and the music for his songs.
Casting Crowns
Casting Crowns
Casting Crowns is a Grammy award and Dove Award winning Christian band that employs a soft rock music style. The band was created in 1999 by youth pastor Mark Hall at First Baptist Church in Downtown Daytona Beach, Florida as part of a Youth Group. He also serves as a lead vocalist. Later they moved to McDonough, Georgia and more members joined creating the band now known as Casting Crowns. Some members of the band currently work as ministers for Eagles Landing First Baptist Church in McDonough, Georgia.

Discovered by, among others, contemporary Christian music legend Steven Curtis Chapman, Casting Crowns received a recording contract and vaulted to popularity in 2003 with their self-titled debut album Casting Crowns. The album quickly made them one of the fastest selling debut artists in Christian music history. Lifesong followed in 2005, debuting at #9 on the Billboard 200 Albums Chart. Both albums have been certified Platinum. The band's third album The Altar and the Door debuted at #2 on the Billboard 200 Albums Chart and #1 on the Hot Christian Albums chart upon its release in August 2007. Ten weeks after it came out it was certified Gold.

Casting Crowns has enjoyed tremendous success in the United States. They have released nine singles to date, seven of which have become consecutive number one hits on various Christian music charts. "Voice of Truth" spent a record-breaking fourteen consecutive weeks at #1 beginning in 2003. "Lifesong" spent nine weeks in the top spot, with "Praise You in This Storm" remaining at #1 for seven weeks. Casting Crowns broke their own record in 2007 when the single "East to West" from The Altar and the Door hit sixteen consecutive weeks at #1. The song ended up enjoying the top spot for a total of nineteen weeks, now their most successful single to date.
Muse
Muse
Muse are a British rock band formed in Teignmouth, Devon, United Kingdom in 1994 under the alias of Rocket Baby Dolls. The band comprises Matthew Bellamy (vocals, guitar and piano), Christopher Wolstenholme (bass guitar and backing vocals) and Dominic Howard (drums and percussion). Muse's style can be considered as a mixture of many musical genres, most notably alternative rock, classical music and electronica. Muse are known best for their energetic and visually dazzling live performances and on June 16th & 17th, 2007 became the first band to sell out the newly built Wembley Stadium in London. Muse have released four studio albums with their first, Showbiz, released in 1999, followed by Origin of Symmetry in 2001 and Absolution in 2003. The most recent, Black Holes & Revelations (2006), was also the most critically acclaimed, garnering the band a Mercury Prize nomination and a third place finish in the NME Albums of the Year list for 2006. Muse have won various awards throughout their career including 5 MTV Europe Music Awards, 5 Q Awards, 4 NME Awards and 2 Brit awards.
Katy Perry
Katy Perry
Katy Perry (born Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson; October 25, 1984) is an American singer-songwriter. She has risen to prominence with her 2008 single "I Kissed a Girl" which has become a worldwide hit topping the charts in more than 20 countries, including United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Ireland, and the United States, where it was the 1000th Billboard Hot 100 number 1. Perry has stated in the press that it's thanks to successful British singer-songwriters Amy Winehouse and Lily Allen that more female artists had been appearing on the charts. She went on to say that Winehouse and Allen "have introduced America to great music". She is known for her unconventional style of dress, often humoristic, bright in color and reminiscent of different decades, as well as her frequent use of fruit-shaped accessories, mainly watermelon as part of her outfits. Perry has a contralto vocal range.
Radiohead
Radiohead
Radiohead are an English alternative rock band from Oxfordshire. The band is composed of Thom Yorke (lead vocals, rhythm guitar, piano, electronics), Jonny Greenwood (lead guitar, other instruments), Ed O'Brien (guitar, backing vocals), Colin Greenwood (bass guitar, synthesisers) and Phil Selway (drums, percussion). Since 1993, Radiohead have released seven studio albums. The band have sold over 25 million albums as of 2007.

Radiohead released their first single, "Creep", in 1992. Their debut album, Pablo Honey, followed in 1993. "Creep" was initially unsuccessful, but the song became a worldwide hit when reissued a year later, and the band were almost branded as one hit wonders. Radiohead's popularity in the United Kingdom increased with the release of their second album, The Bends (1995). The band's textured guitar atmospheres and Yorke's falsetto singing were warmly received by critics and fans. Radiohead's third album, OK Computer (1997), propelled the band to greater fame worldwide. Featuring an expansive sound and themes of alienation from the modern world, OK Computer has often been acclaimed as a landmark record of the 1990s.

The release of Kid A (2000) and Amnesiac (2001) saw Radiohead reach the peak of their popularity, although the albums divided critical opinion. This period marked a change in Radiohead's musical style, with their incorporation of avant-garde electronic music, Krautrock and jazz influences. Hail to the Thief (2003), which mixed guitar-driven rock with electronics and contemporary lyrics, was the band's final album for their record label, EMI. Radiohead's seventh album, In Rainbows (2007), was first released independently as a digital download for which customers selected their own price, later meeting with critical and chart success.
Corinne Bailey Rae
Corinne Bailey Rae
Corinne Bailey Rae (born Corinne Jacqueline Bailey on 26 February 1979) is an English singer-songwriter and guitarist who released her eponymous debut album Corinne Bailey Rae in February 2006. Rae was named the number-one predicted breakthrough act of 2006 in an annual BBC poll of music critics, Sound of 2006. The poll's predictions subsequently came true, as she became only the fourth female British act in history to have her first album debut at number one. She has been nominated for a BRIT Awards and has won two MOBO Awards
Enya
Enya
Enya (born Eithne Patricia Ní Bhraonáinon May 17, 1961, Gaoth Dobhair, County Donegal, Ireland), sometimes presented in the media as Enya Brennan, is an Irish singer, instrumentalist and composer. She is Ireland's best-selling solo artist and is officially the country's second biggest musical export (after U2). Her works have earned her four Grammy Awards and an Academy Award nomination, and she is also famous for performing in 10 different languages during her lengthy career. Enya is an approximate transcription of how Eithne is pronounced in her native Irish, in the Donegal dialect.
Owl City
Owl City
Owl City is an American synthpop musical project by Adam Young. Young started out making music in his parents' basement in Owatonna, Minnesota which he claims is a result of his insomnia.

Young's influences are disco and European electronic music. After two independent albums, Owl City gained mainstream popularity from the 2009 major label debut album Ocean Eyes, which spawned the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 #1 hit single "Fireflies". "Fireflies" topped the US and Canadian charts and became the most-downloaded song on iTunes in the US, and the album Ocean Eyes reached the top ten on the US album charts and topped the US electronic charts. Ocean Eyes also reached Amazon MP3's top 10 most downloaded album list. By December 2009, it was certified Gold in the United States.
Johann Pachelbel
Johann Pachelbel
Johann Pachelbel (pronounced /ˈpækəlbɛl/, /ˈpɑːkəlbɛl/, or /ˈpɑːkəbɛl/; baptized September 1, 1653 – buried March 9, 1706) was a German Baroque composer, organist and teacher, who brought the south German organ tradition to its peak. He composed a large body of sacred and secular music, and his contributions to the development of the chorale prelude and fugue have earned him a place among the most important composers of the middle Baroque era.

Pachelbel's work enjoyed enormous popularity during his lifetime; he had many pupils and his music became a model for the composers of south and central Germany. Today, Pachelbel is best known for the Canon in D, the only canon he wrote - although a true canon at the unison in three parts, it is often regarded more as a passacaglia, and it is in this mode that it has been arranged and transcribed for many different media. In addition to the canon, his most well-known works include the Chaconne in F minor, the Toccata in E minor for organ, and the Hexachordum Apollinis, a set of keyboard variations.

Pachelbel's music was influenced by southern German composers, such as Johann Jakob Froberger and Johann Kaspar Kerll, Italians such as Girolamo Frescobaldi and Alessandro Poglietti, French composers, and the composers of the Nuremberg tradition. Pachelbel preferred a lucid, uncomplicated contrapuntal style that emphasized melodic and harmonic clarity. His music is less virtuosic and less adventurous harmonically than that of Dieterich Buxtehude, although, like Buxtehude, Pachelbel experimented with different ensembles and instrumental combinations in his chamber music and, most importantly, his vocal music, much of which features exceptionally rich instrumentation. Pachelbel explored many variation forms and associated techniques, which manifest themselves in various diverse pieces, from sacred concertos to harpsichord suites.
Grzegorz Turnau
Grzegorz Turnau
Grzegorz Turnau is a Polish composer, pianist, poet and singer.

He was born on 31 July 1967 in Kraków, Poland. At age seventeen he won First Prize (Grand Prix) at The Student Song Festival in Kraków in 1984. He went on to join the Piwnica pod Baranami Cabaret, composing such hits as "Znów wędrujemy", and released his first album, Naprawdę nie dzieje się nic ("Really, nothing is happening") in 1991. He has released eleven albums to date, including one (Cafe Sułtan) made up of his own versions of songs by Jeremi Przybora and Jerzy Wasowski, and most have enjoyed considerable chart success. His characteristic style consists of strong, clear lyrics and music composed in special keys and harmonies, using instruments such as piano (played by himself), saxophone, violin and various horns. Influenced by such artists as Marek Grechuta and Jan Kanty Pawluśkiewicz, his music style has been described as "soft jazz". He did participate in the Aleksander Glondys's "Ellington po krakowsku" ("Ellington Kraków way"), a concert based upon idea of notable composers of Piwnica pod Baranami playing their interpretations of Duke's music. Other participants include Pawluśkiewicz, Zbigniew Raj and several other musicians.
Regina Spektor
Regina Spektor
Regina Spektor (born February 18, 1980) is a Soviet-born Jewish-American singer-songwriter and pianist. Her music is associated with the anti-folk scene centered on New York City's East Village.

Spektor has said that she has created 700 songs, but that she rarely writes any of them down. She has also stated that she never aspired to write songs herself, but songs seem to just flow to her. Spektor possesses a broad vocal range and uses the full extent of it. She also explores a variety of different and somewhat unorthodox vocal techniques, such as verses composed entirely of buzzing noises made with the lips and beatbox-style flourishes in the middle of ballads, and also makes use of such unusual musical techniques as using a drum stick to tap rhythms on the body of the piano or chair.

Her lyrics are equally eclectic, often taking the form of abstract narratives or first-person character studies, similar to short stories or vignettes put to song. Spektor usually sings in English, though she sometimes includes a few words or verses of Latin, Russian, French, and other languages in her songs.
Wicked
Wicked
Wicked is a musical with songs and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and a book by Winnie Holzman. The story is based on the best-selling novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire, a parallel novel of L. Frank Baum's classic story The Wonderful Wizard of Oz from the perspective of the witches of the Land of Oz.

Wicked tells the story of Elphaba, the future Wicked Witch of the West and her relationship with Glinda, the Good Witch of the North. Their friendship struggles through their opposing personalities and viewpoints, rivalry over the same love-interest, their reactions to the Wizard's corrupt government, and, ultimately, Elphaba's public fall from grace. The plot is set mostly before Dorothy's arrival from Kansas, and includes several references to well-known scenes and dialogue in the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz.

The musical debuted on Broadway on October 30, 2003. It is produced by Universal Pictures and directed by Joe Mantello, with musical staging by Wayne Cilento. Its original stars were Idina Menzel as Elphaba, Kristin Chenoweth as Glinda, and Joel Grey as the Wizard. Although the production received mixed reviews and was panned by The New York Times, it has proved to be a favorite among patrons. The Broadway production's success spawned productions in Chicago, Los Angeles, London's West End, Tokyo, Melbourne, and Stuttgart, along with two North American tours that have visited over 30 cities in Canada and the United States.

The score of Wicked is heavily thematic, bearing in some senses more resemblance to a film score than a musical's score. While many musicals' scores develop new motifs and melodies for each song with little overlap, Schwartz integrated a handful of leitmotifs throughout the production. A cast recording of the original Broadway production was released on December 16, 2003, by Universal Music. All of the songs featured on stage are present on the recording with the exception of "The Wizard And I (Reprise)" and "The Wicked Witch of the East". The short reprise of "No One Mourns The Wicked" that opens Act II is attached to the beginning of "Thank Goodness". The music was arranged by Stephen Oremus, who was also the conductor and director, and James Lynn Abbott, with orchestrations by William David Brohn. The recording received the Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album in 2005 and was certified platinum by the RIAA on November 30, 2006.
Brad Mehldau
Brad Mehldau
Brad Mehldau (born August 23, 1970) is an American jazz pianist. Besides leading his own group, the Brad Mehldau Trio, he has performed with multitudes of renowned artists, including Pat Metheny, Wayne Shorter, Joshua Redman, Christian McBride, Michael Brecker, Chris Potter, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Jimmy Cobb, and classical vocalists Renee Fleming and Anne Sofie von Otter.
Sammy Nestico
Sammy Nestico
Samuel "Sammy" Louis Nestico (born February 6, 1924 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) is a prolific and well known composer and arranger of big band music. Nestico is most known for his arrangements for the Count Basie orchestra.
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