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"I write music with an exclamation point!" William Shakespeare
Queen
Queen
Queen were an English rock band formed in 1970 in London by guitarist Brian May, lead vocalist Freddie Mercury, and drummer Roger Taylor, with bass guitarist John Deacon completing the lineup the following year. While it is uncertain how many albums the band has sold, estimations range from 130 million to over 300 million albums worldwide.

The band is noted for their musical diversity, multi-layered arrangements, vocal harmonies, and incorporation of audience participation into their live performances. Their 1985 Live Aid performance was voted the best live rock performance of all time in an industry poll.

Queen had moderate success in the early 1970s, with the albums Queen and Queen II, but it was with the release of Sheer Heart Attack in 1974 and A Night at the Opera the following year that the band gained international success. They have released fifteen studio albums, five live albums, and numerous compilation albums. Eighteen of these have reached number one on charts around the world.

Following Mercury's death in 1991 and Deacon's retirement later in the decade, May and Taylor have performed infrequently under the Queen name. Since 2005 they have been collaborating with Paul Rodgers, under the moniker Queen + Paul Rodgers.
Simon & Garfunkel
Simon & Garfunkel
Simon & Garfunkel are an American singer-songwriter duo of Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel. They formed the group Tom and Jerry in 1957, and had their first taste of success with the minor hit "Hey, Schoolgirl". As Simon and Garfunkel, the duo rose to fame in 1965, backed by the hit single "The Sounds of Silence". Their music was featured in the landmark film The Graduate, propelling them further into the public consciousness.

They are well known for their close harmonies and sometimes unstable relationship. Their last album, Bridge over Troubled Water, was delayed several times due to artistic disagreements. They were among the most popular recording artists of the 1960s, and are perhaps best known for their songs "The Sounds of Silence", "Mrs. Robinson", "Bridge over Troubled Water", and "The Boxer". They have received several Grammys and are inductees of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Long Island Music Hall of Fame (2007). In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked Simon and Garfunkel #40 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.

They have reunited on several occasions since their 1970 breakup, most famously for 1981's The Concert in Central Park, which attracted more than 500,000 people.
Evanescence
Evanescence
Evanescence is an American rock band founded in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1995 by singer/pianist Amy Lee and guitarist Ben Moody.

After recording two private EPs and a demo CD named Origin, with the help of Bigwig Enterprises in 2000, the band released their first full-length album, Fallen, on Wind-up Records in 2003. Fallen sold more than 15 million copies worldwide and helped the band win two Grammy Awards. A year later, Evanescence released their first live album, Anywhere but Home, which sold more than one million copies worldwide. In 2006, the band released their second studio album, The Open Door, which has sold more than four million copies.

The band has suffered several line-up changes, including co-founder Moody leaving in 2003, followed by guitarist John LeCompt and drummer Rocky Gray in 2007. Lee is now the only original member of Evanescence remaining in the band.
Hanson
Hanson
Hanson is an American pop rock band formed in Tulsa, Oklahoma by brothers Isaac, Taylor, and Zac Hanson. They are best known for the 1997 hit song "MMMBop" from their major label debut album Middle of Nowhere that earned three Grammy nominations. Despite the enormous commercial success of Middle of Nowhere, the band departed from Mercury Records and then eventually from Island Def Jam Music Group after conflict with the label about creative input. The band now records under its own label, 3CG Records.
Rent
Rent
Rent is a rock musical, with music and lyrics by Jonathan Larson based on Giacomo Puccini's opera La Bohème. It tells the story of a group of impoverished young artists and musicians struggling to survive and create in New York's Lower East Side in the thriving days of the Bohemian East Village, under the shadow of AIDS.

Rent won a Tony Award for Best Musical and a Pulitzer Prize, among other awards. In addition, its cast was unusually ethnically diverse. Rent brought controversial topics to a traditionally conservative medium, and it helped to increase the popularity of musical theater amongst the younger generation. "Rent speaks to Generation X the way that the musical Hair spoke to the baby boomers or those who grew up in the 1960s, calling it "a rock opera for our time, a Hair for the 90s."

The musical was first seen at the New York Theatre Workshop in 1994. On January 26, 1996, Rent opened in New York City off-Broadway before moving to Broadway's Nederlander Theatre on April 29, 1996. Rent has been successful on Broadway, where it had critical acclaim and word-of-mouth popularity. The Broadway production of Rent closed on September 7, 2008 after a 12 year run and 5,124 performances, making it the seventh-longest-running Broadway show. The production has grossed over $280 million. At the time of its closing, it was the second-longest-running musical currently on Broadway, eight years behind The Phantom of the Opera.
Genesis
Genesis
Genesis are an English rock band that formed in 1967. The band currently comprises the longest-tenured members Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks. Past members Peter Gabriel, Anthony Phillips and Steve Hackett also played major roles in the band in its early years. Genesis are among the top 30 highest-selling recording artists of all time with approximately 150 million albums sold worldwide.
Newsies
Newsies
Newsies is a 1992 Disney live action film musical starring Christian Bale, David Moscow, and Bill Pullman. Robert Duvall and Ann-Margret also appeared in supporting roles. The movie gained a cult following after its initial failure at the box office. The film marked the directorial debut of choreographer Kenny Ortega (Dirty Dancing, High School Musical) and featured the music of composer Alan Menken (Little Shop of Horrors, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin).

Although the film was not originally intended to be a musical, it contains twelve songs and multiple dance sequences (for which the young cast trained for approximately 10 weeks). Musical highlights include "Carrying the Banner," "Santa Fe," "Seize The Day," and "King of New York."
Chris Tomlin
Chris Tomlin
Christopher Dwayne Tomlin (born May 4, 1972) is a Christian worship leader and songwriter from Grand Saline, Texas, United States. He is a staff member at Austin Stone Community Church and is signed to EMI's sixstepsrecords. Tomlin also leads worship at many Passion events. Some of his most well-known songs are "How Great Is Our God", "Indescribable", "Forever", "Famous One", "We Fall Down", "Holy Is the Lord" and "Made to Worship".

According to the Christian Copyright Licensing International, Tomlin is the most sung Christian artist in the United States. He was awarded Male Vocalist at the 2006 and 2007 Gospel Music Awards, and was named Artist of the Year in 2007 and 2008. Chris Tomlin will be releasing his 7th studio album "Hello Love" which is due September 2nd 2008.
Led Zeppelin
Led Zeppelin
Led Zeppelin were an English rock band formed in 1968 by Jimmy Page (guitar), Robert Plant (vocals), John Paul Jones (bass guitar, keyboards) and John Bonham (drums). With their heavy, guitar-driven sound, Led Zeppelin are regarded as one of the first heavy metal bands. However, the band's individualistic style draws from many sources and transcends any one genre. Their rock-infused interpretation of the blues and folk genres also incorporated rockabilly, reggae, soul, funk, classical, Celtic, Indian, Arabic, pop, Latin and country. The band did not release the popular songs from their albums as singles in the UK, as they preferred to develop the concept of album-oriented rock.

Close to 30 years after disbanding following Bonham's death in 1980, the band continues to be held in high regard for their artistic achievements, commercial success and broad influence. The band have sold more than 300 million albums worldwide, including 111.5 million sales in the United States and they have had all of their original studio albums reach the U.S. Billboard Top 10, with six reaching the number one spot. Led Zeppelin are ranked No. 1 on VH1's 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock. Rolling Stone magazine has described Led Zeppelin as "the heaviest band of all time" and "the biggest band of the 70s".

On 10 December 2007 the surviving members of Led Zeppelin reunited (along with deceased drummer John Bonham's son Jason) for the Ahmet Ertegün Tribute Concert at The O2 in London.
Joe Iconis
Joe Iconis
Joseph Peter Philip Iconis (born September 22, 1981) is an American musical theatre writer. He is a graduate of the NYU Tisch School of the Arts Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program. He is a recipient of the 2006 Jonathan Larson Award, the 2007 Ed Kleban Award, and a Backstage Bistro Award. His innovative rock musical style has brought forth several shows. He has collaborated with Robert Maddock and Reza Jacobs on “Plastic! The Musical,” and Robert Maddock on “Triumphant Baby!”

Joe is also a concert performer, performing with his musical theater family or as part of the Joe Iconis Rock and Roll Jamboree at The Laurie Beechman Theater and Joe’s Pub. As part of his “Mule Revolution Tour 2008,” Joe had several popular musical theater faces guest as part of his concerts including Anthony Rapp (Original cast of Rent,) and John Gallagher Jr. (original cast of Spring Awakening). Joe is closely associated with a group of actors sometimes referred to as “The Family.” Notable “family members” include Jason “SweetTooth” Williams, Lance Rubin, Katrina Rose Dideriksen, Krysta Rodriguez (Spring Awakening, In The Heights), Lorinda Lisitza, Badia Farha, Lauren Marcus, Matt Hinkley, Nick Blaemire, Jason Tam, Sarah Glendening, Liz Lark Brown, and musical theater icon Annie Golden (Assassins, Hair, Xanadu.)

Iconis is also a member of a band, the Big Galoots, along with Matt Hinkley, Lance Rubin, and Jason "SweetTooth" Williams.
Paul Baloche
Paul Baloche
Paul Baloche (born on June 4, 1962) is an American Christian music artist, worship leader, and singer-songwriter. A native of Maple Shade, New Jersey, Baloche is currently the worship pastor at Community Christian Fellowship in Lindale, Texas. Baloche composes on piano and acoustic guitar, favoring guitar when leading worship. His wife, Rita Baloche, is also a Christian songwriter. Baloche is one of the writers for Compassionart, a charity founded by Martin Smith from Delirious?.

Several Christian artists, such as Michael W. Smith and SONICFLOOd, have recorded Baloche's songs. Many of his songs are among the most performed songs in services according to CCLI, a company that handles copyright licensing of Christian songs and other resource materials for use in churches. Among them are "Open the Eyes of My Heart" (ranked number 2) and "Above All" (ranked number 22), cowritten with Lenny Leblanc. "Above All" was nominated for Song of the Year in both the 2002 and 2003 Dove Awards, and in 2002, Michael W. Smith's recording of that song won Inspirational Recorded Song of the Year. Baloche was also nominated for Songwriter of the Year in 2002. In 2009, Baloche won a Dove Award for Inspiration Recorded Song of the Year as coauthor of "A New Hallelujah" with Michael W. and Debbie Smith.

Baloche uses his position as a recording artist to provide resources for churches. His catalog of six albums is focused on providing worship music for the listener to worship along with, and for churches to use in their own services. His albums are released by Hosanna! Music, a division of Integrity Music. Through Integrity, Baloche has also written a book, God Songs, and released instructional DVDs that cover a variety of issues central to contemporary worship, such as music styles, music theory, creating flow in worship, and guitar techniques (including his methods on open chord voicings). In addition to his material output, Baloche participates in several seminars for worship leaders and musicians throughout North America and Asia.

The 2006 release A Greater Song is a live recording featuring songs by Baloche, some cowritten with worship artists including Matt Redman ("A Greater Song") and former Integrity Music president Don Moen ("Thank You Lord").
The 2009 release Glorious featured the single "Just To Be With You," which Baloche explained "is simply about intimacy with God."
50 Cent
50 Cent
Curtis James Jackson III (born July 6, 1975), born in South Jamaica, Queens, 50 Cent began drug dealing at the age of twelve during the 1980s' crack epidemic. After leaving drug dealing to pursue a rap career, he was shot nine times in 2000. After releasing his album Guess Who's Back? in 2002, 50 Cent was discovered by rapper Eminem and signed to Interscope Records. With the help of Eminem and Dr. Dre—who produced his first major commercial successes—he became one of the world's highest selling rappers. In 2003, he founded the record label G-Unit Records, which signed several successful rappers such as Young Buck, Lloyd Banks, and Tony Yayo.

50 Cent has engaged in feuds with other rappers including Ja Rule, The Game, and Fat Joe. He has also pursued an acting career, appearing in the semi-autobiographical film Get Rich or Die Tryin' in 2005 and the Iraq War film Home of the Brave in 2006.
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.
Title Of Show
Title Of Show
is a one-act musical, with music and lyrics by Jeff Bowen and a book by Hunter Bell. The show chronicles its own creation as an entry in the New York Musical Theatre Festival, and follows the struggles of the author and composer/lyricist and their two actress friends during the initial brief (three-week) creative period, along with subsequent events leading up to the show's production.
Dresden Dolls
Dresden Dolls
The Dresden Dolls are an American musical duo from Boston, Massachusetts. Formed in 2001, the group consists of Amanda Palmer (vocals, piano, harmonica, ukelele) and Brian Viglione (drums, percussion, guitar, vocals). The two describe their style as "Brechtian punk cabaret", a phrase invented by Palmer because she was "terrified" that the press would invent a name that "would involve the word gothic." The Dresden Dolls are part of an underground dark cabaret movement that started gaining momentum in the early 1990s.
Etta James
Etta James
Etta James (born Jamesetta Hawkins on January 25, 1938) is an American blues, soul, R&B, rock & roll and jazz singer and songwriter. James is the winner of four Grammys, seventeen Blues Music Awards, and was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1993, the Blues Hall of Fame in 2001, and the Grammy Hall of Fame both in 1999 and 2008. In the 1950s and 60s, she had her biggest success as a blues and R&B singer. She is best known for her 1961 ballad "At Last", which has been classified as a "timeless classic" and has been featured in many movies, television commercials, and web streaming services since its release.
Pink Floyd
Pink Floyd
Pink Floyd are an English rock band from Cambridge. The band initially earned recognition for their psychedelic and space rock music, and, as they evolved, for their progressive rock music. Pink Floyd are known for philosophical lyrics, sonic experimentation, innovative album cover art, and elaborate live shows. One of rock music's most successful acts, the group have sold over 200 million albums worldwide including 74.5 million albums in the United States alone. Pink Floyd have influenced progressive rock artists of the 1970s such as Genesis and Yes; and contemporary artists such as Nine Inch Nails and Dream Theater.

Pink Floyd had moderate mainstream success and were one of the most popular bands in the London underground music scene in the late 1960s as a psychedelic band led by Syd Barrett. However, Barrett's erratic behaviour eventually forced his colleagues to replace him with guitarist and singer David Gilmour. After Barrett's departure, singer and bass player Roger Waters gradually became the dominant and driving force in the group by the late-1970s, until his eventual departure from the group in 1985. The band recorded several albums, achieving worldwide success with The Dark Side of the Moon (1973), Wish You Were Here (1975), Animals (1977), and The Wall (1979).

In 1985, Waters declared Pink Floyd "a spent force", but the remaining members, led by Gilmour, continued recording and touring under the name Pink Floyd. Waters sued them for the name and eventually they reached a settlement out of court, under which Gilmour, Mason and Wright would continue as Pink Floyd. They again enjoyed worldwide success with A Momentary Lapse of Reason (1987) and The Division Bell (1994). Waters performed with the band for the first time in 24 years on 2 July 2005 at the London Live 8 concert.
Bee Gees
Bee Gees
The Bee Gees were a singing trio of brothers — Barry, Robin, and Maurice Gibb. They were born on the Isle of Man to English parents, lived in Chorlton, Manchester, England and during their childhood years moved to Brisbane, Australia, where they began their musical careers. Their worldwide success came when they returned to England and signed with producer Robert Stigwood.

The multiple award-winning group was successful for most of its forty years of recording music, but it had two distinct periods of exceptional success: as a harmonic "soft rock" act in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and as the foremost stars of the disco music era in the late 1970s.

No matter the style, the Bee Gees sang three-part tight harmonies that were instantly recognizable; as brothers, their voices blended perfectly, in the same way that The Everly Brothers and Beach Boys did. Barry sang lead on many songs, and an R&B falsetto introduced in the disco years; Robin provided the clear vibrato lead that was a hallmark of their pre-disco music; Maurice sang high and low harmonies throughout their career. The three brothers co-wrote most of their hits, and they said that they felt like they became 'one person' when they were writing. The group's name was retired after Maurice died in January 2003.

The Bee Gees were inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997; fittingly, the presenter of the award to "Britain's first family of harmony" was Brian Wilson, leader of the Beach Boys, America's first family of rock harmony.

It has been estimated that the Bee Gees' record sales total more than 220 million, easily making them one of the best-selling music artists of all-time. The above figure in record sales does not include record sales for artists for whom they have written and with whom they have collaborated. Their 1997 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame citation says "Only Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Michael Jackson, Garth Brooks and Paul McCartney have outsold the Bee Gees".

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.
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.
Godspell
Godspell
Godspell (an archaic spelling of the word gospel) is a 1970 musical by Stephen Schwartz and John-Michael Tebelak. It opened off Broadway on May 17, 1971, and has played in various touring companies and revivals many times since. Several cast albums have been released over the years and one of its songs, "Day By Day" from the original cast album, reached #13 on the Billboard pop singles chart in the summer of 1972.

The structure of the musical is that of a series of parables, taken primarily from the Gospel of Matthew. These are then interspersed with a variety of modern music set primarily to lyrics from traditional hymns, with the passion of Christ treated briefly near the end of performance. It started as a college project performed by students at Carnegie Mellon University and moved to La Mama in Greenwich Village. It was then re-scored for an off-Broadway production that was a long-running success, but most people are familiar with the film version or have seen a local high school production of the musical.

The musical opened a year after another religiously-themed successful rock musical, Jesus Christ Superstar.
Vince Guaraldi
Vince Guaraldi
Vincent Anthony "Vince" Guaraldi (July 17, 1928 – February 6, 1976) was an Italian American jazz musician and pianist noted for his innovative compositions and arrangements and for composing music for animated adaptations of the Peanuts comic strip. Guaraldi was born in San Francisco, California. He graduated from Lincoln High School, attended San Francisco State University, and served as an Army cook in the Korean War.

While searching for just the right music to accompany a planned Peanuts television documentary, Lee Mendelson (the producer of the special) heard a single version of "Cast Your Fate to the Wind" by Vince Guaraldi's trio on the radio while traveling in a taxicab on the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California. Mendelson contacted Ralph J. Gleason, jazz columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle and was put in touch with Guaraldi. He proposed that Guaraldi score the upcoming Peanuts Christmas special and Guaraldi enthusiastically took the job, performing a version of what became "Linus and Lucy" over the phone two weeks later. The soundtrack was recorded by the Vince Guaraldi Trio, whose other members were Puzzy Firth standing in bassist for band member Fred Marshall, who was ill at the time, and drummer Jerry Granelli. Guaraldi went on to compose scores for sixteen Peanuts television specials, plus the feature film A Boy Named Charlie Brown as well as the unaired television program of the same name.
César-Auguste-Jean-Guillaume-Hubert Franc
César-Auguste-Jean-Guillaume-Hubert Franck (10 December 1822 – 8 November 1890) was a composer, pianist, organist, and music teacher who worked in Paris during his adult life.

He was born at Liège, in what is now Belgium (though at the time of his birth it was part of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands). He gave his first concerts there in 1834 and studied privately in Paris from 1835, where his teachers included Anton Reicha. After a brief return to Belgium, and a disastrous reception for an early oratorio Ruth, he moved to Paris, where he married and embarked on a career as teacher and organist. He gained a reputation as a formidable musical improviser, and travelled widely within France to demonstrate new instruments built by Aristide Cavaillé-Coll.

In 1858, he became organist at the Basilica of St. Clotilde, Paris, a position he retained for the rest of his life. He became professor at the Paris Conservatoire in 1872; he took French nationality, a requirement of the appointment. His pupils included Vincent d'Indy, Ernest Chausson, Louis Vierne, Charles Tournemire, Guillaume Lekeu and Henri Duparc. After acquiring the professorship, Franck wrote several pieces that have entered the standard classical repertoire, including symphonic, chamber, and keyboard works.
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.
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.
The Corrs
The Corrs
The Corrs are a Celtic folk rock group from Dundalk, County Louth, Ireland. The group consists of the Corr siblings: Andrea (vocals, tin whistle); Sharon (violin, vocals); Caroline (drums, percussion, bodhrán, vocals); and Jim (guitar, keyboards, vocals).

The Corrs came to international prominence with their performance at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia. Since then, they have released five studio albums and numerous singles, which have reached platinum in many countries. Talk on Corners, their most successful album to date, reached multi-platinum status in Australia and the UK.

The Corrs have been actively involved in philanthropic activities. They have performed in numerous charity concerts such as the Prince's Trust in 2004 and Live 8 alongside Bono in 2005. The same year, they were awarded honorary MBEs for their contributions to music and charity. The Corrs are on hiatus because Sharon, Jim, and Caroline are raising families, while Andrea is pursuing a solo career.
Beethoven
Beethoven
Ludwig van Beethoven (16 December 1770 - 26 March 1827) was a German composer and pianist. He was a crucial figure in the transitional period between the Classical and Romantic eras in Western classical music, and remains one of the most respected and influential composers of all time.

Born in Bonn, then in the Electorate of Cologne (now in modern-day Germany), he moved to Vienna in his early twenties and settled there, studying with Joseph Haydn and quickly gaining a reputation as a virtuoso pianist. Beethoven's hearing gradually deteriorated beginning in his twenties, yet he continued to compose masterpieces, and to conduct and perform, even after he was completely deaf.
Dvorak
Dvorak
Antonín Leopold Dvořák (September 8, 1841 – May 1, 1904) was a Czech composer of Romantic music, who employed the idioms and melodies of the folk music of his native Bohemia and Moravia. His works include operas, symphonic, choral and chamber music. His best-known works are his New World Symphony (particularly the slow movement), as well as his Slavonic Dances, American String Quartet, and Cello Concerto in B minor.

Dvořák wrote in a variety of forms: his nine symphonies generally stick to classical models that Beethoven would have recognised, but he also worked in the newly developed symphonic poem form and the influence of Richard Wagner is apparent in some works. Many of his works also show the influence of Czech folk music, both in terms of rhythms and melodic shapes; perhaps the best known examples are the two sets of Slavonic Dances. Dvořák also wrote operas (the best known of which is Rusalka); serenades for string orchestra and wind ensemble; chamber music (including a number of string quartets, and quintets); songs; choral music; and piano music.
Franz Schubert
Franz Schubert
Franz Peter Schubert (German pronunciation: ; January 31, 1797 – November 19, 1828) was an Austrian composer. He wrote some 600 Lieder, nine symphonies (including the famous "Unfinished Symphony"), liturgical music, operas, some incidental music, and a large body of chamber and solo piano music. He is particularly noted for his original melodic and harmonic writing.

Schubert was born into a musical family, and received formal musical training through much of his childhood. While Schubert had a close circle of friends and associates who admired his work (amongst them the prominent singer Johann Michael Vogl), wide appreciation of his music during his lifetime was limited at best. He was never able to secure adequate permanent employment, and for most of his career he relied on the support of friends and family. He made some money from published works, and occasionally gave private musical instruction. In the last year of his life he began to receive wider acclaim. He died at the age of 31 of "typhoid fever", a diagnosis which was vague at the time; several scholars suspect the real illness was tertiary syphilis.

Interest in Schubert's work increased dramatically in the decades following his death. Composers like Franz Liszt, Robert Schumann and Felix Mendelssohn discovered, collected, and championed his works in the 19th century, as did musicologist Sir George Grove. Franz Schubert is now widely considered to be one of the greatest composers in the Western tradition.
Secondhand Serenade
Secondhand Serenade
Secondhand Serenade is an American acoustic rock solo project fronted by vocalist and guitarist John Vesely. The solo project began in California, USA, in 2004. Vesely has released two studio albums to date under the name Secondhand Serenade, Awake in 2007 and A Twist in My Story in 2008. The debut album used multitrack recording to create the sound of a band using technology, the second album took a different path, using a proper band and an orchestra to establish a more accomplished sound.

The pseudonym Secondhand Serenade is a reference to the way in which his songs are 'serenades' sung to his wife. People around the world are merely getting to hear the songs 'second-hand'.
Stevie Wonder
Stevie Wonder
Stevie Wonder (born Stevland Hardaway Judkins on May 13, 1950, name later changed to Stevland Hardaway Morris) is an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and record producer. A prominent figure in popular music during the latter half of the 20th century , Wonder has recorded more than thirty top ten hits, won 26 Grammy Awards (a record for a solo artist), plus one for lifetime achievement, won an Academy Award for Best Song and been inducted into both the Rock and Roll and Songwriters halls of fame. He has also been awarded the Polar Music Prize.

Blind from infancy, Wonder signed with Motown Records as a pre-adolescent at age twelve, and continues to perform and record for the label to this day. He has nine U.S. number-one hits to his name (on the pop Charts, 20 U.S. R&B number one hits), and album sales totaling more than 150 million units. Wonder has recorded several critically acclaimed albums and hit singles, and writes and produces songs for many of his label mates and outside artists as well. Wonder plays the piano, synthesizer, harmonica, congas, drums, bongos, organ, melodica, and clavinet. In his early career, he was best known for his harmonica work, but today he is better known for his keyboard skills and vocals.
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.
Bryan Adams
Bryan Adams
Bryan Adams (born Bryan Guy Adams on November 5, 1959) is Grammy Award-winning Canadian singer-songwriter. As of 2008, Adams has released eleven studio albums and 16 albums overall. He has been nominated for 3 Academy Awards and 5 Golden Globes for song writing in motion pictures.

Adams is a Grammy Award-winning Canadian singer-songwriter. Adams' career was launched with his 1980 debut album Bryan Adams, a rock album that garned limited success. His fourth album Reckless was released in 1984 with sales more then five million copies sold in the United States. In 1991, he released Waking Up the Neighbours which debuted at number one on several national music charts. The album reached sales of more than 10 million units worldwide, which 3 million copies was sold in the United States.
R. Kelly
R. Kelly
Robert Sylvester Kelly (born January 8, 1967) better known by his stage name R. Kelly, is an American R&B and pop singer-songwriter, occasional rapper and record producer. Debuting in 1992 with the group Public Announcement, Kelly left the group within a year for a successful solo career starting with the album, 12 Play (1994). Since then, Kelly has been known for a collection of hit singles including "Bump N' Grind", "I Believe I Can Fly", "Ignition" and the urban hip-hopera "Trapped in the Closet".
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.
Schubert
Schubert
Franz Peter Schubert (January 31, 1797 – November 19, 1828) was an Austrian composer. He wrote some 600 lieder, nine symphonies (including the famous "Unfinished Symphony"), liturgical music, operas, and a large body of chamber and solo piano music. He is particularly noted for his original melodic and harmonic writing.

While Schubert had a close circle of friends and associates who admired his work (including his teacher Antonio Salieri, and the prominent singer Johann Michael Vogl), wider appreciation of his music during his lifetime was limited at best. He was never able to secure adequate permanent employment, and for most of his career he relied on the support of friends and family. Interest in Schubert's work increased dramatically in the decades following his death and he is now widely considered to be one of the greatest composers in the Western tradition.

While he was clearly influenced by the Classical sonata forms of Beethoven and Mozart (his early works, among them notably the 5th Symphony, are particularly Mozartean), his formal structures and his developments tend to give the impression more of melodic development than of harmonic drama. This combination of Classical form and long-breathed Romantic melody sometimes lends them a discursive style: his 9th Symphony was described by Robert Schumann as running to "heavenly lengths". His harmonic innovations include movements in which the first section ends in the key of the subdominant rather than the dominant (as in the last movement of the Trout Quintet). Schubert's practice here was a forerunner of the common Romantic technique of relaxing, rather than raising, tension in the middle of a movement, with final resolution postponed to the very end.
Sarah McLachlan
Sarah McLachlan
Sarah Ann McLachlan, OC, OBC (born January 28, 1968) is a Grammy-winning Canadian musician, singer and songwriter.

She is known for the emotional sound of her ballads. Some of her most popular songs include "Angel", "Building a Mystery", "Adia", "Possession", "Fallen", "I Will Remember You", and "World on Fire". As of 2006, she has sold over 40 million albums worldwide. Her best-selling album to date is Surfacing, for which she won eight Juno Awards and three Grammy Awards. In addition to her personal artistic efforts, she founded the Lilith Fair tour, which showcased female musicians in the late 1990s.

Her 1991 album, Solace, was her mainstream breakthrough in Canada, spawning the hit singles "The Path of Thorns (Terms)" and "Into the Fire". Solace also marked the beginning of her partnership with Pierre Marchand. Marchand and McLachlan have been collaborators ever since, with Marchand producing all of McLachlan's albums and occasionally co-writing songs.

1994's Fumbling Towards Ecstasy was an immediate smash hit in Canada. From her Nettwerk connection, her piano version of the song "Possession" was included on the first Due South soundtrack in 1996. Over the next two years, Fumbling Towards Ecstasy quietly became McLachlan's international breakthrough as well, scaling the charts in a number of countries.

Following the success from Fumbling Towards Ecstasy, McLachlan returned in 1997 with Surfacing, her best selling album to date. Earning her two Grammy awards and four Junos, the album has since sold over 11 million copies worldwide and brought her much international success
Disney
Disney
The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS), often simply known as Disney, is the largest media and entertainment conglomerate in the world, known for its family-friendly products. Founded on October 16, 1923, by brothers Walt Disney and Roy Disney as an animation studio, it has become one of the biggest Hollywood studios, and owner and licensor of eleven theme parks and several television networks, including ABC and ESPN. Disney's corporate headquarters and primary production facilities are located at The Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California. The company has been a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average since May 6, 1991. Mickey Mouse serves as the official mascot of The Walt Disney Company.
Handel
Handel
George Frideric Handel (Friday, 23 February 1685 - Saturday, 14 April 1759) was a German-born Baroque composer who is famous for his operas, oratorios and concerti grossi. Born as Georg Friedrich Handel in Halle, he spent most of his adult life in England, becoming a subject of the British crown on 22 January 1727. His most famous works are Messiah, an oratorio set to texts from the King James Bible; Water Music; and Music for the Royal Fireworks. Strongly influenced by the techniques of the great composers of the Italian Baroque and the English composer Henry Purcell, his music was known to many significant composers who came after him, including Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven.

Handel's compositions include 42 operas; 29 oratorios; more than 120 cantatas, trios and duets; numerous arias; chamber music; a large number of ecumenical pieces; odes and serenatas; and sixteen organ concerti. His most famous work, the Messiah oratorio with its "Hallelujah" chorus, is among the most popular works in choral music and has become a centerpiece of the Christmas season. Also popular are the Opus 3 and 6 Concerti Grossi, as well as "The Cuckoo and the Nightingale", in which birds are heard calling during passages played in different keys representing the vocal ranges of two birds. Also notable are his sixteen keyboard suites, especially The Harmonious Blacksmith.

Handel introduced various previously uncommon musical instruments in his works: the viola d'amore and violetta marina (Orlando), the lute (Ode for St. Cecilia's Day), three trombones (Saul), clarinets or small high cornets (Tamerlano), theorbo, French horn (Water Music), lyrichord, double bassoon, viola da gamba, bell chimes, positive organ, and harp (Giulio Cesare, Alexander's Feast).
Gabriel Faure
Gabriel Faure
Gabriel Urbain Fauré (12 May 1845 – 4 November 1924) was a French composer, organist, pianist, and teacher. He was the foremost French composer of his generation, and his musical style influenced many 20th century composers. His harmonic and melodic language affected how harmony was later taught.
Marie Antoinette
Marie Antoinette
Marie Antoinette is a 2006 biography film written and directed by Sofia Coppola about the life of Marie Antoinette, Queen of France. It won an Academy Award for Best Costume Design.

The film's anachronistic soundtrack contains songs by 1980s New Wave and post-punk bands such as New Order ("Ceremony"), The Cure ("All Cats Are Grey", "Plainsong"), Siouxsie and the Banshees ("Hong Kong Garden (With Strings Intro)"), Bow Wow Wow ("Fools Rush In", "Aphrodisiac" and "I Want Candy"), and Adam and the Ants ("Kings of the Wild Frontier"), as well as newer material by The Strokes, Aphex Twin, Dustin O'Halloran, and The Radio Dept.
Andrea Bocelli
Andrea Bocelli
Andrea Bocelli (born 22 September 1958) is an Italian operatic pop tenor and a classical crossover singer who has also performed in operas. To date, he has recorded six complete operas (La bohème, Il trovatore, Werther, Pagliacci, Cavalleria rusticana and Tosca) in addition to various classical and pop albums. He has sold 60 million albums worldwide thus far. Born with congenital glaucoma, total blindness came to Bocelli at the age of twelve, after a football accident.
Celine Dion
Celine Dion
Céline Marie Claudette Dion (born March 30, 1968 in Charlemagne, Quebec) is a Canadian singer, and occasional songwriter and actress.

Dion had first gained international recognition in the 1980s by winning both the 1982 Yamaha World Popular Song Festival and the 1988 Eurovision Song Contest.

Dion's music has been influenced by genres ranging from rock and R&B to gospel and classical, and while her releases have often received mixed critical reception, she is renowned for her technically skilled and powerful vocals.
Norah Jones
Norah Jones
Norah Jones (born Geethali Norah Jones Shankar on March 30, 1979) is an American singer-songwriter, pianist, keyboardist, guitarist, and occasional actress of Anglo-American and Bengali descent. She is the daughter of famed sitar virtuoso Ravi Shankar and half-sister of sitarist Anoushka Shankar.

Jones' career was launched with her 2002 debut album Come Away with Me, an adult contemporary pop/vocal jazz album with a sensual, plaintive soul/folk/country tinge, that sold over twenty million copies worldwide and received five Grammy Awards, with Jones winning "Best New Artist". Her second album, Feels like Home, was released in 2004, clocking more than a million sales in the first week of U.S. release. In 2007, she released her third album, Not Too Late, which debuted at number one on the world charts. She has become one of the most successful recording artists of the decade, racking up sales of more than 16 million records in the US and 39 million records worldwide.
Leona Lewis
Leona Lewis
Leona Louise Lewis (born 3 April 1985) is an English pop and R&B singer-songwriter, and the winner of the third series of UK television talent show The X Factor. Her UK debut single, "A Moment Like This", broke a world record after it was downloaded over 50,000 times within 30 minutes.

Her second single, "Bleeding Love", was the biggest-selling single of 2007 in the UK, topped over thirty national singles charts and became a number one single on the first week in France and number one in the United States.

Her debut album, Spirit, was released in Europe in November 2007, and became the fastest-selling debut album ever in both the United Kingdom and Ireland. Released in North America in April 2008, Spirit debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 chart and made Lewis the first British solo artist to top the chart with a debut album.

With her album reaching number one in at least three continents and nine countries, Lewis has had one of the most successful launches of any television talent show contestant ever.
The Cure
The Cure
The Cure are an English rock band that formed in Crawley, Sussex in 1976. The band has experienced several lineup changes, with frontman, guitarist and main songwriter Robert Smith—known for his iconic wild hair, pale complexion, smudged lipstick and frequently gloomy and introspective lyrics—being the only constant member.

The members of The Cure first started releasing music in the late 1970s. Their first album, Three Imaginary Boys (1979), and early singles placed them as part of the post-punk and New Wave movements that had sprung up in the wake of the punk rock revolution in the United Kingdom. During the early 1980s the band's increasingly dark and tormented music helped form the gothic rock genre. After the release of Pornography (1982), the band's future was uncertain and frontman Robert Smith was keen to move past the gloomy reputation his band had cultivated. With the 1982 single "Let's Go to Bed" Smith began to inject more of a pop sensibility into the band's music. The Cure's popularity increased as the decade wore on, especially in the United States, where the songs "Just Like Heaven", "Lovesong" and "Friday I'm in Love" entered the Billboard Top 40 charts. By the start of the 1990s, The Cure were one of the most popular alternative rock bands in the world and have sold an estimated 27 million albums as of 2004. The Cure have released twelve studio albums and over thirty singles, with a thirteenth album, 4:13 Dream, due for release in October 2008.
Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan (born Robert Allen Zimmerman, May 24, 1941 in Duluth, Minnesota) is an American singer-songwriter, author, poet and disc jockey, who has been a major figure in popular music for five decades. Much of Dylan's most celebrated work dates from the 1960s, when he became an informal chronicler and a reluctant figurehead of American unrest. A number of his songs, such as "Blowin' in the Wind" and "The Times They Are a-Changin'",

Dylan's early lyrics incorporated politics, social commentary, philosophy and literary influences, defying existing pop music conventions and appealing widely to the counterculture. While expanding and personalizing musical styles, he has shown steadfast devotion to many traditions of American song, from folk, blues and country to gospel, rock and roll and rockabilly to English, Scottish and Irish folk music, and even jazz and swing.

Dylan performs with the guitar, piano and harmonica. Backed by a changing line-up of musicians, he has toured steadily since the late 1980s on what has been dubbed the "Never Ending Tour." Although his accomplishments as performer and recording artist have been central to his career, his songwriting is generally regarded as his greatest contribution.

During his career, Dylan has won many awards for his songwriting, performing, and recording. His records have earned Grammy, Golden Globe, and Academy Awards, and he has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and Songwriters Hall of Fame. In 1999, Dylan was included in the Time 100: The Most Important People of the Century, and in 2004, he was ranked number two in Rolling Stone magazine's list of "Greatest Artists of All Time."

In 2008, Dylan was awarded a Pulitzer Prize Special Citation for his "profound impact on popular music and American culture, marked by lyrical compositions of extraordinary poetic power."
Brian Lowdermilk
Brian Lowdermilk
Brian Lowdermilk (born December 14, 1982) is an American musical theater composer and lyricistBrian Lowdermilk is a composer and lyricist of musicals. He is also a music director, arranger, vocal coach, and pianist. He is an alumnus of NYU and BMI theatre writing workshop, and CEO of start-up, NewMusicalTheatre.com.

Lowdermilk is best known for his collaborations with Kait Kerrigan. Their works together include shows such as The Bad Years, Republic, Unbound, Flash of Time, The Woman Upstairs, The Unauthorized Autobiography of Samantha Brown (with Zach Altman) and Wrong Number. Lowdermilk and Kerrigan wrote TheatreworksUSA's adaptation of Henry and Mudge, which premiered Off-Broadway in 2006 at the Lucille Lortel Theatre, which is where he made his Off-Broadway debut. In one review of that piece, Lowdermilk and Kerrigan were called "perhaps the most important young writers in musical theatre today."
Robbie Williams
Robbie Williams
Robert Peter Maximilian Williams (born 13 February 1974) is a Grammy Award-nominated, 15-time BRIT Award-winning English singer-songwriter. His career started as a member of the pop band Take That in 1990. He left Take That in 1995 to begin his solo career, after selling 25 million records with the group.

His album sales stand at over 55 million, with singles sales over 17 million.

Williams entered the The Guinness Book of World Records when in just one day he sold more than 1.6 million tickets for his 2006 world tour. He has been the recipient of many awards, including fifteen BRIT and six ECHO awards. In 2004, he was inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame, after being voted as the Greatest artist of the 1990s.

Robbie Williams is the artist who is currently featured the most times in the UK Now That's What I Call Music! series. In the first 68 Now!s he has appeared 29 times (including 4 times with Take That). His first appearance was with Take That on Now 22 and his most recent appearance was on Now 66 with "She's Madonna".
Staind
Staind
Staind is an American alternative rock group from Springfield, Massachusetts, including lead singer/guitarist Aaron Lewis, lead guitarist Mike Mushok, bassist/vocalist Johnny April and drummer Jon Wysocki. Over the past nine years the band has recorded six studio albums, had multiple chart topping singles, and sold over 15 million records worldwide.

Staind formed on November 24, 1995 in Springfield, Massachusetts. After meeting through friends and covering KoRn, Rage Against the Machine, Pearl Jam, and Alice in Chains, among others, in smalltime clubs for a year and a half, Staind self-released their debut album, Tormented, in November 1996, citing influences Pantera and Sepultura. Until recently, the album was difficult to obtain, as only four thousand copies were originally sold. Since then, the band's official website has released the album to meet the demand from fans.
Puccini
Puccini
Giacomo Antonio Domenico Michele Secondo Maria Puccini (December 22, 1858 – November 29, 1924) was an Italian composer whose operas, including La Bohème, Tosca, and Madama Butterfly, are among the most frequently performed in the standard repertoire. Some of his arias, such as "O Mio Babbino Caro" from Gianni Schicchi, "Che gelida manina" from La Bohème, and "Nessun Dorma" from Turandot, have become part of popular culture.

The subject of Puccini's style is one that has been long avoided by musicologists; this avoidance can perhaps be attributed to the perception that his work, with its emphasis on melody and evident popular appeal, lacked "seriousness" (a similar prejudice beset Rachmaninoff during his lifetime). Despite the place Puccini clearly occupies in the popular tradition of Verdi, his style of orchestration also shows the strong influence of Wagner, matching specific orchestral configurations and timbres to different dramatic moments. His operas contain an unparalleled manipulation of orchestral colors, with the orchestra often creating the scene’s atmosphere.

The structures of Puccini's works are also noteworthy. While it is to an extent possible to divide his operas into arias or numbers (like Verdi's), his scores generally present a very strong sense of continuous flow and connectivity, perhaps another sign of Wagner’s influence. Like Wagner, Puccini used leitmotifs to connote characters (or combinations of characters). This is apparent in Tosca, where the three chords which signal the beginning of the opera are used throughout to announce Scarpia. Several motifs are also linked to Mimi and the Bohemians in La Bohème and to Cio-Cio-San's eventual suicide in Butterfly. Unlike Wagner, though, Puccini's motifs are static: where Wagner's motifs develop into more complicated figures as the characters develop, Puccini's remain more or less identical throughout the opera (in this respect anticipating the themes of modern musical theatre).
George Gershwin
George Gershwin
George Gershwin (September 26, 1898 – July 11, 1937) was an American composer. He wrote most of his vocal and theatrical works in collaboration with his elder brother, lyricist Ira Gershwin. George Gershwin composed songs both for Broadway and for the classical concert hall. He also wrote popular songs with success.

Many of his compositions have been used on television and in numerous films, and many became jazz standards. The jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald recorded many of the Gershwins' songs on her 1959 Gershwin Songbook (arranged by Nelson Riddle). Countless singers and musicians have recorded Gershwin songs, including Fred Astaire, Louis Armstrong, Al Jolson, Bobby Darin, Art Tatum, Bing Crosby, Janis Joplin, John Coltrane, Frank Sinatra, Billie Holiday, Sam Cooke, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Madonna, Judy Garland, Julie Andrews, Barbra Streisand, Marni Nixon, Natalie Cole, Patti Austin, Nina Simone, Maureen McGovern, John Fahey, The Residents, Than & Sam, Sublime, and Sting. A residential building is named after him on the Stony Brook University campus.
A Chorus Line
A Chorus Line
A Chorus Line is a musical about nineteen Broadway dancers auditioning for spots on a chorus line. The book was authored by James Kirkwood, Jr. and Nicholas Dante, lyrics were written by Edward Kleban, and music was composed by Marvin Hamlisch.

With nineteen main characters, it is set on the bare stage of a Broadway theatre during an audition for chorus line members of a musical. The show gives a glimpse into the personalities of the performers and the choreographer as they describe the events that have shaped their lives and their decisions to become dancers.

The original Broadway production was an unprecedented box office and critical hit, receiving 12 Tony Award nominations and winning nine of them, in addition to the 1976 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. It ran for 6,137 performances, becoming the longest-running production in Broadway history up to that time. It still remains as the longest running musical whose first performance originated in the United States. The show has enjoyed many successful productions worldwide and was revived on Broadway in 2006.
Alan Menken
Alan Menken
Alan Menken (born July 22, 1949 in New Rochelle, New York) is an American Broadway and an eight-time Academy Award winning composer and pianist. Menken has collaborated with several renowned lyricists including Howard Ashman (1950-1991), Tim Rice and Stephen Schwartz.
A Fine Frenzy
A Fine Frenzy
Alison Sudol (born December 23, 1985), known professionally as A Fine Frenzy (formerly Alison Monro She has also been very successful in the charts in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Poland and France - amongst other countries. Her music has also been featured on numerous television shows as well as having a song on the drama movie Sleepwalking, starring Charlize Theron, Nick Stahl and child actress AnnaSophia Robb.
Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson
Michael Joseph Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009) was an American singer, dancer and entertainer. Referred to as the King of Pop, he is the most commercially successful entertainer of all time, and one of the most influential. His contributions to music, dance and fashion, along with a much publicized personal life, made him a global figure in popular culture for over four decades.

Alongside his brothers, he made his debut as lead singer and youngest member of The Jackson 5 in 1964. He began his solo career in 1971. His 1982 album Thriller remains the best-selling album ever, with Off the Wall (1979), Bad (1987), Dangerous (1991) and HIStory (1995) also among the world's best-selling albums. He is widely credited with having transformed the music video from a promotional tool into an art form with videos for his songs such as "Billie Jean", "Beat It" and "Thriller" making him the first African American artist to amass a strong crossover following on MTV. With stage performances and music videos, Jackson popularized a number of physically complicated dance techniques, such as the robot and the moonwalk. His distinctive musical sound, vocal style, and choreography, is credited with stretching across and breaking down cultural, racial, economic, generational, and global barriers that has inspired countless pop, rock, R&B and hip hop artists.

One of the few artists to have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice, his other achievements feature multiple Guinness World Records—including the "Most Successful Entertainer of All Time"—15 Grammy Awards (including the "Living Legend Award" and the "Lifetime Achievement Award"), 26 American Music Awards (24 only as a solo artist, including one for "Artist of the Century")—more than any artist—, 17 number one singles in the US (including the four as a member of the Jackson 5), and estimated sales of up to 750 million records worldwide making him the world's best selling artist in history.

Jackson's personal relationships and life generated controversy for years. His changing appearance was noticed from the late 1970s onwards, with changes to his nose and to the color of his skin drawing media publicity. He was accused of child sexual abuse in 1993 though no charges were brought, and in 2005 he was tried and acquitted when the jury ruled him not guilty on all charges. He married twice, first in 1994 and again in 1996, and brought up three children, one born to a surrogate mother. While preparing for the This Is It concert tour in 2009, Jackson died at the age of 50 after suffering from cardiac arrest. He reportedly had been administered drugs such as propofol and lorazepam, and his death was ruled a homicide by the Los Angeles County coroner. His death triggered an outpouring of grief from around the world with his globally live broadcast memorial service attracting an audience of up to one billion people; as well as a huge surge in his album sales, resulting in him becoming the best selling artist of 2009 with sales in excess of 8.2 million in the United States where he became the first artist ever to have 4 of the top 20 best-selling albums in a single year, and 29 million albums globally, where he had an unprecedented 8 of the top 25 best-selling albums worldwide.
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