PonderIt

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Free LDS Sheet Music

My life has been so blessed by free LDS sheet music. Sally DeFord is the reigning queen of the genre. Her work, because it is free and because it is very good, is becoming a staple of ward choirs wherever I look. I totally love her Easter cantata from last year. It is amazing and I feel so blessed that she is in a position to share her talents with the Church for free.

Last Sunday I was asked to perform a musical number. I decided to play an arrangement of Praise to the Man. The arrangement by Craig Petrie is so much fun. Craig doesn't seem to be as popular as Sally DeFord for some reason. Perhaps it is because he doesn't have as much music up, but he's been online for a long time too. I really love his music and I have several of his pieces that I play regularly. This arrangement of Praise to the Man is intended for a really good choir to sing, but the piano part is rich enough that it served well as a piano solo. I just announced the order of the verses (1, 4, 2, 3) for those that wanted to follow along in their hymnal. I thought it went very well in spite of my weakness as a piano player.

I debated between playing that piece and a piece I just found recently by Aaron Waite. Aaron's arrangements have copyrights from a couple of years ago, but I'm not sure how long he's been giving his music away on the internet. I actually found his site when I did a Google search to pull up Craig Petrie's site. Aaron had purchased a sponsored link. That's an ambitious, if possibly expensive, way to help people discover you.

Aaron's arrangements are a lot like the way I improvise when I'm playing from a regular hymn book. That makes them pretty easy for me to play. Of all the pieces from his site that I've tried, my favorite is I Believe in Christ.

Update August 2012
There are so many other great sites out there and since this post continues to get traffic, I thought it worth highlighting them, including those mentioned in the comments below.

  • Free LDS Sheet Music
    • Look at this phenomenal index! This is the site I'd wished I'd created, but now someone else has so that I don't have to! They link to lots of individual site, including music published on the Church web site. 
  • Andrew Hawryluk
    • We've used some of his Christmas music in our ward choir
  • Joan Sowards
    • There is a lot here. The first one I tried I really have fallen in love with. It is an arrangement of O My Father with melodies from two different composers mixed together. It really adds a fun twist to this favorite.
  • LDS Music Now
    • They mostly have stuff for sale, but you can sign up for their newsletter which will tell you when they have new free sheet music or MP3 files available. 
  • Ashley Hall Music
    • I haven't tried any of these yet.
  • Garrett Breeze
    • He had a bunch of links on his site that helped me expand this list. Thanks! His music has been used in a lot of BYU productions, but there isn't much focus on simple piano arrangements which is what I'm usually after. The samples sound awesome.
  • Jason Tonioli
    • These solo piano hymn arrangements are gorgeous. He has a few of his songs available for free download. Be sure to check out We Thank Thee O God For a Prophet which he wrote as a tribute to President Hinckley and which I really enjoy playing. 
  • CompleteLee Music
    • I haven't tried any of the music here. I was going to try today, but I didn't want to fuss with a shopping cart to download them, even though there is free stuff there. Lots of music for kids and helping them memorize scriptures!
  • Faithsong Music
    • I don't know why I haven't tried any of these. I've just printed a few of them out that looked really promising. 

17 Comments:

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  • Thank you, thank you for the links to Craig Petrie and Aaron Waite. I have used Sally DeFord's music for several years, but I hadn't heard of these other composers.

    I very much appreciate composers that will give away their music, although, I understand the down side of doing that. Most LDS musicians I know don't have a lot of money to buy sheet music, but you can find a very good selection of LDS music for sale at MormonMusic.com. I have found several piano duets by Lawrence Lyon that fit my style of playing. My son and I have very much enjoyed performing Lyon's duet arrangement of Praise to the Man.

    By Blogger Reach Upward, at 3/20/2006 7:02 AM  

  • Thanks for the tip. I will check out some stuff by Lyon.

    By Blogger Bradley, at 3/20/2006 7:52 AM  

  • Great resource. Thanks!

    By Blogger Guy Murray, at 3/21/2006 6:23 PM  

  • You might also try LDSmusicnow.com. They've got lots of music and free sheet music too.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9/19/2006 6:34 PM  

  • Hi and thanks for the kind plug for my website! :) This blog has generated some traffic for my site and I appreciate knowing my music is appreciated. Although I've actively composed LDS music for 9 years, aaronwaite.com has been online for just over two years. Those paid google links are too expensive, I don't use them anymore...thanks again for the plug!

    By Anonymous AaronWaite, at 1/23/2007 2:13 PM  

  • I attended a funeral in Mesa, AZ where Craig Petrie was. He also suggested Joan Sowards Music. JoanSowards.com I liked the Let Virtue Garnish Thy Thoughts song.

    By Anonymous Clint Harrison, at 6/12/2007 12:41 PM  

  • I am blessed to live near Colorado Springs where Sally DeFord directs her cantatas annually. She does an excellent job.

    By Anonymous Nathan Howe, at 9/30/2007 12:35 AM  

  • Sally and Craig have set wonderful examples sharing their talents for free. Additional free arrangements for ward choir (plus some instrumental pieces) can be found at:
    http://www.slamheads.com/choral/

    By Anonymous Ash, at 9/25/2008 6:16 PM  

  • I am looking for sheet music for the song "My Hands" by Lex De Azevedo & Carol Lynn Pearson.
    It was on the CD "Charity Never Faileth" Female and "Songs From The Animated Stories From The New Testament" Male. Both had songbooks and I had both at one time, but they were lost. I am looking for the female version.
    Please can you help me?
    Thank you.
    Christi

    By Blogger Christi, at 3/24/2009 11:10 PM  

  • Christi, I suspect that the song you are looking for is only available from a commercial publisher. Your best bet is to try to purchase a copy.

    By Blogger Bradley Ross, at 3/27/2009 6:28 AM  

  • How easy would you say it is to play with the music (say on a music editor and make these lovely piano pieces especially Aaron's) into instrumental soloist w/ piano accompanist? I play flute, and am a decent sight reader, and can edit music and transpose, etc. I would like more pieces to perform, and would like to know if these pieces would be editable (I would naturally be doing the input and have the original author take the credit) to this circumstance?

    By Blogger Sam & Lindsay, at 5/31/2009 4:07 PM  

  • thanks for the great links!

    By Anonymous Kaylin, at 8/14/2009 2:38 PM  

  • Here's another link for you. http://www.completelee.com/Music/ABClist.aspx Most all the hymn arrangements are free to use for SATB, solos, duets, trios, BBS, etc.

    By Blogger CompleteLee Blogger, at 11/02/2009 1:28 PM  

  • Hey, I recently started my own site offering free LDS arrangements. The site is http://breezetunes.com

    By Blogger Brz4mus1c, at 4/04/2010 8:26 PM  

  • www.faithsongmusic.com

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1/04/2011 6:16 PM  

  • I just created a site similar to this that indexes the music of several different composers, if anyone is interested. http://freemusicformormons.com/lds-ward-choir-music

    cheers!

    By Blogger Melissa, at 1/30/2011 6:41 PM  

  • Thanks for the reviews! Also for those looking for arrangements of lds hymns from various composers there's freemusicformormons.com
    Enjoy!

    By Anonymous roger the ward choir music guy, at 3/04/2011 12:42 PM  

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