Find great sheet music for piano for yourself or your piano students. Whether you need something that’s printable or free, or super hard (or easy!), I will try to point you in the right direction. As a pianist and piano teacher myself, I know how invaluable it is to have an easy resource for finding piano music.
Part 1: Best Sellers
An obvious starting point! Best sellers are that for a reason. They are often pieces that students and audiences love to hear. It doesn’t matter if the song was publish five days ago or five years.
Best Selling Piano Books
Surprisingly, this much hated and much lauded technique book is one of the best selling piano books. It was originally written by Charles-Louis Hanon over a century ago to develop and strengthen pianist’s fingers. I personally do not use it with my students and the reason is not because I feel it is harmful, but I think it’s a bit (alot!) boring. If you’re a self-taught pianist or a teacher with students that have technique you feel is lacking, this could be a useful tool to add.
As the title suggests, this book includes 100 timeless and beloved piano songs. There are classical favorites like Fur Elise, orchestral arrangements like Canon in D, and old-time classics like Over the Rainbow and Moon River. The arrangements are for intermediate to advanced level pianists. Definitely not for beginners.
Other Top Selling Books
- Big Book of Beginner’s Piano Classics
- The Library of Piano Classics
- Chopin’s Complete Preludes, Nocturnes & Waltzes
- Teaching Little Fingers to Play: Disney Tunes
- Easy Classics to Moderns
Find more best selling piano books here.
Best Selling Piano Solos
Unsurprisingly, Over the Rainbow by Harold Arlen is among the top selling piano solos. So if you haven’t added it to your repertoire yet, then definitely consider this one. It’s a crowd favorite and is often requested. There are literally hundreds of versions of this piece which, by the way, was almost cut from the Wizard the Oz. There are easy, intermediate and advanced versions. As well as jazz, duets, trios, and so on. A very popular arrangement is the one by Jim Bruckman.
God Bless America by Irving Berlin is another popular piece for pianists to play on the piano. This piece was originally written in 1918 while Berlin was serving in the US Army. He later revised it in 1938 as a song of “peace” in the lead up to World War 2. The piece is often heard at sports games and has been recorded by several famous musicians, including Celine Dion. This version was arranged by Jennifer Cook and is conveniently available as a digital download from Sheet Music Plus.
Other Top Selling Solos
- You Raise Me Up By Josh Groban
- A Thousand Years By Christina Perri
- Hallelujah By Leonard Cohen
Part 2: Popular Songs to Learn
This is the next best place to find something fun to learn, especially if you like to impress people. As many piano teachers know, there are a handful of requested pieces that beginners as well as advanced students request.
Popular Classical Songs
Starting with the obvious, there is Fur Elise by Ludwig van Beethoven. It’s popularity knows no end! It’s been heard on the radio, on television, and movies. Even beginning students will want to play That Song. Fortunately there are enough versions for students at any level to enjoy playing this piece.
Another highly requested piece is also by Beethoven. Moonlight Sonata has also been experience through many different mediums by many people so it’s often requested. Like Fur Elise, there are also quite a few versions at varying levels of difficulty. The original music is for an advanced pianist because of the octaves, dotted rhythms, and key signature.
Other Requested Classical Songs
- Toccata and Fugue in D minor by Johan Sebastian Bach
- Claire de Lune by Claude Debussy
- Canon in D by Johann Pachebel
- Air on the G String by Bach
Popular Jazz, Rags, and Blues
The Pink Panther by Henry Mancini is a fun piece. It is the theme to several films featuring the inept Inspector Jacques Clouseau. The recognizable theme of the piece isn’t too terribly difficult, so it is definitely accessible to a less advanced pianist. There are duet, solo, and ensemble versions of the piece.
Charlie Brown is a cherished character for those young and old, and Linus and Lucy by Vince Guaraldi is a recognizable tune. Name after the van Pelt siblings, it was released in 1964 and introduced to the world in 1965. The original piece is in the key of A-flat with a tricky middle section but there are numerous easy versions.
Other Requested Jazz, Rags, and Blues Pieces
- The Entertainer by Scott Joplin
- Maple Leaf Rag by Scott Joplin
- Batman Theme Song by Neal Hefti
- Moon River by Henry Mancini
- Someone to Watch Over Me by George and Ira Gershwin
Popular TV, Film and Broadways Songs
There probably isn’t a person alive who does not know the Star Wars Theme by John Williams. This seemingly simple seven note riff evokes lots of feelings of heroicism and adventures. The fanfare is played over the opening crawl of all the films so it has become the staple of this film franchise.
Another popular request is also by John Williams. In case you didn’t know, John Williams is an incredibly successful film composer and has written the music for many famous films. Films like Jurassic Park, Superman, and Jaws. The Harry Potter theme, aka Hedwig’s Theme is routinely requested by students of all ages and levels.
Other TV, Film and Broadway Requests
- Heat and Soul by Hoagy Carmichael
- Let it Go by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez
- Memory by Andrew Lloyd Weber
- Nadia’s Theme by Barry De Vorzon and Perry Botkin, Jr.
- Pie Jesu by Andrew Lloyd Weber
Popular Pop Songs
Clocks by Coldplay seems to never go out of style. It is often requested by adult and teenage pianists. The song was written and composed by the British band and released in 2002 for the group’s second album. The prominent piano riff is the main reason this piece is requested so much.
Boston by Augustana is another highly requested piece. Augustana is an American rock band and the piece debuted in 2005 on their All the Stars and Boulevards album. One Tree Hill fans will remember the song fondly. This piece, like Clocks, has a very prominent piano part though the rhythm is very tricky.
Other Pop Songs
- I Will Always Love You by Dolly Parton (you may remember the Whitney Houston version)
- Don’t Stop Believing by Journey
- Ribbon in the Sky by Stevie Wonder
- Yesterday by the Beatles
- You Light Up My Life by Pat Boone
Popular Fun Songs
- Chopsticks by Euphemia Allen
- Shave and a Haircut
Part 3: Indie and Contemporary Composers
With the advent of Kindle Publishing, SMP Press, and more a lot of contemporary composers are electing to bypass the big publishers and sell directly to the public. Here are just of few lists of my favorite indie composers.
Susan Paradis – This site contains wonderful selection of pieces for beginner piano students as well as theory and music worksheets for students. There are lots of seasonal activities and many items are available for free.
Steven Cravis – His original compositions are great for the teenage pianist. His work includes lots of new age piano music including my favorite piece, Through the Kaleidoscope. Steven Cravis’s pieces are challenging yet motivating enough to keep students practicing for hours.
- Jon Schmidt
- Suzanne Cian
- David Lanz
Part 4: Free Sheet Music for Piano
Although the majority of contemporary songs are not legally available for free, there are many, many resources for free piano music for ages and levels. Pretty much every composition published before 1923 is available in the public domain. This includes many pieces by famous composers as well as familiar folk tunes like Yankee Doodle or Happy Birthday.
8notes.com has a large and amazing collection of sheet music for many instruments, not just piano. A wide variety of genres are included, from folk to jazz to rock.
Music for Music Teachers is a wonderful resource for piano teachers and beginning piano students. It offers lots of free arrangements for beginners.
Other Free Piano Sheet Music Sites
- IMSLP – International Music Score Library
- Gmajor Music Theory
- Making Music Fun
- Easy Sheet Music
- Muse Score
Part 5: Where to Buy Sheet Music for Piano
While it is important to support your local music shops (if you don’t, they may disappear), I just often find it easier to buy music online. I absolutely hate digging through piles of music to find something I like or want. And this isn’t just for sheet music, I have the same attitude towards clothes shopping! I avoid the clearance sections and if the other parts of the store is unorganized and I can’t find my size in a few seconds I will give up and shop online.
My favorite places to purchase sheet music, in no particular order, are:
Sheet Music Plus is the main place I purchase sheet music. It’s organized fairly well and has a wide range of selections. It’s basically the Amazon of sheet music. The majority of pieces available have samples available so I can play through a portion of piece before buying it. Many also have audio samples and a few have video performances. A lot of the pieces are available as a digital download.
And speaking of Amazon…
I often go here for less popular selections that may not be available on Sheet Music Plus. Since it’s set-up to sell books and since a lot of the sheet music is available from 3rd party vendors, usually there are not a lot of sample material available before purchasing a piece. Through Kindle Publishing program, more and more sheet music is becoming available on the kindle.
Other Places to Buy Music
- MusicaNeo – Digital downloads.
- JW Pepper – Sheet music and digital downloads.
- Cadenza One – Sheet music and digital downloads.
- Google Books – Digital downloads.
- Prima Music – Free shipping all the time!
- Ebay – Great for vintage music.
- Music Notes – Digital downloads.
- Sheet Music Direct – Digital downloads.
Part 6: Digital Downloads
Many of the places I listed above provide digital downloads, which I absolutely love. There are both pros and cons to this, so you’ll have to decide what is right for you.
Digital Downloads Pros
- Instant access to the sheet music file instead of waiting for delivery or driving to the music store and hoping they will have what you want.
- The ability to transpose the song into an apropriate key for your student or and easier key for yourself.
- Audio previews so you can listen to the song before your purchase the piece.
- Sheet music samples so you can play through the piece before purchasing.
- It’s always with you, especially if you store your file in the cloud. You can stop lugging around tons of music.
- You’re supporting contemporary composers and the sheet music industry, instead of illegally downloading sheet music.
- You can use fancy tech like a page turning pedal.
Digital Download Cons
- Immediate printing requirements, which means you can not save the pdf file.
- Printing limitations. Many times you can only print the piece once, and if there is a problem you will have to purchase the piece again or try pleading with customer service.
- DRM restrictions. This can be as simple as not being able to annotate the piece in your pdf software or as complex as only being able to open the piece in a specific software.
- No refunds.
- Printing onto low quality paper that’s easily damaged and/or wrinkled.
- Printing onto 8.5 by 11 paper instead of having standard sheet music.
Part 7: Conclusion
I hope that I have given you at least a couple of fun recommendations and helpful resources for finding new piano music. I do plan to expand on what I have listed above plus also include my recommendations for Christmas music, beginner music, sonatinas and more.
So please stay tuned!