Finding free violin sheet music online is not that hard nowadays, however there are still some hidden gems out there that you may not know about.
I always check for freely available sheet music before buying an arrangement or making my own. With internet databases, communities, and digitized sheet music collections, there is a wide range of sheet music available online for free – be it a classical piece or a modern pop song.
International Music Score Library Project
This library, called IMSLP for short, is the number one resource for free classical violin sheet music.
Whether you’re looking for etudes or method books, Bach sonatas and partitas for solo violin or the Tchaikovsky violin concerto, it’s all there. You will find the solo violin parts as well as the accompanying orchestral or piano parts.
Often several different editions are available and they are rated by user according to their legibility and usefulness.
This is one of those hidden gems of the internet – while Scribd looks like a subscription based service for reading books, comics, and listening to audiobooks, it also has an absolutely invaluable “Documents” section.
This is where you will find uploads of those solo violin Beatles arrangements you always wanted to try, or some etudes for jazz violin improvisation. This resource is a treasure trove of free violin sheet music, but it also requires you to be tech savvy.
So how do you download that cool arrangement that you found without signing up for the service?
- Head over to the document that interests you.
- Click “Download”.
- You will be asked to upload a document in exchange for downloading this one. Make sure you upload something unique that is not part of the Scribd database yet.
- Enjoy the sheet music!
While uploading a document in exchange for every download may sound like a lot of work, it is a completely viable alternative to paying the subscription!
This site is one of the friendliest musical communities on the web. At its core, it is dedicated to the open source music notation software under the same name.
While Musescore is an excellent scorewriting software, that is not quite what we’re looking for here. The Musescore website has a very helpful searchbox right at the top of the page that says “Search for sheet music”. Go ahead and use that searchbox to look for the sheet music that you need.
Make sure to create an account or login to be able to download the scores you find for free. They can be downloaded in a variety of formats, including the popular PDF format as well as midi and MusicXML.
Library of Congress
The Library of Congress Historical Sheet Music Collection consists of about 9,000 scores published between 1800 and 1922.
A large chunk of these scores are popular American compositions of that time, but there is also a significant amount of classical music arrangements available.
The sheet music represented here is historical and rare, unavailable on any other sites, as it comes from a private music collection donated to the library.
And last but not least, the most popular website that comes up first in a Google search on this topic is of course 8Notes.
This is an excellent resource with several different sections including classical pieces, folk songs, jazz tunes and wedding ceremony repertoire.
Downloading sheet music is easy, either click on one of the categories or simply use the search function at the top of the page. A useful feature including on this website, but not on others, is a page with backing tracks.
There are many more resources for free violin sheet music out there, but these are an excellent starting point. For more free sheet music check out sites such as archive.org and the Library of Congress Digital Archive.
Another resource to consider are university websites, they often list digitized sheet music collections that are free for the public to use.
Most importantly – don’t shy away from trying new resources and sites. New sites and communities are popping up all the time.