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Mary Rodgers
Mary Rodgers
Mary Rodgers Composer Mary Rodgers, American composer and author of children's stories. Wikipedia
Date of birth: January 11, 1931, New York, New York, USA Date and place of death: June 25, 2014, Manhattan, New York, USA
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.
Erik Satie
Erik Satie
Éric Alfred Leslie Satie, who signed his name Erik Satie after 1884, was a French composer and pianist. Satie was an influential artist in the late 19th- and early 20th-century Parisian avant-garde.
Schumann
Schumann
Robert Schumann, sometimes given as Robert Alexander Schumann, (June 8, 1810 – July 29, 1856) was a German composer, aesthete and influential music critic. He is one of the most famous Romantic composers of the 19th century.

He had hoped to pursue a career as a virtuoso pianist, having been assured by his teacher Friedrich Wieck that he could become the finest pianist in Europe after only a few years of study with him. However, a hand injury prevented those hopes from being realized, and he decided to focus his musical energies on composition. Schumann's published compositions were, until 1840, all for the piano; he later composed works for piano and orchestra, many lieder (songs for voice and piano), four symphonies, an opera, and other orchestral, choral and chamber works. His writings about music appeared mostly in the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik ("The New Journal for Music"), a Leipzig-based publication that he jointly founded.

In 1840, after a long and acrimonious legal battle with his piano instructor Friedrich Wieck, Schumann married Wieck's daughter, pianist Clara Wieck, a considerable figure of the Romantic period in her own right. Clara Wieck showcased many works by her husband as well. For the last two years of his life, after an attempted suicide, Schumann was confined to a mental institution.
Ennio moricone
Ennio moricone
Ennio Morricone is an Italian composer especially known for his soundtracks. He is one of the most recognized and critically acclaimed film musicians of the 20th century. The number of his films and television series exceeds 500.
Date of birth: November 10, 1928 (91 years old), Rome, ItalyInstrument: Trumpet; Piano Awards: Oscar for Best Soundtrack, Academy Honor Award,
Freddie Mercury
Freddie Mercury
Freddie Mercury (born Farrokh Bulsara, 5 September 1946 – 24 November 1991), was a British musician, best known as the lead vocalist of the rock band Queen. As a performer, he was known for his powerful vocals and flamboyant performances. As a songwriter, he composed many hits, including "Bohemian Rhapsody", "Killer Queen", "Somebody to Love", "Don't Stop Me Now", "Crazy Little Thing Called Love", "Barcelona", and "We Are the Champions". Led by Mercury, Queen had sold more than 300 million albums internationally by 2009.
In addition to his work with Queen, he also led a solo career and was occasionally a producer and guest musician (piano or vocals) for other artists. Mercury, who was a Parsi and grew up in India, has been referred to as "Britain's first Asian rock star". He died of bronchopneumonia induced by AIDS on 24 November 1991, only one day after publicly acknowledging he had the disease. In 2006, Time Asia named him as one of the most influential Asian heroes of the past 60 years, and he continues to be voted as one of the greatest singers in the history of popular music. In 2005, a poll organised by Blender and MTV2 saw Mercury voted the greatest male singer of all time (and second-greatest singer overall after Mariah Carey). In 2009, a Classic Rock poll saw him voted the greatest rock singer of all time. In 2008, Rolling Stone ranked him number 18 on their list of the 100 greatest singers of all time, reflecting the magazine's editorial opinion.
Ben Folds
Ben Folds
Benjamin Scott Folds (born September 12, 1966 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina) is an American singer and pianist. He originally gained fame as a member of the rock band, Ben Folds Five. Ben has released three solo albums: Fear of Pop: Volume 1, Rockin' the Suburbs, and Ben Folds Live. Fear of Pop was released while Ben Folds Five were still together; Suburbs and Live were released afterwards. Since Fear of Pop is highly experimental and Live is a collection of live solo recordings of mostly songs originally recorded with Ben Folds Five, Rockin' the Suburbs is Ben's first proper solo release. In late 2003 two solo EPs: Speed Graphic and Sunny 16 were released, with a third entitled Super D released in mid-2004. He currently resides in Adelaide, Australia with his wife, Frally Hynes, and two children, Louis and Grace. He tours Japan and the United States, as well as other parts of the world periodically.

Folds also produced and arranged the most recent William Shatner album, Has Been (2004); he previously worked with Shatner on the songs 'In Love' and 'Still in Love' for Fear of Pop.

Folds described his former band, Ben Folds Five, as 'punk rock for sissies,' and his oddball lyrics often contain nuances of depression, melancholy and self-conflict. While he was with the band Ben Folds Five and since his departure, Folds also provided a number of songs for films soundtrack. Some of these include 'Lonely Christmas Eve' for the film How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (2000) and a rendition of the Beatles' 'Golden Slumbers' for the film I Am Sam (2001).

On a planned tour of Australia, Folds teamed up with fellow namesakes Ben Kweller and Ben Lee to travel the country together as The Bens, at the suggestion of a fan on Ben Kweller's official website. The trio also went on to record an four-track EP together, entitled The Bens.

In summer of 2004, Folds co-headlined an American tour with fellow rockers Rufus Wainwright and Guster. His fourth solo album entitled 'Songs for Silverman' is slated for release on April 26, 2005.
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.
Michael Brecker
Michael Brecker
Michael Leonard Brecker (March 29, 1949 – January 13, 2007) was an American jazz saxophonist and composer. Acknowledged as "a quiet, gentle musician widely regarded as the most influential tenor saxophonist since John Coltrane," he has been awarded 15 Grammy Awards as both performer and composer and was inducted into Down Beat's Jazz Hall of Fame in 2007.
Franz Liszt
Franz Liszt
Franz Liszt (Hungarian: Ferencz Liszt, in modern usage Ferenc Liszt, from 1859 to 1865 officially Franz Ritter von Liszt) (October 22, 1811 – July 31, 1886) was a Hungarian composer, virtuoso pianist and teacher. He was also the father-in-law of Richard Wagner. In 1865 he became abbot in the Roman Catholic Church.
Liszt became renowned throughout Europe during the 19th century for his great skill as a performer. He was said by his contemporaries to have been the most technically advanced pianist of his age and perhaps the greatest pianist of all time. He was also an important and influential composer, a notable piano teacher, a conductor who contributed significantly to the modern development of the art, and a benefactor to other composers and performers, notably Richard Wagner, Hector Berlioz, Camille Saint-Saëns, Edvard Grieg and Alexander Borodin.
As a composer, Liszt was one of the most prominent representatives of the "Neudeutsche Schule" ("New German School"). He left behind a huge and diverse body of work, in which he influenced his forward-looking contemporaries and anticipated some 20th-century ideas and trends. Some of his most notable contributions were the invention of the symphonic poem, developing the concept of thematic transformation as part of his experiments in musical form and making radical departures in harmony.
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.
Alexandre Desplat
Alexandre Desplat
Desplat has extensively composed for films, first in France and later in Hollywood, including scores and incidental music for some 100 films among which are Lapse of Memory and Family Express (both 1992), Regarde Les Hommes Tomber (1994), Les Péchés Mortels (1995), the César nominated Un Héros Très Discret (1996), Une Minute De Silence and Sweet Revenge (both 1998), Le Château Des Singes (1999), Home Sweet Home and Reines D'Un Jour (both 2001), the César nominated Sur Mes Lèvres (2002), and Rire Et Châtiment (2003), among others.
Desplat has composed individual songs that have been sung in films by artists such as Akhenaton, Kate Beckinsale, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Valérie Lemercier, Miosotis, and Catherine Ringer. He has also written music for the theatre, including pieces performed at the Comédie Française. Desplat has conducted performances of his music played by the London Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Munich Symphony Orchestra. In addition to his composing and performing, Desplat has also given Master Classes at La Sorbonne in Paris and at London's Royal College of Music.
In 2007 he composed the high profile scores for Philip Pullman's The Golden Compass; Zach Helm's directorial debut Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium with American composer Aaron Zigman; and the Ang Lee movie Lust, Caution. Prior to these breakout works, he contributed scores for The Luzhin Defence, Girl with a Pearl Earring, Syriana, Birth, Hostage, Casanova, The Nest and The Painted Veil, for which he won the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score, Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Music, and the 2006 World Soundtrack Award. He won the 2007 BMI Film Music Award, 2007 World Soundtrack Award, 2007 European Film Award, and received his first Academy Award nomination for Best Original Score for The Queen. He also won the Silver Berlin Bear at the Berlin Film Festival for Best Film Music in The Beat that My Heart Skipped. In 2008, Desplat received his second Oscar nomination for David Fincher's The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.
Desplat's recent projects include Largo Winch, based on the Belgian comic; Afterwards a French-Canadian psychological thriller film directed by Gilles Bourdos in English; Anne Fontaine's Coco avant Chanel based on the life of designer Coco Chanel; Robert Guédiguian's L'Armée du Crime; Cheri, reuniting him with director Stephen Frears, whom he collaborated with on The Queen; Un Prophète reuniting with director Jacques Audiard; Julie & Julia directed by Nora Ephron; Fantastic Mr. Fox, directed by Wes Anderson and based on the novel by Roald Dahl; and New Moon, directed by Chris Weitz, out in November 2009.
Desplat's upcoming projects are The Tree of Life, directed by Terrence Malick, The Ghost, directed by Roman Polanski, and Largo Winch 2 .
Evita
Evita
Evita is the film adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical based on the life of Eva Perón. It was directed by Alan Parker and starred Madonna, Antonio Banderas and Jonathan Pryce. It was released on December 25, 1996 by Hollywood and Cinergi Pictures.
Disney Pixar
Disney Pixar
Pixar Computer animation company DescriptionPixar Animation Studios is an American computer animation studio based in Emeryville, California, a subsidiary of Walt Disney Studios. Wikipedia Founded: February 3, 1986 Parent organization: Walt Disney Studios (2006—present) Headquarters: Emeryville, California, United States Acquisition date: 2006 Founders: Steve Jobs, Edwin Catmull, Alvy Ray Smith Key people: Jim Morris (President), Pete Docter (Chief creative officer)
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).
Don McLean
Don McLean
Donald McLean (born October 2, 1945 in New Rochelle, New York) is an American singer-songwriter. He is most famous for his 1971 album American Pie, containing the renowned songs American Pie and Vincent.

The McLean clan traces its roots to the Isle of Iona in the Scottish Hebrides. Both Don’s grandfather and father were named Donald McLean which sometimes led to confusion as Don was also christened Donald McLean. Don’s mother’s family, the Buccis, came from Abruzzi in southern Italy. They left Italy and settled in Port Chester, N.Y. at the end of the 19th century.
AC/DC
AC/DC are an Australian rock band formed in 1973 by brothers Malcolm and Angus Young. Although the band are commonly classified as hard rock and are considered a pioneer of heavy metal, they have always classified their music as rock and roll.

AC/DC underwent several line-up changes before releasing their first album, High Voltage, in 1975. Membership remained stable until bassist Mark Evans was replaced by Cliff Williams in 1977. The band recorded their highly successful album Highway to Hell in 1979. Lead singer and co-songwriter Bon Scott died on 19 February 1980, after a night of heavy alcohol consumption. The group briefly considered disbanding, but soon ex-Geordie singer Brian Johnson was selected to replace Scott. Later that year, the band released their best-selling album, Back in Black.
The band's next album, For Those About to Rock We Salute You, was their first album to reach number one in the United States. AC/DC declined in popularity soon after drummer Phil Rudd was fired in 1983 and was replaced by future Dio drummer Simon Wright, though the band resurged in the early 1990s with the release of The Razor's Edge. Phil Rudd returned in 1994 (after Chris Slade was asked to leave in favour of him) and contributed to the band's 1995 album Ballbreaker. Stiff Upper Lip was released in 2000 and was well received by critics. The band's most recent album, Black Ice, was released on 20 October 2008.

As of 2008, AC/DC have sold more than 200 million albums worldwide, including 71 million albums in the United States. Back in Black has sold an estimated 45 million units worldwide, making it the highest-selling album by any band and the 2nd highest-selling album in history, behind "Thriller" by Michael Jackson. The album has sold 22 million in the US alone, where it is the fifth-highest-selling album. AC/DC ranked fourth on VH1's list of the "100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock" and was named the seventh "Greatest Heavy Metal Band of All Time" by MTV. In 2004, the band was ranked number 72 in the Rolling Stone list of the "100 Greatest Artists of All Time".
Alice Cooper
Alice Cooper
Alice Cooper (born Vincent Damon Furnier; February 4, 1948) is an American rock singer, songwriter and musician whose career spans more than four decades. With a stage show that features guillotines, electric chairs, fake blood, boa constrictors and baby dolls, Cooper has drawn equally from horror movies, vaudeville, and garage rock to pioneer a grandly theatrical and violent brand of heavy metal that was designed to shock.

Alice Cooper was originally a band consisting of Furnier on vocals and harmonica, lead guitarist Glen Buxton, Michael Bruce on rhythm guitar, Dennis Dunaway on bass guitar, and drummer Neal Smith. The original Alice Cooper band broke into the international music mainstream with 1971's monster hit "I'm Eighteen" from the album Love it to Death, which was followed by the even bigger single "School's Out" in 1972. The band reached their commercial peak with the 1973 album Billion Dollar Babies.

Furnier's solo career as Alice Cooper, adopting the band's name as his own name, began with the 1975 concept album Welcome to My Nightmare. In 2008 he released Along Came a Spider, his 18th solo album. Expanding from his original Detroit rock roots, over the years Cooper has experimented with many different musical styles, including conceptual rock, art rock, hard rock, new wave, pop rock, experimental rock and industrial rock. In recent times he has returned more to his garage rock roots.

Alice Cooper is known for his social and witty persona offstage, The Rolling Stone Album Guide going so far as to refer to him as the world's most "beloved heavy metal entertainer". He helped to shape the sound and look of heavy metal, and is seen as being the person who "first introduced horror imagery to rock'n'roll, and whose stagecraft and showmanship have permanently transformed the genre". Away from music, Cooper is a film actor, a golfing celebrity, a restaurateur and, since 2004, a popular radio DJ with his classic rock show Nights with Alice Cooper.

On VH1's "100 Greatest artists of Hard Rock", Cooper was ranked #20.
Masashi Hamauzu
Masashi Hamauzu
Masashi Hamauzu (浜渦 正志 Hamauzu Masashi, born September 20, 1971) is a Japanese composer, arranger, pianist, and lyricist. Hamauzu, who was employed at Square Enix from 1996 to 2010, was best known during that time for his work on the Final Fantasy and SaGa video game series. Born into a musical family in Germany, Hamauzu was raised in Japan. He became interested in music while in kindergarten, and took piano lessons from his parents.

Hamauzu was hired by Square as a trainee, and his debut as a solo composer came the following year when he scored Chocobo no Fushigina Dungeon. He has collaborated with his friend and fellow composer Junya Nakano on several games, and has worked closely with synthesizer programmer Ryo Yamazaki on most titles since SaGa Frontier 2.
Tommy Emmanuel
Tommy Emmanuel
William Thomas "Tommy" Emmanuel AM (born 31 May 1955) is an Australian guitarist and occasional singer, best known for his complex fingerpicking style, energetic performances and the use of percussive effects on the guitar. In the May 2008 and 2010 issues of Guitar Player Magazine, he was named as "Best Acoustic Guitarist" in their readers' poll. In June 2010 Emmanuel was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM).
Avril Lavigne
Avril Lavigne
Avril Lavigne Whibley (born September 27, 1984), better known by her birth name of Avril Lavigne, is a Canadian Grammy award-nominated rock singer, musician, fashion designer and actress. In 2006, Canadian Business Magazine ranked her the seventh most powerful Canadian in Hollywood.

Lavigne's debut album, Let Go, was released in 2002. Over 16 million copies were sold worldwide and it was certified six times platinum in the United States. Her second and third albums, Under My Skin (2004) sold over 8 million copies and The Best Damn Thing (2007) currently over 6 million copies sold respectively, reached number one on the U.S. Billboard 200. Lavigne has scored six number one songs worldwide to date and a total of eleven top ten hits, including "Complicated", "Sk8er Boi", "I'm With You", "My Happy Ending", and "Girlfriend" which became #1 hits in the ARC Top 40. In December 2007, Lavigne was ranked at #7 in the Forbes "Top 20 Earners Under 25", with an annual earnings of $12 million. Currently, Avril Lavigne has sold about 30 million albums worldwide.

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.
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.
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.
Johann Sebastian Bach
Johann Sebastian Bach
Johann Sebastian Bach (31 March 1685 – 28 July 1750) was a German composer and musician of the Baroque period. He is known for instrumental compositions such as the Art of Fugue, the Brandenburg Concertos, and the Goldberg Variations, and for vocal music such as the St Matthew Passion and the Mass in B minor. Since the 19th-century Bach Revival he has been generally regarded as one of the greatest composers of the Western art musical canon.
Francisco Tarrega
Francisco Tarrega
Francisco de Asís Tárrega y Eixea (21 November 1852 – 15 December 1909) was an influential Spanish composer and guitarist of the Romantic period.
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.
Cannonball Adderley
Cannonball Adderley
Julian Edwin "Cannonball" Adderley was an American jazz alto saxophonist of the hard bop era of the 1950s and 1960s. Adderley is remembered for his 1966 soul jazz single "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy", a crossover hit on the pop charts
Leo Brouwer
Leo Brouwer
Juan Leovigildo Brouwer Mezquida (born March 1, 1939) in Havana, is a Cuban composer, conductor and guitarist .


As a child, Brouwer received his initial stimulus from his father, a physician, who was an aficionado of Villa-Lobos, Tárrega and Granados. He initiated his son encouraging him to play these composers' works, mostly by ear.
Young Brouwer received his first formal guitar instruction from the noted Cuban guitarist and pedagogue Isaac Nicola, in turn a disciple of Emilio Pujol. Afterwards, Brouwer went to the United States to study music at the Hartt College of Music of the University of Hartford, and later at the Juilliard School, where he studied under Vincent Persichetti and took composition classes with Stefan Wolpe.

Brouwer's early works show the influence of Cuban folk music, but during the 1960s and 70s, he became interested in the music of modernist composers such as Luigi Nono and Iannis Xenakis, using indeterminacy in works such as Sonograma I. Other works from this period include the guitar pieces Canticum (1968), La espiral eterna (1971), Parábola (1973) and Tarantos (1974). More recently, Brouwer's works have started leaning towards tonality and modality. The solo guitar works El Decamerón Negro (1981) the Sonata (1990; for Julian Bream) and Paisaje cubano con campanas (1986) exemplify this tendency.

Among his works are a large number of solo guitar pieces, several guitar concertos and over forty film scores. Leo Brouwer is involved in the "Concurso y Festival Internacional de Guitarra de la Habana" (International Guitar Festival of the Havana). He travels often to attend guitar festivals throughout the world, and especially to other Latin American countries.
Mozart
Mozart
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, full name Johann Chrysostom Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (27 January 1756 – 5 December 1791) was a prolific and influential composer of the Classical era. His over 600 compositions include works widely acknowledged as pinnacles of symphonic, concertante, chamber, piano, operatic, and choral music. Mozart is among the most enduringly popular of classical composers, and many of his works are part of the standard concert repertoire.

Mozart's music, like Haydn's, stands as an archetypal example of the Classical style. His works spanned the period during which that style transformed from one exemplified by the style galant to one that began to incorporate some of the contrapuntal complexities of the late Baroque, complexities against which the galant style had been a reaction. Mozart's own stylistic development closely paralleled the development of the classical style as a whole. In addition, he was a versatile composer and wrote in almost every major genre, including symphony, opera, the solo concerto, chamber music including string quartet and string quintet, and the piano sonata. While none of these genres were new, the piano concerto was almost single-handedly developed and popularized by Mozart. He also wrote a great deal of religious music, including masses; and he composed many dances, divertimenti, serenades, and other forms of light entertainment.

The central traits of the classical style can be identified in Mozart's music. Clarity, balance, and transparency are hallmarks of his work.
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.
Tom Jobim
Tom Jobim
Antônio Carlos Brasileiro de Almeida Jobim (January 25, 1927 in Rio de Janeiro – December 8, 1994 in New York), also known as Tom Jobim, was a Grammy Award-winning Brazilian songwriter, composer, arranger, singer, and pianist/guitarist. A primary force behind the creation of the bossa nova style, his songs have been performed by many singers and instrumentalists within Brazil and internationally.
Vangelis
Vangelis
Evangelos Odysseas Papathanassiou (Greek: Ευάγγελος Οδυσσέας Παπαθανασίου ; born 29 March 1943), known professionally as Vangelis (Greek: Βαγγέλης ; English pronunciation: /væŋˈɡɛlᵻs/), is a Greek composer of electronic, progressive, ambient, jazz, pop rock, and orchestral music. He is best known for his Academy Award–winning score for the film Chariots of Fire, composing scores for the films Antarctica, Blade Runner, Missing, 1492: Conquest of Paradise, and Alexander, and the use of his music in the PBS documentary Cosmos: A Personal Voyage by Carl Sagan.

After having taking piano lessons from renowned Greek composer Aristotelis Koundouroff, Vangelis began his professional musical career working with several popular bands of the 1960s such as The Forminx and Aphrodite's Child, with the latter's album 666 going on to be recognized as a psychedelic classic. Throughout the 1970s, Vangelis composed music scores for several animal documentaries, including L'Apocalypse Des Animaux, La Fête sauvage and Opéra sauvage; the success of these scores brought him into the film scoring mainstream. In the early 1980s, Vangelis formed a musical partnership with Jon Anderson, the lead singer of progressive rock band Yes, and the duo went on to release several albums together as Jon & Vangelis.

In 1981, he composed the score for the Oscar-winning film Chariots of Fire, for which he won an Academy Award for Best Original Music Score. The soundtrack's single, the film's "Titles" theme, also reached the top of the American Billboard Hot 100 chart and was used as the background music at the London 2012 Olympics winners' medal presentation ceremonies.

Having had a career in music spanning over 50 years and having composed and performed more than 52 albums, Vangelis is one of the most important proponents of electronic music.
Bach
Bach
Johann Sebastian Bach (31 March 1685 – 28 July 1750) was a German composer and organist whose sacred and secular works for choir, orchestra, and solo instruments drew together the strands of the Baroque period and brought it to its ultimate maturity. Although he introduced no new forms, he enriched the prevailing German style with a robust contrapuntal technique, an unrivalled control of harmonic and motivic organisation in composition for diverse musical forces, and the adaptation of rhythms and textures from abroad, particularly Italy and France.

Revered for their intellectual depth and technical and artistic beauty, Bach's works include the Brandenburg concertos; the Goldberg Variations; the English Suites, French Suites, Partitas, and Well-Tempered Clavier; the Mass in B Minor; the St. Matthew Passion; the St. John Passion; The Musical Offering; The Art of Fugue; the Sonatas and Partitas for violin solo; the Cello Suites; more than 200 surviving cantatas; and a similar number of organ works, including the celebrated Toccata and Fugue in D Minor.

While Bach's fame as an organist was great during his lifetime, he was not particularly well-known as a composer. His adherence to Baroque forms and contrapuntal style was considered "old-fashioned" by his contemporaries, especially late in his career when the musical fashion tended towards Rococo and later Classical styles. A revival of interest and performances of his music began early in the 19th century, and he is now widely considered to be one of the greatest composers in the Western tradition.
Maurice Jarre
Maurice Jarre
Maurice-Alexis Jarre (French: ; 13 September 1924 – 28 March 2009) was a French composer and conductor, "one of the giants of 20th-century film music" who was "among the most sought-after composers in the movie industry" and "a creator of both subtle underscoring and grand, sweeping themes, not only writing for conventional orchestras... but also experimenting with electronic sounds later in his career". Although he composed several concert works, Jarre is best known for his film scores, particularly for his collaborations with film director David Lean. Jarre composed the scores to all of Lean's films from Lawrence of Arabia (1962) on. Notable scores for other directors include The Train (1964), Mohammad, Messenger of God (1976), Lion of the Desert (1981), Witness (1985) and Ghost (1990).
Steely Dan
Steely Dan
Steely Dan is an American rock band founded in 1972 by core members Walter Becker (guitars, bass, backing vocals) and Donald Fagen (keyboards, lead vocals). Blending rock, jazz, latin music, reggae, traditional pop, R&B, blues, and sophisticated studio production with cryptic and ironic lyrics, the band enjoyed critical and commercial success starting from the early 1970s until breaking up in 1981. Throughout their career, the duo recorded with a revolving cast of session musicians, and in 1974 retired from live performances to become a studio-only band. Rolling Stone has called them "the perfect musical antiheroes for the Seventies".
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.
Francis Poulenc
Francis Poulenc
Francis Jean Marcel Poulenc (French pronunciation: (7 January 1899 - 30 January 1963) was a French composer and a member of the French group Les Six. He composed music in genres including art song, solo piano music, chamber music, oratorio, opera, ballet music, and orchestral music. Critic Claude Rostand, in a July 1950 Paris-Presse article, described Poulenc as "half monk, half delinquent" ("le moine et le voyou"), a tag that was to be attached to his name for the rest of his career.
Rimsky-Korsakoff
Rimsky-Korsakoff
Nikolai Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov, also Nikolay, Nicolai, and Rimsky-Korsakoff, (18 March 1908) was a Russian composer, one of Russian composers known as "The Five", and was later a teacher of harmony and orchestration. He is particularly noted for a predilection for folk and fairy-tale subjects, and for his extraordinary skill in orchestration, which may have been influenced by his synesthesia. The first part of his surname, Rimsky, is due to the fact that some of his forefathers undertook a pilgrimage to Rome.

Like his compatriot Cui, he expended his greatest efforts on his 15 operas. Subjects range from historical melodramas (The Tsar's Bride) to folk operas (May Night) to fairytales and legends (Snowmaiden, Kashchey the Immortal and The Tale of Tsar Saltan). In juxtaposed depictions of real and fantastic, the operas invoke folk melodies, realistic declamation, lyrical melodies, and artificially-constructed harmonies with effective orchestral expression. Most of Rimsky-Korsakov's operas remain in the standard repertoire in Russia to this day. While the operas themselves are not well-known in the West, many selections are familiar to Western audiences. These excerpts include "The Dance of the Tumblers" from Snowmaiden, "Procession of the Nobles" from Mlada, "Song of the Indian Guest" (or, less accurately, "Song of India,") from Sadko, and "Flight of the Bumblebee" from Tsar Saltan, as well as suites from The Golden Cockerel and The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh and the Maiden Fevroniya.

Rimsky-Korsakov's status in the West has long been based on his orchestral compositions. Best known among these are Capriccio espagnol, Russian Easter Festival Overture, and the symphonic suite Scheherazade. Scheherazade is often cited as a textbook example of Russian orientalism. Likewise, while Capriccio espagnol could be considered a continuation of Glinka's Spanish Fantasies pittoresques, the vibrancy of Rimsky-Korsakov's orchestration far outshines Glinka's effort. It also served as a model for Maurice Ravel's Rapsodie espagnole.

Smaller-scaled works include dozens of art songs, arrangements of folk songs, some chamber and piano music, and a considerable number of choral works, both secular and for Russian Orthodox Church service, including settings of portions of the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom (the latter despite his staunch atheism).
Suikoden IV
Suikoden IV
Suikoden IV, released as Genso Suikoden IV (幻想水滸伝IV) in Japan, is a role-playing game developed and published by Konami for the PlayStation 2 console.
Harry Warren
Harry Warren
Harry Warren (born Salvatore Antonio Guaragna, December 24, 1893 – September 22, 1981) was an American composer and lyricist. Warren was the first major American songwriter to write primarily for film. He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song eleven times and won three Oscars for composing "Lullaby of Broadway", "You'll Never Know" and "On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe". He wrote the music for the first blockbuster film musical, 42nd Street, choreographed by Busby Berkeley, with whom he would collaborate on many musical films.
Eric Satie
Eric Satie
Éric Alfred Leslie Satie (Honfleur, 17 May 1866 – Paris, 1 July 1925) was a French composer and pianist. Starting with his first composition in 1884, he signed his name as Erik Satie.

Satie was introduced as a "gymnopedist" in 1887, shortly before writing his most famous compositions, the Gymnopédies. Later, he also referred to himself as a "phonometrician" (meaning "someone who measures sounds") preferring this designation to that of "musician", after having been called "a clumsy but subtle technician" in a book on contemporary French composers published in 1911.

In addition to his body of music, Satie also left a remarkable set of writings, having contributed work for a range of publications, from the dadaist 391 to the American Vanity Fair. Although in later life he prided himself on always publishing his work under his own name, in the late nineteenth century he appears to have used pseudonyms such as Virginie Lebeau and François de Paule in some of his published writings.

Satie was a colourful figure in the early 20th century Parisian avant-garde. He was a precursor to later artistic movements such as minimalism, repetitive music, and the Theatre of the Absurd.
The Beatles
The Beatles
The Beatles were a pop and rock group from Liverpool, England formed in 1960. Primarily consisting of John Lennon (rhythm guitar, vocals), Paul McCartney (bass guitar, vocals), George Harrison (lead guitar, vocals) and Ringo Starr (drums, vocals) throughout their career, The Beatles are recognised for leading the mid-1960s musical "British Invasion" into the United States. Although their initial musical style was rooted in 1950s rock and roll and homegrown skiffle, the group explored genres ranging from Tin Pan Alley to psychedelic rock. Their clothes, styles, and statements made them trend-setters, while their growing social awareness saw their influence extend into the social and cultural revolutions of the 1960s. After the band broke up in 1970, all four members embarked upon solo careers.

The Beatles are one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed bands in the history of popular music, selling over a billion records internationally. In the United Kingdom, The Beatles released more than 40 different singles, albums, and EPs that reached number one, earning more number one albums (15) than any other group in UK chart history. This commercial success was repeated in many other countries; their record company, EMI, estimated that by 1985 they had sold over one billion records worldwide. According to the Recording Industry Association of America, The Beatles have sold more albums in the United States than any other band. In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked The Beatles number one on its list of 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. According to that same magazine, The Beatles' innovative music and cultural impact helped define the 1960s, and their influence on pop culture is still evident today. In 2008, Billboard magazine released a list of top-selling Hot 100 artists to celebrate the chart's fiftieth anniversary; The Beatles reached #1 again.
Modesta Bor
Modesta Bor
Modesta Bor (1926–1998) was a Venezuela choir conductor, musicologist, teacher and composer. She was born in Juangriego and studied in Caracas with Elena Arrarte, Juan Bautista Plaza, Antonio Estévez, Maria de Lourdes Rotundo and Vicente Emilio Sojo, graduating with a degree in composition in 1959. She continued her studies at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory with Aram Khachaturian. In 1960 she won her first National Music Prize with Sonata for violin and piano.
After completing her studies, Bor returned to Venezuela to work as a composer, teacher and choir director, becoming head of the music department in the Central University of Venezuela Culture Department. She also served as director of the musicology section of Folklore Research of the National Service. She died in Mérida.
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.
Air Supply
Air Supply
Air Supply is a soft rock duo who had a succession of hits worldwide through the late 1970s and early 1980s. It consists of British guitarist and vocalist Graham Russell (born Graham Cyril Russell, 11 June 1950, Sherwood, Nottingham, England, UK) and Australian lead vocalist Russell Hitchcock (born Russell Charles Hitchcock, 15 June 1949, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia).
Ennio Morricone
Ennio Morricone
Ennio Morricone, OMRI (born November 10, 1928), is an Italian composer and conductor. He has composed and arranged scores for more than 500 film and television productions. Morricone is considered as one of the most influential film composers since the late 1950s. He is well-known for his long-term collaborations with international acclaimed directors such as Sergio Leone, Brian De Palma, Barry Levinson, and Giuseppe Tornatore.

He wrote the characteristic film scores of Leone's Spaghetti Westerns A Fistful of Dollars (1964), For a Few Dollars More (1965), The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966), Once Upon a Time in the West (1968), The Great Silence (1968), and My Name Is Nobody (1973). In the 80s, Morricone composed the scores for John Carpenter's horror movie The Thing (1982), Leone's Once Upon a Time in America (1984), Roland Joffé's The Mission (1986), Brian De Palma's The Untouchables (1987) and Giuseppe Tornatore's Cinema Paradiso (1988).

His more recent compositions include the scores for Oliver Stone's U Turn (1997), Tornatore's The Legend of 1900 (1998) and Malèna (2000), Mission to Mars (2000) by Brian De Palma, Fateless (2005), and Baaria - La porta del vento (2009). Ennio Morricone has won two Grammy Awards, two Golden Globes and five Anthony Asquith Awards for Film Music by BAFTA in 1979–1992. He has been nominated for five Academy Awards for Best Music, Original Score in 1979–2001. Morricone received the Honorary Academy Award in 2007 "for his magnificent and multifaceted contributions to the art of film music". He was the second composer to receive this award after its introduction in 1928.
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.
Vivaldi
Vivaldi
Antonio Lucio Vivaldi (March 4, 1678 – July 28, 1741), nicknamed il Prete Rosso ("The Red Priest"), was a Venetian priest and Baroque music composer, as well as a famous virtuoso violinist; he was born and raised in the Republic of Venice. The Four Seasons, a series of four violin concerti, is his best-known work and a highly popular Baroque piece.

Many of Vivaldi's compositions reflect a flamboyant, almost playful, exuberance. Most of Vivaldi's repertoire was rediscovered only in the first half of the 20th century in Turin and Genoa and was published in the second half. Vivaldi's music is innovative, breaking a consolidated tradition in schemes; he gave brightness to the formal and the rhythmic structure of the concerto, repeatedly looking for harmonic contrasts and innovative melodies and themes. Moreover, Vivaldi was able to compose nonacademic music, particularly meant to be appreciated by the wide public and not only by an intellectual minority. The joyful appearance of his music reveals in this regard a transmissible joy of composing; these are among the causes of the vast popularity of his music. This popularity soon made him famous in other countries such as France which was, at the time, very independent concerning its musical taste.

Vivaldi is considered one of the composers who brought Baroque music (with its typical contrast among heavy sonorities) to evolve into a classical style. Johann Sebastian Bach was deeply influenced by Vivaldi's concertos and arias (recalled in his Johannes Passion, Matthäuspassion, and cantatas). Bach transcribed a number of Vivaldi's concerti for solo keyboard, along with a number for orchestra, including the famous Concerto for Four Violins and Violoncello, Strings and Continuo (RV 580).
Ray Charles
Ray Charles
Raymond Charles Robinson (September 23, 1930 – June 10, 2004), known by his stage name Ray Charles, was an American pianist and singer who shaped the sound of rhythm and blues. He brought a soulful sound to country music, pop standards, and a rendition of "America the Beautiful" that Ed Bradley of 60 Minutes called the "definitive version of the song, an American anthem — a classic, just as the man who sung it." Frank Sinatra called him "the only true genius in the business" and in 2004, Rolling Stone Magazine ranked Charles #10 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.

During the late 1960s and into the 1970s, Charles' releases were hit-or-miss, with some big hits and critically acclaimed work. His version of "Georgia On My Mind" was proclaimed the state song of Georgia on April 24, 1979, with Charles performing it on the floor of the state legislature.

He died on June 10, 2004 of hepatocellular carcinoma (liver cancer) at his home in Beverly Hills, California, surrounded by family and friends. His body was interred in the Inglewood Park Cemetery in Inglewood, California. His final album, Genius Loves Company, released two months after his death, consists of duets with various admirers and contemporaries: B.B. King, Van Morrison, Willie Nelson, James Taylor, Gladys Knight, Michael McDonald, Natalie Cole, Elton John, Bonnie Raitt, Diana Krall, Norah Jones, and Johnny Mathis.
John Williams
John Williams
John Towner Williams (born February 8, 1932) is an American composer, conductor, and pianist. In a career that spans six decades, Williams has composed many of the most famous film scores in Hollywood history, including Star Wars, Superman, Home Alone, the first three Harry Potter movies and all but two of Steven Spielberg's feature films including the Indiana Jones series, Schindler's List, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Jurassic Park and Jaws. He also composed the soundtrack for the hit 1960s television series Lost in Space as well as the fanfare of the DreamWorks Pictures' logo.

Williams has composed theme music for four Olympic Games, the NBC Nightly News, the rededication of the Statue of Liberty, and numerous television series and concert pieces. He served as the principal conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra from 1980 to 1993, and is now the orchestra's laureate conductor.
Williams is a five-time winner of the Academy Award. He has also won four Golden Globe Awards, seven BAFTA Awards and 21 Grammy Awards. With 45 Academy Award nominations, Williams is, together with composer Alfred Newman, the second most nominated person after Walt Disney. He was inducted into the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame in 2000, and was a recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors in 2004.
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