Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Sheet Music Prices

  Having matured from teenager to man - or at least man-sized person who still feels and possibly acts like a teenager - alongside the internet as it was doing the technological equivalent, I would always go online to hunt down tablature for music I wanted to learn while I was learning to play guitar. Even back then, I didn't think much of it and it was always easy to find websites dedicated to people transcribing their favorite songs onto 'paper'. It seemed very natural to me that there would be that sort of community. With those memories cemented for nearly two decades, it came as a bit of a surprise (though it shouldn't) to find that piano sheet music is often locked behind a pay barrier. I would guess 90% of the music I've searched for was locked and around $5 apiece for the sheets, which seems rather steep when you can get the actual song performed by the actual artist typically for a dollar.

The usual view.
  I loved the wild west times of the internet and as such I am very much of the 'content should be free and unrestricted' camp when it comes to the internet (with exceptions, of course), so generally I feel frustration when I run into these pay walls. Mostly because, "gaaaah, I want to learn that song noooooow" but also because it feels a little shady. I would be fine with a charge for "official sheet music" from the artist I suppose, but to be charged by a random person for someone else's music seems very iffy. I'll grant that it's a fair bit of work but it's still not really your work to sell. Sort of like if someone'e transcribed an audio-book onto paper and then tried to sell it to me.

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