Google says PDFs and MIDIs are Free

• Jul 30, 2021 - 03:48

When you search for - God Bless America acapella sheet music - on Google, my score list listed in the third spot. And the entry says "Jul 3, 2017 — Download and print in PDF or MIDI free sheet music for God Bless America by Irving Berlin arranged by AndyBlueSkies for Soprano..."

Again I'm getting complaints that the PDFs or MIDIs are not free.

I didn't know where the Google description was coming from, but then I looked in the source code of the page: and it's there in the meta tags.

How can we remove this from the meta tags?

I check another of my scores and the meta tag is there, too.

It looks like the page is generated by a script. I don't know how to stop it.


I'm not quite sure what you're asking but I can say the following:

1) You seem to be talking about an issue with the score-sharing website, so best to ask for help over that on that site
2) Your score is definitely free to download. But like all scores on that particular website, it does require an account to download. An account is completely free to create.
3) I see the meta tags you refer to, but I don't understand what you want removed. As far as I can tell it's the normal correct info that should be there for any score uploaded to that particular website.
4) If your point is that you don't want it available for free, simply disable the download yourself, by going over there to that website, updating the score, and disabling the download using the checkbox provided.
5) Again, for further questions about any of this, please go over there to that website - - and ask. The "Improving" is the usual place to go.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thanks for the reply.

As far as I can tell this is "Support and bug reports |"
Where are you commenting from?

I posed this problem to the Musescore Contact folks and they suggested I post by problem over on the Forums under Support on Bug Reports.
Which I did. You seem to replying to that post. The post is here:
So, the post is at Musescore.

Musescore no longer offers free accounts. It's been like that for about 2 years. There is a free trial period, but all accounts are paid. Do you post scores at all?

Even though it's been like that for two years now, Musescore is still putting "PDF and Midi Free downloads" in the meta tags of the Musescore pages and Google displays it.

This is frustrating. Frustrating enough for folks who don't have Musescore accounts to track me down through the internet and complain. It bothers me too.

In reply to by AndyBlueSkies

As mentioned, this is - where we support the notation software itself. The score-sharing website is, and it is supported over there on that website.

Sounds like the people at support either didn't understand your problem when they suggested coming over here to - maybe they thought you were describing a problem you were having with the notation software. Or maybe you misunderstood their reply. Hard to say. What I can say, though, is that nothing you are describing appears to have anything to do with the notation software but is all about the score sharing website, so that's where you should be turning for help - because if there is any sort of actual problem, only the people over that on that website can do anything about it.

But from your description, there isn't a problem with the website here, just a misunderstanding.

It's quite simply not true that MuseScore no longer offers free accounts. They absolutely do. Always have, probably always will. Yes, they also offer paid Pro accounts, just as they have for over a decade now. And yes, they also offer free trials for those free accounts. But you can absolutely create a 100% completely free account. This is, just as true today as two years ago or ten years ago.

I get that it might be hard for newcomers to figure out that they can create free accounts, but I assure you they can. Just tell them to click the "Log in" link at top right of the page, then "Create an account". Ignore any offer to create a trial or anything with the word Pro in it. Just those two steps, nothing more.

And yes, I've posted hundreds of scores in the many years I've been using MuseScore, with hundreds of thousands of downloads between them.

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Some observations.

I have little interest in the .com site. I created an account for this forum (.org) a few years ago. When I click on my login in the upper right, I see that I indeed have access to the free .com. I don't remember creating a .com account. But I can't count on my memory. Does the free .com account come bundled with a .org account? If so, Andy already has a free account.

I have downloaded a few pieces from .com. But when I go to Andy's link, I get a popup that says I need to subscribe.

In reply to by bobjp

That's close. It's that when anyone finds a Score in Google search results, the description in in the entry says the PDF or MIDI is free. That description comes from a meta tag that Musescore puts on the the webpage where the score is displayed on Every score - even the ones that are not free.

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In reply to by AndyBlueSkies

FWIW, though, the wording isn't technically incorrect, even for scores that are not free to download. It says "Download and print in PDF or MIDI free sheet music". It does not say "Download for free...". In other words, it says the sheet music is free, which it absolutely is - for viewing. The link also happens to allow download and print, but that may or may not be free, nor does the text in the link explicitly say those actions will be free - only that the sheet music itself is. Admittedly, a fine distinction, one that could be improved. And step one is to contact the people on that site. Again, nothing posted here is a step in that direction at all.

In reply to by AndyBlueSkies

@AndyBlueSkies.... I can only offer moral support.

From you GBA image:
Download and print in PDF or MIDI free sheet music for God Bless America by Irving Berlin arranged by AndyBlueSkies for Soprano...

Download what? Print what?
Free sheet music?

Download and print in PDF?
Great... a pdf of what? The free sheet music?
One cannot do either without paying for a subscription, only then is the sheet music for God Bless America 'free'.

I empathize with your concern.
Such wording smacks of intentional obfuscation, clickbait, social engineering, etc...
God bless America indeed!.

P.S. Only public domain and original music is free for download (if allowed by the uploader).
That fact should be emphasized -- and not surreptitiously avoided.


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