The new policy is terrible. Why pay for something that isn't even the original?

• Nov 9, 2019 - 15:03

Most of the midi files uploaded here are made by other people and not the original artists. In many if not all songs there are variations, mistakes and whatnot.

So why would I want to pay for something that isn't original? Bring me the original file exactly like it sounds like and I will be more than happy to throw my money at you. Till then, bye.


There are no "midi files" (more properly, scores) uploaded on this site (, nor are there any fees. Perhaps you want to complain to, the site where scores are posted and shared, and where some accounts and kinds of access are not free, but it doesn't seem likely that you will. is not a music store, but a community of people who post whatever they want, often for each other.

In reply to by eruthros

It turns out that if someone wants to web-publish a poor/inaccurate arrangement/reading of a copyrighted song, the rights-owner still has to be paid for it not to be a violation, whether it's an accurate or quality transcription/arrangement or not, i.e., even the worst misreadings, so I think your issue is not with the site, who has in fact secured such rights, which are not free, from the rights-holding organizations, but the copyright system itself, which is not the site's creation, fault, or option (if it doesn't want to be taken down by lawyers).

Again, I'd recommend a legitimate old-style sheet-music store, brick-and-mortar or web (e.g. if authentic scores are what you are seeking. is run for the benefit of those who post there, not for people seeking authentic, accurate free scores. Allowing the site to remain up and host even inaccurate, vandalized scores of copyright songs requires that the songs' creators be remunerated. Furthermore, there is no one whose job it is to inspect the thousands of scores posted every day and judge their accuracy or musical value. is a site where anyone may post anything (other than libel, etc.).

In reply to by BSG

Hey, thanks for that website. I found many songs I like. Do you know if midi files are included with the sheets? Cause midi files are the only thing I care about since I'm not a musician nor a student. I just have a keyboard and synthesia, and I play for fun.

In reply to by eruthros

If the person posting has not blocked download rights (on this website, not sheetmusicplus), you should be able to click "Download" and select "MIDI", although adapting existing MIDI files to a particular synth setup (as you surely know) requires work. I doubt that sheetmusicplus offers MIDI.

I understand that the copyright system is frustrating, and I can see both the needs of the casual music browsing-person (such as yourself) and on occasion myself (although the classical scores I care about are less impacted by this need), and that of the composer, as I am at times both. Good luck finding sites and scores that offer what you want.

In reply to by BSG

> although adapting existing MIDI files to a particular synth setup (as you surely know) requires work.
I don't know what you're talking about. Synthesia is an app where it takes the midi file and displays it in a
"Guitar Hero" way. You see the key notes coming down on your screen and you have to press the right keys on your keyboard.

You can also connect your keyboard(piano keyboard of course, not PC keyboard) onto your smartphone(or on your PC) and the app will detect the keys you are pressing. The app waits for you to press the right key notes as well as when you press the wrong ones. This way you have time to re-arrange your fingers, find another way to move your fingers, etc. You can also adjust the speed of the song, repeat a certain part as many times as you want, and do many more things. Just check the app on YouTube. It works with PC, smartphones, and tablets. It's really fun.

(Of course you don't learn a single thing about music and music theory, nor you learn how to read sheet music)

> I doubt that sheetmusicplus offers MIDI.
That's a shame. There are programs tho who can convert written sheet music to midi files, so I might purchase a song to try it out.

In reply to by eruthros

Sure, you know more about your synth setup than I do -- I'm not familiar with the product "synthesia", but it clearly meets your needs. Programs that read written sheet music, however, I do know something about, and this is not a point-and-click/turnkey process. Such programs try to do the best that they can, and without exception make what a literate person would consider mistakes, and hand editing, in many cases more effort than would have been expended typing in the music, would be required.

If I may perhaps step a little out of my lane, I would suggest that learning a little about music notation and theory might bring you closer to the music you care about, and such effort will be rewarded many times over.

In reply to by eruthros

FWIW, I have never seen a commercially available pop or rock music arrangement on sheetmusicplus et. al. that was exactly like the original artists recording. What you get is a reasonable approximation. Although words are usually exact, rhythms, chord progressions, and even key changes (!) do not always follow the as-recorded version. My suspicion is that these arrangements are made after the fact, by someone who (maybe) has access to the session lead sheets but beyond that listens to the recording and makes a best-guess attempt. This is not to mention that a complete orchestration using the band’s original instruments is seldom an option to purchase; piano + guitar chords + lyrics is usually the only option (though easy, intermediate, and advanced piano are often choices, even if the original recording does not have keyboard!).
This is all to say that, while arrangements on are often flawed, the idea that “what you get from a commercial website is a perfect representation of a recording” also has issues.

In reply to by marty strasinger

Luckily, you sometimes have people like me who are actually REALLY good at ear training and have had actual college experience with transcribing and music theory, and as a result, their output is of generally higher quality and is more likely to be correct. I'm also one of those people who doesn't like incorrectly made MIDI files, but instead of merely complaining about it (although I will sometimes do that) I actually have the knowledge, skills, and desire to do at least some small thing about it. So I will do something about these issues when I can. Just know, I'm one of those people who'll give you guys that higher quality. It's a passion of mine.

That's what I did with Butterfly Dance by Yanni. I couldn't guarantee that it matches the recording exactly, but at least all the notes, and especially rhythms, are right, and I even included little rhythm breakups [(2+2+3), (2+3+2), (3+2+2), etc.] to make learning the piece easier, because even having the stresses in the wrong place due to incorrect beaming can throw off someone trying to learn the piece itself. Here's the result:

Later, I'm going to do the same thing with Forest Follies from Cuphead.

In reply to by 2142Kitch

What good is it if someone with your superlative skill (I'll take you at your word) or similar or better creates scores of amazing accuracy, utility, editing skill, if there is no way for someone looking for such scores to be directed to them? Your claims are no more helpful than a brand of dog food or toothpaste being named "BEST!" Of, say, familiar classical pieces, there might be hundreds of scores from kids trying to reconstruct the opening measures from memory to people with real training and experience, etc.. This is a bazaar -- all stalls and kiosks are equal, not a store where then manager says, "We keep the finest quality product here --- we carry famous-brand-x, famous-brand-y, etc. In a catch-as-catch-can operation such as we have here, your work will go unnoticed, unappreciated, and unfound by those looking for it. I'm not suggesting that a highly-managed structure where "go away, kid, this amateur effort is not acceptable" is as likely an outcome as "This is a quality score that meets our standard" would be better; I have no reason to believe it is even possible.

By joining and posting to groups, you many or may not find others who truly appreciate your work, but, I think, hope for outsiders/visitors to find your scores as opposed to anyone else's, including the most lame, incomplete, half-baked efforts, is too much to hope for.

I (pretty much a classical-oriented person) have my dozen or half-dozen favorite posters whom I trust to create accurate and satisfying scores. There is no stamp of venue approval available or possible, or, IMHO, desirable.

In reply to by BSG

"There is no stamp of venue approval available or possible, or, IMHO, desirable"
Perhaps you could make an honourable exception for the OpenScore projects, which peer-review all the Public Domain transcriptions submitted by volunteer transcribers?
See in particular these three projects:

In reply to by DanielR

Yes, thank you, I do make an honorable exception for the open-score projects, but even these are not obvious to the casual visitor. To visitors, the site is an uncontrolled mess, and you get whatever you get. Where, if you go to, do you get directed to the open-score projects if you didn't know about them a priori?

In reply to by BSG

In the US, we have something called a "yard sale", where people (usually trying to empty a house prior to remodeling, or moving) get rid of stuff they don't want by putting it out in the yard on tables, for sale very cheap. I have occasionally found and bought wonderful stuff at yard sales, but going to one with any expectation at all of what you might find, or with the intent of finding something in particular, is out of the question. Same here. A bazaar, not a store, including "A complete set of De Maupassant, and one of Ibsen" represented by the Open Source project.

In reply to by eruthros

FWIW, one of the main purposes of is to allow people to upload their own original compositions and arrangements. If you just want sheet music that is exactly the original, just buy the original. But if you want an arrangement of, say, Uptown Funk for marching band, or 1812 Overture for clarinet quarter - that's stuff you're unlikely to find elsewhere. Or just the enormous amount of truly original music.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Playing Devil's advocate here, what difference does it make what "purpose" a site, a business, a nation was set up for by its founders, unless all comers are forced by immigration officials to understand it, and those who don't align with and follow that purpose and policy are ejected? How much do you know about the Constitutions of any country except the one you live in (me? 0.). People come to and it's a site with free scores. Every "readme" is "TL;DR" as they now say. If you walk into a store that looks like a bar and ask for a beer and the owner says, "We don't sell alcohol here, and we only sell vegan products that have been approved by ..." you have some right to complain, especially if the signage was not loud about this. And there is little corresponding to signage on the internet.

Furthermore, the site has changed hands in a big way. There's a new boss, and the new boss is a profit-driven enterprise. Whatever the use of this edifice was when constructed, it's changed hands decisively. In my opinion, the "mission"/"description" of the site now is subjective, contentious, and not at all well-defined. "Make a profit for UG" is the first suggestion (just as FB is "make a profit for M.Z."). And I continue to contend, Open Score notwithstanding, that the illusion of a reliable, inexpensive source for scores of popular songs (not classical pieces) is a bit of a bait-and-switch trying to monetize that unclarity (and I'm not sure if it's "fair" or not given the nature of internet enterprise).

In reply to by BSG

BSG, you are absolutely correct about the purpose of .com being to make profit and UG is more interested in profit that the founding trio was, though I suspect they didn't do bad when they sold MuseScore.

@everyone, besides UG being about profit they are also about keeping the site alive. was in danger of permanently shutting down due to copyright issues and everyone involved with the sale knew this. UG has a history of handling copyright issues and has a good relationship with a lot of publishers and that is the crux of the issue that is often ignored in discussions like this. The requirement for a pro account for downloading copyright software is so UG can make sure fair compensation is provided to the artists who own the songs and lyrics posted on their site. If your livelihood depended on being paid for the use or sale of your products, you would appreciate this.

The annual price really isn't exorbitant either and purchasing the phone app to get a lifetime account is one hell of a bargain.

In reply to by mike320

I agree completely with all of this, but those who come here and say, "Where's the tap for the free beer(music)?" or "What? Why do I have to pay a cent for this junk!?" have to understand it, and never do, and that is a function of the nature of the internet and its evolution.

In reply to by BSG

My reason for mentioning the "purpose" was to directly answer the question asked in the thread title: why pay for something that isn't even the original?". For published music, if you want "the original", buy it from the publisher or one of the standard retail outlets like Amazon. But there are plenty of things other than "the original" that can be worth paying for, and is a good source for many of these, regardless of who owns the site or what any random person thinks the purpose of the site should be.

If the problem is Copyright, remove all works that have been filed; Seriously, there's no need to publish them. Just keep the classical works and original compositions.

So someone doesn't need to be upset that "our site will be closed because of copyrighted works".
There is no problem if you don't publish such works.
But if you say "I'm going to publish" and you want to say "there's a problem" and get money from everyone, here's the real problem. Because as the site owner, you're the one who created the problem.

Let the member approve an agreement: "I will not share copyrighted works here." If he fails to comply with this agreement more than once, his account will be canceled.

And the things published don't have a copyrighted license.
Someone who wants to publish it with a special license should find another place to publish it. (Like Sheetmusicxyz sales sites)

But if you stubbornly say "I will publish copyrighted works," this is what you get: You make everyone unhappy. (The publisher of the work, the person who wants to download the work and the owner of the work)

In reply to by Ziya Mete Demircan

You can publish copyrighhted works on YouTube. This works, because YouTube has agreements in place and covers the royalties, and the same is true for, just not to the same large extent, like there are still publishers where no agreement is in place or with explictly denying their works to get published.
Still those royalties need to get payed, that's (one reason) why non-Pros get adds and Pros pay. On youtube the users pay with ads (and probably also personal data), but is just not big enough for that to be sufficient I guess.

Whatever, this entire discussion has nothing to do with so should get continued (if at al) on

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

I hear you, but I want to address what Ziya said. I am sure that the ad-viewing (i.e., income-producing) traffic of the site is not people looking for Bach Cantata movements or Debussy pieces, but those seeking popular songs; that, AFAICT, is the "business" of the site now. I don't have facts or figures to support this hypothesis, but I suspect that without this traffic the site would not be profitable for its owners. (And much classical music produced in the 20th century is under copyright, too). Again, I have no figures.

In reply to by Ziya Mete Demircan

There are already around 5,000,000 scores published. It seems reasonable that the new owners of the site don't want to remove most of these scores. They already upset their customers by hiding their public domain scores in error, including me. If anyone doesn't want a pro account, they don't have to get one. If someone wants to download copyright songs, they have to pay for them. This seems quite logical to me.

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