Ubiquitous PDF: Vintage sheet music available in PDF

July 30, 2009


Whether you are a weekend note-basher, a skilled pianist or just a fan of old music, you might want to check out a vintage sheet music website that I spotted this week.

Of course, I had some help finding the site, in the form of an article by the Chicago Tribune's John von Rhein. According to von Rhein's piece:

A software engineer/pianist/singer from Evanston has turned his passion for preserving the tattered sheet music he finds in antique stores into an unusual online business.

Its name is Sheet Music Back In Print Inc., and Francis Lynch, the Web company's founder and editor, is busy creating new, digital editions of thousands of forgotten songs and piano pieces dating from the late 1800s to the early 1920s.

Using conventional music notation software, he has so far transferred about 120 titles from a personal collection of thousands of popular and sacred songs, show tunes, piano rags, waltzes, marches and recital pieces and art songs, all in the public domain, many ripe for rediscovery.

Among these are gems that have been long out of print or are unavailable commercially, such as George Gershwin's "I'll Build a Stairway to Paradise" and Irving Berlin's "Alexander's Ragtime Band," along with classics such as Gershwin's "Swanee."

Individual songs are available from as little as US $2 apiece, and a US $25 annual membership nets one the right to download Lynch's entire catalog. If you're interested, why not check out Lynch's site at

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