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"... I got home, picked up my ax, turned on the four-track and just played it ... I played three solos back to back on Cemetery Gates ... the next morning, the second and third solos weren't bad, but the first had that first take magic ! .. I didn't touch it..." Dimebag Darrell
Whitney Houston
Whitney Houston
Whitney Elizabeth Houston (born August 9, 1963) is an American singer, actress, and former fashion model. A relative of several prominent soul singers, including her mother Cissy Houston, cousins Dee Dee and Dionne Warwick and godmother Aretha Franklin, Houston began singing at her New Jersey church as a member of a junior gospel choir at age eleven. After she began performing alongside her mother at night clubs in the New York City area, she was discovered by Arista Records label head Clive Davis.
Houston released her debut album Whitney Houston in 1985, which became the best-selling debut album by a female artist at the time of release. Her second studio album Whitney (1987) became the first album by a female artist to debut at number one on the Billboard 200 albums chart. Houston's crossover appeal on the popular music charts as well as her prominence on MTV enabled several African-American women to follow in her success.
Following her marriage to singer Bobby Brown, Houston appeared in her first starring role in the feature film The Bodyguard in 1992. The film's original soundtrack won the 1994 Grammy Award for Album of the Year. Its lead single, Houston's remake of the 1974 Dolly Parton song "I Will Always Love You", became one of the best-selling singles in music history. Houston continued to star in feature films and contributed to soundtracks including Waiting to Exhale (1995) and The Preacher's Wife (1996). After the release of her fourth studio album My Love Is Your Love (1998), she renewed her recording contract with Arista Records in 2001 for a historic $100 million. She subsequently released her fifth studio album, Just Whitney the following year with One Wish: The Holiday Album being released in 2003. Amidst widespread media coverage of personal and professional turmoil, Houston's marriage to Brown ended in 2006.

Houston is one of the world's best-selling music artists, having sold over 190 million albums and singles worldwide. She is ranked as the fourth best-selling female artist in the United States by the Recording Industry Association of America, with 55 million certified albums. She has been listed by Rolling Stone magazine as one of The 100 Greatest Singers of All Time.
Gabriel Faure
Gabriel Faure
Gabriel Urbain Fauré (12 May 1845 – 4 November 1924) was a French composer, organist, pianist, and teacher. He was the foremost French composer of his generation, and his musical style influenced many 20th century composers. His harmonic and melodic language affected how harmony was later taught.
Boyz II Men
Boyz II Men
Boyz II Men is a four-time Grammy Award-winning American R&B/soul singing group from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Founded in 1988 as a quintet which originally included Marc Nelson, Boyz II Men found fame as a quartet, with members Nathan Morris, Michael McCary, Shawn Stockman, and Wanya Morris, on Motown Records during the early 1990s. Nelson left the group before their first recording to pursue a solo career.

Based on sales, Boyz II Men is the most successful R&B male vocal group of all time. They recorded five #1 R&B hits between 1992 and 1997 and have sold more than 60 million records. Three of its #1 hits, "End of the Road", "I'll Make Love to You", and "One Sweet Day" , set and broke records for the longest period of time a single remained at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100; the last of them still holds the record. Although "On Bended Knee" did not break any records, it was still an immensely popular song that reached #1 and made Boyz II Men the third artists to replace themselves at the number one spot of the Billboard Hot 100.

Boyz II Men was signed to Motown Records from 1990 to 2000, at which point it was moved to parent label Universal Records. After the 2000 album Nathan Shawn Michael Wanya, Boyz II Men moved to Arista Records. In 2003, Michael McCary left the group due to chronic back problems resulting from scoliosis. As of 2005, Wanya Morris, Shawn Stockman, and Nathan Morris continue to tour and record as a trio. At the 1995 Grammy Awards, the group received four Grammy Award awards for their work, including two for their 1994 sophomore album, II in 1995.
Radiohead
Radiohead
Radiohead are an English alternative rock band from Oxfordshire. The band is composed of Thom Yorke (lead vocals, rhythm guitar, piano, electronics), Jonny Greenwood (lead guitar, other instruments), Ed O'Brien (guitar, backing vocals), Colin Greenwood (bass guitar, synthesisers) and Phil Selway (drums, percussion). Since 1993, Radiohead have released seven studio albums. The band have sold over 25 million albums as of 2007.

Radiohead released their first single, "Creep", in 1992. Their debut album, Pablo Honey, followed in 1993. "Creep" was initially unsuccessful, but the song became a worldwide hit when reissued a year later, and the band were almost branded as one hit wonders. Radiohead's popularity in the United Kingdom increased with the release of their second album, The Bends (1995). The band's textured guitar atmospheres and Yorke's falsetto singing were warmly received by critics and fans. Radiohead's third album, OK Computer (1997), propelled the band to greater fame worldwide. Featuring an expansive sound and themes of alienation from the modern world, OK Computer has often been acclaimed as a landmark record of the 1990s.

The release of Kid A (2000) and Amnesiac (2001) saw Radiohead reach the peak of their popularity, although the albums divided critical opinion. This period marked a change in Radiohead's musical style, with their incorporation of avant-garde electronic music, Krautrock and jazz influences. Hail to the Thief (2003), which mixed guitar-driven rock with electronics and contemporary lyrics, was the band's final album for their record label, EMI. Radiohead's seventh album, In Rainbows (2007), was first released independently as a digital download for which customers selected their own price, later meeting with critical and chart success.
John Lennon
John Lennon
John Winston Ono Lennon, MBE (born John Winston Lennon; October 9, 1940 – December 8, 1980) was an English rock musician, singer, songwriter, artist, and peace activist who gained worldwide fame as one of the founding members of The Beatles. As a member of the group, Lennon was one of the lead vocalists and co-wrote many of the band's songs with Paul McCartney.

In his solo career, Lennon wrote and recorded songs such as "Give Peace a Chance" and "Imagine". Lennon revealed his rebellious nature and wit on television, in films such as A Hard Day's Night, in books such as In His Own Write, and in press conferences and interviews. He was controversial through his work as a peace activist, artist, and author.

Lennon had two sons: Julian Lennon, with his first wife Cynthia Lennon, and Sean Ono Lennon, with his second wife, avant-garde artist Yoko Ono. After a self-imposed retirement from 1976 to 1980, Lennon reemerged with a comeback album, but was murdered one month later in New York City on 8 December 1980. In 2002, respondents to a BBC poll on the 100 Greatest Britons voted Lennon into eighth place. In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Lennon number 38 on its list of "The Immortals: The Fifty Greatest Artists of All Time" and ranked The Beatles at number one.
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.
Billie Holiday
Billie Holiday
Billie Holiday, American singer, songwriter, composer. Nicknamed "Lady Day", Billie Holiday is the daughter of a traveling musician father. His childhood, deprived of education, included a poor life. She was raped at the age of 11 and was given boarding at a Catholic school.
Simple Plan
Simple Plan
Simple Plan is a French Canadian pop punk band based in Montreal, Quebec. The band has released three studio albums: No Pads, No Helmets...Just Balls (2002), Still Not Getting Any... (2004), and Simple Plan (2008); as well as two widely marketed live albums: Live in Japan 2002 (2003) and MTV Hard Rock Live (2005).

Members:
Pierre Bouvier – Lead vocals, occasional guitar
Jeff Stinco – Lead guitar
Sébastien Lefebvre – Rhythm guitar, vocals
Chuck Comeau – Drums
David Desrosiers – Bass, vocals
Tori Amos
Tori Amos
Tori Amos (born Myra Ellen Amos on August 22, 1963) is a pianist and singer-songwriter of dual British and American citizenship. She is married to English sound engineer Mark Hawley, with whom she has one child, Natashya "Tash" Lórien Hawley, born on September 5, 2000.

Amos was at the forefront of a number of female singer-songwriters in the early 1990s and was noteworthy early in her career as one of the few alternative rock performers to use a piano as her primary instrument. She is known for emotionally intense songs that cover a wide range of subjects including sexuality, religion and personal tragedy. Some of her charting singles include "Crucify", "Silent All These Years", "Cornflake Girl", "Caught a Lite Sneeze", "Professional Widow", "Spark", and "A Sorta Fairytale".

Amos had sold 12 million records worldwide as of 2005 and has also enjoyed a large cult following. Having a history of making eccentric and at times ribald comments during concerts and interviews, she has earned a reputation for being highly idiosyncratic. As a social commentator and sometimes activist, some of the topics she has been most vocal about include feminism, religion, and sexuality.
Shostakovich
Shostakovich
Dmitri Dmitriyevich Shostakovich (25 September 1906 – 9 August 1975) was a Soviet Russian composer and one of the most celebrated composers of the 20th century.
Shostakovich achieved fame in the Soviet Union under the patronage of Leon Trotsky's chief of staff Mikhail Tukhachevsky, but later had a complex and difficult relationship with the Stalinist bureaucracy. In 1936, the government, most probably under orders from Stalin, harshly criticized his opera Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District, causing him to withdraw the Fourth Symphony during its rehearsal stages. Shostakovich's music was officially denounced twice, in 1936 and 1948, and was periodically banned. Nevertheless, he also received accolades and state awards and served in the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR. Despite the official controversy, his works were popular and well received.
Debussy
Debussy
Achille-Claude Debussy (August 22, 1862 – March 25, 1918) was a French composer. Along with Maurice Ravel, he is considered one of the most prominent figures working within the field of Impressionist music, though he himself intensely disliked the term when applied to his compositions. Debussy was not only among the most important of all French composers but also was a central figure in all European music at the turn of the twentieth century.

Debussy's music virtually defines the transition from late-Romantic music to twentieth century modernist music. In French literary circles, the style of this period was known as Symbolism, a movement that directly inspired Debussy both as a composer and as an active cultural participant.
Enya
Enya
Enya (born Eithne Patricia Ní Bhraonáinon May 17, 1961, Gaoth Dobhair, County Donegal, Ireland), sometimes presented in the media as Enya Brennan, is an Irish singer, instrumentalist and composer. She is Ireland's best-selling solo artist and is officially the country's second biggest musical export (after U2). Her works have earned her four Grammy Awards and an Academy Award nomination, and she is also famous for performing in 10 different languages during her lengthy career. Enya is an approximate transcription of how Eithne is pronounced in her native Irish, in the Donegal dialect.
Frederick Loewe
Frederick Loewe
Frederick Loewe, was an Austrian-American composer. He collaborated with lyricist Alan Jay Lerner on a series of Broadway musicals, including My Fair Lady and Camelot, both of which were made into films.
Seal
Seal
Seal Henry Olusegun Olumide Adelo Samuel (born February 19, 1963 in Paddington, London) is a British soul singer and songwriter. His name Olusegun means "God is victorious". Known professionally by his first name, Seal is known for his numerous international hits and his marriage to supermodel Heidi Klum.

Seal first came to public attention as vocalist on the Adamski single "Killer" in 1990. The single eventually reached number one in 1990 in the UK. Seal subsequently signed to ZTT Records and released his debut album (produced by Trevor Horn), self-titled Seal, in 1991. Two versions of the album are known to be in circulation: the original "premix" version and a second, more common version with an updated mix. This is attributed to the demand for a produced single rushing the final album edit, and as Seal puts it, his and producer Horn's "inability to let go."

System was released in the UK on November 12, 2007 and in the U.S. on November 13, 2007. Seal describes the album as more dance-oriented, apparently a return to the roots of his first album. On the track titled "Wedding Day", Seal sings a duet with his wife, Heidi Klum. The album's first single, "Amazing", was released on September 25, 2007, and was nominated for the "Best Male Pop Vocal Performance" Grammy at the 2007 50th Annual Grammy Awards.
Guang Liang
Guang Liang
Michael Wong (Chinese: 王光良; pinyin: Wáng Guāngliáng), born August 30, 1970, is a Malaysian Chinese singer and composer. Wong began his singing career in a duo with Victor Wong. The pair had attained notable success in Taiwan, but in a mutual agreement the two split in 2000. Wong has released five solo albums, the third being his breakthrough album Fairy Tale. He also enjoys success as an actor in Chinese dramas and movies.
Simply Red
Simply Red
Simply Red is an English pop band. Their style draws influences from pop, rock, jazz, lovers rock, and blue-eyed soul. Over time, the name "Simply Red" has come to refer less to a specific group of musicians, and is widely regarded as a name for Mick Hucknall's recordings.

Simply Red's roots originate from the 1976 Sex Pistols gig at the Lesser Free Trade Hall in Manchester. Manchester art student Mick Hucknall was one of the many young music fans present, along with original members of Joy Division, The Smiths and Buzzcocks, who were inspired to form a band after witnessing that gig). The first incarnation of the band was a punk group called The Frantic Elevators. This band existed for 7 years, with limited releases on local labels, but split in 1984 with only limited local attention and critical acclaim for their final single, "Holding Back the Years".

Members:
Mick Hucknall, Steve Lewinson, Kevin Robinson, Pete Lewinson, Dee Johnson, Ian Kirkham, Kenji Suzuki, Chris De Margary, Sarah Brown, John Johnson
Vanessa Carlton
Vanessa Carlton
Vanessa Lee Carlton (born August 16, 1980) is an American soft rock/Piano pop singer, songwriter, and pianist best known for the Billboard top five, Grammy-nominated single "A Thousand Miles" from her debut album, Be Not Nobody which was released April 30, 2002, and certified platinum in the U.S.

Her music, along with that of her contemporary Michelle Branch to whom she is sometimes compared, has had an influence on female solo pop singer-songwriters in the 21st century, including Kate Voegele, Lights, Sara Bareilles (another piano pop artist), Colbie Caillat and Tristan Prettyman.

Carlton's second album, Harmonium (released November 9, 2004), debuted at number 33 on the U.S. Billboard 200 and had sold 179,000 copies as of February 2006, with the single "White Houses," peaking at 86 in the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. She subsequently parted company from her record label A&M, though she still holds a dedicated fanbase.

Her third album, Heroes and Thieves, was released on October 9, 2007 by the The Inc./Universal Motown record labels.
Astor Piazzolla
Astor Piazzolla
Ástor Pantaleón Piazzolla (March 11, 1921 – July 4, 1992) was an Argentine tango composer and bandoneón player. His oeuvre revolutionized the traditional tango into a new style termed nuevo tango, incorporating elements from jazz and classical music. An excellent bandoneonist, he regularly performed his own compositions with different ensembles.

Piazzolla's nuevo tango was distinct from the traditional tango in its incorporation of elements of jazz, its use of extended harmonies and dissonance, its use of counterpoint, and its ventures into extended compositional forms. As Argentine psychoanalyst Carlos Kuri has pointed out, Piazzolla's fusion of tango with this wide range of other recognizable Western musical elements was so successful that it produced a new individual style transcending these influences. It is precisely this success, and individuality, that makes it hard to pin down where particular influences reside in his compositions, but some aspects are clear. The use of the passacaglia technique of a circulating bass line and harmonic sequence, invented and much used in 17th and 18th century baroque music but also central to the idea of jazz "changes", predominates in most of Piazzolla's mature compositions. Another clear reference to the baroque is the often complex and virtuosic counterpoint that sometimes follows strict fugal behavior but more often simply allows each performer in the group to assert his voice. A further technique that emphasises this sense of democracy and freedom among the musicians is improvisation that is borrowed from jazz in concept, but in practice involves a different vocabulary of scales and rhythms that stay within the parameters of the established tango sound-world. Pablo Ziegler has been particularly responsible for developing this aspect of the style both within Piazzolla's groups and since the composer's death.
Elton John
Elton John
Sir Elton Hercules John CBE (born Reginald Kenneth Dwight on 25 March 1947) is an English pop/rock singer, composer and pianist.

In his four-decade career, John has been one of the dominant forces in rock and popular music, especially during the 1970s. He has sold over 200 million records, making him one of the most successful artists of all time. He has more than 50 Top 40 hits including seven consecutive No. 1 U.S. albums, 59 Top 40 singles, 16 Top 10, four No. 2 hits, and nine No. 1 hits. He has won five Grammy awards and one Academy Award. His success has had a profound impact on popular music and has contributed to the continued popularity of the piano in rock and roll. In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked him #49 on their list of the 100 greatest artists of all time.

Some of the characteristics of John's musical talent include an ability to quickly craft melodies for the lyrics of songwriting partner Bernie Taupin, his former rich tenor (now baritone) voice, his classical and gospel-influenced piano, the aggressive orchestral arrangements of Paul Buckmaster among others and the flamboyant fashions, outlandishly excessive eyeglasses, and on-stage showmanship, especially evident during the 1970s.

John was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994. He has been heavily involved in the fight against AIDS since the late 1980s, and was knighted in 1998. He entered into a civil partnership with David Furnish on 21 December 2005 and continues to be a champion for LGBT social movements. On April 9, 2008, John held a benefit concert for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, raising $2.5 million.
Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey (born March 27, 1970) is an American singer, songwriter, record producer, and actress. She made her recording debut in 1990 under the guidance of Columbia Records executive Tommy Mottola, and became the first recording artist to have her first five singles top the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart. Following her marriage to Mottola in 1993, a series of hit records established her position as Columbia's highest-selling act. According to Billboard magazine, she was the most successful artist of the 1990s in the United States.

Following her separation from Mottola in 1997, Carey introduced elements of hip hop into her album work, to much initial success, but her popularity was in decline when she left Columbia in 2001, and she was dropped by Virgin Records the following year after a highly publicized physical and emotional breakdown, as well as the poor reception given to Glitter, her film and soundtrack project. In 2002, Carey signed with Island Records, and after a relatively unsuccessful period, she returned to pop music in 2005.

Carey was named the best-selling female pop artist of the millennium at the 2000 World Music Awards. She has had the most number-one singles for a solo artist in the United States (eighteen; second artist overall behind The Beatles), where, according to the Recording Industry Association of America, she is the third best-selling female and sixteenth overall recording artist. In addition to her commercial accomplishments, Carey has earned five Grammy Awards, and is well-known for her vocal range, power, melismatic style, and use of the whistle register.
Rachmaninoff
Rachmaninoff
Sergei Vasilievich Rachmaninoff (1 April 1873 - 28 March 1943) was a Russian composer, pianist, and conductor. He was one of the finest pianists of his day and, as a composer, the last great representative of Russian late Romanticism in classical music. Early influences of Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov and other Russian composers gave way to a thoroughly personal idiom which included a pronounced lyricism, expressive breadth, structural ingenuity and a tonal palette of rich, distinctive orchestral colors.

Understandably, the piano figures prominently in Rachmaninoff's compositional output, either as a solo instrument or as part of an ensemble. He made it a point, however, to use his own skills as a performer to explore fully the expressive possibilities of the instrument. Even in his earliest works, he revealed a sure grasp of idiomatic piano writing and a striking gift for melody. In some of his early orchestral pieces he showed the first signs of a talent for tone painting, which he would perfect in The Isle of the Dead, and he began to show a similar penchant for vocal writing in two early sets of songs, Opp. 4 and 8. Rachmaninoff's masterpiece, however, is his choral symphony The Bells, in which all of his talents are fused and unified.

Rachmaninoff sometimes felt threatened by the success of modernists such as Scriabin and Prokofiev and wondered whether to cease composing even before he left Russia. His musical philosophy was rooted in the Russian spiritual tradition, where the role of the artist was to create beauty and to speak the truth from the depths of his heart. In his last major interview, in 1941, he admitted his music, like Russian music, was a product of his temperament. He said, on another occasion, "The new kind of music seems to create not from the heart but from the head. Its composers think rather than feel. They have not the capacity to make their works exalt—they meditate, protest, analyze, reason, calculate and brood, but they do not exalt."
Hoobastank
Hoobastank
Hoobastank is an American alternative rock band best known for their 2004 hit "The Reason".

Hoobastank released their self-titled debut album in November 2001. The first single was "Crawling in the Dark" which was a breakthrough hit reaching #68 on the Billboard Hot 100, #3 on the Modern Rock chart, #7 on the Mainstream Rock chart and #1 on an MP3.com download chart in early 2002. The second single "Running Away" was even more successful reaching #44 on the Billboard Hot 100, #2 on the Modern Rock chart, #9 on the Mainstream Rock chart and #3 on the MP3.com download chart. The Hoobastank album went Platinum thanks to these hit singles and reached #25 on the Billboard 200 album charts and #1 on the Billboard Heatseeker chart.

Current members:
Doug Robb – Lead vocals and rhythm guitar
Dan Estrin – Lead guitar and backing vocals
Josh Moreau – Bass guitar
Chris Hesse – Drums and percussion
Sigmund Romberg
Sigmund Romberg
Sigmund Romberg was a Hungarian-born American composer. He is best known for his musicals and operettas, particularly The Student Prince, The Desert Song and The New Moon
Final Fantasy VIII
Final Fantasy VIII
Final Fantasy VIII (ファイナルファンタジーVIII Fainaru Fantajī Eito) is a role-playing video game developed and published by Square for the PlayStation console. Released in 1999, it is the eighth main installment in the Final Fantasy series. Set on an unnamed fantasy world with science fiction elements, the game follows a group of young mercenaries, led by Squall Leonhart, as they are drawn into a conflict sparked by the sorceress Edea. After defeating Edea, the protagonists learn that she was under the control of Ultimecia, a sorceress from the future who wishes to compress time. During the quest to defeat Ultimecia, Squall struggles with his role as leader and develops a romance with one of his comrades, Rinoa Heartilly.

Development began in 1997, during the English localization of Final Fantasy VII. The game builds on the visual changes brought to the series by Final Fantasy VII, including use 3D graphics and pre-rendered backgrounds, while also departing from many Final Fantasy traditions. It is the first Final Fantasy to use realistically proportioned characters consistently, feature a vocal piece as its theme music, forego the use of magic points for spellcasting, and deviate from the series' traditional means of increasing a character's power.

Final Fantasy VIII was mostly well received by critics, who praised its originality and visuals while criticizing some of its gameplay elements. It was voted the 22nd-best game of all time in 2006 by readers of the Japanese magazine Famitsu. The game was a commercial success; 13 weeks after its release, Final Fantasy VIII had earned more than US$50 million in sales, making it the fastest-selling Final Fantasy title until Final Fantasy XIII, a multi-platform release. It was later ported to Windows-based personal computers and became available on PlayStation Network as a PSone Classics title in 2009. As of December 2013, it has sold more than 8.5 million copies worldwide.
Darren Criss, AJ Holmes
Darren Criss, AJ Holmes
A Very Potter Musical (originally titled Harry Potter: The Musical and often shortened to AVPM) is a musical with music and lyrics by Darren Criss and A. J. Holmes and a book by Matt Lang, Nick Lang and Brian Holden. The story is a parody, based on several of the Harry Potter novels by J. K. Rowling (particularly Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows), as well as their film adaptations.

A Very Potter Musical tells the story of Harry Potter's return to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, his participation in the House Cup Championship, the trials and tribulations of adolescence, and the return of the dark wizard Lord Voldemort and the Golden Trio's attempts to destroy the Horcruxes.
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.
Katy Perry
Katy Perry
Katy Perry (born Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson; October 25, 1984) is an American singer-songwriter. She has risen to prominence with her 2008 single "I Kissed a Girl" which has become a worldwide hit topping the charts in more than 20 countries, including United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Ireland, and the United States, where it was the 1000th Billboard Hot 100 number 1. Perry has stated in the press that it's thanks to successful British singer-songwriters Amy Winehouse and Lily Allen that more female artists had been appearing on the charts. She went on to say that Winehouse and Allen "have introduced America to great music". She is known for her unconventional style of dress, often humoristic, bright in color and reminiscent of different decades, as well as her frequent use of fruit-shaped accessories, mainly watermelon as part of her outfits. Perry has a contralto vocal range.
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.
Jim Brickman
Jim Brickman
Jim Brickman (born November 20, 1961) is an American composer and pianist. Brickman is known for his solo piano compositions, which are classified as new age music. However, he is as well known for his original love songs and performing them with vocalists such as Martina McBride, Michael W. Smith, Michelle Wright and others.

His music career started when he was nineteen, when Jim Henson hired him to write tunes for Sesame Street. He was also hired to write commercial jingles while in college.

Brickman signed with Windham Hill Records to release his first album, No Words, in 1994. The song "Rocket To The Moon" from that album was the first solo instrumental song ever to be ranked on Billboard's charts. Four of his albums (By Heart, Picture This, The Gift, and Destiny) have all sold over 500,000 copies, qualifying them as gold records in the United States.

Brickman writes a wide variety of music. Besides his piano compositions and love songs, he has also created arrangements of other songs. Several of his albums feature arrangements of children's music; he has produced two Christmas-themed albums The Gift (1997) and Peace (2003); and his 2005 album Grace concentrates on arrangements of well-known Christian music.
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.
Richard Strauss
Richard Strauss
Richard Georg Strauss (German pronunciation: ; 11 June 1864 – 8 September 1949) was a German composer, conductor, pianist, and violinist. Considered a leading composer of the late Romantic and early modern eras, he has been described as a successor of Richard Wagner and Franz Liszt. Along with Gustav Mahler, he represents the late flowering of German Romanticism after Wagner, in which pioneering subtleties of orchestration are combined with an advanced harmonic style.
Muse
Muse
Muse are a British rock band formed in Teignmouth, Devon, United Kingdom in 1994 under the alias of Rocket Baby Dolls. The band comprises Matthew Bellamy (vocals, guitar and piano), Christopher Wolstenholme (bass guitar and backing vocals) and Dominic Howard (drums and percussion). Muse's style can be considered as a mixture of many musical genres, most notably alternative rock, classical music and electronica. Muse are known best for their energetic and visually dazzling live performances and on June 16th & 17th, 2007 became the first band to sell out the newly built Wembley Stadium in London. Muse have released four studio albums with their first, Showbiz, released in 1999, followed by Origin of Symmetry in 2001 and Absolution in 2003. The most recent, Black Holes & Revelations (2006), was also the most critically acclaimed, garnering the band a Mercury Prize nomination and a third place finish in the NME Albums of the Year list for 2006. Muse have won various awards throughout their career including 5 MTV Europe Music Awards, 5 Q Awards, 4 NME Awards and 2 Brit awards.
Beyonce
Beyonce
Beyoncé Giselle Knowles (born September 4, 1981), commonly known as Beyoncé, is an American R&B singer-songwriter, record producer, and actress. Born and raised in Houston, Texas, she enrolled in various performing arts schools, and was first exposed to singing and dancing competitions as a child. Knowles rose to fame in the late 1990s as the lead singer of R&B girl group Destiny's Child, the best-selling girl group of all time.

In June 2003, after a series of commercial successes with the group, Beyoncé released her debut solo album, Dangerously in Love. The album became one of the most successful albums of that year, spawning the number-one singles "Crazy in Love" and "Baby Boy", and earned Knowles five Grammy Awards in a single night in 2004. The formal disbandment of Destiny's Child in 2005 facilitated her continued success as a solo artist. She released her second album, B'Day in 2006, which spawned the UK number-one singles "Déjà Vu" and "Beautiful Liar", as well as the worldwide hit, "Irreplaceable". Knowles has sold 15 million albums and singles worldwide.

The success of her solo albums has established her as one of the most marketable artists in the industry. However, she has also added acting and endorsement deals to her repertoire. In 2006, she starred alongside Steve Martin and Kevin Kline in the comedy The Pink Panther, and that same year, scored the main role in the film adaptation of the 1981 Broadway musical Dreamgirls, which earned her a Golden Globe nomination. Knowles launched her family's fashion line House of Deréon in 2004, and among her many lucrative commercial deals are Pepsi, Tommy Hilfiger, and L'Oréal. Knowles has been with long-time boyfriend Jay-Z since 2002, though they have been discreet about their relationship. After much speculation, they married on April 4, 2008.
Mauro Giuliani
Mauro Giuliani
Mauro Giuseppe Sergio Pantaleo Giuliani (July 27, 1781 – May 8, 1829) was an Italian guitarist and composer, and is considered by many to be one of the leading guitar virtuosi of the early 19th century.
Francis Lai
Francis Lai
Francis Lai (born April 26, 1932 in Nice, Alpes-Maritimes, France) is a composer noted for his film scores.

While in his twenties, Francis Lai left home and went to Paris where he became part of the lively Montmartre music scene. In 1965 he met filmmaker Claude Lelouch and was hired to help write the score for the film, Un homme et une femme (A Man and A Woman). Released in 1966, the film was a major international success, earning a number of Academy Awards, and for the young Francis Lai, a Golden Globe Award nomination for "Best Original Score". This initial success brought more opportunities to work for the film industry both in his native France as well as in Great Britain and the United States. In 1969, he wrote the score for director René Clément's film, Rider On The Rain (Le Passager de la Pluie).

In 1970 Francis Lai won the Academy Award for Best Music, Original Score and the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score for the film Love Story. In the United States, the soundtrack album went to No. 2 in the Billboard album charts and the film's theme, "Where Do I Begin" was a hit single with lyrics by Carl Sigman for traditional pop singer Andy Williams. The song would also be recorded successfully by Lai himself with a full orchestra and by Henry Mancini and Shirley Bassey. Francis Lai also wrote the music for the 1978 Love Story sequel titled Oliver's Story.

Lai has also had success with music written for softcore erotic films like Emmanuelle 2 (1975) and Bilitis (1977).

His composition Aujourd'hui C'est Toi is probably best known in the UK as the theme music for the long-running BBC television current affairs documentary series Panorama.

In a career spanning forty years, Francis Lai has also written music for television programs and alone or in collaboration with others has composed music for more than one hundred films and has personally written more than six hundred songs.
The Addams Family
The Addams Family
The Addams Family is a 1991 black comedy film based on the characters, from the cartoon of the same name, created by cartoonist Charles Addams, featuring songs and a video from rap artist MC Hammer ("Addams Groove").

The movie was originally developed by Orion Pictures (which at the time owned the rights to the television series on which the movie was based). However, due to the studio's financial problems, Paramount Pictures began co-producing the film and ended up releasing the movie in the U.S., with Orion retaining the international rights (these rights are now owned by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer through their 1997 purchase of Orion). The 1993 sequel, Addams Family Values, was distributed worldwide by Paramount.

The Addamses are a family of wealthy and eccentric individuals who live together in a Second Empire mansion and share a common interest in the bizarre and the macabre. The characters first appeared in cartoons in The New Yorker magazine in the 1930s, and later gained popularity in the defunct TV series, The Addams Family. The film centers on the day to day life of the family, and the return of Gomez Addams's long-lost brother Fester, played by Christopher Lloyd. The film also stars Raúl Juliá, Anjelica Huston, and Christina Ricci.
Queen
Queen
Queen were an English rock band formed in 1970 in London by guitarist Brian May, lead vocalist Freddie Mercury, and drummer Roger Taylor, with bass guitarist John Deacon completing the lineup the following year. While it is uncertain how many albums the band has sold, estimations range from 130 million to over 300 million albums worldwide.

The band is noted for their musical diversity, multi-layered arrangements, vocal harmonies, and incorporation of audience participation into their live performances. Their 1985 Live Aid performance was voted the best live rock performance of all time in an industry poll.

Queen had moderate success in the early 1970s, with the albums Queen and Queen II, but it was with the release of Sheer Heart Attack in 1974 and A Night at the Opera the following year that the band gained international success. They have released fifteen studio albums, five live albums, and numerous compilation albums. Eighteen of these have reached number one on charts around the world.

Following Mercury's death in 1991 and Deacon's retirement later in the decade, May and Taylor have performed infrequently under the Queen name. Since 2005 they have been collaborating with Paul Rodgers, under the moniker Queen + Paul Rodgers.
Sarah McLachlan
Sarah McLachlan
Sarah Ann McLachlan, OC, OBC (born January 28, 1968) is a Grammy-winning Canadian musician, singer and songwriter.

She is known for the emotional sound of her ballads. Some of her most popular songs include "Angel", "Building a Mystery", "Adia", "Possession", "Fallen", "I Will Remember You", and "World on Fire". As of 2006, she has sold over 40 million albums worldwide. Her best-selling album to date is Surfacing, for which she won eight Juno Awards and three Grammy Awards. In addition to her personal artistic efforts, she founded the Lilith Fair tour, which showcased female musicians in the late 1990s.

Her 1991 album, Solace, was her mainstream breakthrough in Canada, spawning the hit singles "The Path of Thorns (Terms)" and "Into the Fire". Solace also marked the beginning of her partnership with Pierre Marchand. Marchand and McLachlan have been collaborators ever since, with Marchand producing all of McLachlan's albums and occasionally co-writing songs.

1994's Fumbling Towards Ecstasy was an immediate smash hit in Canada. From her Nettwerk connection, her piano version of the song "Possession" was included on the first Due South soundtrack in 1996. Over the next two years, Fumbling Towards Ecstasy quietly became McLachlan's international breakthrough as well, scaling the charts in a number of countries.

Following the success from Fumbling Towards Ecstasy, McLachlan returned in 1997 with Surfacing, her best selling album to date. Earning her two Grammy awards and four Junos, the album has since sold over 11 million copies worldwide and brought her much international success
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).
No Doubt
No Doubt
No Doubt is a rock band from Anaheim, California, United States, founded in 1986. The ska-rock sound of its first album failed to make waves due to the popularity of the grunge movement at the time. The band's diamond-certified album Tragic Kingdom helped to launch the ska revival of the 1990s, and "Don't Speak", the third single from the album, set a record when it spent sixteen weeks at the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 Airplay chart, later broken by the Goo Goo Dolls' "Iris".

The group released its next album, Return of Saturn, four years later, but despite positive reviews, the album was considered a commercial failure. Fifteen months later, the band reappeared with Rock Steady, which incorporated reggae and dancehall music into their work. The album was primarily recorded in Jamaica and featured collaborations with Jamaican artists Bounty Killer, Sly and Robbie, and Lady Saw. The album produced two Grammy-winning singles, "Hey Baby" and "Underneath It All".

No Doubt released the compilation The Singles 1992-2003 and box set Boom Box in 2003, both of which contained a cover version of the Talk Talk synthpop song "It's My Life". Frontwoman Gwen Stefani launched her solo career the next year with several collaborations, including bandmate Tony Kanal and Neptune Pharrell, while guitarist Tom Dumont began his side project, Invincible Overlord. During its career, the band has won two Grammy Awards and sold 27 million records worldwide to date.
Ne-Yo
Ne-Yo
Shaffer Chimere Smith (October 18, 1982), better known by his stage name Ne-Yo, is an American R&B and pop singer-songwriter, record producer, dancer, actor and occasional rapper.

Ne-yo began music as a rapper and had one hit single called "Boy Can't You See Im Black?" but after that never made it big so decided to call it quits on the rapping and began to turn his attention to singing.

Ne-Yo's debut album, In My Own Words, was released in early 2006 through Def Jam Recordings, and debuted at number one on Billboard 200, selling over 301,000 copies in the first week and certified platinum, selling nearly 2 million copies in the US and 4 million worldwide. During the same week, Ne-Yo's Stargate-produced second single "So Sick" reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Ne-Yo is as famous for his songwriting as for his singing, writing such songs as Rihanna's top ten hit "Unfaithful" and number-one hit Take a Bow, Mario's "Let Me Love You", Mario Vazquez's "Gallery", Paula DeAnda's "Walk Away (Remember Me)", and Beyoncé's Billboard Hot 100 ten-week number-one hit "Irreplaceable".

His second album, Because of You, was released on May 1, 2007. The first single from the platinum-selling album was "Because of You". He has also written songs for Whitney Houston, Celine Dion, Britney Spears, Corbin Bleu, and Enrique Iglesias for their upcoming albums. Smith also has stated that he will write songs for Craig David, Usher, Chris Brown, Jennifer Hudson, Leona Lewis, and he recently confirmed that he has been contacted by producer will.i.am to work on Michael Jackson's upcoming album.
Schubert
Schubert
Franz Peter Schubert (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, and a large body of chamber and solo piano music. He is particularly noted for his original melodic and harmonic writing.

While Schubert had a close circle of friends and associates who admired his work (including his teacher Antonio Salieri, and the prominent singer Johann Michael Vogl), wider 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. Interest in Schubert's work increased dramatically in the decades following his death and he is now widely considered to be one of the greatest composers in the Western tradition.

While he was clearly influenced by the Classical sonata forms of Beethoven and Mozart (his early works, among them notably the 5th Symphony, are particularly Mozartean), his formal structures and his developments tend to give the impression more of melodic development than of harmonic drama. This combination of Classical form and long-breathed Romantic melody sometimes lends them a discursive style: his 9th Symphony was described by Robert Schumann as running to "heavenly lengths". His harmonic innovations include movements in which the first section ends in the key of the subdominant rather than the dominant (as in the last movement of the Trout Quintet). Schubert's practice here was a forerunner of the common Romantic technique of relaxing, rather than raising, tension in the middle of a movement, with final resolution postponed to the very end.
Tchaikovsky
Tchaikovsky
Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky (May 7 1840 – November 6 1893) was a Russian composer of the Romantic era. While not part of the nationalistic music group known as "The Five", Tchaikovsky wrote music which, in the opinion of Harold Schonberg, was distinctly Russian: plangent, introspective, with modally-inflected melody and harmony.

Aesthetically, Tchaikovsky remained open to all aspects of Saint Petersburg musical life. He was impressed by Serov and Balakirev as well as the classical values upheld by the conservatory. Both the progressive and conservative camps in Russian music at the time attempted to win him over. Tchaikovsky charted his compositional course between these two factions, retaining his individuality as a composer as well as his Russian identity. In this he was influenced by the ideals of his teacher Nikolai Rubinstein and Nikolai's brother Anton.

Tchaikovsky's musical cosmopolitanism led him to be favored by many Russian music-lovers over the "Russian" harmonies and styles of Mussorgsky, Borodin and Rimsky-Korsakov.

Nonetheless he frequently adapted Russian traditional melodies and dance forms in his music, which enhanced his success in his home country. The success in St. Petersburg at the premiere of his Third Orchestral Suite may have been due in large part to his concluding the work with a polonaise. He also used a polonaise for the final movement of his Third Symphony.
Frank Sinatra
Frank Sinatra
Francis Albert "Frank" Sinatra (December 12, 1915 – May 14, 1998) was an American singer and actor.

Beginning his musical career in the swing era with Harry James and Tommy Dorsey, Sinatra became a solo artist with great success in the early to mid-1940s, being the idol of the "bobby soxers". His professional career had stalled by the 1950s, but it was reborn in 1954 after he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

He signed with Capitol Records and released several critically lauded albums (such as In the Wee Small Hours, Songs for Swingin' Lovers, Come Fly with Me, Only the Lonely and Nice 'n' Easy). Sinatra left Capitol to found his own record label, Reprise Records (finding success with albums such as Ring-A-Ding-Ding, Sinatra at the Sands and Francis Albert Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobim), toured internationally, and fraternized with the Rat Pack and President John F. Kennedy in the early 1960s. Sinatra turned 50 in 1965, recorded the retrospective September of My Years, starred in the Emmy-winning television special Frank Sinatra: A Man and His Music, and scored hits with "Strangers in the Night" and "My Way".

Sinatra attempted to weather the changing tastes in popular music, but with dwindling album sales and after appearing in several poorly received films, he retired in 1971. Coming out of retirement in 1973, he recorded several albums, scoring a hit with "(Theme From) New York, New York" in 1980, and toured both within the United States and internationally until a few years before his death in 1998.

Sinatra also forged a career as a dramatic actor, winning the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in From Here to Eternity, and he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor for The Man with the Golden Arm. His also starred in such musicals as High Society, Pal Joey, Guys and Dolls and On the Town. Sinatra was honored with the Kennedy Center Honors in 1983 and awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Ronald Reagan in 1985 and the Congressional Gold Medal in 1997. Sinatra was also the recipient of eleven Grammy Awards, including the Grammy Trustees Award, Grammy Legend Award and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
Carrie Underwood
Carrie Underwood
Carrie Marie Underwood (born March 10, 1983 in Muskogee, Oklahoma) is an American country singer-songwriter. She rose to fame as the winner of the fourth season of American Idol, and has become a multi-platinum selling recording artist and a multiple Grammy Award winner. Her debut album, Some Hearts, was certified seven times platinum and is the fastest selling debut country album in Nielsen SoundScan history.

Her second album, Carnival Ride, was released on October 23, 2007. It has so far sold about 2 million copies To date, Underwood has sold over 11 million records in the United States. Underwood was inducted as a member of the Grand Ole Opry on May 10, 2008.
Yiruma
Yiruma
Yiruma (born February 15 1978, Seoul, Korea) is a South Korean piano music composer. He is married to Son Hye-im.

Yiruma is well-known throughout the world, and his albums are sold all over Asia, as well as the United States and Europe. His most famous pieces are "Kiss the Rain", and also "River Flows in You". These pieces are widely mistaken for being associated with the movie Twilight. Although he formerly held dual citizenship as a citizen of the United Kingdom and South Korea, in July 2006 he gave up his British citizenship and entered the Republic of Korea Navy to begin his military service, which is compulsory for all male South Koreans. He has lived in Osaka, Japan for 5 years to promote album sales before giving up his dual citizenship.
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.
Frank Wildhord
Frank Wildhord
Frank Wildhorn is an American composer known for both his musicals and popular songs. He is most known for his musical Jekyll & Hyde, which ran four years on Broadway, and for writing the #1 International hit song "Where Do Broken Hearts Go" for Whitney Houston.
Sammy Nestico
Sammy Nestico
Samuel "Sammy" Louis Nestico (born February 6, 1924 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) is a prolific and well known composer and arranger of big band music. Nestico is most known for his arrangements for the Count Basie orchestra.
Nobuo Uematsu
Nobuo Uematsu
Nobuo Uematsu (植松伸夫 Uematsu Nobuo?, born March 21, 1959) is a Japanese video game composer and musician, best known for scoring the majority of titles in the Final Fantasy series. He is regarded as one of the most famous and respected composers in the video game community. Uematsu is a self-taught musician; he began to play the piano at the age of eleven or twelve, with Elton John as his biggest influence.

Uematsu joined Square (later Square Enix) in 1985, where he met Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi. They have worked together on numerous titles, most notably the games in the Final Fantasy series. After nearly 20 years in the company, he left Square Enix in 2004 and founded his own company called Smile Please, as well as the music production company Dog Ear Records. He has since composed music as a freelancer for video games primarily developed by Square Enix and Sakaguchi's development studio Mistwalker.

A handful of soundtracks and arranged albums of Uematsu's game scores have been released. Pieces from his video game works have been performed in concerts worldwide, and numerous Final Fantasy concerts have also been held. He has worked with Grammy Award-winning conductor Arnie Roth on several of these concerts. In 2002, he formed a rock band with colleagues Kenichiro Fukui and Tsuyoshi Sekito called The Black Mages, in which Uematsu plays the keyboard. The band plays arranged rock versions of Uematsu's Final Fantasy compositions.
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.
Rumbling Hearts
Rumbling Hearts
Rumbling Hearts is a Japanese adult visual novel developed by Âge and released on August 3, 2001 for Windows. It was later ported to the Dreamcast and PlayStation 2. ..... Kimi ga Nozomu Eien - Original Soundtrack
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.
Stephen Sondheim
Stephen Sondheim
Stephen Joshua Sondheim (born March 22, 1930) is an American composer and lyricist for stage and film. He is the winner of an Academy Award, multiple Tony Awards (nine, more than any other composer) including the Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre (received 2008), multiple Grammy Awards, and a Pulitzer Prize. He has been described as "the greatest and perhaps best-known artist in the American musical theatre." His most famous scores include (as composer/lyricist) A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Company, Follies, A Little Night Music, Sweeney Todd, Sunday in the Park with George, Into the Woods, and Assassins, as well as the lyrics for West Side Story and Gypsy. He was president of the Dramatists Guild from 1973 to 1981.
Brahms
Brahms
Johannes Brahms (May 7, 1833 – April 3, 1897) was a German composer of the Romantic period. He was born in Hamburg and in his later years he settled in Vienna, Austria.

Brahms maintained a Classical sense of form and order in his works – in contrast to the opulence of the music of many of his contemporaries. Thus many admirers (though not necessarily Brahms himself) saw him as the champion of traditional forms and "pure music," as opposed to the New German embrace of program music.

Brahms venerated Beethoven: in the composer's home, a marble bust of Beethoven looked down on the spot where he composed, and some passages in his works are reminiscent of Beethoven's style. The main theme of the finale of Brahms's First Symphony is reminiscent of the main theme of the finale of Beethoven's Ninth, and when this resemblance was pointed out to Brahms he replied that any ass – jeder Esel – could see that.

Ein deutsches Requiem was partially inspired by his mother's death in 1865, but also incorporates material from a Symphony he started in 1854, but abandoned following Schumann's suicide attempt. He once wrote that the Requiem "belonged to Schumann". The first movement of this abandoned Symphony was re-worked as the first movement of the First Piano Concerto.

Brahms also loved the Classical composers Mozart and Haydn. He collected first editions and autographs of their works, and edited performing editions. He also studied the music of pre-classical composers, including Giovanni Gabrieli, Johann Adolph Hasse, Heinrich Schütz and especially Johann Sebastian Bach. His friends included leading musicologists, and with Friedrich Chrysander he edited an edition of the works of François Couperin. He looked to older music for inspiration in the arts of strict counterpoint; the themes of some of his works are modelled on Baroque sources, such as Bach's The Art of Fugue in the fugal finale of Cello Sonata No. 1, or the same composer's Cantata No. 150 in the passacaglia theme of the Fourth Symphony's finale.
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.

Miley Cyrus
Miley Cyrus
Miley Ray Cyrus (born Destiny Hope Cyrus; November 23, 1992) is an American pop singer and television and film actress. Cyrus is best known for starring as the title character in the Disney Channel series Hannah Montana. Following the success of Hannah Montana, in October 2006, a soundtrack CD was released in which she sang eight songs from the show. Cyrus' solo music career began with the release of her debut album, Meet Miley Cyrus on June 23, 2007, which included her first top ten single "See You Again". Her second album, Breakout, was released on July 22, 2008. Breakout is Cyrus' first album that does not involve the Hannah Montana franchise. Both albums debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200. In 2008, she appeared in the Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert film.

Cyrus also starred in Bolt in 2008, and recorded "I Thought I Lost You" for the soundtrack for which she earned a Golden Globe nomination. She starred in the film spin-off of Hannah Montana, titled Hannah Montana: The Movie which was released on April 10, 2009. In 2008, Cyrus was listed in Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People in The World. Forbes magazine ranked her #35 on the "Celebrity 100" list with earnings of $25 million in 2008. Her rank improved to #29 in 2009.
Koji Kondo
Koji Kondo
Koji Kondo (近藤浩治 Kondō Kōji?, born August 13, 1960) is a Japanese video game composer and sound director who has been employed at Nintendo since 1984. He is best known for scoring numerous titles in the Mario and The Legend of Zelda series.
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