Where can I find affordable sheet music for the viola?
September 14, 2012 12:57 PM   Subscribe

Where can I find affordable sheet music for the viola? I would like music that is interesting even when played by only one violist and is not classical.

I am starting viola lessons this week after a long hiatus. I played violin as a child and switched to viola through middle and high school. I took it up again about 2 years ago but then life got in the way and. . . I am basically a beginner with lots of past experience. I am looking for affordable (i.e. free or cheap) sheet music for the viola. I would like to try something other than classical music, which, while beautiful, I got enough of in orchestra. When I last picked up my instrument I was working on Take 5 by Dave Brubeck which was fun, but still not quite what I'm looking for. I love all kinds of contemporary music with string accompaniment and would be tickled to learn how to play, say, anything by Laura Veirs. The trick is that the music should be interesting even when played by only one violist. Thank you in advance for your help!
posted by I'myourMuppet to Media & Arts (1 answer total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I think asking your teacher to help you find music is actually probably your best bet.

When you say "classical", I'm guessing you mean Mozart, Bach, Handel, stuff like that. But there's an awful lot of "classical" music that's been written since then, and especially in the 20th century there were a lot of composers doing all kinds of stuff - incorporating elements of jazz & other popular or folk or ethnic music, lots of non-standard arrangements or groups of instruments, experimenting with dissonance, so on and so forth. I wouldn't be at all surprised if there were a variety of more modern pieces written for solo viola, or viola with piano accompaniment and hopefully your teacher knows about them and where to get the music. Or possibly knows other pieces maybe written for a different instrument that s/he has arranged for viola or knows sound good when played on the viola.

As far as the cost goes, I've got no idea about free, but even a quick perusal of the subcategories "classical", "Viola" at SheetMusicPlus.com shows that the price starts at less than a buck, and a lot of pieces are $5 or less. Or course, some of them have minimum orders and/or shipping charges, so that's maybe another reason to start with your teacher as a source for music - there are often discounts for educators, and your teacher may be willing to place an order of more than one because they can use the pieces for other students. If your teacher has access to a well-stocked music library, like at a university or conservatory, they can check out sheet music and pass it on to you without charge.
posted by soundguy99 at 7:32 AM on September 15, 2012

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