Sheet music needs a new home
July 31, 2020 1:16 PM   Subscribe

I have sheet music and music books from the 1920's to the 1970's. Would they be of use or value to someone? If yes, how do I find that someone?

My mom is moving and downsizing. She has sheet music and music books that belonged to her step-mother. No one in the family plays piano or is interested in them for sentimental reasons. But some of them have handwritten dates from the 1920's and 1930's in them and it seems a shame to throw them away. I would 100% believe the readers digest books are ok to go to goodwill but what about the rest? So, mefites, trash, goodwill, or what?

My mom's immune system is not great right now and we are trying to stay away from other people. The COVID numbers are growing a ton in my state so whatever ideas you have, please keep that in my mind. Also, I apologize some pictures are blurry. I can add any information requested.
posted by shmurley to Media & Arts (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
My dear friend-of-a-friend "Uncle Bob" had a treasure trove of sheet music that was bought and donated when he died. Perhaps follow some leads from this article?
posted by maya at 1:45 PM on July 31

This summer I picked up a giant box of piano sheet music from a recent widower via My household has seen a major uptick in piano playing during the pandemic - I would be surprised if we’re the only ones playing more. Free doorstep/porch pickup is the easiest way to find new homes for old treasures during these times, I’ve found - especially for people who are reluctant to hunt through thrift stores due to COVID.

As an aside, last year I got a smaller pile of sheet music at an estate sale. I think a lot about the women whose handwritten words, recital dates, and penciled-in fingerings I find on their music. I hope they are at peace.
posted by Maarika at 2:00 PM on July 31 [1 favorite]

If you have a nearby university with a focus in music in their library's Special Collections department, they may be willing to take a look, although they probably wouldn't take the entire collection as one, just parts of it that aren't duplicated in their holdings.
posted by telophase at 2:01 PM on July 31

Nursing homes might be interested in sheet music, especially if it's music from that era, though maybe not at the moment.
posted by Candleman at 2:41 PM on July 31

Offer them for no-contact porch pickup on Nextdoor/craigslist/facebook marketplace, whatever your town uses most. They’ll be gone in a heartbeat. What a lovely treasure trove!
posted by missmary6 at 3:07 PM on July 31

i memailed you.
posted by goatdog at 7:49 AM on August 1

I’ve bought tons of old sheet music from thrift stores and secondhand stores, so I don’t believe that if it’s donated along with the books it will go to waste. But you could also put a notice on craigslist or Facebook marketplace or wherever and some happy musician might take the whole load from you. If you have any church affiliations, the music director there may also know somebody who would be interested. Or the local school’s music teacher.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 11:02 AM on August 1

If you're near Portland I will happily pick them up and make sure they're loved.
posted by nenequesadilla at 10:33 PM on August 1

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