Chopin Op. 28, No. 15 Raindrop Prelude: download legally free sheet music from Mutopia

First published on March 26, 2010

Given that the great classical artists like Bach, Chopin, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Schubert, Beethoven, and Mozart died hundreds of years ago, their music is in the public domain. This means that there is no legal reason why you must purchase sheet music editions such as the famous Schirmer’s (although, kudos to those publishing companies who sell very nice sheet music).

Of course, even if the composers’ music is in the public domain now, you cannot just blatantly pirate the copyrighted sheet music. Someone (this could even be you) has to produce or release non-copyright editions of the sheet music. The Mutopia Project is a website that hosts high quality, downloadable, legally free sheet music that has been typeset by generous volunteers. Unlike some other so-called free sites I’ve seen over the years, Mutopia does not trick you or send you into endless loops of clicking only to find out that what you thought was free is in fact not available.

I first stumbled upon Mutopia while looking for Chopin’s “Raindrop” Prelude in D flat major for the piano. Some might have recently discovered this song for the first time because it was featured in Halo 3 ads. Commercialized or not, it’s a beautiful piece of music. Click the image below to download the sheet music in a letter-sized PDF file.

Chopin Raindrop Prelude

Most of the sheet music at Mutopia is licensed under one of the Creative Commons licenses, which states in a nutshell:

“This license says that you are free to copy, distribute, display and perform the work, make derivative works, and make commercial use of the work. You must, however, give the original author credit.” And often it also includes this: “If you alter, transform, or build upon the work, you must distribute the resulting work under an identical license.”

To date, Mutopia has over 1600 pieces of sheet music, over a third of which are for piano. It has sheet music for almost 30 other instruments. The sheet music comes in several formats, such as PDF and editable LilyPond format. The piano sheet music that I’ve looked at on Mutopia has been accurate, and includes useful meta information such as tempo, articulation, phrasing, and dynamics.


3 Responses to “Chopin Op. 28, No. 15 Raindrop Prelude: download legally free sheet music from Mutopia”

  1. JaneyB says:

    This is fantastic! Thanks!

  2. kaylynn says:

    i need it… thanks ^^

  3. ana says:

    it s very usefull thank you.

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