Music Theory and Arranging
- Music Theory With Lorna Katz – YouTube channel by a member of San Diego Chorus, SAI. Helpful for learning the basics of staff, clefs, note reading, etc.
- Chris Lewis, Barbershop Harmony: A Modern Guide – an informative guide to barbershop arranging
- Sample pages from my book, Arranging Barbershop Harmony – A short introduction to music theory and barbershop chords. Buy the complete book.
- Liz Garnett, Helping You Harmonise (blog) – Posts on Arranging
- BasicMusicTheory.com – Great resource for looking up (and learning about) chord spellings.
- MusicTheory.net – Free lessons in theory and ear training. There’s a companion app (iOS), but you can do the lessons online even if you don’t have the app.
- Jeffrey Evans, Exploring Theory With Practica Musica – an online textbook from Ars Nova, which publishes a wide variety of music training software products. This book is also available as a free iBook for iOS devices. It’s an informative, readable discussion of music theory and music history; useful with or without the software.
- Finale Quick Start Videos – Instructional videos, produced by the makers of Finale. If you’re new to the program, start with these!
- Finale – Official YouTube Channel
History of popular song in America
- Cafe Songbook – Songs, songwriters, and performers of the Great American Songbook. Not comprehensive, but a good source for the songs it covers. Includes information on composers and lyricists, origins of songs (i.e. written for a particular show, etc), song background, and links to performances.
- Brief history of Tin Pan Alley – From acousticmusic.org
- Brief history of Vaudeville – From acousticmusic.org
- African American roots of barbershop – From the Barbershop Harmony Society.
- Musicals 101.com – “Cyber-Encyclopedia of Musical Theater, Film, and Television”
- Mason and Dixon Draw a Line – From the History Channel. So many songs about the South mention the Mason-Dixon Line. But where was it and who were Mason and Dixon? This is a good, short summary of the history behind the Mason-Dixon Line.
- Irving Berlin – official site
- George and Ira Gershwin – official site
- Cole Wide Web – Cole Porter official site
Selected Sheet Music Collections
- Sheet Music Consortium – Hosted by the UCLA Library; provides access to sheet music collections at more than 30 libraries all over the world
- World War I Sheet Music – Library of Congress
- Historic American Sheet Music – Duke University, Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library
- America Singing: 19th Century Song Sheets – Library of Congress
- Historic Sheet Music Collection, 1800-1922 – Library of Congress
- Music For the Nation: American Sheet Music, ca. 1820-1860 – Library of Congress
- Civil War Sheet Music Collection – Library of Congress
- Music for the Nation: American Sheet Music, ca. 1870-1885 – Library of Congress
- Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of America
- IN Harmony: Sheet Music from Indiana – Created by Indiana University; includes collections from Indiana University Lilly Library, Indiana State Library, Indiana State Museum, and Indiana Historical Society
- Lester Levy Sheet Music Collection – Johns Hopkins University Library
- Archive of Popular American Music – UCLA Library
- Historic U.S. Sheet Music Collection – University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
- Vocal Sheet Music Collection – Digital Commons, University of Maine
- African American Band Music and Recordings, 1883-1923 – Library of Congress
- Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project – UC Santa Barbara, Davidson Library. Historic recordings from the era of Edison wax cylinders. Many pre-1938 barbershop quartets are in this collection, digitized and freely available.
- The Great 78 Project – Community project for the preservation, research, and discovery of 78rpm records. Part of the Internet Archive
- The Shellac Stack – A great podcast, hosted by Bryan Wright, that plays 78rpm records from the first half of the 20th century. Not limited to barbershop; great variety and great fun!
- Many historic recordings can be found on YouTube – search on composer names or song titles. There’s also a good Facebook group for Vocal Harmony Groups before 1940 where you can find lots of unique recordings.
(A couple of disclaimers. I’m not an attorney and cannot give legal advice. These links are for information and education purposes only, and will focus primarily on U.S. law. Singers with copyright questions should consult a qualified attorney in their home country)
- Cornell University, Copyright Information Center – see especially their chart, Copyright Term and Public Domain in the United States
- Dear Rich – Excellent blog on all areas of intellectual property (copyright, patent, trademark), written by a practicing attorney.
- The Evolution of Copyright in Music – Podcast from Northwestern University, Pritzker School of Law. An interesting discussion of how new technologies have shaped the copyright law, starting with piano rolls and ending with today’s digital distribution.
- Legal Encyclopedia: Patent, Copyright, and Trademark – From Nolo, a publisher of law books geared toward the consumer market. Contains links to related books on intellectual property and copyright published by Nolo.
- Public Domain Information Project – A good source for information about public domain music; also publishes songbooks of public domain titles
- Copyright term for countries around the world – from Wikipedia
- U.S. Copyright Office