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Finding Music Off the Beaten Path

When planning music for an upcoming concert, I usually begin by browsing sites like JWPepper, Santa Barbara Music Publishing, and Boosey & Hawkes. These sites are great because they have hundreds of titles to choose from and sample. However, I am always looking for something new and of good quality that is "off the beaten path."
 
I am hoping to start a conversation and compile a list of publishing companies and self-publishing composers that offer music not available through major publishing sites.
 
I am aware of companies like Graphite Publishing and Good Child Music, and self-publishing composers such as Timothy Takach, Moira Smiley and Jake Runestad. What other publishing companies or composer are you aware of that fit this bill?
 
Thanks for your help!
Replies (25): Threaded | Chronological
on January 31, 2016 3:51pm
MusicSpoke  www.musicspoke.com
Applauded by an audience of 3
on January 31, 2016 3:52pm

Hi Kirk – would any of these pieces work for your choir? All freebies.

Cheers, David Basden, Sydney

www.choirplace.com/videos/field-Composer/David+Basden

on January 31, 2016 4:11pm
Over the years, I have dealt with the issue of finding music that nobody knows by combing through the archives of various European libraries, including national/state libraries, as well as archives of monasteries and musical conservatories. There are thousands upon thousands of manuscripts that are sitting undiscovered, waiting to be brought back to life. Before computers and the digital age, I used to spend several weeks each year in Europe scouring the card catalogues (remember those?) and examining individual manuscripts, and then wait for delivery of photocopies or microfilm to begin creating workable modern editions. Nowadays, with email and digital photographs, it is possible to not only search a particular archive's holdings online, but also view many of the manuscripts right on the computer screen in your own home without having to travel abroad. I know your initial post here was more directed towards modern repertoire, but you can also look back through history and find some incredible pieces of music as well.
Applauded by an audience of 2
on February 1, 2016 2:39am
You could also try: http://modalmusic.biz/publishing-services/choral/   for a selection of choral music for SATB / SSA / TTBB.
 
Regards -- Dorian Kelly
on February 1, 2016 3:19am
I and many other composers publish works on SMP Press (formerly Sheet Music Plus) - you can see my work at http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/search1?Ntt=www.hutchingsmusic.co.uk
 
They'll show up in main results on Sheet Music Plus (eventually, well down the list behind big publishers usually) but you can browse all the independent self-publishing composers' work here:
 
on February 2, 2016 3:11am
And I forgot to add my own self-publishing site (where you can buy copies more cheaply than on SheetMusicPlus, with the option of a flat fee to print as many copies as you need)
on February 1, 2016 4:14am
I'm a partner in Canasg Music . We offer a catalogue of some 270 pieces, mostly choral a cappella. We sell entirely on-line, delivering PDF sheet music for you to print yourself, and priced to allow for your printing costs.
 
We don't charge a price per copy. Instead we sell you a licence, priced according to the size of choir, which allows you print as many copies as you please of the music, and to reprint as often as you want (for no extra fee), with the condition that the music is for the exclusive use of the group that buys the licence - so we ask you not to give, lend, hire or sell the music to anybody else, in printed or in digital form.
 
Our website allows you to download a complete perusal copy for any piece.
 
If you'd like to join our mailing list, please e-mail info(a)canasg.com. Alternatively, you can find us and like us on Facebook.
 
John Wexler
Edinburgh, Scotland
on February 1, 2016 5:34am
If you provide a direct email address to mine: jjphoenix(a)charter.net, I'll send you playlists of four audio CDs which contain Sibelius demos of my best choral pieces, and if you are still interested I can perhaps send them to you along with a video CD of the scores in PDF. Meanwhile I can send you five live demonstrations of choral works by Matthew Curtis (www.choraltracks.com), formerly with Chanticleer --- he sings all the parts !
 
Right now you can go to my ChoralNet page and have a look at some titles, and find more info at www.jamesjohnsonmusic.net
 
All my scores are written in Sibelius.  
on February 1, 2016 10:57am
The Choral showcase here on ChoralNet is a great one as well! http://choralnet.org/showcase
 
And the Silver Platter showcases vetted pieces from the site: http://choralnet.org/408007
 
Applauded by an audience of 1
on February 1, 2016 3:47pm
Hi Kirk,
 
I second Frank's recommendation for www.musicspoke.com
 
Also check out www.swirlymusic.org for some fine music. I especially like the choral music of Michael Kaulkin and Gordon Thornett on that site.
 
Last I would recommend my website, www.michaelsandvik.com. Besides offering a lot of choral music (which has been very well received), check out some of my blog threads recommending other fine self publishing composers.
 
God Bless,
Michael Sandvik
www.michaelsandvik.com
Applauded by an audience of 2
on February 2, 2016 2:50am
please check out Paul Ayres's site:
 
www.paulayres.co.uk
 
thank-you!
 
Kate Simmons
on February 2, 2016 8:21am
Hi Kirk,
Please check out my website, www.AmericasSongwriter.com, for my patriotic and inspirational songs, many of which have been performed across America. The sheet music (including SATB) and instrumental tracks are free to teachers and choral leaders.
Best wishes,
Hank Fellows
hank(a)hankfellows.com
on February 2, 2016 11:58pm
Hi. Feel free to check out my uploads here too. No charge usually.
I have a rehearsal recording if you're interested.
 
Also there's this (score on request) https://soundcloud.com/counter-measures/05-alive
 
BR
 
 
 
on February 3, 2016 8:17am
Hello Kirk,
This is a great initiative. There are a lot of good composers 'out there' who are not published by mainstream publishers, or even if they are, almost always have very interesting pieces not picked up by an industry that out of necessity has to publish music it knows will be picked up by a lot of conductors and their choirs. I gather you are looking for 'niche' pieces, often very exciting and innovative works but – being off the beaten track – that traditional publishers are wary of risking putting on paper. Great idea!
 
I most certainly have a number of works that fall into the 'unpublished niche' category. These include many world music (aka folk song) arrangements such as Inuit Weather Chant, On the Mountain (The Ukraine) Water Come to Me Eye (Caribbean); Sakura (Japan); Hevenu Shalom Aleichem (Israel); Flower Drum Song (China). All found at https://soundcloud.com/lara-patriquin  which also include a few short 'original' works (excerpts generally) such as Ladies Long in the Tooth; Lullaby; Epitaphs
 
Here's Inuit Weather Chant for example:
 
 
My World Music Suite Three contains a number of unpublished arrangements. Here's a compilation:
 
 
Traditional publishers tend to shy away from "lengthy" works (over 5 minutes), and probably not without reason. A lot of composers have some great 'dinosaurs'! Here's a Christmas one. There's a bit of a rehearsal followed by the performance just after the one-minute mark:
 
 
I have also written many sacred works, including an as yet unpublished Caribbean Mass which I have just completed, and for which a performance is scheduled this coming May.
Here's a clip from Nunc Dimitis (Song of Peace)
 
My website www.donaldpatriquin.com lists many non-traditionally published works, mainly under "A Tempo", which is my desktop label.
 
Thanks for the opportunity to bring some of my, and other's, buried treasure to light!
 
Regards,
 
Donald Patriquin
 
Applauded by an audience of 1
on February 3, 2016 10:14am
Hi there Kirk,
 
I fall into the category of self-publishing composers. If you are interested, a listing of my current titles is available on my website alex.seefeldt.io. As of right now, it's not possible do ordering through the website, so the only way I can arrange the sale of my music is by direct e-mail. I'd be happy to send you a persual copy of anything that strikes your interest free of charge.
 
Best wishes,
Alex Seefeldt
on February 3, 2016 2:38pm
Hi Kirk!
 
Please listen to these and see if there are someting you like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ubksy6_w4e4&list=PLh-AUh-Pv3D4402xWPQ10IYfw9MpttScD
If you do then I will gladly send you perusal copies.
 
Best Regards
Mårten
on February 4, 2016 5:08am
Kirk: check out some of the choral + composer pages on Facebook + you'll see a lot of fresh names that you can start communicating with. Also, list your choir in the appropriate Choralnet list + the composer will find you. We are regularly being contacted by composers.
on February 4, 2016 7:09am
Here is a list of publishers I have compiled over time that offer a pretty wide variety of music:
 
Santa Barbara/ Lorenz  order(a)lorenz.com                     
Boosey & Hawkes   http://www.boosey.com/        
Hinshaw  customerservice(a)hinshawmusic.com
Oxford University Press Music  custserv.us(a)oup.com
World Music Press  Lynn(a)MusicK8.com
Pavane Music Publishing  Info(a)PavanePublishing.com
Cary Ratcliff  CaryRatcliff(a)aol.com
Santa Barbara music publishing  Info(a)SBMP.com
 
 
Applauded by an audience of 1
on February 4, 2016 2:19pm
Hi Kirk,
I'd be happy to recommend some things from my catalog if you can give me a little ifo: possible accompaniment, divisi or not, secular or sacred, easy/medium/difficult, young voices or not, etc.  
 
Or if you'd rather just have a look around: http://www.donaldmccullough.com/products/
For an advanced search where you can set parameters: http://www.donaldmccullough.com/music-catalog/
 
Good luck and all the best to you!
Don McCullough
on February 4, 2016 2:45pm
Northern Harmony at  northernharmony.pair.com  has arrangements of traditional choral music from areas often neglected by choral publishers, such as Eastern Europe, South Africa, and Georgia.
 
Also, Mary Goetze Of Indiana University has long been an advocate for diverse programming, or "social justice through music."  Global Voices is her collection of diverse songs for elementary age students, arranged by grade level and including DVDs.  She also founded and directed such a choir for college students at IU, with many of her arrangements available from Boosey & Hawkes and  Pepper.
on February 5, 2016 3:20am
I've found a number of interesting works to perform from the Choral Public Domain Library; and I do publish my own works there. It's worth checking out their list of women composers, and indeed the (more extensive) list of living composers. If you want to support the composer in question there is often a way to get in touch.
Applauded by an audience of 1
on February 5, 2016 5:18am
Thank you Kirk, for making the effort to search, and to reach-out to find new resources.
My company is:   Frank E. Warren Music Service (ASCAP)  and  Earnestly Music (BMI)
In addition to my own music, we publish works by such wonderful composers as
Leonard Enns, Brian Fennelly, Robert Greenlee, Alice Paker, Aaron Rosenthal and more.
 
You may find us here:   http://FEW-Music.com   
our catalog is also represented by many of the larger distributors.
Best of luck in your search, may your enthusiasm be contagious,
Frank
 
on February 5, 2016 6:41am
Meet over 100 of today's outstanding working composers - vetted by an internationally based review team - and many of their excellent works, on PROJECT : ENCORE™ (P:E):  http://ProjectEncore.org.  P:E is exclusively a bridge between composers and conductors.  No money is exchanged.  When you find a composer and/or composition you like (score and sound file for every selection; bio, score and contact info; translation; more . . .  - all within a robustly searchable online Catalog), you have all you need to reach out directly to him or her to make the purchase.  
 
For a deeper understanding of the resource that is PROJECT : ENCORE™, read the article that appeared in the November of the Choral Journal:  http://projectencore.org/news
 
Happy creative programming!
Applauded by an audience of 1
on February 5, 2016 8:52am
Also See-a-Dot Music Publishing, seeadot.com
on February 5, 2016 12:09pm
Hi Kirk,
You have received some great ideas already. I've gone on line and looked and listened to many of the suggestions you've received and they are excellent. The vast majority of them are for
secondary or advanced groups which is fine. I'd like to suggest a site for Middle School Choirs that I think you should include. The music is written specifically for middle school students and
is age-appropriate both in subject matter and musical ability level. Everything is recorded, full ensemble, individual parts and accompaniment as well as a full score and lyric sheets. At this 
time everything is free and downloadable. The site is: www.singfree.net 
 
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