Paul Makepeace ;-)

July 28, 2005

How to find and create your own sheet music

Posted in: Music

I've recently (re)started learning the flute. My last attempt in 1998 was aborted by a house burglary in which my new flute was pinched. Thanks to Teresa who leant me her old (30+yrs!) one I've been interested enough to buy my own. So then, to find some music to play.

Two solutions: download, and create your own!

First, a word on the utterly astounding Lilypond software. Lilypond turns a textual description of music into printable sheet music. It is so good I nearly fell off my chair - their treatise on engraving is well worth a read to appreciate the typography of creating sheet music. Lilypond's open source so it's free too!

The Mutopia Project contains now over 500 pieces of royalty-free sheet music, and it's all engraved by Lilypond.

There's some more free sheet music courtesy of the Gutenberg Project, a massive online collection of public domain texts of all sorts.

All fine, but what if you want a specific piece of music? Last night I stumbled on the first bar of the Beverly Hills theme, Axel F and wondered what the rest of it was. I battled with it by ear but my flute and aural skills are not quite up to it. Here's what I did:

First, find the MIDI file. I found a couple here and here just by searching on "axel f midi". Both these would be enough for someone with a good ear and motor skills, but I'm not that person. I need to see the music in front of me.

It so happens Lilypond comes with some MIDI to Ly software, turning the audio file into the textual description format Lilypond uses, .ly. This then is simply run through Lilypond to generate sheet music! I installed lilypond on one of my linux machines, ran the script, and out popped a PDF. One produced somewhat bizarre output, the other entirely sane. Here's what they look like:

Axel-F in C
Axel F in C

Axel F in D

Both these were produced by Lilypond 2.4.5; 2.7.3 may well be even better. Lilypond works equally on Windows but I was too lazy to figure out how to run the included software; I'd have to install the python scripting language.

Comments turned off. Sorry.

Posted by Paul Makepeace at July 28, 2005 00:19 | TrackBack

Amazing stuff - great find! Love the evolution of their typography!

Posted by: Anders at July 28, 2005 13:49

I was wondering if you could possibly e-mail me the Axel F sheet music. I've been trying to find it, and I can't get Lilypond to work on my pc. If so, thanks a million.

Posted by: Mr. Box at September 7, 2005 00:41

same here can u email me the axel f music? french horn parts if u have it? thanks

Posted by: Trita at September 11, 2005 16:19

i like this

Posted by: kevin bobertan at October 10, 2005 21:07

Since everyone else was asking I figured I would too. If could possibly have the piano part to Axel F I would love to have it. If you could email it to me or even post it that would be awesome.

Posted by: Webby at October 14, 2005 01:32

and once again form me can u plz email it to me if u have time.. i tryed mteh lilypond thing but for some unkown and bizzar reason my computer wont run it :S.. so yeh if you emil me the sheet for axel f for piano :D ty

also ur site is kool i hope i can get that lilypond program working


Posted by: BiG MaC at November 6, 2005 09:13

please send me one its awsome(axel f) for piano u rock

Posted by: pianst at January 11, 2006 22:17

Agreed with rest.......I would like the Sheet Music for Axel F for a Violin or the closest possible

Posted by: Andrew at January 25, 2006 01:23

Pretty please with a cherry on top e-mail me the sheet music for Axel F for piano. The Crazy Frog/Axel F remix is driving me nuts :)

Posted by: Angela at January 30, 2006 07:00

i can't find a music sheet for axel f!!!

Posted by: mike at February 4, 2006 19:04

PLEASE,if you can, find me a trumpet part or something that a trumpet can play for Axel F, that song is so sweet. THANX a bunch.

Posted by: Bob at February 23, 2006 00:52

Send the piano part my way aswell... Thx in advance....

Posted by: NakedJellyBean at March 4, 2006 18:14

hey do u mind emailing the crazy axel sheet music to me?
i cant seem to get it to work. TY

Posted by: jp at March 29, 2006 04:01

could you send me sheet music for any b flat insturments

Posted by: tor at March 31, 2006 21:31