Having a Web Site dealing with the music of Classic Television and Old-Time Radio, we sometimes get EMail from a person trying to find a copy of printed Sheet Music for a THEME or Advertising Jingle.
As you see on our Web Site, this is a research site to identify the music themes and composers of Radio and Television and other Light Music. We are not in the business of selling Sheet Music or recordings at this point in time.
But here are some tips on how to track down TV Theme and Advertising Jingle Sheet Music yourself:
Finding out-of-print Sheet Music and Folio Books at large libraries
This is often the best sources for the more obscure Classic TV Themes. Sheet Music may be bound on the shelves as individual compositions. Or you may find themes as part of a collection in a Sheet Music Folio Book. Check both public and university music libraries. For greater selection you might consider taking a field trip to a large city library. Usually library policies allows photocopying for non-commercial "fair-use" research or educational purposes. But check with the library in advance if you are not sure. Many have web sites. If you want a large number of themes, you can also check out these folio books from the library and do the photocopying at a copying service bureau.
TV Theme Sheet Music Folio Books
Here are 18 TV Theme Sheet Music folio books for piano, piano/vocal or organ -- which may or may not be out-of-print -- which you might find in libraries around the U.S.:
- "Outstanding Television Themes [for Wurlitzer Organ]" - Gordon Music (1959)
- "TV Favorites [for Hammond Organ]" - M. Witmark & Sons (1962)
- "Great TV Themes" - Robbins/20th Century Fox (1966)
- "Top 20 from Twentieth" - Charles Hansen (1970)
- "Themes from Universal TV Shows" - MCA-Universal (1976)
- "Reel Music" from Universal TV and the Movies - MCA (1980)
- "I Love TV Music" - Columbia Pictures Pub (CPP) (1983)
- "The TV Theme Book (1948 - Present)" - Warner Bros (1985)
- "100 Worlds Best Television Songs & Themes" - Columbia Pictures Pub (CPP) (1986)
- "Television Showstoppers" - Columbia Pictures Pub. (CPP) (1987)
- "Favorite TV Themes [adv. piano library] - Columbia Pictures Pub. (CPP) (1987)
- "Top TV Hits" - MCA Music Publishing & Hal Leonard (1987)
- "The Mike Post Collection [of 1991]" - CPP / Belwin (1991)
- "Cartoon Tunes" - Hal Leonard (1994)
- "The Golden Era Of T.V. Music" - Warner Bros. (1995)
- "Classic TV" - Hal Leonard (1996)
- "TV Themes Past & Present" - Hal Leonard (1998)
- "The TV Fake Book" - Hal Leonard (1995)
This last one on the above list is a "fake book", which means it is for professional musicians who can "fake it" with just a lead melody line and chord symbols (and optional words.)
Advertising Jingle Sheet Music Folio Books
Here are 5 Advertising Jingle Sheet Music folio books for piano or piano/vocal or organ -- which may or may not be out-of-print -- which you might find in libraries around the U.S.:
- "Great Songs of Madison Avenue" - Quadrangle/NY Times (1976)
- "The Jingle Man (Steve Karmen jingles)" - Hal Leonard (1980)
- "TV Commercials For Piano" - Bradley Pub./Columbia Pictures Pub. (1982)
- "The Commercial Songbook" - Columbia Pictures Publications (1983)
- "TeeVee Toons: The Commercials" - CPP / Belwin, Inc. (1990)
Library Hours and Online Catalogs
Important tip: Libraries have unusual hours -- closed some weekdays and state holidays. Check their Web Sites or call them for current hours and days.
Many libraries have online catalogs which are searchable. The only disadvantage is that entries in these catalogs do not always contain a list of the individual themes within a particular folio book. Here are some of the online catalogs for libraries or library systems:
- Library of Congress Online Catalog => http://catalog.loc.gov/
- New York Public Library, Music Div. => http://www.nypl.org/research/lpa/mus/mus.html
- Chicago Public Library => http://www.chipublib.org/
- Los Angeles Public Library Catalog => http://catalog.lapl.org/
- UCLA Library Online Catalog => http://orion2pub.library.ucla.edu/
- Univ. of California Melvyl Catalog => http://www.dbs.cdlib.org/?CSdb=cat
If the book is in the stacks, and you do not live near these large cities, there are sometimes Inter-library loans which can be arranged via your local public library.
Music stores that sell published Sheet Music
Although most music stores sell current stock, there are some times when a folio book may have been on the shelf for a few years, and can be found that way. At the very least, you might be able to browse through some of the recently published folio books from the above Sheet Music publishers.
We only know of a few relatively large music stores left which carry very much printed music in stock, most catering to School Band/Orchestra/Music Directors. Here they are:
Music Center of San Francisco
207 Powell St., 2nd floor
San Francisco, CA 94102
J. W. Pepper Sheet Music
(aka: "Pepper of Valley Forge, PA")
2480 Industrial Blvd
Paoli, PA 19301
Toll Free Music Line (800) 345-6296
Local phone: (610) 648-0500
Dale Music Company, Inc.
8240 Georgia Avenue
Silver Spring, MD
Toll Free Line: 1-800-779-6874
Local phone: (301) 589-1459
Companies that publish Sheet Music
Although Sheet Music was at one time the mainstay of all music publishers, it has become eroded into a specialty niche market, with only a few companies publishing printed music. Most so-called music publishers today are little more than accounting offices. They sign deals with Sheet Music publishers to create piano or piano/vocal arrangements of their catalog for a certain period of time.
The biggest publisher in the U.S. specializing in Sheet Music is Hal Leonard Publishing.
Admittedly, most of their publications are music folio books which include recent TV series themes, and the same old war-horses from their back catalog over and over again And you will occassionally find other large publishers affiliated with film/TV studios, who from time to time may put out a folio book of their own TV and/or Film Themes. These publishers don't do this every year, but they may be worth checking every once in a while to see if anything new has appeared.
So here are a list of the current possible sources from the world of music publishing including a couple of online song search URLs:
- Hal Leonard Publishing => http://www.halleonard.com
- Warner Bros. Publications => http://www.warnerbrospublications.com/
- [Warner Bros absorbed Charles Hansen, Columbia Pictures Publications and CPP/Belwin]
- Warner / Chappell Music => http://www.warnerchappell.com/
- Sony / ATV Music Publishing => http://www.sonyatv.com/html/body_findsongs.cfm
- Peer Music => http://www.peermusic.com/catalog/catalogmain.cfm
- National Music Publishers Assn. SongFile => http://www.songfile.com/
Other Miscellaneous source ideas
Sheet Music Plus (Online Sheet Music Store)
Used book stores sometimes sell old Sheet Music, but their stock is not often large
Best of luck with your search,
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