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#2135031 - 08/18/13 08:52 PM Do you find/buy piano scores at book/rummage sales?
Stubbie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/16/10
Posts: 371
Loc: Midwest USA
Mr. Stubbie and I went to a book fair today. It was a large used book sale for the benefit of a non-profit. Lots and lots of books of all kinds. There was a music section and even a music scores category.

I was hoping to"score" some good scores, but was pretty much disappointed. Since this was Sunday and the doors opened on Friday, maybe the good stuff was all picked over. No classical piano pieces at all.

Here's what I did pick up:
1. Basic Formal Stuctures in Music by Paul Fontaine. According to the preface, intended for students at the college level who have had at least one year of theory.

2. Technic Through Melody, Book 1, by John Schaum. Someone wrote inside the front cover, "Grade 2."

3. Wesley Schaum presents Christmas Solos. Level Five. Not grade 5, more like grade 3.

4. Theory and Harmony for Everyone by Dean Bye. Elementary level.

5. Best Loved Songs of the American People by Denes Agay. Popular American tunes from colonial to approx. 1970. Varying levels of difficulty.

These all set me back $4.25. whistle I'm willing to take a chance at those prices.


So how about you? Do you ever find music at used book sales, rummage sales, or estate sales? Any real 'finds?'
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#2135046 - 08/18/13 09:40 PM Re: Do you find/buy piano scores at book/rummage sales? [Re: Stubbie]
Andy Platt Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2375
Loc: Virginia, USA
I haven't found anything myself but have picked up a ton of stuff on Freecycle - if you haven't come across that, it's where people in your town / city just post stuff they want to get rid of for free. Actually one of the people who posted was the head of the piano studio I have lessons at; when I emailed him showing my interest he realized it would be good to just put it out in the studio for anyone who had an interest so there is usually stuff there too.

I've picked up complete rubbish but I've also picked up great stuff for sight reading practice.
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#2135051 - 08/18/13 09:52 PM Re: Do you find/buy piano scores at book/rummage sales? [Re: Stubbie]
tangleweeds Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 11 2012


Registered: 12/21/08
Posts: 1269
Loc: Portlandia
I've found a couple of used sheet music collectors that sell out of nooks here and there, but their stock was pretty picked over, and never the Great Find i'd been hoping for.

I have better luck haunting estate sales for vintage thread crochet hooks, and antique malls for old tatting shuttles.
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#2135192 - 08/19/13 05:44 AM Re: Do you find/buy piano scores at book/rummage sales? [Re: tangleweeds]
Sundew Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/04/07
Posts: 281
Loc: England
I've picked stuff up in charity shops, but few seem to think it worthwhile to stock. Possibly too specialised to be worth the shelf space. Most of it is old ABRSM publications, though I did acquire a reasonable copy of Bach Inventions.

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#2135202 - 08/19/13 06:35 AM Re: Do you find/buy piano scores at book/rummage sales? [Re: Stubbie]
-Frycek Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/05
Posts: 5921
Loc: SC Mountains
It has happened. Usually I get my books used on ebay or via Bookfinder .
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#2135424 - 08/19/13 01:34 PM Re: Do you find/buy piano scores at book/rummage sales? [Re: Stubbie]
tangleweeds Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 11 2012


Registered: 12/21/08
Posts: 1269
Loc: Portlandia
Yes, I also find a lot of stuff used online.
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#2135432 - 08/19/13 01:38 PM Re: Do you find/buy piano scores at book/rummage sales? [Re: Stubbie]
Stubbie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/16/10
Posts: 371
Loc: Midwest USA
My best "find" was a year or so ago at an estate sale. There was a stack of sheet music which had been picked over (in fact, someone ahead of me was going through the stack and pulled out a lot of stuff). However, I did get the sheet music for "Fascination" (Ben Pickering arrangement from 1954) and a Schirmer edition of classical music (pretty beat up and missing the first few pages, but usable). I've gotten good use out of both of those.

I'll have to check out if there's a Freecycle around here. I have not looked on eBay or Bookfinder, but those are worth a look as well. Thanks for the tips! (Like I need more sheet music. ;))
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#2135650 - 08/19/13 09:05 PM Re: Do you find/buy piano scores at book/rummage sales? [Re: Stubbie]
Brian Lucas Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/11
Posts: 951
Those first 2 sound interesting. You'll have to let us know how they are. Even if you learn one little tidbit or one little trick, it'll be worth the $4.25, not to mention that just ONE song's sheet music costs more than that. Sounds like a score to me. smile
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#2135721 - 08/20/13 01:07 AM Re: Do you find/buy piano scores at book/rummage sales? [Re: Stubbie]
rnaple Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014


Registered: 12/23/10
Posts: 1986
Loc: Rocky Mountains
I probably should, but haven't tried book/rummage sales themselves.
We do have a second hand store here. Much like a rummage. They have the best dumpster diving west of the mississippi. It's a clean dumpster with stuff they move out to make room for new donated stuff. I've gotten a Liszt exercise book, a Hannon, and a Piano Song Book, popular 70's or something like that, out of there. All for free.
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#2136076 - 08/20/13 03:39 PM Re: Do you find/buy piano scores at book/rummage sales? [Re: Stubbie]
joyoussong Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/19/09
Posts: 730
Loc: Canada
Yes, lots! The public library has book sales twice a year - some books are from their collection & others are donated specifically for the sale. A while ago I got the score for "The Sting" (the Scott Joplin tunes & a couple written by Marvin Hamlisch specifically for the movie); "Easy Play Piano Solos" selections from "The Sound of Music" & another from "Oklahoma;" a collection of some of Gershwin's stuff, & loads of other odds & ends. Oh yah, & a half dozen individual songs from the 1920's or so that remind me of the sheet music that lived in my grandparents' piano bench when I was a little kid. I also usually drop in to a thrift store that's on my way home from lessons. From there, I've got more lesson-oriented stuff - a Dozen a Day book, my Hanon book, Book 3 of the Four Star series (which was the level my teacher had suggested just that day). I'm a compulsive book-buyer, & music has opened up a whole new world of possibilities!


Edited by joyoussong (08/20/13 03:40 PM)
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#2136245 - 08/20/13 08:52 PM Re: Do you find/buy piano scores at book/rummage sales? [Re: Stubbie]
alans Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/18/12
Posts: 55
I've always wondered what happens to people's old sheet music collections. It seems as if every second house has a kid who studied piano up until high school
And then quit. So where does the unused sheet music go? I used to buy through ebay but for the last couple of years I find ebay has become a store full of greedy crooks. You can often find sheet music at a decent price but then they charge an unreasonable fortune for shipping just a few thin books.

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#2136290 - 08/20/13 10:27 PM Re: Do you find/buy piano scores at book/rummage sales? [Re: rnaple]
Stubbie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/16/10
Posts: 371
Loc: Midwest USA
Originally Posted By: rnaple
I probably should, but haven't tried book/rummage sales themselves.
We do have a second hand store here. Much like a rummage. They have the best dumpster diving west of the mississippi. It's a clean dumpster with stuff they move out to make room for new donated stuff. I've gotten a Liszt exercise book, a Hannon, and a Piano Song Book, popular 70's or something like that, out of there. All for free.


Wow, the price is right! Beats my $4.25. I'd be in real trouble with dumpster diving opportunities like that.
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#2136312 - 08/20/13 11:11 PM Re: Do you find/buy piano scores at book/rummage sales? [Re: alans]
Stubbie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/16/10
Posts: 371
Loc: Midwest USA
Originally Posted By: alans
I've always wondered what happens to people's old sheet music collections. It seems as if every second house has a kid who studied piano up until high school
And then quit. So where does the unused sheet music go?
I used to buy through ebay but for the last couple of years I find ebay has become a store full of greedy crooks. You can often find sheet music at a decent price but then they charge an unreasonable fortune for shipping just a few thin books.


That's a good question. I'm thinking of stuff my parents might have had or I had as a kid. A lot of it must have gotten tossed. Back then (dag-nabbit) there was no Craigslist or Freecycle, no book rummage sales in the area, and no close-by Goodwill or Salvation Army to donate to. Now it's much easier to donate or sell stuff.

But a lot of stuff still gets tossed these days, probably because it's the easiest thing to do. A shame, really.
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#2136318 - 08/20/13 11:35 PM Re: Do you find/buy piano scores at book/rummage sales? [Re: Stubbie]
Cassiesmom Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/27/12
Posts: 55
Loc: Mid Atlantic, US.
I've had really good luck the last few months picking up music at a local book sale (charity sale) that operates on weekends...it's a great place for all kinds of books and has a nice little music section... This summer I've gotten a book of sonatinas...several composer books... (Handel, Mendelssohn) a broadway music book. ( I already have most of the pieces in it, but it had one song i wanted, so .. worth the $1.) . a hardback book (#3) from the "international library of music".. from 1954 in mint condition. ...I've now started donating music I no longer want as well. Also picked up a Van Cliburn biography .. and have already read (and re-donated) a book about the Metropolitan Opera by Johanna Fiedler. So... fun finds this summer !!

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#2136347 - 08/21/13 01:22 AM Re: Do you find/buy piano scores at book/rummage sales? [Re: Stubbie]
Tubbie0075 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/17/10
Posts: 544
My best find was in a used bookstore in Sydney (Australia) while holidaying there. I got a very worn Chopin's complete Impromptu for under $10. I thought it was impossible to learn it but would still be fun to own it nonetheless. A year later, I finally got the learn the last piece in the book, Fantaisie Impromptu! Best buy ever!

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#2136456 - 08/21/13 07:58 AM Re: Do you find/buy piano scores at book/rummage sales? [Re: alans]
-Frycek Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/05
Posts: 5921
Loc: SC Mountains
Originally Posted By: alans
I've always wondered what happens to people's old sheet music collections. It seems as if every second house has a kid who studied piano up until high school
And then quit. So where does the unused sheet music go? .

In at least one case to the landfill. My 1937 small grand was accompanied by a grapefruit crate full of sheet music. Turned out to be tattered moldy editions of every never made it song and method book for the past seventy years. Surely there must've been some good stuff somewhere. I suspect the gent (my tuner) who was selling the piano for the original owner's widow got first dibs.



Edited by -Frycek (08/21/13 08:00 AM)
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#2136458 - 08/21/13 08:09 AM Re: Do you find/buy piano scores at book/rummage sales? [Re: Stubbie]
justpin Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 504
Loc: Holmes Chapel
Yes and no.

I used to but we got an infestation of beg bugs from a box of old sheet music. It was horrific to get rid of them and left my arms and legs covered in scars.

So today I am more likely to buy new or print out scans.

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#2136640 - 08/21/13 02:22 PM Re: Do you find/buy piano scores at book/rummage sales? [Re: justpin]
tangleweeds Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 11 2012


Registered: 12/21/08
Posts: 1269
Loc: Portlandia
Originally Posted By: justpin
used to but we got an infestation of beg bugs from a box of old sheet music. It was horrific to get rid of them and left my arms and legs covered in scars.


And yes, there is that to worry about also, at least in urban areas these days.
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