Can't download sheets for free anymore?

• Dec 8, 2019 - 10:46

Why can't i suddenly download any of the sheets for free? They keep asking to go pro everytime i choose to download pdf. Is musescore no longer free? This is totally out of the blue


MuseScore - the notation software - is and always will remain free. The score sharing website has both free and Pro accounts. The latter are required in order to download copyrighted music, as the revenue from the Pro account is what pays the copyright owners. For more information about, though, you really need to go over there, this site ( is for discussing the software, which again, remains free.

BTW< the change happened several months and was announced there and discussed heavily. See for example

Unfortunately, yes. Musescore has only allowed PRO users to download sheet music, midi files, etc. But I remember stumbling upon a GitHub post about downloading w/o premium.

In reply to by Formestaken

Mostly, this is a free site - you're able to play and learn all the scores without paying. You should pay only for downloads and prints scores for copyrighted music. We pay copyrights holders for every view and every downloading and printing of such scores. So why should it be free? Why should we pay authors for creating transcriptions too? We provide contributors an opportunity to share their work with other people in an absolutely legal way, and this could happen only if the MU catalog is licensed.

In reply to by Shoichi

Right yeah sure. But where is everyone else going to go if they can't trust a site that's been giving out free sheet music? I mean shouldn't there be an option for people to not download the certain sheet music. Shouldn't "the licensing should focus on the rights of transcription/rearranging to the sheet music authors, instead of the rights of sharing the music on some websites." This was a total 180 on musescores side and I don't think the community was ready for it. I do understand this was debated about along time ago but come on if you are a pro user this wouldn't affect you like how it's affecting the rest of the users. "Also, there are many authors who created their own songs and posted the sheet music on Does pay to those authors?". :)

In reply to by Formestaken

Just to briefly pick up on the Also, there are many authors who created their own songs and posted the sheet music on Does pay to those authors? argument.

If those authors have a license agreement with .com and chosen to not allow free downloads of their work, then yes, they are payed for their work; just like any other copyright holder on is if they have a license deal.

A transcriptor has no rights, so I don't see why anyone should focus on that. An arranger has some rights and honors all of them; even going above and beyond so an arranger that doesn't have permission to arrange a work won't be prosecuted at all.

In reply to by Formestaken

As others have mentioned, arguing about copyrights and licenses and score sharing here on a software support website doesn't make much sense, better to discuss over there on the actual score sharing website in question. But it is is worth correcting misinformation here.

There should be no question of "trust" here. Copyrighted scores used to be free to downlaod not because MuseScore was generously allowing it and they they've changed their mind and decided to be selfish. That's not even close to the thruth. Copyrighted scores were free to download, yes, but it was completely illegal, and it was possible only because not enough people were suing MuseScore to remove their scores. There is simply no going back to a world where you can download copyrighted material without paying the copyright owners. They let this slide for years, but now they are asserting their legal rights, and we all need to to adjust our expectations accordingly.

In reply to by Formestaken

I understand that they need to pay the users, but why should we have to pay for a full membership when we only want one score? I have loved using muse score in the past and I hate that now I can’t even use it at all. I’m a minor so I don’t have a credit card and I can’t buy the membership anyway. I would happily pay for an individual piece, but I don’t want to make the commitment of paying monthly.

In reply to by averyschaefer

I could imagine, this could be a good option for users they don't need a pro membership, but want to download the one or other copyrighted score. But as mentioned, It's an issue of, not of - the forum for the free application itself - so it's a better place to suggest it there.

In reply to by jeetee

Musescore has somehow managed to arrange hundreds if not thousands of agreements with artists and labels to pay royalties based on user-made scores, and that every download results in compensation to the artist? "Pay us a fixed rate in a Pro membership and you can rest assured we'll somehow parse that out appropriately."

Sounds like someone's making a quick buck, and it's sure not the artists.

In reply to by danem

One doesn't need to negotiate with the individual artists - most are represented by a much smaller number of large publishing companies. And yes, there has been a team legal team working on this for the past couple of years, it's a pretty big deal that they were able to accomplish it!

In reply to by danem

Please don't take my anger personally of these or similar discussions, I don't want to offend you and not sure if I understand your trouble correct, it's just a reply of another user in another thread short time ago, he deleted all his scores and account as reaction because of this policy- and maybe better I should comment it on
Maybe there are big publishers, they don't care about breaking copyright laws. But I also see the these artists, they don't have these "big players" for marketing and earn their livelihood with it. So I personally can live with the policy of
In this sense sorry again, be sure, next time I'll try to reply more objective.

We should simply be appreciative that the owners of copyrighted music allow their scores to be made available in this way. They certainly didn't have to. And, we should likewise appreciate that MuseScore has created a convenient venue by which this can lawfully be done.

Owners of music know how important this sort of thing is to musical education. They provide their licensed material, not merely as a PDF or printed book, but in a form that you can manipulate and experiment with. They are able to do it because they are assured of royalty payments. The notion that there should be a paid-for "pro" section, and the paltry price that you pay to belong to it, is more than fair.

All of us as musical composers are entitled by law to be paid for our work and to retain the "copy right" concerning the thing that we have made. If we choose not to exercise that entitlement, if we choose to not to impose restrictions, that's our prerogative: by definition, the copyright (even if un-registered ...) still exists and we still own it. (Permissive "GPL" and "Creative Commons" licenses have been tested and upheld in international courts, and carry real legal teeth.) If other owners, whose works we wish to have access to, wish to be paid for a license, they must be. MuseScore has agreed to handle these payments on our behalf.

In reply to by Ty Baker21

To repeat what has already been said: the reason MuseScore needs to charge for downloads is to pay the copyright holders. The people who actually composed the music have the legal right to be paid for downloads of their music, and MuseScore is obligated to do so. That is why it is only copyrighted music that you requires a Pro account for.

As a musician yourself, hopefully you can understand why other musicians do insist on being paid for their work and not think too harshly of them for this!

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

the major problem is that even if a work is creative commons non-commercial, the website still adds an advert and prevents you from downloading unless you specify it as public domain or original work. Even if you obtain permission (e.g. I got permission from some composers and others such as Adam Sporka/Jan Valta, and some authors such as ZUN publically states that he will allow you to do whatever you want with his works as long as you dont say your adaption is not official content).

To add adverts to a non-commercial document and preventing a user is basically stealing. Unfortunately the only way around that is to state all works as public domain until this shit like this gets fixed.

In reply to by ZdrytchX

Once again, since this discussiobn is about the score-sharing website, discussion really belongs over there on that site.

But for the record:

"Public domain" in this context is just a convenient label to help separate out the which scores are downloadable and which are not. Applying that label to a score with a particular CC license should't be a problem at all - the license remains as is. That's my impression anyhow. Further discussion, again, belongs over there on that score-sharing website, not on this one dedicated to the notation software.

Also, there is very certainly nothing illegal or "stealing" about a website honoring its own terms of service. it's your choice whether or not to upload the music to a site that you know full will display ads. There is no known alternative universe in which there is even the slightest issue with that. If you wish to propose new alternative universes that would have that property, again, over there on that other website would be the place. Best to keep the profanity out of it if you wish to engage in rational discussion, though.

If you download the score as a musescore file, you should be able to access it and then print it from the software for free. The software is free as well.

It's a good question, but there are so many copies of different scores in google images. Why aren't these being taken down, and how can revenue be made by this.

In reply to by connorpb20

Images of copyrighted material are a violation as well. If you find some that don't include information that they were reprinted with permission. it's probably just a matter of time before they get sued too. Or not, if a website has just a small handful of violating images, they aren't likely to be attracted the attention of the copyright owners or their representatives. But has over a million scores - you can't break copyright law that much and get away with it! Hence, the license agreements that are now in place.

In reply to by jytjak

There is an optional speciality online service called MuseScore Pro hosted over on that you can sign up for if you want to. Bbut that has nothing to do with MuseScore itself - the software itself is free, as are the regular non-Pro online accounts over there on

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