Checking Out Music at Your Local Library
The library is a great place to search for singing music. It’s free, and you can check out the book to try the song at home at your own pace. If you find that it’s not in the right key, you save yourself a few dollars and some frustration.
You can even take the music to a pianist to play through it for you if your music-reading skills are still pretty new. If you decide that you like the song, jot down the name of the songbook, along with the name of the publisher and edition of that publication. Some books are republished and songs are added. Ask before you purchase so you aren’t disappointed.
If you own the original sheet music, making a photocopy of the song for your own use is legal. For more information about making a legal copy of your music, visit the U.S. Copyright Office or type copyright music into your favorite search engine.
At musical theater auditions, taking along a photocopy of the song is okay. At most classical auditions, taking an original is customary. You may be able to use a photocopy for the audition, but at competitions involving classical music, you’re required to own the original. The reason? Songwriters deserve to make a living by selling their music.