Just think of it as Spotify for sheet music. For less than $10 a month you can have access to over 20,000 arrangements of piano sheet music. OKTAV Music (founded in 2017 by a group of passionate piano players who “decided to create the sheet music library we have always wanted”) gave me a one month trial so I could check it out for myself, and I have to say, it’s pretty amazing!
When you sign up for a free trial, OKTAV starts by asking you what level you are and what your preferred genres are. They then curate a personalized dashboard for you with suggestions of where to start. You can also easily search by title or composer or look at playlists that have already been compiled.
I was delighted to discover an educational section with a selection of piano solos by Dennis Alexander, one of the earliest composers I remember loving as a young student! When you select the piece in your browser, you can see the cover of the book from which it is taken and also an embedded video with a performance of the piece. Very handy to have all of this in one location!
My explorations also led me to a variety of piano scores for movie soundtracks. You can see the helpful categorizations under the title and composer, along with the level (a 100 level system is used; I don’t know exactly how each level is determined, but 100 levels gives quite a wide variety!) and options to play, add to a learn list, or add to a custom playlist. On the pieces where it is relevant, there is also a link to other arrangements of the same piece. I came across a few that offered multiple arrangements at different levels.
Even though I haven’t fully switched over to digital music (and doubt that I ever will; I love the touch of real books too much!), I really appreciated the convenience of accessing so much music at my fingertips on my iPad mini. My only issues were occasionally coming across an arrangement that was unavailable due to licensing restrictions in my region, and a failure to load error a couple of times (which may have been a technical glitch on my end not related to the site itself). If I was doing lots of gig playing and didn’t want to have to purchase all the music separately, but wanted access to lots of music of various genres, this would absolutely be the way to go. With lots of pop piano solos, soundtrack music, classical repertoire, some educational composers, and more, this can also be an invaluable reference resource in a piano studio or for the advancing student that wants to have lots of music to play through on their own for fun.
OKTAV offers a simple pricing structure that gives you access to their entire library of 20,000 plus arrangements: $9.90/month if you subscribe month-by-month; $8.25/month if you pay for an annual subscription. You can read a complete overview on the OKTAV website about how it works, why it was started, and more. Now, I’m back to exploring!
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