My music is free to share, copy, perform and record because I want choirs to sing it.
All of my work as a musician has been about finding ways to include and connect people, to widen the music circle. It's a principle that has underpinned all of my music endeavours. Releasing my arrangements for free is a part of this.
it's easy for choirs to use. You don't have to worry about paying for sheet music, paying rights to rehearse, paying other rights to perform, paying other rights again to record, and needing to ask permission to change one word, or a single note. (or stressing about getting sued cause you didn't do these things). Just get it and sing it.
It'a easy for my music to reach choirs. I can share my music everywhere, with anyone. You can share it. Do share it.
I'm not dealing with a publisher. Maybe dealing with publishers works well for some folks. For me, at the moment, the idea of locking my music down, making it difficult for me and you to share and sing, giving the management of my music over to a company I have no say in, in exchange for getting 10% of profits is dismaying. The music is available here, it's already published. What would a commercial publisher add? Maybe a title page? If you want a title page with a pretty picture for my sheet music - please make one. Send it to me, I'll share it for everyone!
It's not costing me anything. If I was printing sheet music and then mailing it to you, there would be costs. But digital publishing costs my naught.
I've been directing choirs for fifteen years and in that time I've written a lot of arrangements and compositions. Many of these songs have been sung by one choir for one concert and then put away in a drawer. To be honest, I'm not sure where publishing this sheet music for free will lead, but I know for sure that not releasing it has led to a large and dusty drawer full of once-only performed songs.
Most of my pieces are written for community choirs. I know that community choirs have specific needs for their repertoire - every line needs to be catchy for example, and just needs to feel good to sing. This is actually a great challenge for composers. It's easy to make complex music sound good. It's much harder to make simple music good. And given I've specialised in writing for community choirs, I know that for many community choirs, free PDFs are the backbone of their libraries, and part of the reason they can continue to exist.
Sweethearts, you can still give me money. Your choir can send me money anytime. sure. thanks! And you can commission me to write a special piece. And if I need some cash in the future for a music project, I'll have a fundraising campaign here.
Having said that...
I'm looking for someone to cook me dinner. Last year my published book sales brought in enough royalties to buy a nice dinner at the pub. That's what I'm giving up by releasing sheet music for free. One dinner. If someone who uses my music cooks me one yummy dinner this year, I'll be set.