Fun Friday: Winter Warm Up from Calgary
December 30, 2011

Ottawa winters aren’t so bad by comparison.  The Calgary Philharmonic Chorus offers us tips for a blistery prairie winter.


Top 10: Clarinet Collections
December 29, 2011

For the clarinetists in the audience, here is a list of the best-selling clarinet books at The Leading Note.


1. Galper Clarinet Method, Book 1

At the top of the list is the famous method by Avrahm Galper.  No other clarinet method is as widely used as this one.  The method is presented as a series of lessons, each one introducing a new technical challenge which is mastered through a series of short tunes.  As the student progresses through the lessons, the exercises become longer and more intricate.  Chord symbols (like those used in fakebooks) are included so the student can be accompanied. (Read more…)

25% Off All Christmas Music
December 28, 2011

Get a head start on next year!  All in-stock Christmas music at The Leading Note is now 25% off through January.

Season’s Greetings from The Leading Note
December 24, 2011

Lost your voice from too much seasonal merriment?  There’s no need to miss out on everyone’s seasonal favourite.  Now you can participate silently!


A warm and heartfelt thanks to all our customers for supporting us over the past year.  All the best to you and yours over the holiday season from all of us here at The Leading Note.

Tina, Gary, Sheilah, Wendy, Nick, Aura & Élaine

Fun Friday: Recipes for the Season
December 23, 2011

What would Christmas be without plum pudding? Thanks to Émile Dumont and Leonard Bernstein, we now have a special musical recipe for this holiday favourite.

Last Minute Stocking Stuffer!
December 19, 2011

Still zipping around trying to find that perfect last-minute gift?


We have the perfect gift for the would-be Broadway Star!

For a limited time, we have in stock a series of Accompaniment CDs & Karaoke CDs of popular Broadway shows. 

Each CD features fully orchestrated versions of the selected songs, both with and without the vocals.  Lyrics booklets are also included, and the Karaoke CDs also feature on-screen lyrics.  (Can’t you just picture it?  A Broadway Themed Karaoke Party??)

These tracks have been recorded in the original show key and show tempo, and our selection includes:

 Accompaniment CDs


  • Mamma Mia
  • Legally Blonde
  • The Sound of Music 


Karaoke CDs 


  • Hairspray
  • Rent
  • Wicked
  • Grease

If you’d like us to look into ordering CDs of other shows, please don’t hesitate to contact us by email or phone. 

Or drop in!   We’re open from 10am to 6pm from Monday to Friday, and from 10am until 3pm on December 24th.

Happy Holidays!




Special orders are our specialty
December 14, 2011

In addition to our wide in-store selection and our searchable on-line database, The Leading Note specializes in tracking down rare and hard to find print music for our customers. Sadly, not every piece of music can be found – many go out of print and some are never published at all and only available in dusty manuscript form in the basement of a European library.

Quite often, though, no matter how obscure the request, we are able find the requested material through our network of publishers and suppliers (Google helps a little too in some cases!). Here are a couple of recent examples of such requests – we love a challenge!

Sheilah hard at work researching special orders in the office.

A customer called one morning looking for Swedish piano music with the title “Frösöblomster” by twentieth century Swedish composer, Wilhelm Peterson-Berger.  After ensuring we had the correct spelling (umlauts and all), the search began for this title.  Luckily, we have access to a wonderful European supplier which has an amazing catalogue of publications from all over Europe.  Within a few minutes, the customer’s call was returned with the good news that we had found this title and that three volumes of “Flowers of Frösö” were readily available to import!

Another day, a gentleman popped in the shop with a copy of the cover page of what appeared to be a turn of the century (20th, not 21st!) publication of Cantiques de Nöel by Canadian composer Ernest Gagnon.  Without much hope, due to the age of the publication (Canadian publications, especially, do not often have a long shelf-life), we looked into what was currently available.  Amazingly enough, Quebec publisher Editions musicales du Nouveau Theatre Musical had reprinted this collection in 2005.  The customer had the score within 10 days of his initial request.

No matter how obscure your request, we will do everything we can to get the score on your music stand and ready to enjoy as soon as possible.

You can make special order requests by e-mail, on the phone, or in person.  We will phone or e-mail you to confirm details before ordering and to let you know when your order is expected and when it arrives to our shop.  Please see our ordering instructions for more information.

Today is World Choral Day!
December 11, 2011

Every year, people arould the world celebrate World Choral Day on the second Sunday of December. This special day, organized by the International Federation of Choral Music, is intended to bridge cultures by highlighting the shared practice of group singing.  The IFCM aims to promote the choral art in all its forms and to celebrate the diversity of this uniquely cooperative art form.

This year’s theme is Solidarity. The IFCM encourages choirs from around the world to demonstrate their support for the victims of disasters, draught, hunger, poverty and war by hosting concerts to raise money for charity organizations that help alleviate these social crises.  To mark the occassion, the World Youth Choir will be performing this weekend at the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway.

Numerous other events are happening around the world.  More information about World Choral Day can be found on the IFCM’s website, on their YouTube channel, or on the Facebook page.

Is your choir hosting an event to celebrate World Choral Day? Tell us about it!