Orchestral Excerpts for Percussionists
November 22, 2013

Orchestral Repertoire for Tambourine, Triangle, and CastanetsThe Leading Note now has a full complement of orchestral excerpts for percussionists. Orchestral Repertoire is a series of books compiled by Raynor Carroll that provides an excellent overview of the performance requirements for orchestral percussionists. Each volume focuses on a particular instrument or group: xylophone, glockenspiel, snare drum, bass drum & cymbals, plus tambourine, triangle & castanets. These are indispensable books for the aspiring performer!

Christmas music is here!
November 1, 2013

Christmas music display at the front of our shop

‘Tis the season for jolly merry-making and the Leading Note has lots of Christmas music to bring plenty of joy to your holiday season! Stop by our shop to check out our vast selection. We have music for voice and piano, strings, winds, brass, and choir. Of course, we have lots of music for solo piano including elementary music for children and advanced collections. (Read more…)

“See Music in a New Light”
September 6, 2013


The Leading Note is pleased to announce that we now carry the Triplet Light Music Stand. This innovative Canadian design makes it much easier for musicians to read their pages in dimly lit concert halls. The stand has been used by the Chamber Players of Canada and many other renowned artists.

Created by Ottawa’s Jack McGowan, the Triplet has a specially-designed LED lamp built into the base of the stand that lights the music from below. The stand is plugged in with a small, unobtrusive cable that runs down the tripod support. With the built in dimmer switch, you can control the brightness to suit your needs. There are no bulbs to replace and the LED lights in the stand are designed to last for 25 years! (Read more…)

Canadian Music History at The Leading Note
August 8, 2013

The bookshelves at The Leading Note are always getting more full. We recently added a few new books to our shelves that tell the stories of major Canadian musical institutions. One of these, The National Arts Centre, is very close to home—only a few blocks away. Other books cover opera, musical theatre and choral music. Read on for more information.

Art and Politics: The History of the National Arts Centre

Sarah Jennings

Art and Politics is the story of the creation and first four decades of one of Canada’s pre-eminent cultural organizations. While it documents the history of the country’s National Arts Centre in Ottawa, it also describes the arts in Canada from the 1960s to the present… Written in a documentary style, moving from episode to episode, the story is enriched by the personal memories of those who participated in the making of the NAC, including the leading artists, managers, officials, and politicians who were involved.

We also have two new books that narrate the history of the theatrical musical productions in Toronto, both opera and music theatre: (Read more…)

Reminder: Store Closing for Summer Holiday
July 11, 2013


For rest, relaxation and recuperation, The Leading Note will be closed July 15-21.

Summer is a somewhat quieter time here at The Leading Note. It has become our tradition to close the shop and take a holiday in the third week of July before the “back to school” rush kicks in.

During our holiday week, you can still make an order by searching our online catalogue.

You may be interested to know that The Leading Note has now introduced an online shopping cart! This new feature makes it easier to order the books you need, either for pick-up or mail delivery. Check out how it works or start browsing! We will also monitor e-mail periodically through the week. Most special orders will arrive July 29.

From all the staff at The Leading Note, we hope you also get a relaxing and rejuvenating break this summer.

Best wishes for the upcoming season,

Tina, Gary, Sheilah & the staff

View our hours and holidays here!

Summer order schedule
June 20, 2013


For rest, relaxation and recuperation,
The Leading Note will be closed July 15-20.

Summer tends to be a quieter time as students, teachers, choirs and other musical ensembles take holidays. Of course, not all forms of musical expression cease during the warmer months; while our in-stock selection is vast, just in case we do not have that obscure solo work you have been excited to learn, we would like to let you know our ordering schedule for the summer months. (Read more…)

When It’s Not Nice to Share
May 31, 2013

It’s the night before your big audition/talent show/school presentation, and you finally came up with the PERFECT song, composed by this hot up-and-coming composer - the one song that’s sure to land you the part/make you a star/earn you an A+.  The only thing in your way is that you don’t actually have a copy of the sheet music in your collection.  Not a problem… you’re sure to find a free version online that you can download and print off.  There are tons of music-sharing sites on the internet, and that’s what they’re there for – to supply you with music you don’t yet own, right?  Except there’s one hitch.  There’s no “sharing” involved.  Not really.  It’s copying.  A digital replication is made from originals, and that’s what you download.

So what’s the hitch, you ask?  It’s a moral one.  The song you’re about to download for free is protected by copyright laws, and is an illegal copy.   That hot up-and-coming composer that you love so much created the work with his own genius, and is not willing to just give it away.  It’s what he does for part of his living, and he’s expecting to be compensated for his work, just as you expect to walk away from your work with a paycheck every week.  In fact, not only is the composer expecting to be compensated from the sale of his music, but there’s a whole team of people who expect compensation from that sheet music sale:  the lyricist, the publisher, the copyist, the arranger and the distributor to name a few.

Jason Robert Brown

Jason Robert Brown is a very popular broadway composer (The Last Five Years; Songs for a New World; 13; Parade) who, in 2010, tackled the issue of illegal music-sharing head on.  (Read more…)

Fun Friday: The Bottle Song
May 10, 2013

Bizet would be proud, no doubt, by this festive use of his Toreador song: