I heard Orleans on Youtube and cover bands and wanted to learn some of their songs. I went to the library and music store to try to find their sheet music but struck out. Seems like no one is licensed to sell their music in book format.

I've heard 1-2 cover bands playing the band's songs so I'm curious where they get the music for all parts/members of their band to play and perform? I see several online sites selling sheet music of their songs. However, I don't know who is reputable (won't steal my CC number) or if the music they are selling is the original key/notes or just an arrangement by someone who has perfect pitch and figured the song out.

How do I determine if the website is legit and is selling the original sheet music with all parts and not someone who listened and arranged it?

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    For the vast majority of commercial recordings there is no such thing as the 'original' sheet music. Almost everything you can buy, even 'original' sheet music from the band's publishers, will be transcriptions.
    – PiedPiper
    Feb 18 at 12:13
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    "I'm curious where they get the music for all parts/members of their band to play and perform": I reckon most of them are playing by ear.
    – phoog
    Feb 18 at 12:36
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    @phoog In almost all cover bands somebody transcribes at least a lead sheet, and often basic parts.
    – PiedPiper
    Feb 18 at 15:46
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    @PiedPiper - not in my experience. Most players in covers bands that I've been in don't read, and have learnt the chord sequence, drum, bass parts etc by ear. Probably a safer, more accurate way to emulate the songs in any case!
    – Tim
    Feb 18 at 17:37
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    @Tim We've obviously moved in completely different musical scenes.
    – PiedPiper
    Feb 18 at 22:46

1 Answer 1


Back in the '60s, learning new numbers with my band, we'd listen to them, and simply (!) learn them by copying and repetition. Ironically, I would occasionally buy the sheet music, but more often than not, find it wasn't that accurate or even in the played key.

What's to say that the band in question didn't do the same, and eschewed the sheet music altogether? Nothing much seems to have changed, and I have up to date copies of many songs that are inaccurate - and the 'net is also full of that sort of stuff, too.

Perfect (absolute) pitch just isn't necessary to be able to 'transcribe' any music - a knowledge of the instrument concerned will be. And there's absolutely no need to write it all down - so many bands - good, bad and indifferent, couldn't read it back anyhow! By ear works well for them, and why shouldn't it?

Your last question - unless you actually go ahead and buy some music from particular sites, then play exactly what's written, on the appropriate instruments, you're not going to know. All that apart, asking for resources on this site is out of bounds, sorry.

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