Old Sheet Music: What’s it Worth?

So you have dug up your old collection of sheet music and interested in knowing its true value? Unfortunately sheet music, due to its popularity and mass production, is only worth in the range of £2-10. This is great if you’re a prospective buyer or collector of old sheet music but for the seller, you’re more likely to get rich winning the lottery.

There are, however some exceptions to the rule, original Beatles, Elvis Presley and their contemporaries can fetch from £80 upwards. Other categories that demand a premium include transportation themed songs, television themes and politically themed tracks.

Other factors that affect the price and drive value to old sheet music includes graphics. In general, high quality lithographs raise the price of the sheet music. A fine example of this is A. Hoen Company lithographs on ET Paull sheet music covers selling on EBay for £500 .

Condition is another major factor that can affect the price of your old sheet music. Make sure that the front and covers stay attached and ensure that all pages are present. The middle page of sheet music is usually a single sheet so can easily get lost. Slight wear and tear on the edges is expected but major tears and stains can detract from the sale price. Surprisingly, owners’ names and gift inscriptions do not detract from the sale price so long as it does not impede on the cover design. If you are collecting old sheet music for decorative or graphical value, refrain from removing the covers from the sheet music in order to retain the value of your collection.

Another variable which should be taken into account when valuing your old sheet music is how much is someone really prepared to pay for the sheet music. It could be that your old sheet music is the missing part of their collection or has personal sentimental value. This is where value and price separate, you may have an old piece of sheet music with insignificant value but because someone in the market is looking to pay a premium, the price ends up significantly higher than expected. In other words, shop around, if your selling your old sheet music, don’t always accept the first bid, someone out there could be willing to pay a premium.

In conclusion, due to the huge popularity of sheet music and the rise of mass market printing, old sheet music doesn’t command a high price. If you are looking to sell your old sheet music ensure that the collection is in good condition and research the market. For those considering collecting sheet music ensure that middle sheet is included, the covers are in good condition and like the sellers research the market, be wary of EBay sellers claiming the sheet music to be rare or one offs, they rarely are!