Here you can view and print Ave Maria sheet music in two famous versions: One by Bach/Gounod and the other by Franz Schubert.
Read more about each Ave Maria composition, enjoy the videos and print the free sheet music for piano solo and for piano and voice!
Ave Maria by Bach/Gounod is one of the most popular re-arrangements of J.S Bach’s music.
The piece is often performed with a singer and piano accompaniment, with a violoncello and piano accompaniment, or simply as a piano solo.
In 1722 J.S Bach wrote the famous work “The Well tempered Clavier” part 1. Twenty years later he completed another set of preludes and fugues, which is now referred to as part 2. This work in two parts, has become a staple for every serious pianist.
The two volumes contain a Prelude and a Fugue for each of the 12 major and 12 minor keys, beginning with the very popular Prelude in C major (Click for a free PDF).
The prelude is one of the easiest pieces in this collection, and I really recommend giving it a go! The C major Prelude is not for the absolute beginner, but on an intermediate level. You need to have learned to read notes, and be able to play 16th notes evenly.
This Prelude is what the song Ave Maria by Gounod is based upon.
In 1859, a French Romantic composer named Charles Gounod, inspired by the Prelude by Bach, arranged the prelude and added a melody to be sung or played together with it.
Since the Prelude is a progression of broken chords, without any obvious melody, it is easy to understand anyone wanting to add “something” to it.
J.S Bach himself though, thought it enough with a harmonic progression of chords as the humble introduction to the huge work “The Well tempered Clavier”. And it is, indeed a lovely piece just by itself.
Gounod called his arrangement: "Meditation on a Prelude by Bach". This loved piece has become a "classic" in it's own right.
Here are free copies (advanced) of Ave Maria for piano solo, and piano and voice (the PDF will open in a new window):
And here is an easy version for beginners (for purchase):
This is a video with Yo-Yo Ma (Cello) and Kathryn Stott (piano) playing Bach/Gounod "Ave Maria".
Another, perhaps the most, famous version of Ave Maria (Ave Maria! Jungfrau mild!) was composed by Franz Schubert.
This song was written in 1825 as the sixth (Ellen's third) song (lieder) in a song cycle of seven songs based upon the poems by Walter Scott called “The Lady of the Lake”.
Ellen Douglas is the lady of the lake “Loch Katrine” in the Scottish highlands. Ave Maria is the prayer to Virgin Mary for help as Ellen has fled with her father and is hiding in a cave.
Later, the Latin text of the “Ave Maria” from the Roman Catholic prayer was used instead of the original text, and it became so popular that many mistakenly thought Schubert composed it to that text.
If you would like Franz Schubert’s Ave Maria sheet music for piano and voice, here is a free copy (advanced):
And here is an easy version for beginners:
You can also get a nice arrangement for easy piano, completely free, here.
Watch this video with a great singer and pianist, singing Schubert's original text: