This post is sponsored by Oktav. All opinions are my own.
I recently had a chance to explore Oktav, which is a piano sheet music streaming service. You can think of it kind of like the Netflix of piano sheet music.
I was really impressed with the concept and approach of Oktav. It’s a monthly subscription service that gives you access to over 20,000 digital piano scores.
As a pianist, one thing I’ve always loved doing is going to a music store and browsing sheet music. There’s something about seeing colorful book covers and flipping through music that is really satisfying. Oktav is the first online platform that I have seen that does a really good job of replicating that experience of browsing physical sheet music in a digital format.
Oktav doesn’t feel like a lifeless database of sheet music. Instead, it provides a really pleasant browsing experience that makes it really easy to find and use sheet music that interests you.
How Oktav Works
When you first sign up with Oktav, it asks you to select genres of music that interest you as well as the level of your playing ability.
You can select from these genres:
- New Age & Instrumental
- Ragtime & Swing
- Broadway & Musicals
- Pop & Rock
- Holiday & Special Occasion
- Jazz & Blues
- Video Game Music
- Movie Soundtrack
- Traditional & Inspirational
For your playing ability, you can choose from Beginner, Ambitious, Advanced or Virtuoso. Oktav ranks every piece of music based on difficulty on a scale from 0-100 and puts it into one of those 4 categories.
Once you select your preference of genres and your level, the dashboard that you see when you log in gives you sheet music suggestions tailored to your level and style preferences. Once you start browsing sheet music, the algorithms get to know your preferences even more and further refine the recommendations.
You’ll be given tons of sheet music options to explore. I really like that each sheet has a unique cover on it that makes browsing the sheets visually interesting and memorable.
When you see a sheet that interests you, you can click on it, and here’s what you’ll see:
Once again, I really like that there is a unique cover page. For visual people like me, it makes the piece more memorable to have an image to associate with it. Especially when I’m just browsing, it really helps to see something other than the first page of notation.
You get a few details like the genre and key signature and it also shows the level and if it’s within your ability to play. (I have my level set to advanced, so it suggests music up to 60/100.) You can click on the “let’s play” button to access the sheet music, you can categorize it as “want to learn”, “currently learning” or “already learned”, or you can add it to a playlist where you can keep track of your own sheet music collections.
If you keep scrolling down, you’ll see several options of performance videos to watch to get to know the piece of music.
Then, further down, you can read tons more details about the music.
Finally, at the bottom of the page you get recommendations for more similar pieces that you might be interested in.
When you click on the “let’s play” button to learn the sheet music, you’ll see the sheet music exactly as it would appear if it were on a printed page. This is something that I was really happy to see on Oktav, because I’ve noticed a lot of apps make the music appear as one long continuous sheet. Being able to scroll page by page makes it feel like a much more authentic sheet music experience.
Oktav’s main focus is to provide piano sheet music, so you won’t find tons of interactive tools and learning features for the sheet music. Instead, you have a few simple buttons at the top of the page. Here’s what they do:
- You can see how many pages are included in the sheet music and which page or pages you are currently viewing.
- You can choose to scroll the sheets from side to side, like in a book, or up and down like on a device.
- You can access the video demonstrations of the piece.
- You can select a few settings about how many pages to view or the type of background you prefer to view.
- You can enter full-screen mode.
- You can print the sheet.
- You can add the sheet music one of your own lists or playlists.
I really like the simplicity and usability of the Oktav platform. It doesn’t include any learning tools or features, but there are plenty of other apps that focus on learning music. Instead, Oktav is a great option for pianists or students who want access to a huge variety of digital sheet music.
What You Get When You Subscribe To Oktav
When you start your subscription to Oktav, you have full access to the entire collection of 20,000+ pieces of sheet music. I was happy to find really high quality arrangements. Many are the same arrangements that I have in my print books.
You can access the Oktav platform from any device – desktop, laptop, tablet or mobile.
Each month, your subscription includes 2 free sheet music prints. Even though you can only print 2 sheets per month, you still have full access to the complete digital library at all times.
If you want to print more sheet music, you can purchase additional prints credits in quantities of 3, 10 or 30. These prints come out to $2 or less per additional print, which is super affordable.
How To Get Started With Oktav
If you choose to subscribe to Oktav, you can choose yearly ($8.25/month) or monthly ($9.90/month)
You can cancel either plan at any time.
I’m really impressed with the value of Oktav. To have access to so much high-quality sheet music for under $10/month is a really great deal. And, it’s definitely nice to have the option to print the sheet music as well. Even if you end up purchasing extra print credits you would definitely save over buying several printed books per year.
I’m always perusing various piano apps and I have to say, Oktav is one of my favorites. I really like how it is laser focused on delivering excellent sheet music options to pianists in an authentic format. Many other apps feel cluttered by offering sheet music for a wide variety of instruments or by trying to include too many interactive features. Oktav is a simple, user-friendly platform that can be your one-stop shop for sheet music.