Getting “New” Books Never Gets Old

IMG_6568.JPGWoohoo! I’m getting pretty close to owning the full set of TSMTA (The Singer’s Musical Theatre Anthology… because who has the patience to type that out every time. Not this girl.)

With 6 books in each vocal part, this collection is a hefty, but worthwhile investment for voice teachers. A single book (no CDs) at full retail is around $22-23. Want some CDs or online accompaniment access? That’s going to double the price.

($22 x 6) x 4 = $528 for the regular collection of books only

($44 x 6) x 4 = $1056 for the regular collection with CDs/online access


(Side note: Have you ever looked at your shelf of vocal books and wondered how much it costs? I did that last week, and I swear I could hear my bank account groaning from down the street. Seriously.)

What’s the point of all this?

New books don’t always have to be expensive. In my world… they also don’t always have to be new.

I’m a big fan of “new-to-me.” Probably 1/3 of my TSMTA were used book purchases that were either listed as New or Good condition. A couple have names written inside the front jacket, and there are a few pencil markings here and there in the score.

I’ve picked up older used copies of TSMTA for as little as $6. (Mostly Volume 1s and 2s.) With a little patience, you’ll find lots of used copies in New or Good condition pop up on Amazon or Ebay.

You just have to know where to look to find the used prices. Here’s a screen shot of what I found this morning:


Now, finding the newer volumes at a price like that will be pretty difficult. However, Amazon did recently drop the Volume 6 prices so that they’re more in-line with the other volumes in the collection.

That’s why I bought 3 of them last week. (Sorry, Basses. You’ll have to wait for the next round of anthology purchases!)

Word of Caution: Read Items Carefully

If you search for TSMTA on Amazon, you’ll find lots of links for the same products. It’s kind of confusing, but that’s because people can list used products through Amazon… sometimes at ridiculously high prices. ($111 for a Volume 6 Tenor? No thanks.)

(Updated) There are essentially 4 options for each book:

  1. Book Only
  2. Accompaniment CDs Only
  3. Book + CDs
  4. Book + Online Accompaniment

Just be sure that you know exactly what you’re purchasing. Read the descriptions AND the reviews carefully! It’s always a sad situation when you think you’re getting a book and CDs, and then you end up with just CDs instead.

(But seriously… who even uses CDs anymore?)

To make your job easier, I put together an Amazon store that features as many of the options above as I could find. I’ve weeded out all the fake price listings from individual sellers and “out of print” results as well. You can check it out by clicking on the image below.

Screen Shot 2016-11-03 at 11.00.32 AM.png

Updated: I’ll be adding pages for ALL the volumes and will attempt to keep them updated as frequently as I can. 🙂

So good luck to all you voice teachers out there who are trying to build your anthology collections. Remember to buy used when you can, and if nothing else… make sure to buy cheap(er) when you can too.

… and try not to think too hard about how much money is sitting on your vocal collections shelf. Ooof.

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