… where ”scores” can be either a verb or a noun.
After noticing the appearance of an early Hello! Project piano score book on the Hello!Online tracker, I poked around the Intarwebs and discovered …
¡¡HOLY FLYING PANCAKES!!
Officially licensed (at least it claims to be) downloadable Hello! Project sheet music, available at @ELISE and at YAMAHA ぷりんと楽譜. (There may be other sites too, but I didn’t find any.) There’s not a whole lot, but I did find scores for a number of H!P songs, some of them piano arrangements but the majority just featuring the melody and lyrics. Some other J-pop artists seem to have much more available, but several dozen H!P scores is certainly infinitely more than I thought were publicly accessible.
I was mainly interested in piano music, so I bought “Namida ga Tomaranai Houkago” from @ELISE and “Aruiteru” from YAMAHA (two of my favorite Morning Musume singles) for ¥315 each, which is not terribly expensive. The score for “Namida…” is an impressive piece of work and a faithful rendition of the original (though I’m a relative beginner at piano, so take that with a grain of salt), while “Aruiteru” is … abridged and oversimplified. :( Oh, well.
I’m also planning to get piano scores for some of these in the near future, now that I see they’re available, though I haven’t looked too closely at the quality of the samples:
Country Musume ni Ishikawa Rika – Koibito wa Kokoro no Ouendan
Matsuura Aya – Ne~e?
GAM – Thanks!
Kira☆Pika – Hana wo Pu~n
Goto Maki – Suppin to Namida
Goto Maki – Ai no Bakayarou
Tsukishima Kirari starring Kusumi Koharu – Chance!
Tsukishima Kirari starring Kusumi Koharu – Happy☆彡
Matsuura Aya – Ki ga Tsukeba Anata
Matsuura Aya – Suna wo Kamu You ni… NAMIDA
Matsuura Aya – 100kai no KISS
Matsuura Aya – Watarasebashi
Mini Moni – Mini Moni. Hinamatsuri!
Berryz Koubou – Gag 100kaibun Aishite Kudasai
There’s a bunch more of the melody-only type scores and a few other kinds, including a ukulele-solo score for “Happy Summer Wedding” … no kidding. And YAMAHA also has a few MIDIs. I also found piano scores for some of my favorites by HALCALI, YUI, Tommy february6, the brilliant green, and WaT (whose “Ready Go!” was disjointly performed with Morning Musume, Berryz Koubou, and DEF.DIVA for the 2006 World Volleyball Championships). Sadly, I didn’t find any Buono!, °C-ute, Perfume, or capsule, but there’s a lot by other J-pop artists whose work I’m not currently into.
This unexpected discovery certainly made my day and redirected a couple hours I should have spent studying to playing “Namida ga Tomaranai Houkago” instead. So yes, there is Hello! Project sheet music out there, and if you’re interested, you might want to consume some. :-) Given that these two sites are only in Japanese, however, I strongly recommend that you know what you’re doing before you attempt to exchange your money for something.
Here are some samples:
Piano score, “Namida ga Tomaranai Houkago”, @ELISE
Piano score, “Gag 100kaibun Aishite Kudasai”, YAMAHA
Melody-only score, “Sougen no Hito”, YAMAHA
Ukulele score, “Happy Summer Wedding”, @ELISE