That dollar amount results from a -21.8% drop starting from $104.1 million five years earlier in 2018.
Year over year, the value of globally exported sheet music flatlined in value via a -2.6% reduction compared to $83.7 million during 2021.
The 5 biggest exporters of sheet music by value are the Netherlands, Germany, United States of America, United Kingdom, and Japan. Combined, that quintet of exported sheet music leaders accounted for 89.3% of global revenues for sheet music sold on international markets during 2022. Such a high percentage indicates a concentrated cohort of sheet music exporters.
Among continents, providers in Europe sold the most exported sheet music on international markets during 2022 with shipments valued at $61.1 million or about three-quarters (74.9%) of the worldwide total. In second place were North American exporters at 17.6% while another 6.7% of international sheet music sales originated from Asia.
Tinier percentages came from suppliers in Africa (0.6%), Oceania’s Australia and New Caledonia (0.01%), and Latin America (0.07%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean.
For research purposes, the 4-digit Harmonized Tariff System code prefix for sheet music is 4904. For HTS classification purposes, sheet music includes song books and other manuscripts.
Sheet Music Exports by Country
Below are the 15 countries that exported the highest dollar value worth of sheet music during 2022.
- Netherlands: US$27.5 million (33.8% of total sheet music exports)
- Germany: $18.7 million (22.9%)
- United States: $13.9 million (17.1%)
- United Kingdom: $10.4 million (12.8%)
- Japan: $2.2 million (2.7%)
- South Korea: $1.5 million (1.9%)
- France: $1.5 million (1.8%)
- Austria: $914,000 (1.1%)
- Switzerland: $835,000 (1%)
- Malaysia: $567,000 (0.7%)
- China: $563,000 (0.7%)
- South Africa: $476,000 (0.6%)
- Poland: $417,000 (0.51%)
- Canada: $415,000 (0.51%)
- Singapore: $319,000 (0.39%)
By value, the listed 15 countries shipped 98.5% of globally exported sheet music in 2022.
Among the top exporters, the fastest-growing exporters of sheet music since 2021 were: Singapore (up 355.7%), South Africa (up 215.2%), South Korea (up 62%) and Austria (up 29.3%).
Major suppliers that posted declines in their international sales of sheet music were led by: Canada (down -57.2% from 2021), France (down -38.6%), Poland (down -21.2%), Germany (down -14.1%) and the United States of America (down -10.8%).
Countries Enjoying Best Trade Surpluses from Sheet Music
The following countries posted the highest positive net exports for sheet music during 2022. Investopedia defines net exports as the value of a country’s total exports minus the value of its total imports. Thus, the statistics below present the surplus between the value of each country’s exported sheet music and its import purchases for that same commodity.
- Netherlands: US$24.6 million (net export surplus up 47.8% from 2021)
- Germany: $9.7 million (up 3.5%)
- United States of America: $8 million (down -13.8%)
- United Kingdom: $5.4 million (down -14.5%)
- South Africa: $81,000 (reversing a -$240,000 deficit)
- Russia: $54,000 (up 100%)
- Türkiye: $54,000 (reversing a -$55,000 deficit)
- Hungary: $52,000 (up 73.3%)
- South Korea: $20,000 (reversing a -$686,000 deficit)
- Lithuania: $7,000 (down -58.8%)
- Lesotho: $6,000 (2021 data unavailable)
- Ukraine: $6,000 (down -91.5%)
- Iran: $1,000 (2021 data unavailable)
- Gabon: $1,000 (reversing a -$6,000 deficit)
- Colombia: $1,000 (2021 data unavailable)
World-leading Netherlands generated the highest surplus in the international trade of sheet music. In turn, this positive cashflow confirms that country’s strong competitive advantage for this specific product category.
Countries Incurring Worst Trade Deficits from Sheet Music
The following countries posted the highest negative net exports for sheet music during 2022. Investopedia defines net exports as the value of a country’s total exports minus the value of its total imports. Thus, the statistics below present the deficit between the value of each country’s imported sheet music purchases and its exports for that same commodity.
- France: -US$7.7 million (net export deficit up 38.8% from 2021)
- Canada: -$4.7 million (down -13%)
- Hong Kong: -$2.2 million (down -31%)
- Australia: -$1.7 million (down -30%)
- Singapore: -$1.4 million (up 21.9%)
- Switzerland: -$1.3 million (down -8.3%)
- Austria: -$11 million (down -50.8%)
- Spain: -$808,000 (down -31.2%)
- mainland China: -$749,000 (down -9.5%)
- Indonesia: -$643,000 (up 110.8%)
- Malaysia: -$592,000 (up 102.7%)
- New Zealand: -$488,000 (down -37.3%)
- Ireland: -$474,000 (up 59.1%)
- Norway: -$446,000 (up 41.1%)
- Denmark: -$414,000 (up 626.3%)
France incurred the highest deficit in the international trade of sheet music. In turn, this negative cashflow highlights France’s competitive disadvantage for this specific product category but also signals opportunities for sheet music-supplying countries that help satisfy the powerful demand.
Sheet Music Exporting Companies
According to global trading platform Alibaba, the following are sheet music publishers. The home-country location for each business is shown within parentheses.
- Alfred Music (United States)
- Bärenreiter (Germany)
- Casa Ricordi (Italy)
- Doberman-Yppan (Canada)
- Edition Wilhelm Hansen (Denmark)
- Faber Music (United Kingdom)
- Hal Leonard Corporation (United States)
- International Music Publications (United Kingdom)
- LearnToPlayMusic.com (Australia)
- Polish Music Publishing House (Poland)
Among the companies listed above, Milwaukee-headquartered firm Hal Leonard Corporation is the world’s largest sheet music publisher.
See also Top Piano Exporters by Country, Top Headphones Exporters and Top Video Games Exports by Country
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook Field Listing: Exports – Commodities. Accessed on September 23, 2023
Forbes Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on September 23, 2023
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on September 23, 2023
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on September 23, 2023
Wikipedia, Sheet music. Accessed on September 23, 2023
Wikipedia, Category:Sheet music publishing companies. Accessed on September 23, 2023