Hal Leonard LLC
|Founder||Harold "Hal" Edstrom|
Everett "Leonard" Edstrom
|Country of origin||United States|
|Headquarters location||Milwaukee, Wisconsin|
|Key people||Keith Mardak, Chairman|
Larry Morton, President
|Publication types||Sheet music, Books, DVDs, software|
Hal Leonard LLC (formerly Hal Leonard Corporation) is an American music publishing and distribution company founded in Winona, Minnesota, by Harold "Hal" Edstrom, his brother, Everett "Leonard" Edstrom, and fellow musician Roger Busdicker. Currently headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, it is the largest sheet music publisher in the world.
The company produces sheet music, songbooks, and method book (with CD) packs, and band, orchestra, and choral arrangements, reference books, instructional DVDs, videos CD-ROMs, ShowTrax instrumental accompaniments, and music software.
In 1989, Hal Leonard acquired Jenson Publications and its catalog of band, orchestra, and choral titles.
In 1995, Hal Leonard began distributing Homespun Music Instruction CDs and DVDs. A mail-order company before joining Hal Leonard's distribution network, Homespun is a producer of instructional video and audio materials.
In 2004, Hal Leonard acquired Applause Theatre and Cinema Books.
In 2006, Hal Leonard acquired Amadeus Press and Limelight Editions. Also in 2006, Hal Leonard acquired Backbeat Books, which publishes the AllMusic reference guide and other music-related publications, from CMP.
Private equity firm Seidler Equity Partners acquired majority ownership of the company in June 2016. Following the change in ownership, Hal Leonard was reorganized from a corporation to a limited liability company.
In 2017, Hal Leonard acquired the online music retailer Sheet Music Plus.
In December 2018, Hal Leonard announced it had sold five of its trade imprints—Hal Leonard Books, Applause Theatre & Cinema Books, Amadeus Press, Backbeat Books, and Limelight Editions—to Rowman & Littlefield.
At present, Hal Leonard publishes, distributes, and represents the print music interests for a myriad of publishing companies, both classical and popular. In North America, Hal Leonard is the exclusive licensee of the print rights for Disney Music Group and Universal Music Publishing Group. Hal Leonard is also the North American distributor of numerous American and European classical publishers, including G. Schirmer, Inc., Boosey & Hawkes, Durand Salabert Eschig, and Faber Music. Through its acquisition of numerous school music publishing companies over the past 40 years, Hal Leonard is currently one of the largest music publishers in the field of music education; its primary competitor in the educational market is Alfred Music.
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- "Hal Leonard Online - About Us". Hal Leonard Corporation. Archived from the original on 2014-01-30. Retrieved January 27, 2014.
- Van Dyke, Matthew (March 9, 2016). "Hal Leonard & Homespun Celebrate 20 Years Together". Music & Sound Retailer. Archived from the original on 2017-09-15. Retrieved July 7, 2017.
- "Hal Leonard Assumes Ownership Of Applause Books". PublishersWeekly.com. Archived from the original on 2018-04-22. Retrieved 2018-04-21.
- Content, Library Journal Archive (2006-03-01). "Hal Leonard Buys Amadeus Press and Limelight Editions". Library Journal. Retrieved 2018-04-21.
- "Hal Leonard buys Backbeat Books for $2.2M". Milwaukee Business Journal. United States: American City Business Journals. November 20, 2006. Archived from the original on 2009-08-15. Retrieved August 9, 2009.
- "Hal Leonard Acquires Shawnee Press". Archived from the original on 2017-09-27. Retrieved 2017-09-27.
- Berkovitz, Joe (April 15, 2014). "Noteflight is now part of Hal Leonard Corporation". Noteflight.com. Archived from the original on 2014-10-24. Retrieved April 16, 2014.
- Dill, Molly (June 29, 2016). "Majority of Hal Leonard shares sold to private equity firm". BizTimes.
- Milliot, Jim (December 17, 2018). "Rowman & Littlefield Acquires Hal Leonard Trade Titles". Publisher's Weekly.
- Keith Murdak NAMM Oral History Interview (2003)
- Larry Morton NAMM Oral History Interview (2012)
- Dan Bauer NAMM Oral History Interview (2014)
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