Public domain music is music that has passed into the public domain, which makes it free and completely legal to download. Here are 12 sources for free public domain music that you can use to download tons of great music onto your computer or digital audio device. Note: public domain and copyright laws are complicated. Read the fine print before downloading any music.
Looking for free sheet music? Piano Public Domain offers you over 20,000 pages of sheet music from composers such as Beethoven
, and George Gershwin
ChoralWiki is a fantastic resource for anyone who's looking for some great public domain music, and is very intuitive to search. For example, you can search for music for Advent and Christmas, look at the entire Online Score catalog, or browse the Archives for what's been added month to month.
The Freesound Project is a little bit different than the other public domain resources on this list. Instead of sheet music or downloadable music, the Freesound Project offers a huge database of all kinds of sounds: birdsong, thunderstorms, voice snippets, etc.
Love old jazz? Then you'll love the Jazz Anthology, a fantastic resource for 1930's and 1940's era jazz tunes. Browse through the Playlists
to see the best of the best.
From the University of Houston comes the Digital History Project, an utterly fascinating database of historical, public domain music divided by type and historical period. Jazz, the Gilded Age, the Civil War, World War 1, and a lot more are all here to sample.
has an extensive database of public domain music, but it can be somewhat difficult to find what you want. That's where Dewey Music comes in. It simply provides you with a streamlined, easy to navigate interface for all of Archive's music.
ccMixter offers mashups of public domain songs under a Creative Commons
license. If you're looking for background music for a project, for example, this would be a good place to find it.
The Wikipedia Soundlist offers searchers all the public domain music found via Wikipedia and Wikipedia Commons.