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Public Domain Music: 12 Free Online Resources


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.

1. IMSLP / Petrucci Music Library

The IMSLP/Petrucci Music Library is a great resource for public domain music, with over 67,000 music scores available at the time of this writing. Search by composer name, composer period, check out the featured scores, or browse the most recent additions.

2. Piano Public Domain

Looking for free sheet music? Piano Public Domain offers you over 20,000 pages of sheet music from composers such as Beethoven, Chopin, and George Gershwin.

4. Mutopia

Mutopia is a great source for public domain sheet music downloads. Search by composer, instrument, or by latest addition.

5. ChoralWiki

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.

7. The Freesound Project

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.

8. Jazz Anthology

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.

9. Digital History

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.

10. Dewey Music

Archive.org 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.

11. ccMixter

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.

12. Wikipedia Soundlist

The Wikipedia Soundlist offers searchers all the public domain music found via Wikipedia and Wikipedia Commons.

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