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Where To Download Free Classical Music

Posted by Will on August 12, 2018

Classical music has been around for a long time, and there’s a reason for that! We think of classical music as being somewhat stodgy and old, but in reality classical music is the collected “greatest hits” of the past several centuries. It may be old, but it was the hot new sound in its day, and the pieces that we remember and listen to today are the pieces that have stood the test of time. Classical music is great for concentrating the mind, and regardless of your musical tastes, listening to a bit of classical every now and again is good for the soul. This post will list a few places where you can download free and legal classical music. All it costs is a little bit of your time, and you may discover some music that you will love for the rest of your life!

Download free and legal classical music

As far as the music itself is concerned, classical music is decades if not centuries past being copyrighted, so anyone can play it or listen to it. That means that the sharks of the music industry no longer control who gets to play and record classical pieces, and so they can’t control who get to listen to it. That said, particular arrangements and particular performances are often still the intellectual property of the arrangers and performers, so not all classical music is free. Modern compositions using contemporary orchestras or recent productions still cost money. However, there is a huge quantity of music out there which is in the public domain, and that’s the music I’ll concentrate on in this article.

Classical.com

Classical.com is the largest and best-known specific repository of classical music on the internet. It is oriented around listening to music online more than downloading, and the subscription service appears to have been shut down. However, you can still stream from the site. The range is huge, with over 450,000 individual tracks on the site.

The only thing missing from Classical.com is a random or surprise me function to discover new composers. Other than that, the site is excellent.

Classic Cat

Classic Cat may not be much to look at but it is the music that is most important here. There are thousands of classical pieces from most of the classic composers. There are lists, categories, a search function or the Top 100 to find what you’re looking for. The range is huge and the site is fast and offers decent quality audio to stream or download.

Musopen

Musopen is another website that allows you to download free and legal classical music. It has thousands of pieces from all time periods and styles. The site is simple but effective and allows you to search via the home page or using the catalog. The range is wide and deep and includes most, if not all, classical composers worth listening to.

Wikipedia:Sound/list

Wikipedia:Sound/list is a repository of hundreds of classical pieces that are freely available to download. They are in .ogg format which may require a bit of tweaking to play on your device, but there is a lot of free classical music to download. You can use the search function in the center of the page or browse by composer. Like Wikipedia itself, the site isn’t anything to look at but it does the job well enough.

Free Music Archive

The Free Music Archive is exactly what it says it is. A huge archive of music from a range of time periods, from old chamber music right up to present day. One of their many categories is classical. There are apparently over 3,000 pieces to download at your leisure. Simply find the piece you want and select the gray down arrow on the right. The music will download to your device for you to use as you see fit.

Free Music Public Domain

Free Music Public Domain is another self-descriptive website that allows you to download free and legal classical music. It isn’t the largest repository here but it has a decent collection of pieces from some well-known composers. The site includes a standard license to download or a creative commons license which is free, it’s entirely your choice which to use.

IMSLP

IMSLP is another free classic repository with quite the selection. All are free to use and you can even contribute your own recordings if you would like to participate. The site is simple and includes a search function to find composers or particular pieces easily. There are more than 52,000 recordings and the quality is high too.

YouTube

While YouTube isn’t designed for downloading, there are ways if you know where to look. There are tens of thousands of classical pieces from all eras, areas and composers. If it exists, it is likely on here. I think it better to stream from YouTube rather than download but your mileage may vary. Quality is most good and most come with track listings and timings too.

Those are just a few of the websites and services that let you download free and legal classical music. Each offers a great range of pieces and good quality audio. Do you use a download or streaming site I haven’t mentioned? Tell us about it below if you do!

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