10 Great Resources to Find Open Source Music
The internet may be brimming with tons of music, but that doesn’t always mean it’s available for the taking. That’s why open source music has been a saving grace to many burgeoning musicians, creatives, and audio lovers.
Simply put, open source music refers to music files that you can share or download for free for non-commercial purposes. Most important, these files allow musicians to create derivative works, making them an essential resource for musicians of all skill levels.
So where can you find such a treasure trove of valuable music? We’ve got you covered with these 10 legit resources for open source music:
Free Music Archive
The Free Music Archive was founded to foster collaboration between artists and curators. They believe access to free music is beneficial not only to the rights holders, but also to society.
As a result of this movement, you can listen to or download music at no cost. You can browse music by genre, popularity, or other criteria. However, keep in mind that the music here isn’t available for commercial licensing.
However, keep in mind that the music here isn’t available for commercial licensing. You must follow Creative Commons stipulations for using this website’s music.
Formerly known as AudioBlocks, Storyblocks brings you a variety of music, sound effects, and loops available for download for a monthly or annual fee. This website specializes in royalty-free stock music, and can be used for a variety of projects.
The real gem here is that once you download a file, you own it forever, even if you discontinue your membership. You get unlimited downloads, and fresh content is always being added.
There is one important stipulation: if you use Storyblocks, you must put your own creative spin on the audio. That is, you cannot use the audio “as is.” Adding additional sound effects or including a voice over would count as making it your own.
This website is chock full of free-to-use music for commercial and non-commercial projects. Their only requirement is that you include an attribution link giving credit to the site.
The music selection here is limited and there’s no way to browse the site. Despite this, you’ll find some hidden gems here that make it worth a visit.
This open source music community is user-driven. People use the website to share their podcasts, music, and other digital creatives.
The open source music here falls under the Creative Commons use terms. The website features a moderated group for Creative Commons clips where you can find plenty of high-quality music.
Audionautix is a gem mine of free open source music, all of which falls under the Creative Commons’ 3.0 unported license. This means you are able to share and commercially distribute any of the music files on this site. You can also remix the files to create your own spin.
Typically, Creative Commons has its distribution limits and attribution requirements. However, the Attribution 3.0 Unported license allows you to bypass these limitations legally and use the files however you wish.
Audionautix helps you find music according to genre or mood preferences. You’re almost guaranteed to find something special here.
A true hero to open source music, Musopen was designed specifically to “set music free.” The creators believe that music is something to be enjoyed by all, and put plenty of high-quality tunes in the ears of its users.
As a non-profit organization, the website provides sheet music, textbooks, and recordings for free with no copyright restrictions. You can search for music by composer, instrument, or other criteria to find that perfect sound.
This highly acclaimed website is known for delivering high-quality Creative Commons tracks to its users. You can browse and download music by genre, along with voice recordings such as comedy, news, and other niches.
Beware that not all content on Audiofarm is meant to be shared. You will need to pay attention to the licensing requirements for each file so you aren’t susceptible to copyright infringement.
Jamendo is the open music source jackpot, with more than 400,000 tracks to choose from. Search by most popular, most downloaded, most played, or other criteria to help you find your ideal beat.
Many of these tracks fall under the Creative Commons terms, but you’ll need to verify the licensing for each file before using it in a project. Tracks that aren’t free to use will have the “Pro” button beside them.
This website has a unique way of searching for content. Rather than typing in a query or browsing by genre, you can select from a huge tag cloud to find what you’re looking for.
There is a slight catch here: you will need to create a free account if you want to download music. Also, make sure you look at the licensing requirements for each track you’re interested in – they’re not all the same.
This massive Creative Commons library lets you search by genre, including dubstep, hip-hop, classical, piano, and modern jazz. It’s also a solid resource for learning more about what Creative Commons entails.
Bonus: The Open Source Music Teacher
Open source music isn’t just about downloading something someone else created. If you’re passionate about creating beautiful songs of your own, you need to try Nootka, the open source music teacher that coaches you on how to play an instrument.
This app will help you learn how to read music with a variety of exercises. It also provides real-time feedback, just like having an in-person teacher.
Nootka was specifically designed with beginner guitarists at heart, but other musicians have found it beneficial. After you use the app to create something beautiful, make sure you share it on one (or more) of the sites above.
What open source music sites have you found most beneficial? Let us know in the comments section.