5 Best Free Classical Music Download Sources

Free and legal classical music MP3 downloads

If you're looking for free classical music downloads, here's a list of the five best places with the top selections. When added together, these websites have around 10,000 downloads, mostly in MP3 format.

Whether you're looking for Mozart and Bach or a more recent composer, you'll find it all on these sites.

For more options, listen to free music online without downloading, or listen to all music genres on the go with free music apps. This variety makes it effortless to find and listen to classical music.

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Classic Cat

Classic Cat top 150 downloads
What We Like
  • Browse by composer or instrument.

  • Several sorting options.

  • Don't need a user account.

What We Don't Like
  • Downloads are hosted on other sites.

Classic Cat is hands down the best place to find free classical music downloads because it's home to 7,000 listings. It provides searches by genre, instrument, composer, and performer and offers a list of the top 150 popular works. There's also a list of the Visitor's Favorites off to the side of every page.

This is their long-term goal in providing these downloads:

...for all major classical works for which the copyrights have expired there should be performances available under a very liberal license: no non-commercial limitation, freedom to integrate in your own composition and no obligation for attribution or share-alike.

One thing we don't like is that none of the music is actually housed on Classic Cat. You're taken to other websites to download the tracks. Every download, therefore, has a slightly different process to it. This also increases the likelihood that you'll run into broken download links, though they say that they regularly check links to avoid that, so that's great.

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Musopen

Musopen popular classical music downloads
What We Like
  • Several ways to browse.

  • Includes sheet music.

  • Can stream first, before saving.

What We Don't Like
  • Must register a user account.

  • Standard quality audio only.

  • Limited to five downloads per day.

  • Several website ads.

Musopen has thousands of free classical music downloads from virtually any composer. It also has a ton of free sheet music available.

It's easy to find free classical music downloads from any composer. You can also browse by time period, mood, length, rating, or instrument. If you want to explore new music, check out the online radio that pulls up random music for you to stream.

Streaming directly from the site is available for everyone, but a free user account is required for downloads.

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Free Music Archive

Free Music Archive classical music list
What We Like
  • Thousands of free downloads.

  • Unique sorting options.

  • You don't need a user account.

  • Advanced search tool.

What We Don't Like
  • Few categories.

Free Music Archive (FMA) is another site with tons of free classical music downloads, to the tune of more than 3,000.

These free classical music downloads are spread across over 170 pages, but you can sort the list by artist name, track, album, and genre, as well as by date added and "Most Interesting."

To listen to something, use the play button next to the song. To download the MP3, select the download button to the right.

At Free Music Archive, you can download classical music without a user account, but if you want to make one, you can add songs to a playlist and play them directly from the browser. But even without an account, all songs are streamable before you download them.

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Archive.org

Classical music playing on Archive.org
What We Like
  • Huge variety of music.

  • Can download in bulk or individually.

  • Supports streaming before downloading.

What We Don't Like
  • Cluttered, hard-to-use website.

Archive.org has a vast collection of all types of media, including classical music. Most of it can be downloaded in the MP3 format, and sometimes OGG and others.

The only downside to using this site is that it's hard to know where to start your search. There are countless collections that include classical music, but here are a few ideas:

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Wikipedia: List of Sound Files

Wikipedia's list of sound files page
What We Like
  • Multiple audio format options.

  • Stream music before downloading.

  • Lots of free audio files.

What We Don't Like
  • Browse by name only.

  • No dedicated search tool.

  • Less-than-useful filtering options.

  • No longer updated; retained only for historical reference.

Wikipedia might not be the first place people go for free classical music downloads, but the site offers a big selection.

The music is organized in a table by composer name. Either scroll through the pages or sort by the name or year the piece was added to the list. The bottom of each letter page is where you can access other downloads.

This classical music can be streamed from the page or downloaded to your device, usually as an MP3 or OGG file.

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