Are you looking to add classical copyright-free music to your work? Discover the top 10 copyright-free classical music pieces for your projects. From Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata to Mozart's Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, find out where to download them for free in this guide.
Classical music plays a crucial role in setting the tone and mood of any project, whether it's a YouTube video, presentation, or podcast. However, many content creators may struggle to find high-quality copyright-free classical music to use in their projects. Fortunately, there are great sources available for downloading royalty-free classical music.
In this blog post, we'll be sharing with you the top 10 free classical music you can download and enjoy. We'll also provide information on where you can download classical copyright-free music for your projects.
Four Eras of Classical Music
Classical music has been around for centuries. It has gone through several distinct eras, and each era has contributed to its rich history and evolution. Here are the four main eras of classical music.
a. The Baroque Era (c. 1600 – 1700)
During the Baroque Era, musicians and composers were experimenting with new musical styles and techniques. They used various musical instruments, such as:
The harpsichord was also invented during this era.
b. The Classical Era (c. 1750 – 1830)
During the Classical Era, instrumental music continued to thrive. The piano succeeded the harpsichord as the most common keyboard instrument. The sonata and symphony styles were very popular during this period.
c. The Romantic Era (c. 1830 – 1900)
During the Romantic Era, composers were inspired by nature, poetry, and literature. They started writing new forms, like symphonic poems, nocturnes, song cycles, and arabesques.
d. The Modern Era (c. 1900 – Present)
The Modern Era is characterized by experimentation and innovation. In this era, composers and musicians continue to create new and modern musical styles we enjoy today.
Is Classical Music Free To Download?
Now that you know the history of classical music, you must be wondering if classical music is free to download. Basically, some classical music tracks are protected by copyright, while others are available in the public domain and can be downloaded for free.
In order to use copyrighted classical music, you need to purchase a license or obtain permission from the copyright owner.
On the other hand, musical compositions which have been around for over 70 years are in the public domain. This means that you can download, or perform the songs in public without paying a fee or asking for permission.
Top 10 Free Classical Music
Here are some top classical copyright-free music you can download and use for your projects.
1. Beethoven – Symphony No. 5 in C Minor
Symphony No. 5 in C minor was written between 1804 and 1808. This iconic piece was composed by Ludwig van Beethoven.
2. Antonio Vivaldi – The Four Seasons
This collection of four violin concertos was composed by an Italian composer, Antonio Vivaldi. The four violin concertos represent the four seasons of the year. The Four Seasons was written around 1718 to 1720, and it's by far Antonio Vivaldi's best composition to date.
3. Mozart – Serenade No. 13 in G Major
Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, K. 525, was composed in 1787 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The work was published in 1827, 36 years after Mozart's death. The serenade is very popular today.
4. Mozart – Symphony No. 40 in G Minor
Symphony No. 40 in G minor was composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The masterpiece was written in 1788, and on 25th July 1788, Mozart completed this piece. The work is also referred to as the Great G minor symphony.
5. Chopin – Nocturne in C Sharp Minor
Nocturne in C Sharp minor was composed by Frederic Chopin in 1830. This solo piano piece was dedicated to Chopin's older sister, Ludwika Chopin. The work was published in 1870, 21 years after Chopin's death.
6. Beethoven – String Quartet No. 15 in A Minor
The String Quartet No. 15 was written by Ludwig van Beethoven in 1825. The song is part of the String Quartet written by bedridden Beethoven, who was ill at the time. However, when he wrote the fifteenth quartet, he was already recovering, and he named this piece “Holy song of thanks to the divinity, from one made well.”
7. Bach – Concerto for 2 Violins in D Minor
Concerto for Two Violins in D minor, BVW 1043 is a violin concerto by Johann Sebastian Bach. Bach composed this piece around 1730 as part of a concert series he ran in Leipzig. The piece is also referred to as Double Violin Concerto.
8. Beethoven – Piano Sonata No. 14 in C Sharp Minor
Piano Sonata No. 14 was composed by Ludwig van Beethoven in 1801. Beethoven dedicated this work to his pupil, Countess Julie Guicciardi, in 1802. The piece is also called Moonlight Sonata.
9. Chopin – Nocturne Op. 9
Nocturne Op 9 consists of a set of three nocturnes written by Frederic Chopin. The nocturnes were written between 1830 and 1832 and are dedicated to a Belgian concert pianist, Madame Marie Pleyel. The second nocturne is Chopin's most famous piece, and it has been featured in films such as Zero Motivation (2014) and Bad Santa (2003).
10. Handel – Water Music, Suite No. 2 in D Major
Water Music, Suite No. 2, was composed by a German-born English Musician, George Frideric Handel. The piece was composed in 1717 as part of the Water Music collection.
Handel composed these songs for a concert on the River Thames, and they were meant to entertain King George 1. The king really liked the Water Music and ordered the songs to be repeated three times.
Where to Download Copyright Free Classical Music
Here are some of the best sites for classical copyright-free music.
Musopen offers royalty-free music recordings and sheet music, which can be downloaded for free. To download classical music from this website, you need to:
- Create an account.
- Verify the account.
Once you've created your account successfully, you can enjoy copyright-free classical music available.
2. Free Music Archive
Free Music Archive offers a wide range of royalty-free music. The music is categorized into different genres, including classical music. To download music from FMA, you need to:
- Search for the song that you want.
- Download it for free.
However, if you want to use the song for commercial purposes, you need to subscribe to their pro plan.
3. Classic Cat
Classical Cat provides links to websites that allow users to download classical music for free. The site has over 100 top classical composers. To download songs from this site, you need to:
- Select the name of the composer.
- Select the piece you want. You'll see a download button.
- Click the download button.
After you’ve clicked the download button, you will be directed to the site where you can download the piece for free.
If you are thinking of adding classical copyright-free music to your project, the above list will help you choose the best classical music by famous composers. Once you've selected a song you want to use in your video, check out the above copyright-free websites to find out if the song is available for free. Good luck with your search.