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I am looking for a database with classical music (approximately from the period of 1500-1900). What I need is just music (notes, names of composers/compositions, type of musical instruments the composition was designed for are nice to have but not important).

Ideally it would be a lot of compositions of Vivaldi, Beethoven, Wagner, Chopin, Mozart, Rachmaninoff and many many more whom I do not know. The quality does not really matter (as long as it is not distorted really much).

One option is to search for the names of composers and download their compositions, but this does not look appealing to me, mostly because of my lack of knowledge of the composers and even with googling I will not be able to find a lot of not well-known (for the amateur) composers.

Does anyone know where to get such a database?

4

Free Music Archive and MUSOpen are two off the top of my head:

Classical Genre Section - FMA (Free Music Archive)
https://freemusicarchive.org/genre/Classical/

MUSOpen - Royalty Free Music, Public Domain and Copyright Free Classical Music
https://musopen.org/

Public Domain Sherpa has a blog post on where to find public domain recordings, its pretty in-depth:
http://www.publicdomainsherpa.com/public-domain-recordings.html

3

There is also the International Music Score Library Project, also known as the Petrucci Music Library

http://imslp.org/

You will have to investigate copyright issues for your own purposes.

3

I recommend following datasets:

  • DBTune.org/classical - set of resources describes concepts and individuals related to the canon of Western Classical Music
  • MuseData - project of the Center for Computer Assisted Research in the Humanities
  • Please expand your answer with at least one sentence per link that makes you recommend that specific resource. That way, your answer is more helpful than a link-only answer. – ojdo Aug 25 '15 at 9:12

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