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The 5 best websites for public domain music – Business Insider

Thanks to streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music, it has never been easier to get access to commercial music. But those apps are intended for personal entertainment. If you need to feature music in any sort of creative project, you probably want to find public domain music or content governed by a Creative Commons license. 
In either case, that music is free to download and legal to use any way you like. Thankfully, there are some great websites that make it easy to browse and download a large selection of public domain and copyright-free music. 
FreePD has a sizable catalog of freely reusable music; the website header announces all the content here is 100% free, no attribution, and copyright-free. Browsing categories include diverse genres such as upbeat and positive, epic and dramatic, horror, romantic and sentimental, and many others. 
The site has various tiers. You can download individual MP3 tracks for free, but you can also pay a $10 fee to download 800 MP3 tracks at once or $25 to download even more, including 100 higher quality WAV files. The site also makes it easy to tip the content creators through PayPal. All of the site’s music can be streamed and sampled from the site before downloading. 
If you’re looking for royalty-free music you can download and incorporate in other projects, the Free Music Archive should be one of your first stops. One of the oldest sites of its kind, it was established in 2009 by independent east-coast radio station WFMU. Most of the music here isn’t truly public domain, but is instead covered under the Creative Commons license, which means you’ll need to check the license to see exactly what right you have for any given track (though “CC BY” is most common, and allows you to share, copy, remix, and redistribute the song in any format, even commercially). 
The site has a large collection of tracks in 16 categories that include blues, country, hip-hop, pop, rock, and old-time, just to name a few. You can stream, sample and download individual tracks from a simple and easy-to-use player built into the site. Use of the site is 100% free. 
Musopen is a nonprofit website that has operated since 2012, focused on increasing access to music education by offering not just music files, but also sheet music, music apps, and other educational materials. That makes it a great resource for educators, but be aware that the focus on this site is exclusively classical music. 
You can use the site for free, though access is limited — you can download just five songs per day along with a number of other limitations. Subscribers can pay $55 per year for unlimited downloads, access to lossless audio files, and other benefits. In addition to music downloads, you can stream public domain tracks. The site has a robust search engine and the ability to filter by composer, instrument, time period, length, and more.   
The Open Music Archive is a website that was launched by UK-based artists Eileen Simpson and Ben White, a pair of musicians who frequently collaborate and focus on copyright issues in the music industry. The OMA houses a large archive of public domain music in a wide variety of genres and styles.
The site can be a little challenging to search because it’s designed around browsing by a somewhat haphazard collection of tags. You can click on specific years, categories like vocal, happy, and country, and artists like Guthrie, Virginia Liston, and Johnny Dodds — the structure isn’t well organized. You can download tracks without restriction from the website or stream the site’s catalog through SoundCloud (but you can’t preview or stream on the OMA webpage).
It’s not unusual to need music that is a specific length, either to serve as a musical bed for a video or a soundtrack for a creative project. Mubert is a somewhat unusual website that can help — it offers music created by artificial intelligence. Just choose a mood, musical genre or activity from a short list and pick a duration, and the website creates an original royalty-free track in just a few moments. You can listen to it using a built-in player or download and reuse it. 
The site is completely free to use, though it does require setting up a free account to download the tracks you create. It would be nice if there were a wider range of ways to randomize the track, but every song you create includes an option to render a new, similar variation. 

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