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Open Educational Resources: Open Music


Some of the content was graciously provided by Christopher E. Mehrens, Ph.D., M.L.S.,  Administrator and Associate Librarian Head, Music Library at Arizona State University Libraries.


The American Variety Stage - a multimedia anthology selected from various Library of Congress holdings.  This collection illustrates the vibrant and diverse forms of popular entertainment, especially vaudeville, that thrived from 1870-1920.  

Audio Archive - this library contains recordings ranging from alternative news programming, to Grateful Dead concerts, to Old Time Radio shows, to book and poetry readings, to original music uploaded by our users. Many of these audios and MP3s are available for free download. Check our FAQ for more information.

Captain Pearl R. Nye: Life on the Ohio and Erie Canal - captures the culture and music of the men, women, and children who worked and lived along the Ohio and Erie Canal. The site contains recordings of 75 songs, sung by Nye. The recordings were made by John, Alan, and Elizabeth Lomax, and Ivan Walton between June 1937 and September 1938.  

Emile Berliner and the Birth of the Recording Industry - a selection of 108 Berliner sound recordings from the Library of Congress's Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division.  Berliner (1851-1929), an immigrant and a largely self-educated man, was responsible for the development of the microphone and the flat recording disc and gramophone player.  The collection spans the years 1870 to 1956.  

Digital Audio Collections from the Library of Congress American Memory Collections - provides free and open access through the Internet to written and spoken words, sound recordings, still and moving images, prints, maps, and sheet music that document the American experience. It is a digital record of American history and creativity.


Fiddle Tunes of the Old Frontier: The Henry Reed Collection - a multi-format ethnographic field collection of traditional fiddle tunes performed by Henry Reed of Glen Lyn, Virginia. Recorded by folklorist Alan Jabbour in 1966-67, when Reed was over eighty years old, the tunes represent the music and evoke the history and spirit of Virginia's Appalachian frontier. 

Freeplay Music - 1500 songs free for YouTube and more.

Free Music Archive - the Free Music Archive is an interactive library of high-quality, legal audio downloads.  The Free Music Archive is directed by WFMU, the most renowned free form radio station in America.  Radio has always offered the public free access to new music. The Free Music Archive is a continuation of that purpose, designed for the age of the Internet.

Global Music Archive – Digital Collection of East African Recordings - a resource center for traditional and popular song, music, and dance of Africa and the Americans.  Hosted by Vanderbilt University, the Digital Collection of East African Recordings provides searching and browsing by region, language, ethnic group, and musical instrument. 

IMSLP: Petrucci Music Library - this online music library has a goal to create a virtual library containing all public domain music scores, as well as scores from composers who are willing to share their music with the world without charge.


Jamendo - offers more than 350,000 free music tracks licensed under Creative Commons, all available for streaming and unlimited download without ads. It allows the public to discover thousands of artists of all genres who have chosen to distribute their music independently outside the traditional system of collecting societies.

The John and Ruby Lomax 1939 Southern States Recording Trip - a multi-format ethnographic field collection that includes nearly 700 sound recordings.  The recordings represent a broad spectrum of traditional musical styles, including ballads, blues, children's songs, cowboy songs, fiddle tunes, field hollers, lullabies, play-party songs, religious dramas, spirituals, and work songs. 

Judaica Sound Archives - created by Florida Atlantic University, the Judaica Sound Archives is online searchable archive of Judaica sound recordings. The archive includes recordings of Yiddish, Hebrew and Sephardic music in any language from the various countries where Jews have lived, both secular and religious. The music is provided in a non-downloadable streaming audio format. 

MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada - created by MUNFLA, the Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive, this resources provides access to information about songs and dance tunes from Newfoundland and Cape Breton, collected between 1949-51 by MacEdward Leach. Streaming audio and some notation available.

The Milman Parry Collection of Oral Literature Online - the Milman Parry Collection (Harvard University) is the largest single repository of South Slavic heroic song in the world.  Some songs are represented by both digital text (manuscript or typescript) and audio, others by only one format. Links to associated digital objects are included in the indexed lists.


Mutopia - this project offers sheet music editions of classical music for free download.  These are based on editions in the public domain and include works by Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Handel, Mozart, and many others.

NPR Music Online - this online resource features streaming music audio, live concerts on demand, studio sessions, interviews and profiles of musical artists, and news, reviews, and blogs about all things musical.

Now What a Time: Blues, Gospel, and the Fort Valley Music Festivals, 1938-1943 - Now What a Time: Blues, Gospel, and the Fort Valley Music Festivals, 1938-1943 collection consists of approximately one hundred sound recordings, primarily blues and gospel songs, and related documentation from the folk festival at Fort Valley State College (now Fort Valley State University), Fort Valley, Georgia.   

Omaha Indian Music - features traditional Omaha music from the 1890s and 1980s. The multi-format ethnographic field collection contains 55 wax cylinder recordings collected by Francis La Flesche and Alice Cunningham Fletcher between 1895 and 1897.   

Partifi - a free and automated tool for creating parts from music scores.


Sheet Music Consortium - a group of libraries working toward the goal of building an open collection of digitized sheet music.

Strachwitz Frontera Collection of Mexican and Mexican-American Recordings - this digital collection is housed at UCLA and features 78 rpm phonograph recordings from the largest repository of Mexican and Mexican-American vernacular recordings in existence.

Variations-Digital Music Library System - Indiana University Libraries provides online access to streaming audio and scanned score images with a flexible access control framework to ensure respect for intellectual property. 

Voices from the Dust Bowl: The Charles L. Todd and Robert Sonkin Migrant Worker Collection - an online presentation of a multi-format ethnographic field collection documenting the everyday life of residents of Farm Security Administration (FSA) migrant work camps in central California in 1940 and 1941. | North Library: 281-459-7116 | Central Library: 281-476-1850 | South Library: 281-998-6150 ext. 3306