Resources

"Where do you get your __________?"

In making my videos, I use many online (and other) resources. This page tells where I most often get them. If you have other sources for these things, please let me know, and I'll add them to this page (and, of course, use them myself, thankyouverymuch).


Free (public domain) recordings

If I can find a public domain recording, that's the simplest and best, since it's not only free, but I can tell other people that they're free to use it too.

  • One of the main places I look these days is Musopen. However, not all of their recordings are 100% "public domain" — many have restrictions (such as requiring that you not modify them, use them commercially, use them without giving credit to the performers, etc.) — so it's important to check the License terms for the recordings you're considering. Some of the recordings are quite old and of poor audio quality, but some are excellent.
  • Many of the recordings on Musopen are also on IMSLP. There may be recordings on IMSLP that aren't on Musopen, so it's probably worth checking in both places (if you know that all IMSLP recordings are on Musopen, please let me know). Many of the recordings on IMSLP have restrictions on their use, so, as with Musopen recordings, it's important to check the details.


  • Royalty-free recordings

    "Royalty-free" typically means that you pay once for a license for a particular use, and can then use it forever without having to pay additional fees. For classical music, this usually refers to recordings that you can license for less than $100.

  • My first licensed recordings came from Royalty-Free Classical Music, but after a few years, its proprietor, Keith J. Salmon, told me that I wasn't allowed to use them on my YouTube channel (this was in the early days of YouTube). I'd thought I could, and we discussed the matter at length; at the end, he agreed to let me, but only in a "well, this time only, as a special case" kind of way, and after I heard that he'd been convicted of illegally distributing recordings he didn't have the rights to, I stopped, and got licenses from other sources.
  • Unique Tracks, Sound Dogs, Shockwave, Premium Beat, NEO Sounds, and Multimediasound are all pretty similar in what they offer: individual licenses for individual tracks, with license fees under $100. Their catalogs are distinct, though, so you need to check all of them.
  • Magnatune's licensing model is different: you pay a monthly fee which allows you to publish works using their recordings during that month. Their catalogue is small and eclectic (compared to most "royalty free classical" sites), but their standards are high, so if you can find what you're looking for there, you'll be getting a pretty good recordings.


  • Other recordings

  • For music that's performed (or composed) by contemporary musicians, I sometimes contact the artist directly to ask for permission. If they have a YouTube channel, I'll first try to reach them by sending them a personal message there. Otherwise, I'll look for their Facebook pages, their personal websites, or their agents.
  • I've licensed some recordings from Naxos. They have a huge catalog, and they both represent many artists and license recordings for many record labels. Their prices are typically higher than those of the "royalty free" people, but their recordings are often far superior.


  • Human-readable scores

  • The main resource of this is, without question, IMSLP.
  • The Center for Computer-Assisted Research in the Humanitis has scores for some works of some composers (see Machine-readable scores, below, for more information).
  • free-scores.com

    Machine-readable scores

  • The main resource I have for this is Classical Archives, who have many MIDI files.
  • For the music of J. S. Bach, there is also the the Tanubach J. S. Bach MIDI Music Collection.
  • Kunst der Fuge
  • Ludwig van Beethoven's Website
  • NWC-Scriptorium (files in NoteWorthy Composer format)

    Images

    Some of my videos have images in them. These come from a variety of places, and for the most part, I've just searched the web for what I want.

  • The one resources I'll mention here now (since I can't, offhand at the moment, remember any others) is the Juilliard Manuscript Collection, which have many wonderful autograph scores.