The Petrucci Music Library is classical music heaven
If you like classical music, then you may want to pay a visit to Petrucci’s Music Library as it is one of the greatest free classical music resources the Internet has to offer.
The site features more than 36,000 recordings that you can play and download, has information about more than 12,000 composers and offers access to more than 321,000 music scores including first edition scans.
The frontpage of the site lists new and features composers, scores and recordings. You may jump right into one of those, use the built-in search to find something of interest, or browse recordings or scores by parameters such as composer, nationality or time period.
To name a few composers: Johann Sebastian Bach, Ludwig van Beethoven, Frederic Chopin, Claude Debussy, George Frederick Handel, Franz Joseph Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Giuseppe Verdi.
When you open the page of a composer you will notice a resource section at the top linking to external sources, and the actual compositions, collections and arrangements section on the music library website below it.
The resources at the top lead to biographies, a list of work on external sites and other sites of interest. The compositions lists the works in alphabetical order.
A click opens the work’s page on the site. There you find listed performances (recordings), sheet music, and other information about it such as movements, the year of composition or the genre it is classified in.
A play button enables you to play any recording right on site, provided that you have Adobe Flash installed, or to download it instead to your local system.
Since all recordings are in the public domain, you may download as many as you like freely without the fear of repercussion. The music that I downloaded on the site has a quality of 128kbps which should be sufficient for most users but not for audiophiles.
Apart from recordings, you do get access to sheet music which you can view on site or download to your system. The sheets are provided as PDF scans mostly but you find other file formats as well sometimes.
If you like classical music, either by enjoying listing to it or if you are a musician yourself who likes to play it, then you will find lots of treasures in the Petrucci Music Library.
While it may not be super easy to navigate at times, it makes up for it in content and information.
Petrucci Music Library