In search of free classical music

Say I’ve made a brief video, which I’m eventually going to put on YouTube. As it is right now, the video is silent, but I think it’d be nicer with background music. I’m thinking something classical. Well, most classical compositions are in the public domain, but the performances generally aren’t. But I’m sure that there are some performers out there who have released recordings under a Creative Commons license, or something similar.

So, two questions: First, what’s a good place to find freely-available music?

Second, does anyone have any suggestions for a good choice of piece? I need approximately 82 seconds of it, and something calm and relaxing would be preferred.

IMSLP is mainly devoted to out-of-copyright classical music scores, but on the pages of many of the individual pieces of music (especially the more well-known ones), there are freely-available performances also. There’s so much out there - have you narrowed down a style you might be more interested in if there was a choice?


82 seconds of Brahms Op. 100 is pretty. :slight_smile:

Liszt consoltation no 3
Bach Air on G String
Chopin nocturne no.9 op. 2

Classical music that I find beautiful and relaxing may not relax or entertain most of the people. I think Mozart is more appropriate when addressing the general public.

I think I’ll go with Bach for this one, but I may be making other videos like this, so feel free to keep suggesting more.

The first one (especially) of the two Arabesques for piano by Debussy might be very nice for this kind of thing.

To me, there’s a question of how familiar do you go. But I probably misjudge too many things as “too familiar”, so maybe I should find some way to adjust it. Anyway, I’d try to avoid music that makes unavoidable associations to distracting things, for example something that’s recently been used in advertising.

Oh… Bach… It’s hard to do better than the 2nd movement of the concerto for two violins.

OK, here we go.

Mozart Piano Concerto in C second movement or Clarinet concerto in A Second movement

Nice! Very interesting. I like it.

So, how long did it take you? I used to like doing jigsaws, before I got dogs.

The Inventions and the Sinfonias (both sets are for keyboard), by Bach, are short and sound a bit like musical puzzles being assembled.

How brief? What sort of thing is the video showing? Whatever you’re playing needs to relate in some way (and more or less match the length).

Pending that sort of detail, you might also look at Debussy (Reverie, the Arabesques, La Fille Aux Cheveux de Lin, for example), Satie’s Gnossiennes and Gymnopédies, Brahms’s late piano Intermezzi (op. 116/118/119). Or the slow movement of Grieg’s Piano Concerto, or an orchestral arrangement of his Våren (Last Spring). Or the slow movement of almost any violin concerto (Mendelssohn, Bruch). Or of Shostakovich’s Second Piano Concerto.

I could go on.

I was about to say that I didn’t keep track, until I realized the photos all had timestamps. A little over two weeks.