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Art is alive. The internet is a big, scary place with lots of free music. Here are some ideas of where to get legal music.

Downloads – This is probably the largest free music archive on the internet. It contains thousands of live recordings from artists in every genre, including many popular commercial and independent artists. The Grateful Dead, Animal Collective, and Elliott Smith are just a couple of examples. There are also plenty of historic recordings (and movies!).

Library of Congress – The Library of Congress has historic recordings (Blues, Folk, Talk) from every part of the country. The website above lets you browse their many audio collections, from Florida Folk to famous WW1 speeches to Omaha Indian Music.


LastFM – It’s like Facebook for music. Last.FM can recommend artists based on your current listening habits, let you listen to their music, and there’s even a streaming-radio option that lets you listen to full-song radio of artists that are similar to your preferences. Join the Swarthmore groups!

Shoutcast - A database of user-run streaming radio stations. Everything's on there. You can search by genre, artist, song, etc.

Wolfgang's Vault - Thousands of free concerts from the 60's and 70's. If you're into any sort of rock or jam music, this is a great place. You can listen to vintage Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, The Doors, U2, Bob Marley, The Who...the list goes on.

PodShow – A website collecting podcasts from artists who specifically allow their music to be shared.

Jamendo – Another streaming-radio website featuring CreativeCommons licensed artists. These are generally more obscure artists. Impress your hipster friends!

WSRN – College radio is cool. Really. Even though no one owns a radio. Swarthmore’s WSRN has podcasts for every show. Find something you like and get new student-picked music right in iTunes every week.


Underhill – Look under the Online Sound Recordings column. You’ll find subscriptions to services that let you listen to Classical, Jazz, Folk, and historic recordings. You’re actually paying for this one with your 40K. Don’t tell your parents.

FreeCulture’s New Project

FreeMusic – The national FreeCulture organization has just started a project to share CreativeCommons music. There are new additions every day. Check back periodically.

Share Your Music

CreativeCommons – CreativeCommons is a group that produces easy-to-read and easy-to-use licenses that let artists share their art in the exact way they want. You can find licenses that allow for non-commercial distribution, sampling, attribution, and everything in between.

They also have a lot of great projects and contests, including ccMixter, a sampling and mixing website.

FreeCulture will also be working with Olde Club's new audio recorder (and eventually WSRN's new studio) to enable currently active student bands to record their music for free. Contact bmazer1 about this.

Alumni Bands

  1. Ellipsis
  2. Manticore
  3. Horseflies
  4. Panda Riot
  5. Wrong Side of Dawn
  6. Joe Kille

If you’re interested in starting or sharing any project (not just music), contact FreeCulture. We’re here to help you with organization, funding, and whatever other resources you need. Our mailing list is, and my email address is