The Petrucci Music Library is classical music heaven

Martin Brinkmann
Jul 18, 2015
Music and Video

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.

petrucci music library

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.

Closing Words

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.

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  1. inab said on July 21, 2015 at 4:21 pm

    ofc it works even better with vivaldi or opera browsers ;D

  2. Mike J. said on July 20, 2015 at 2:33 pm

    But I get a terse warning that the music may not be Public Domain, & I should consult a copyright attorney.

  3. Bazza said on July 20, 2015 at 10:20 am

    Thank you – great find

  4. DonGateley said on July 19, 2015 at 9:35 am

    Oh, requiring Flash is hardly fatal since it can be enabled on demand but it would be good if they could move past it.

  5. Ken Saunders said on July 19, 2015 at 9:07 am

    Very nice Martin. Thanks.
    I love strings, violins in particular.

    Finding recordings was hit or miss so I just searched for recordings and got

    I did not have to use Flash to play the files. I clicked the link and MP3’s loaded.
    They were hosted on other sites
    I just had to enabled JS for several sites.
    I could also just right click and save as MP3 on the site.

    Okay, so I just noticed that when I enabled JS for, the option to play the recording on the site came up (the Play button appeared), and when I clicked Play, I was prompted (Click to Play) to allow Flash.

    Speaking of Flash, has anyone else gotten a script issue when trying to install it?

  6. DonGateley said on July 18, 2015 at 11:20 pm

    Aargh! It requires flash to play MP3’s.

  7. DonGateley said on July 18, 2015 at 10:12 pm

    Awesome pointer, Martin. Just the kind of thing that makes your site such a treasure.

    They offer zip files for download containing the movements/parts of a composition as individual MP3’s.

  8. Rich Hartzell said on July 18, 2015 at 6:50 pm

    Excellent! Thanks so much for the pointer

  9. Vrai said on July 18, 2015 at 3:52 pm

    Nice find Martin. Thanks!

  10. straspey said on July 18, 2015 at 2:27 pm

    As a classical musician, the IMSLP library is the “go-to” source for accessing not only recordings, but free copies of sheet music from thousands of composers.

    The question – “Have you looked for it on IMSLP?” – is a regular part of the daily conversation of most musicians. I downloaded a score earlier this week for a session I’m playing next week; and am currently working on another project where the IMSLP site will provide me with scores and sheet music which will be of invaluable assistance.

    Surely one of the greatest resources on the internet – and thanks to Martin for writing an article about it.

  11. GodHatesFigs said on July 18, 2015 at 11:27 am

    Good resource.Don’t mind a little Sergei Rach. now & again.

  12. Jojo said on July 18, 2015 at 9:13 am

    Nice. Thanks!

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