Musopen aims to free classical music

Posted by Double Compile on Monday, September 13. 2010

While the sheet music for many classical music pieces are in the public domain, recordings of these pieces are not. Enter Musopen: a nonprofit charity that hosts an online repository of public domain classical music recordings. Content authors ranging from indie filmmakers to the Mythbusters production staff have utilized Musopen's collection.

Just recently the founder of Musopen, Aaron Dunn, has started an initiative to raise funding to record a bunch of music and release it under the CC0 license.

We want your help to hire an internationally renowned orchestra to record and release the rights to: the Beethoven, Brahms, Sibelius, and Tchaikovsky symphonies. We have price quotes from several orchestras and are ready to hire one, pending the funds.

With coverage on Slashdot and Ars Technica, the project has received a lot of attention and smashed through the goal of $10,000 (at the time of writing, they've raised over $40,000).

Being a huge proponent of liberated content, I actually donated $75 to the project, and I think the rewards are notably worth it. Not only will everyone benefit from the unencumbered music, but I personally get the following:

  • Early access to the music online before it's released publicly
  • A master copy of the CD before it's released to the public
  • The entire Musopen library on DVD (lossless quality)
  • A Musopen Pro account for 1 year
  • A Musopen t-shirt
With 29 hours to go, it will be interesting to see how much the project ends up raising. Think about donating or spreading the word!
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