The breadth and richness of audio recordings made available through Europeana Sounds is especially evident in the music category which covers classical (or art) music including western classical and non-western classical music, traditional and folk music, and also popular music.

Free access to full-length audio recordings of music will be provided via Europeana Sounds when a recording is free of licensing restrictions, so there will be a high proportion of recordings of older and established composers and performers, in which the copyrights have expired. Due to copyright, performing and recording rights issues, some music made accessible via Europeana Sounds will be provided as audio snippets.

Western classical (art) music showcases European classical (art) music, including music from the early medieval period to the present, secular as well as liturgical music, modern and contemporary music, electronic art music, experimental and minimalist music. These recordings may include music that crosses traditional boundaries of categorization. This is particularly true of contemporary music, which might have attributes of several music genres. The range of western classical music includes in-depth examples from major European composers and performers with worldwide appeal, as well as works derived from this tradition regardless of their geographical origin.

Example of recording:


Recordings of classical (art) music from non-western cultures included in Europeana Sounds exemplify European scholarly endeavours in collecting and studying this music.

Example of recording:


Rich collections of traditional/folk music from around the world will also be shared via Europeana Sounds, as well as pictures of musical instruments used in these recordings. For performers studying and practicing traditional/folk music, it is essential to listen to source material in the form of field recordings because traditional and folk musicians rely heavily on imitation and oral memory. The provision of recordings in this category supplies a rich and vital resource for musicians active in this area.

Example of recording:


Popular music refers to music that appeals to popular tastes, such as music hall, ballad songs, rock, pop, folk, punk, jazz, etc. We will make available material in this genre going back as far as the early 1900s.

Example of recording:


Have a look at the Europeana Music Collections that present a selection of music recordings, related images and texts.



Below some examples of posts about music, from Europeana Sounds’ blog:

December 24 – “A novena”: a lyric that tells a story

December 24th, 2016|0 Comments

Today we offer you a beautiful song of the collection of the Istituto Centrale per i beni Sonori Audiovisivi (ICBSA). […]

December 23 – Traditional Christmas Carols from Greece

December 23rd, 2016|0 Comments

Greek Christmas Carols are sung on Christmas Eve, the 24th of December, according to tradition. Groups of small children go out in the streets, from household to household, singing carols accompanied by a small “trigono” – triangular metallic music instrument that makes a distinctive sound – and receiving money and sweets as rewards. […]

December 22 – A Grammophon record commemorating Wilhelm II’s Silver Jubilee

December 22nd, 2016|0 Comments

When his father, Kaiser Friedrich III, died, after a very short reign, in June 1888, Wilhelm II, the eldest of Queen Victoria’s grandsons, ascended the German throne. 25 years later, many ceremonies marked his Silver Jubilee. One of the rarest and least known artifacts of that time is a Grammophon record, from the French National Library’s collection. […]

December 19 – A letter to Santa

December 19th, 2016|0 Comments

Dear Santa, This year we have been working hard, thinking good thoughts and now are looking forward to the coming Christmas! Here, the snow has fallen and melted, several times already – has it been the same where you live? […]

December 14 – High above from the top of the green tree.

December 14th, 2016|0 Comments

Many Danish Christmas carols are far from being churchly; they just tell stories of Danish Christmas traditions. “Højt fra træets grønne top” (= High above from the top of the green tree) is in the repertoire of almost every Christmas Eve celebration. […]

December 12 – The Europeana Sounds #Shareday – bringing our collections to our audiences

December 12th, 2016|0 Comments

On the 23rd of November, the Europeana Sounds project organised its very first #Shareday. A day where all the sound archives active in the project were invited to share their collection on other platforms such as SoundCloud and Wikimedia Commons. It turned out to be a very effective, useful, and most of all fun day. […]

December 9 – The record in the stars

December 9th, 2016|0 Comments

This is the most far away record, out of the solar system: 15 billion kilometers from Earth! The Golden Record is included aboard both Voyager spacecrafts launched in 1977. […]

December 6 – Carols from Cobh

December 6th, 2016|0 Comments

When I think of Christmas and music the first sound that comes to mind are the bells from my home town in Cobh, Co. Cork, Ireland. The bells, or carillon, as the instrument is called, is located in the magnificent St Colman’s Cathedral overlooking Cobh town and Cork Harbour. The 49-bell carillon is the largest instrument of its kind in Ireland and Britain. It is played from a console within the belfry, consisting of a keyboard and a pedalboard. […]

December 5 – Uncovering Ethnomusicology on Europeana Music Collections

December 5th, 2016|0 Comments

The Music Collections of this month is focused on anthropology and its links with sounds and music studies, in France and in the world. […]

December 2 – Unlocking Sound Collections: the videos!

December 2nd, 2016|0 Comments

As your second daily treat of this Advent Calendar, Europeana Sounds is sharing with you the videos of its 2nd International Conference, which took place in Vilnius on 4 November 2016. […]