About Free Music Archive

About FMA
FMA Story
FMA Team
FMA Publications

About FMA

Free Music Archive (FMA) offers free access to open licensed, original music by independent artists around the world. Tens of millions of online visitors roam the FMA catalogue each month to find and download original songs for personal use or featured tracks in media projects. Tracks on FMA are featured in countless videos, podcasts, films, games, apps, commercials, documentaries, and more!

Powered by Tribe of Noise, together with Creative Commons licences, FMA provides sustainable online spaces for artists and listeners to harness the potential of music sharing. Every FMA artist will have their own digital hub to publish their original songs, be discovered by countless media makers, and have the space to share where FMA visitors can purchase their works. To increase the value of music sharing, FMA visitors can compensate artists directly, when possible, with the different monetization models each FMA artists are able to enable on their artist page.

FMA is also home to Netlabels and Curators, assisting and boosting support for FMA Artists. Free Music Archive combines the curatorial approach that these organizations have played for the last few decades, with the community-generated approach of current online music sites. A collaboration between artists, curators, netlabels, filmmakers, radio stations, venues, artist collectives, museums, music festivals, and more.


If you are an artist looking for a new space to grow and expand, join FMA for:

  • Complete control of your tracks
  • Ability to broaden your music catalogue
  • Learn how to license your own tracks
  • Immense daily traffic on FMA
  • New audiences listening to your music
  • New exposure for your tracks
  • New opportunities for you

Visit the FMA FAQ for Musicians to find out what these FMA superpowers can do for you!


If you are a visitor searching for free original music to download and use, join FMA for:

  • Download free original music anytime
  • Access to all kinds of music to use
  • Support international independent artists
  • Develop knowledge for music licences
  • Boost opportunities for artists
  • Be part of an iconic music service

Visit the General FMA FAQ to get you started with all things FMA!

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FMA Story

FMA was founded in 2009 by the radio station; WFMU in Jersey City, NJ. Historically, radio has always offered the public free access to new music. So, with the help of curators, netlabels, and thousands of independent musicians around the world, FMA became a continuation of that purpose.

Ten years later, Free Music Archive continues alongside Tribe of Noise; a musician-centric community and music-for-business service company founded in 2008. With a catalogue of over 34,000 independent artists across 190+ countries and a fair, sustainable business model, Tribe of Noise aims to shape a healthy future for independent musicians around the world.

Tribe of Noise acquired FMA in 2019 with the mission to create sustainable spaces & systems in favour of independent creators sharing original music online. Together, Free Music Archive and Tribe of Noise support free to access Creative Commons licensed music and offer independent creators the ability to be present in two large communities with a variety of opportunities.

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FMA Team

We believe FMA plays a significant role in the lives and careers of many independent creators. It is our number one priority to empower creators to stay in control while audiences around the world enjoy free to access original music.

It’s our duty to build spaces where communities acknowledge the importance to understand and value the artist behind the Creative Commons licensed music. Where uploading music to and downloading music from the internet becomes a safer, secured, and guaranteed creative action. The Free Music Archive and Tribe of Noise team is based in the Netherlands and consists of local and international staff.

Want to connect with the FMA team? Feel free to contact us!

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FMA Publications

Short article series with inside updates, outcomes, and follow-ups related to the rebuild of FMA.

Inside FMA – Chapter 1

Inside FMA – Chapter 2

Inside FMA – Chapter 3

Inside FMA – Chapter 4

Inside FMA – Chapter 5

Inside FMA – Chapter 6

Inside FMA – Chapter 7

Inside FMA – Chapter 8

Inside FMA – Chapter 9

Inside FMA – Chapter 10


Open Minds Podcast: Hessel van Oorschot of Tribe of Noise & Free Music Archive

Grant for The Web announcing the newest cohort of awardees

FMA's Treasure Hunt - MozFest 2022

Web Artist initiative with Buma/Stemra & Ministry of Education, Culture and Science

New Way To Empower Musicians on FMA


Free Music Archive: A talk about the future of music and art on the internet – by Tom Ray

Web Monetization: Impacting the DIY Music Industry podcast

New Music Powered by Culture Investment Fund


Grant for the Web announces $250,000 in funding to early grantees on grantfortheweb.org

Free Music Archive: A Grant for the Web Awardee on grantfortheweb.org


Global Music Community Tribe of Noise Acquires Free Music Archive by prweb.com

Tribe of Noise neemt Free Music Archive (FMA) over op opennederland.nl

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Free Music Archive Early Days


Can We Replace the “Happy Birthday” Song? on slate.com

The Quest for a Copyright-Free Happy Birthday on laughingsquid.com

It's Time For A New, Copyright-Free Happy Birthday Song, So Help Write One on techdirt.com

Free Music Archive Launches Public Domain Music Contest on creativecommons.nl


Archivo Musical Gratis (y Seleccionado) on elpais.com


Arquivo de Música Livre on link.estadao.com


WFMU’s Free Music Archive Thinks Outside the blog on blogfiles.wfmu.org

Bites, Video Data Bank, Birth of an Artform on blogfiles.wfmu.org

New Website Offers 5,000 Free Downloads That Don’t Suck! on spin.com

Interview with Jason Sigal of the Free Music Archive on rhizome.org

WFMU Launches the Free Music Archive on pitchfork.com

Free Music Monday: 10 Songs From Around the Web on mashable.com


Free Music Downloads Without the Legal Peril on nytimes.com


An Open Source Marriage of Audio, Music, and Radio on blogs.harvard.edu



Website design and development by Cuban Council. This website would not have been possible without the tireless coding of Mark Armendariz, the intuitive design by Anna Arbuckle, Juan Añorga's masterful flash, and Tara Cyphers for making it all go as smoothly as possible.

The Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard, Future of Music Coalition, Creative Commons, Tiffany Camhi, Michael Davison, David van Dokkum, Tommy Engelhardt, Marcus Estes, Michael Feldheim, Ian Frazier, Ken Garson, Dylan Going, Greg Harrison, Austin Julian, Greg Klass, Matt Kruglinksi, Wendy M Levy, David Lorenz, Matt Marando, Markian Martynetz, Pranay Nadkarni, Graham Nalle, Irene Rible, Nayelli Rodriguez, Nat Roe, Marcel Rudin, Caleb Townsend, Jen Vafidis, and Alex Yockey. Initial funding for The Free Music Archive came from the New York State Music Fund, a program of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors. Additional funding support has been provided by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, by the National Endowment for the Arts, and by charitable contributions from FMA users.

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Further Readings and Publications


Copyright Friendly Music & Sounds on libguides.brisbanegrammar.com

The Best Free Music Download Sites on pcmag.com

Best free and legal music download sites on digitaltrends.com


14 Websites To Find Free Creative Commons Music on makeuseof.com


Memorable Marketing Through Music on dealcrunch.com


How FMA Uses an Open-Source Model to Showcase Artists and Curate Songs on HostingAdvice.com

Free Music Archive Provides Access to Hundreds of Thousands of High-Quality Downloads on badcredit.org

8 Free Resources to Soundtrack Your Social Video Without Getting Sued on blog.hootsuite.com

Get New Music: Burn CD’s Off the Internet For Free on blog.real.com


What do we mean when we talk about open music? on opensource.com

Free Music Archive Revista on cgi.br


Where to Find Free (and Legal to Use) Images & Media Online on techsoup.org

Digital Underground: Who Will Make Sure The Internet's Vast Musical Archive Doesn't Disappear? on npr.org

How to find free music online: We reveal our 5 favourite sources for scoring free tunes on techhive.com

Here Are the 36 Best Noise Tracks of 2015 on villagevoice.com


We Love Resources: Free Music Archive on saylor.org

Free music that's legal: Where to find it on csmonitor.com


The Best Free & Pay Music Websites For Video Editors on fstoppers.com

A Beginner’s Guide to the Free Music Archive on hsvideoteacher.wordpress.com


10 Online Resources for Free, Legal Music on mashable.com

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