It’s that time of year again. You’re actively considering watching some Christmas movies on Netflix. However, if they doesn’t quite get you in the mood for Christmas, maybe contemporary, classical, or traditional Christmas music will.
Drop the shopping bags, relax, and listen. The following list offers legal and free Christmas music downloads. We’ve also thrown in sheet music resources in case you want to give your fingers a workout.
Free Christmas Music Downloads
Our first site provides “free holiday music from top indie artists”. The collection includes contemporary and traditional tunes, as well as vocal and instrumental interpretations. In addition to holiday music, you’ll find seasonal sounds and audio files of Christmas stories for kids.
In 2018, Feels Like Christmas added new work from three artists, including a fundraiser song for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. You can expect them to add more new content before Christmas.
You can stream the music on the site or download MP3 files.
At New Christmas Music, you will find new (contemporary) Christmas songs and traditional Christmas carols. The collection includes “O Christmas Tree,” “O Holy Night,” “Silent Night,” “Joy to the World,” and “Jingle Bells”. Some songs are available in different versions. “O Holy Night,” for example, comes in an instrumental and a vocal recording.
Downloads come in several different formats, including MP3, WMA, and MIDI. Some songs also feature dated Flash animations. You can preview MP3 and WMA files in your browser. To download a tune, right-click the file format, e.g. MP3, and select Save link as…
If you feel spoiled for choice, start here. The site features only 24 traditional Christmas songs, and each comes with a brief description. For example, did you know that “Jingle Bells” was originally named “One Horse Open Sleigh” or that the original version of “Silent Night”—“Stille Nacht” in German—was written by Austrian author Franz Gruber and then translated into 300 languages?
All downloads are MP3 files.
The FMA is the music archive of WMFU, the longest running freeform radio station in the U.S. The archive includes a section with over 350 free Christmas songs across various genres.
You can sort their list by artist, track or album name, date added, or most interesting. You can play songs in your browser. When you found one you like, you can either download it or add it to the site’s own player.
For over 20 years, Uncle Dave has been recording instrumental versions of traditional Christmas tunes. You can stream the songs and download MP3 and MIDI files.
While all songs on this site are in the public domain, “these arrangements are copyrighted as derivative works by David M. Latchaw”. That said, you’re welcome to use Uncle Dave’s music if you provide a link back to the source.
The Christmas Carols available on A-M Classical come with a Creative Commons Attribution license (what are the Creative Commons?) This license allows you free use of the recordings in any way you please, as long as you credit the original creator.
The site also features classical Christmas music and Christmas pipe organ music. You can play the files in your browser or right-click and download each file individually.
Amazon offers 30 free holiday-themed songs. The selection is unique, but these Christmas songs are all free, so who’s going to complain?
To buy a tune, add it to your Amazon cart and then check out for free.
Download Full Christmas Albums
8. NuBeat Music
All albums featured on NuBeat Music are free. In the Christmas Albums section, you will find instrumental music, beats, rhythm, and many traditional Christmas songs. You can stream each tune and for most songs, you can also download lyrics. The only downside is that you need to download albums one song at a time.
In addition to the nine musical albums, NuBeat Music also features two storytelling albums: Christmas Special and Christmas Drama.
Bandcamp is a great site to discover new music. Many artists offer entire albums for free, though you’re welcome to pay for what you enjoy. You’ll find both original recordings and interpretations of titles like “White Christmas,” “Santa Baby,” and other classic tunes.
Before you download anything, you can preview the music in a free stream.
Download Christmas Sheet Music
Maybe you prefer to play your own music. Then these sites are for you.
Regardless of what instrument you play or what skill level you’re at, this site has the matching sheet music. The Christmas section covers over 130 songs. For each instrument, you can stream a MIDI file, set the tempo, and follow green highlights through the sheet. Click a section on the sheet and the MIDI will jump to that section too.
To print multiple pages at once, you have to subscribe to the site.
11. Christmas Carol Music
Here you’ll find copyright-free sheet music for popular Christmas carols. In addition to multiple different sheets, you’ll also find a MIDI file for each carol and simple lyrics.
All sheets come in printable PDF format.
If you play the piano, you will appreciate this Christmas sheet music source. Whether you’re a beginner, intermediate, or advanced player, you’ll find sheets suitable for your skill level. Some songs even come with video tutorials.
True beginners can also review piano chords and basic piano tutorials.
Bonus: All Kinds of Christmas Music
This last site has it all: classical and traditional music, sheet music, MIDI, and MP3 files, all on one page dedicated to Christmas music and carols. You’ll find arrangements for guitar and other instruments, along with printable PDFs of the sheet music, and media files you can download.
Each song has its own dedicated page, featuring its backstory, history, and all available files.
What’s on Your Christmas Playlist?
You can also get your Christmas tunes in unconventional ways, like with a musical online Advent calendar.
Everyone has their own favorite music or memories attached to certain songs. So why not forget the radio and become your own DJ instead by finding and sharing your own playlists. And when the season has passed, be assured you can download free legal music all year long.
Image Credit: janews/Shutterstock