Free Background Music Sites

My own free background music and free music for intros is available from this page. You might find what you need here:

Free Background Music and Intro Themes

On this page, I will introduce different sites where you find and download free background music for your videos, presentations, websites or other multimedia projects. There are quite a few composers and musicians willing to let you use their music for free, especially for non-commercial purposes. There is a good chance that you won’t be able to find exactly why you are looking for, especially if you have a specific pop or rock song in mind, but if you look hard enough you should be able to find something that meets your needs.

It is important to distinguish between:

  • Music that you actually use for free and
  • Music that is royalty-free (which means you can use the music but you have to pay a one-off licensing fee) and
  • Music that you can download for free but that requires an annual licensing fee if you want to use it in your video (e.g., the deceptively named Freeplay Music offers this type).

This page focuses on the first type and includes four sections.

  1. YouTube’s Free Music
  2. Composers/Performers Offering Free Music: Songs to Download and Go
  3. Sites with Some Free Music with Other Songs that Require Payment
  4. Sites where you Search for Public Domain Music and Music Issued under Creative Commons Licenses (if you want to know more about public domain and Creative Commons, you can check out my page here: longzijun.wordpress.com/2012/01/18/music-public-domain-and-copyright

If you are a composer and would like to be added to (or removed from) this list or would like to change any information provided, please let me know.

1. Free Music Library at YouTube

YouTube has a lot of free music you can use (Vimeo used to provide a similar service, but recently stopped offering free music). In YouTube you need to have an account and be logged in. Go to Creator Studio and select Create (see the left column) and then Audio Library or simply go to this link: www.youtube.com/audiolibrary/music.

When the audio library page opens, you can browse by genre or search using key words. As far as I can see, you can use the music for just about any purpose; according to the terms of use, the only restrictions are that you cannot distribute the music by itself and that the music cannot be used in an illegal manner or with any illegal content. However, the page now has a disclaimer stating that YouTube is not responsible for any copyright issues that may arise from your use of the content outside of YouTube.

Select and download free mp3s
Select and download free mp3s

2. Free Background Music to Download and Go

If you are a hurry and need something immediately, the following composers allow you to use their existing work as long as you follow their term of use (e.g., by linking to their homepage, providing a credit). For many of the composers, the songs are free for non-commercial use. However, you should note that if you are making monetized videos, these would NOT fall under non-commercial use.

ComposerStyle and InfluencesListen, Contact & notes
Dan OOver 50 free songs in different kinds of pop, soft rock and ambient styles.www.danosongs.com/
Use for free if you provide a link/credit. Pay $10 for non-credited use
AudionautixIncludes acoustic piece, film scores, rock and electronicAudionautix Homepage
Use for free if you provide an attribution or link
TeknoaxeOver 200 free songs in different genres—electronica, dubstep, rock, orchestral, etcwww.youtube.com/user/teknoaxe/
Provide attribution and link to your video
DSTA few hundred songs with an emphasis on electronic, ambient and and dance stylesDeceasedSuperiorTechnician
The songs are issued under a Creative Commons attribution license (commercial use is also OK); you just need to provide an attribution
IncompetechHundreds of songs in different genres, lengths and styesincompetech
Just provide an attribution that includes the licensing terms. You can see an example here incompetech.com/music/royalty-free/faq.html
CeeeXMainly dramatic songs and upbeat electronicawww.youtube.com/user/FunKCX/
Available for non-commercial use. Add a credit, notify the composer (e.g., send a link)
Accelerated IdeasAround 15 short electonica intros/outros (12 sec. to 35 sec.)www.accelerated-ideas.com/FreeMusicTracks/
Add a credit (e.g., a link to the website)

3. Some Free Music, But Mainly Royalty-free Tracks

These channels offer some free music, but mainly deal in licensed music (i.e., you pay a one time fee)

ComposerStyle and InfluencesListen, Contact & notes
SophonicMedia InstrumentalsFreeMainly rock, but includes some other stylesThis is a new site, so the selection isn’t very large at the moment. Some tracks are free (as long as you provide a credit) and some are royalty-free (which means a small payment is required). YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/user/SophonicMedia. The free songs are here (as long as appropriate credit is given):http://instrumentalsfree.com/

4. Other Sites to Get Background Music

Caution: The following sites focus on Creative Commons licensed music and Public Domain music. There are two things you need to bear in mind.

First, people will sometimes upload their songs and mistakenly state that the music is in the public domain or available through a Creative Commons licence. One example, would be someone uploading their piano only arrangement of a hit pop song and being unaware that the composition itself (melody, harmony, structure) is protected by copyright. Therefore, if you were to use that arrangement, you would be in violation of copyright law. You should familiarize yourself with the concepts of Creative Commons and public domain (see the links in the preceding paragraph) so that you can assess whether the music you use is really OK.

Second, sometimes people change their mind and ‘withdraw’ the Creative Commons licence or ‘remove it’ out of the public domain. Such actions are wrong (Creative Commons cannot be revoked, and once something is legitimately released into the public domain the copyright holder, it stays there), but people still do them. To e safe, when you download Creative Commons or public domain music, you should jot down the download date and the source and also get a screen capture that shows the song is under Creative Commons or in the public domain.

Archive Org: http://archive.org/index.php
Video, music and text in the public domain or issued under Creative Commons licences

Freesound: http://www.freesound.org/
Music recordings issued with Creative Commons licences

FreePD: www.freepd.com
Music recordings issued with Creative Commons Licences

Soundcloud: http://soundcloud.com/
An audio uploader that features many Creative Commons licensed music tracks. Try searching for a style of music (e.g. dub step) and then select one on the Creative Commons attribution qualities on the right. Not all music uploaded here is under Creative Commons

CMixter: http://ccmixter.org/
A site of Creative Commons licensed music tracks


~by longzijun

music

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58 thoughts on “Free Background Music Sites

  1. Hi there,
    I found your music in youtube and it bring me to here.
    I downloaded one of your music and gonna to use it for my school presentation’s background music.
    thx for creating such a wonderful music!
    wish u all the best =D

  2. Hi, tryied to contact you through the e-mail but the mail returned back. Please give me a valid e-mail adress in order to contact you for the use of your songs. Very beautyful and inspiring music!

    • Hi Ando, I’m not sure where you got that e-mail address from.

      The music is free for non-commercial purposes–just give a credit (music by longzijun). I also allow its use (also for free) for commercial purposes for smaller organisations (depending on the nature of the business).

      If you want to use the music somewhere on the kronplatz site, that would be fine.

      I would appreciate it if you could send a link (I am curious about how the music ends up being used.

  3. I love “Dreams” and plan to use it in a group presentation video for class. Your name has already been listed in my credits. Thank you so much for offering such lovely compositions!

  4. I down loaded your composition “Dreams” and am planning to use it for a video some friends and I are making right now. It was great to find a awesome song like this for free. Thanks and I am adding your name to the credits. I will send a link to you when the video is finished.

  5. Helloo! You are amazing :). I am planning to use a few of them for a big school project. I will of course add your name to the credits, and if by any chance i post it on YouTube, i will add you to the link. Thanks!

  6. Hey man, I was wondering if its possible to use your track (Background Music 02: Versatile) for my school project, its a promotional video competition for my university? I will add your name to the credits.

    Great music btw ;)

  7. Hello,

    Can i use Free Background Music 12: Dreams as a background music for a video presentation of an IT project? The video will be sent to kickstarter.com and posted on the website.

    Best Regards,
    Mihai

  8. Was wondering if I could use one of these for a short promotional youtube clip (1 min) announcing an event for my not profit trade association. Don’t really know how to provide credit (mixing video myself and I’m an amateur) and would prefer to pay something nominal (or gain advanced permission).

    • Hi Matt, it is simple to provide credit. You just put a title/subtitle at the very end of the video (music by longzijun). All video editing software, even Windows Movie Maker, has some function for putting text onto a video.

  9. Longzijun = Thank you for the BEAUTY!!!!!

    I getting feedbacks how great is the music in my video! Really good job, and I must say I was searching for days to find the right one! Love it!
    :)
    Susa Dosa

  10. Thank you very much! Your music is wonderful, and just what I needed for an animation I’m working on for an art class.

  11. Hello Longzijun, this is James Harris of Harris Promotions Inc. I just heard the background
    music 12 dreams and man it is just the sound I’m looking for. Iwant to use it for a background sound for my ebook; it’s a christian ebook. If it’s OK to use, could you contact me at the email below thank you jrh.

  12. I have read and understand all of your recommendations for music use. I would like to use your music for instructional videos at http://lifeandlimbgel.com . My business is a small family owned business offering an elite line of hot and cold therapy products. I have the videos ready to go up on my site, it would be great if I could use your music! Thank you,
    Chelsea Frank

  13. Recently, I used Snacks & Watches in a video of mine (link below). I gave you credit in the… well, in the credits, but I’m starting to think about becoming an AdSense member. If I do, do I still have permission to use the song, and if so, is there anything extra I must do to stay legal?

    Video – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R98LUnnPqa8 (the credit and the song are both in the credits)

  14. What a gift. We have a small Breakfast/Lunch Restaurant (wife & me), we use Picassa to build a slide show of the foods we offer, and play it on a TV Monitor at out Counter. The slide show needs sound and I’ve been searching for something appropriate.

    We can’t afford the big time programmers so I’ve tried to do it myself. You can see it under “Gabby’s Restaurant” at odessabusinesspark
    I hope it would be alright to use one of your creations. I have not heard them all, but what I have heard would work well.

    Thank you.

      • Thank you for the permission. We will definitely contribute to charity because we do it regularly anyway. Our favorite is the Girl Scouts because we have a number of families that have children who belong, but it doesn’t end there, we also like Charity Newsies, as well as the cjhildrens baseball teams, Goodwill, and the Salvation Army to name a few. We also contribute to the childrens gift funds at Walmart at Christmas.

        I still have no idea which song or songs we might use, but we will pledge to meet your requirments.

        Thank you, Cliff & Sara

  15. Hi, I am Aditya, I am making my first short fiction film, the budget is very low so I was looking for some free music that I could use and I came across this website, My email is addywlcwala@gmail.com, please send me your terms and agreements, I must tell you that this film is not for commercial purposes but if in future if it generates any revenue then I agree to pay you according to your set terms.

  16. I really appreciate your collections here,you have really done a great work here.keep it up bro,i will share your page across.thanks for taking your time collect such great works in a single piece

  17. I have gone through so many different versions of background music, and have to say the free music 12 is one of the best i have heard and will be using it on all my presentations. Thanks you.

  18. I disagree that you’re not a skillful musician. You are very gifted, and that’s amplified with your generosity. Thank you so much! :)

  19. Great job! love the music! I am using it in course demonstrations etc. I however give credit, keep up the good work!

  20. Helloo! You are amazing :). I am planning to use a few of them for a big school project. I will, of course, add your name to the credits, and if by any chance I post it on YouTube, I will add you to the link. Thanks! if you interested to see all kind of music in one website visit here

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