Free Background Music Series: Songs by Guest Artists

The Featured Guest series has six songs, including beautiful piano instrumentals by Kate Kwok, Jessica Yip and Tong Chi-ling, a dramatic synth-orchestra composition by Gary Ames and a Pink-Floyd-inspired acoustic guitar piece by Nikolaos Taramanidis. As with the other songs in my free background music series, these three songs can be used for free in non-commercial projects and in YouTube monetized videos (that are otherwise non-commercial in nature) as long as credit is provided. You should follow the crediting information that is shown for each song.

Track 40. Tale of the Forgotten Forest Kingdom by Kate Kwok

Duration: 3:00
Style: An original classical piano piece.
About the song: Kate has described her inspiration for the song: “I had this picture in mind when creating the piece: a wayward traveler stumbles upon a forest fairy and follows her into the ruins of the forgotten forest kingdom; the former glory of the kingdom can still be seen among the statues and columns (the middle loud part of the music), but eventually even the magical beings (the fairies) abandon the castle and the legend of the forest kingdom fades away into nothing but folklore and memory (as represented by the pianissimo ending).”

Crediting Information

Music composed and performed by Kate Kwok

Music Download Links: Tale of the Forgotten Forest Kingdom

Two versions are available. The one in the above video has been slightly compressed to reduce the dynamic contrast (the softer parts become a little louder). There is also a full dynamic range version available; this one has greater contrast between the quieter and louder sections. The song was performed on a Yamaha Clavinova and recorded using Sonar Home Studio. 

Tale of the Forgotten Forest Kingdom (Main Version)

Tale of the Forgotten Forest Kingdom (Full Dynamic Range Version)

More Songs by Kate

This song is also part of a series of music recordings I have done with students at the school where I teach: Student Music: Original Songs and Covers. I have worked with Kate on several other music videos—a cover version of Taylor Swift’s Breathe, a piano arrangement of Howard Shore’s Feast of Starlight from The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug, a piano arrangement of Misty Road from the Korean television series Moonlight Drawn by Clouds, a piano version of Gustav Holst’s I Vow to Thee, My Country as well as two of my compositions (Broken and Holly’s Theme). You can see the music videos for these pieces on our CMe Creative Media Studio website:

  1. Her piano arrangements and original compositions: cmestudio.wordpress.com/2016/12/31/misty-road-from-moonlight-drawn-by-clouds-piano-cover-kate-kwok/
  2. Kate’s cover of Breathe: cmestudio.wordpress.com/2013/03/01/breathe-by-taylor-swift-cover-version-by-kate/

Track 39. Summit by Gary Ames

Duration: 3:00
Tempo: 128 bpm
Style: This is a pulsating dramatic instrumental with digital orchestral strings and percussion. I have used it in a sports video and it really works well. An original classical piano piece.

About the visuals: To create the music visualization of the video, I used the Generate Spectrum function in Adobe After Effects (CS4), applied the spectrum to a circular mask and then ran it though a variety of effects such as Fast Radial Blur, Griddler (to create the tiles) and Kaleida (to create the kaleidoscope-like effect).

Crediting Information

Music composed and produced by Gary Ames

Music Download Links: Summit

Gary’s Music

To listen to more music by Gary Ames, you can visit his:

  1. YouTube Channel: www.youtube.com/channel/UCkBSJInB_3Jzkn8t1MjP1XQ
  2. SoundCloud Page: soundcloud.com/gary-ames-397977258
  3. Website: garyamesmusic.com

Track 38. Somewhere Deep in the Sea

Duration: 2:42
Style: This is a beautiful piano instrumental. This is a gentle piano song that is suitable for use as a soundtrack for touching, tranquil or nostalgic scenes. As the title suggests, the scene she had in mind when composing the song was a setting deep underwater.

Crediting Information

Music composed and produced by Jessica Yip

Music Download Links: Somewhere Deep in the Sea

Two versions are available. The one in the above video has been slightly compressed to reduce the dynamic contrast (the softer parts become a little louder). There is also a full dynamic range version available; this one has greater contrast between the quieter and louder sections. The song was recorded using a Yamaha Clavinova. Jessica has a very light touch when playing the piano, so even during the climactic moments—where the arrangement gets quite busy—the song keeps its tender mood.

Somewhere Deep in the Sea (Main Version)

Somewhere Deep in the Sea (Full Dynamic Range Version)

Jessica is one of our channel’s guest artists. This is a gentle piano song that is suitable for use as a soundtrack for touching, tranquil or nostalgic scenes. As the title suggests, the scene she had in mind when composing the song was a setting deep underwater.

More Songs by Jessica

Jessica has also contributed two short piano instrumentals: The Mercury Tale (fifty seconds) and Intro 26 (sixty-two seconds). They are on this page: Short Piano Instrumentals by Jessica Yip. This song is also part of a series of music recordings I have done with students at the school where I teach: Student Music: Original Songs and Covers

About the Visuals

The video is comprised of:

  • A music visualizer effect I created in After Effects using the Music Spectrum effect. I attached that spectrum to a circular mask and then animated it further using the Griddle effect nd modified the colors using other effects and filters. I quite like the final visualizer effect; it seems like the graphics are producing the music rather than simply responding to it. The title text was also also animated in After Effects using one of the text animation presets.
  • Underwater videos published under CC0 (“no rights reserved”) licenses.
  • A background texture by myfreetextures (www.myfreetextures.com) published under a CC Attribution license.

Track 34. I Vow to Thee, My Country (Arranged & performed by Kate Kwok)

Duration: 2:42
Style: This is a beautiful piano instrumental that evokes a strong feeling of nostalgia.
About the music: It is Kate’s own arrangement of a classical work by Gustav Holst. The music originally comes from from the Jupiter movement of Gustav Holsts’s orchestral suite The Planets. Holst adapted his own music, creating this lovely and moving nostalgic song — I Vow to Thee, My Country— in 1921. Kate created the arrangement by ear (i.e., nothing is written down), so she didn’t write sheet music of it. However, Nate Billet transcribed her arrangement and posted the sheet music on Musescore: Sheet Music for I Vow to Thee My Country.

Crediting information:

I Vow to Thee My Country: composition by Gustav Holst and Sir Cecil Spring Rice (1921); Piano arrangement and performance by Kate Kwok (2015).

Music Download Links: I Vow to Thee, My Country

Important Information about Copyright and Potential Disputes

The composition is now in the public domain (copyrights of the arrangement and the recording, however, are held by Kate. On YouTube, it is common to get false Content ID matches and copyright claims on original performances of public domain work. This is because one performance of a work tends to sound similar to another. If you get such a claim, you should dispute it, stating:

The composition for the song being claimed (I Vow to Thee My Country) is in the public domain worldwide. It was composed by Gustav Holst and Sir Cecil Spring Rice in 1921. The recording is an original recording produced by longzijun and is performed by Kate Kwok, who is playing her own arrangement of the song. The recording is available for use for free for non-commercial purposes and in monetized YouTube videos that are otherwise non-commercial in nature as long as the music is properly credited, which I have done in the video description. The permission is given on the video page for the song (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ac2IiRNEr14), on the producer’s website (https://longzijun.wordpress.com/2018/07/09/free-background-music-40/) and on this ToS page (https://longzijun.wordpress.com/music/free-background-music-series-terms-of-use/).

Track 27. Wild Illusion by Nikolaos Taramanidis (5:43)

Duration: 5:43
Style: An acoustic guitar ballad with echoes of Pink Floyd and a touch of blues, especially in the second half of the song.

Crediting Information

Music: Wild Illusion by Nikolaos Taramanidis

Music Download Links: Wild Illusion

Nikolaos’s Music

You can visit his YouTube channel to listen to more of his music: NikosGuitarman.

Track 21. Rachmaninoff’s Prelude in E-flat Major, Op. 23, No. 6: Performed by Tong Chi-ling (2:57)

Duration: 2:57
Style: This is a famous classical piano song by Russian composer Sergei Rachmaninoff.

Crediting information

Composer: Sergei Rachmaninoff (Date of Composition: 1901-1903); Performed by: Tong Chi-ling 2012 (music by longzijun)

Download Links

Important Information about Copyright and Potential Disputes

The composition is now in the public domain. Ccopyrights of the recording, however, are held by Tong Chi-ling. On YouTube, it is common to get false Content ID matches and copyright claims on original performances of public domain work. This is because one performance of a work tends to sound similar to another. If you get such a claim, you should dispute it, stating:

The composition for the song being claimed (Prelude in E-flat Major, Op. 23, No. 6) is in the public domain worldwide. It was composed by Sergei Rachmaninoff in 1901-1903. The recording is an original recording produced by longzijun in 2012 and is performed by Tong Chi-ling, who is playing the original arrangement of the song. The recording is available for use for free for non-commercial purposes and in monetized YouTube videos that are otherwise non-commercial in nature as long as the music is properly credited, which I have done in the video description. The permission is given on the video page for the song (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Sb34p3cbY0), on the producer’s website (https://longzijun.wordpress.com/2018/07/09/free-background-music-40/) and on this ToS page (https://longzijun.wordpress.com/music/free-background-music-series-terms-of-use/).

Student Music: Original Songs and Covers

This song is also part of a series of music recordings I have done with students at the school where I teach: Student Music: Original Songs and Covers


More Music

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