Free Background Music 37: Holly’s Theme

In this video, I collaborated with a pianist, Kate Kwok, and five dancers from around the world—Haruko Kasai (Japan), Hope Gemmell (America), Applee Official (The Czech Republic) and Sarik Karichashvili and Mariam Barbaqadze (Georgia). I composed the song, Kate Kwok performed her piano arrangement and the dancers did their own choreography to the music. I hope you enjoy the video.

This solo piano instrumental—Holly’s Theme—is the 37th song in the Free Background Music Series (and the first song in the new Kinesonic Project Series of dance and music videos). As with the other songs in this series, this song 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 (“music by longzijun”).

There is also a bonus track at the end—a one-minute orchestral version of the slow part of the song. This shorter work is the 17th song in the Free Short Instrumentals Series (featuring songs that are 6 to 60 seconds in length). For more information about the terms and conditions for using the music, you can refer to the detailed Terms of Use.

Download Links

Holly’s Theme (Main Version)

Holly’s Theme Reprise (a 60-second orchestral version of part of the song)

Holly’s theme Reprise Drumless Version (60-second orchestral version of part of the song)

If you are having downloading problems with the Box.com files, please refer to this page for possible solutions: Downloading Problems (Free Background Music Series).
 

Credits

Music composition, music and video production: longzijun
Piano arrangement and performance: Kate Kwok

The following dancers are featured in this video:

  1. Haruko Kasai; video by Shinji Shirahige (visit his YouTube Channel)
  2. Hope Gemmell (visit her YouTube Channel)
  3. Applee Official (visit her YouTube Channel)
  4. Dance by Sarik Karichashvili and Mariam Barbaqadze, choreography by Sarik Karichashvili, Modern Dance Studio (visit his YouTube Channel). You can see their entire performance of the song in this video

 

Kinesonik Project

Website: kinesonik.wordpress.com

The Kinesonik project is a collaborative project for dancers (the kinesthetic & kinetic part of the name) and musicians (the sonic part) that allows them to gain exposure for their work while providing resources for other creative artists to use.

  • Musicians send their original songs (or recordings of public domain compositions) that will be made available for other people to use for free in non-commercial projects.
  • I post the songs on the Kinesonic site and dancers can preview and download a song that they are interested in.
  • The dancers then choreograph and videotape their dance performance to the song and send me the video.
  • I edit the videos submitted and post a compilation video on my main channel, with links back to the channels and social media pages of the performers.

If you are a dancer or, musician check out the site and see if you would like to participate.
 

About the Song

I composed this song as part of the soundtrack for a short film my students are working on. The fictional film is about the suicide of a young student, so the main theme has a propulsive feel to it, as if the girl is being driven to her fate, while the sparser middle section is for the part of the film showing the reaction of those who cared about her. To see some of the projects done by our student creative media team, you can visit our CMe Studio website.
 

More Music

Preview and download free background music tracks 24-37

Background Music 24-37

Preview and download free background music tracks 1 to 23

Background Music 1-23

Preview and download short instrumental tracks (5 seconds to 60 seconds)

Short Themes for Intros & Outros

Free Background Music Page

Free Background Music Page

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Free Background Music 36: Buoyant

Here is my new song and new music video. This video is a collaboration with Juliana Payson, who supplied the original video footage of her swimming, dancing underwater, experimenting with synchronized swimming skills and doing other kinds of workout routines. Through her YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/user/Onnaloves), Juliana has been documenting and sharing recovery methods and fitness training after having hip-replacement surgery.

This instrumental, entitled Buoyant, is the 36th song in my free background music series. It is an upbeat instrumental track that combines elements of EDM and pop. As with the other songs in the series, this song may be used for free for non-commercial purposes in your videos, presentations or other multimedia projects; you only need to provide a credit: music by longzijun. You can also use the music for free in monetized YouTube videos (that are otherwise non-commercial in nature). For more information about the terms and conditions for using the music, you can refer to the detailed Terms of Use.

Download Links

  • MP3 file 320 kbps, 48 khz (Box)
  • MP3 file 320 kbps, 48 khz (OneDrive)
  • WAV file (Dropbox. Click on the icon with three dots at the top right of the screen, to open the download link. Dropbox has a daily bandwidth limit, so the file may not be available)
  • WAV file (Google Drive)
  • WAV file (OneDrive)

If you are having downloading problems with the Box.com files, please refer to this page for possible solutions: Downloading Problems (Free Background Music Series).

Credits

Music composition, performance and production and video editing: longzijun
Video footage: Juliana Payson

About Juliana

“I’m 39 years old with a hip replacement, and use my play with water for restorative healing. I am a bionic ballerina, sometimes when I have reached my limit of activity the only way to continue spending my energy without further impact irritation is underwater. I’ve since discovered that we all have the potential to train our affinity with water further, though I have not yet taken it to it’s full potential. I’m very comfortable just playing with my freedom of movement and spiritual relaxation underwater.

I am also a synesthete. In my particular case I can “feel” sound. It’s sort of like an aberration of the senses that processes multiple sources of sound information and creates the feeling. I can walk in the dark without bumping into furniture for example, feeling the density of sound emanating from my footsteps. Underwater, the environment takes over these feelings, I can feel the size of the pool, which direction the deep end is, all from the sound feeling. I have a pretty good sense of seeing where I’m going underwater, though my eyesight is not that great.

These skills are not unusual they are untrained in most of us, and many are probably not even aware. But getting more comfortable in the water is definitely one way of coming into contact with these senses if you have them. I have heard as many as 5% of us process our senses a little differently, we are just conformed to thinking within the box. Listen to the music, let go and explore….”

Video Editing

The footage was edited using Adobe Premiere Pro.

As a musician, it is always a struggle to find appropriate video footage for my YouTube music videos . One problem my channel faces is that because a lot of my views come from people looking for free background music for their videos, they will just sample each video for a short time. This creates a rather unimpressive view-length profile. Therefore, I have been looking for ways to make the videos more attractive. I recently collaborated with a dancer, Lee Chan, on a couple of videos, and I think such collaborations may be the best way to take my channel forward.

About the Song

The song was recorded using Sonar Home Studio. Loops were used for many of the rhythm parts (e.g., the drums, main bass line and funk guitar riffs). To create most of the melodies, counter-melodies, arpeggios, other bass lines and harmony parts, I played a Korg M50 synthesizer. Although the structure of the song is simple, there are many different parts and added effects. In the end, I used more than 50 tracks, which really put a strain on my software and hardware!

This is a song I have been working on for a while. It started off as an EDM (Electronic Dance Music piece) but morphed into something else during the recording process. Though my piano compositions fit comfortably within the new-age genre, my electronic works tend to pull in influences from all over the place and are much more difficult to categorize.

The song is built around the idea of contrast. For example, sparse textures are set against very busy parts with multiple melodic lines vying for attention. At one point, there is a melody shared by three synth sounds layered over top of two complex arpeggio patterns and a few lines of whole-note chords and individual notes.

Another kind of contrast is in the rhythm, with the regular quarter note thump of the kick drum and steady eighth-note tick of the hi-hat giving way entirely to more complex beats.

The song was originally around eight minutes long and was structured more like a traditional pop song, with four verses, two choruses and a bridge. During the process, I started stripping away most of the the repeated verses and choruses and ended up with something more like an ABA format.

Working on instrumentals like this, I have a lot more freedom to set aside conventional pop music structures. The final song lacks a feeling of unity and there is no memorable melody, but it is packed full of little sonic surprises and it flows along nicely. Even after repeated listens, you should be able to pick out some parts you hadn’t noticed (However, this means, as background music it is not really suitable for background music for v-logs or other videos with conversations—it will simply be too distracting. For v-logs, I would recommend Chillvolution, Song 23 in my free background music series).

I hope you enjoyed the song and video.

More Music

Preview and download free background music tracks 24-37

Background Music 24-37

Preview and download free background music tracks 1 to 23

Background Music 1-23

Preview and download short instrumental tracks (5 seconds to 60 seconds)

Short Themes for Intros & Outros

Free Background Music Page

Free Background Music Page

Free Background Music 35: Broken (Ballet & Piano Collaboration)

Our Free Background Music series continues with the 35th song—Broken, a gentle and melancholy piano ballad about the end of a friendship. As with the other songs in this series, this solo piano piece is free to use for non-commercial purposes as long as credit is provided (music by longzijun). The song can also be used in monetized videos on YouTube that are otherwise non-commercial in nature (as long as the music is credited). You can refer to the terms of use) for more detail.

Download Links

If you are having downloading problems with the Box.com files, please refer to this page for possible solutions: Downloading Problems (Free Background Music Series).

Credits

For this video, Lee Chan, a dance and yoga teacher based in Hong Kong, choreographed and performed the ballet. In this dance, Lee emphasizes her en pointe techniques. You can see her dance in a more contemporary style in our video for the song The Hidden Path (youtu.be/U23s1qFcNbU)

Kate Kwok, a Form 6 (Grade 12) student in Hong Kong provided the piano arrangement and played the piano. Coincidentally, she is also a ballet dancer. You can see some of her piano arrangements and covers in these videos:

The composition is by myself (longzijun). I also shot and edited the video and did the audio recording. We recorded the song using a Yamaha Clavinova at our school’s Creative Media Studio (cmestudio.wordpress.com), an education project I set up a few years ago.
 

About the Song

The mood of the piece is rather melancholy. The song is influenced by classical minuets and has the ABA structure and 3/4 time signature associated with that form. However, the arrangement is rather sparse and minimalist in style, giving the song a more contemporary feel.
 

This song is about the end of a friendship. Sometimes friendships simply fade away, but sometimes they quickly disintegrate, leaving at least one person one hurt and bewildered. This song is about the second kind of ending and was written after a friendship suddenly fell apart.

At first, I had hoped to find a smoother way to link the two different sections, but later on I accepted that perhaps the music didn’t have to feel so unified. After all, when I was originally composing the song a couple of years ago, my different emotions—sadness, regret, bitterness—were all jammed together. That is why I left the song as it was—as a kind of record of my emotions.
 

More Music

Preview and download free background music tracks 24-37

Background Music 24-37

Preview and download free background music tracks 1 to 23

Background Music 1-23

Preview and download short instrumental tracks (5 seconds to 60 seconds)

Short Themes for Intros & Outros

Free Background Music Page

Free Background Music Page

New Background Music Song & New Cover Version

Here are two new collaborations: an original piano instrumental by Jessica Yip and a cover version of Vance Joy’s Riptide by Daphne Choi. I helped them record the songs and create the videos.

The Mercury Tale by Jessica Yip

We continue our free background music series of Short Themes for Intros and Outros (you can find the download link on that page) with this flowing 53-second piano instrumental by Jessica Yip. She is working on a couple of longer songs, so if you like this one, do come back later to check out her new work. She is a Form 5 (Grade 11) student at SKH Lam Woo Memorial Secondary School in Hong Kong

As with other songs in the series. this piece can be used for free for non-commercial purposes (the music may also be used for free in monetized YouTube videos) as long as the music is credited. You can refer to the Terms of Use for more information.

Credits: The Mercury Tale by Jessica Yip (2015)

Cover of Riptide by Daphne Choi

This is a lyrics video of Daphne Choi’s cover of Riptide by Vance Joy. I really love Dapne’s voice. This is the latest song in our series of 0riginal Songs and Covers by Students. She didn’t want to appear in the video itself, so we produced a lyrics video instead. The purpose of this series is to encourage students to develop their talents in music (Daphne is the first school alumni member to participate in the series).

People don’t usually watch lyrics versions of cover videos, so if you like her interpretation, do offer your support by liking, commenting and/or sharing the video.
Credits: Original composition by James Keogh, aka Vance Joy (2013); Vocals, piano and arrangement by Daphne Choi (2015)

Free Background Music 34: Piano Version of ‘I Vow to Thee My Country’

We continue our Free Background Music series with Kate Kwok performing her own arrangement of I Vow to Thee My Country.

As with the other songs in the series, this song may be used for free for non-commercial purposes in your videos, presentations or other multimedia projects; you only need to provide a credited (see the information below). You can also use the music for free in monetized YouTube videos (that are otherwise non-commercial in nature). For more information about the terms and conditions for using the music, you can refer to the detailed Terms of Use.

Crediting this Work

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).

Download Links

If you are having downloading problems with the Box.com files, please refer to this page for possible solutions: Downloading Problems (Free Background Music Series).

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/2015/09/11/new-background-music-song-piano-version-of-i-vow-to-thee-my-country/) and on this ToS page (https://longzijun.wordpress.com/music/free-background-music-series-terms-of-use/).

About the Song and Sheet Music

The music originally comes from from the Jupiter movement of Gustav Holsts’s orchestral suite The Planets. Mahler adapted his own music, creating this lovely and moving nostalgic song — I Vow to Thee My Country with lyrics by in 1921. It became popular in Hong Kong when it was used in a series of advertisements from watchmaker Solvil et Titus

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.

More Music

Preview and download free background music tracks 24-37

Background Music 24-37

Preview and download free background music tracks 1 to 23

Background Music 1-23

Preview and download short instrumental tracks (5 seconds to 60 seconds)

Short Themes for Intros & Outros

Free Background Music Page

Free Background Music Page

Free Background Music 33: Little Hero


 
Little Hero is the 33rd song in my free background music series. This is an uptempo and lively three-minute instrumental that is suitable for use in projects like Anime, Animation and AMVs (Anime music videos). As with the other songs in the background music series, this song may be used for free for non-commercial purposes; you only need to provide a credit: music by longzijun. You can also use the music for free in monetized YouTube videos (that are otherwise non-commercial in nature). For more information about the terms and conditions regarding using the music (including terms for commercial use), you can refer to the Terms of Use.

Download Links

If you are having problems downloading the files from Box.com, please refer to this page for possible solutions: Downloading Problems (Free Background Music Series).

About the Music and Video

This isn’t in my usual style—which is a lot more laid-back—so the song took a long time to put together. I wrote the song for a friend of mine. She helps me a lot in different ways and is always there for me. Thus, to me she is a kind of hero. She is a big fan of exciting anime like Clash on Titan and Tokyo Ghoul, so that is why I ventured into this new anime-influenced style. I guess it is good to try something new once in a while (though it took me FOREVER to actually finish the song!). She also enjoys drawing. Here is one of her pictures:

The song was performed on a Korg M50 synthesizer and a Korg MicroX synth and recorded using Cakewalk’s Sonar Home Studio. Loops were used for the drum and percussion parts as well as the bass part in two sections. The music includes a variety of sounds—from orchestral instruments to rock guitar to electronic synth sounds. One thing I should try to do more of in future is to include more harmony parts. When I have different ‘instruments’ playing the same melody together, I tend to just have them play the same notes. In future compositions, I can try to add more variety by having some instruments playing in harmony (e.g., a 3rd or a 6th apart).

The video was created by turning nature videos into silhouettes using stylize filters like Cartoon, Threshold and Brushstrokes in Adobe After Effects.

The same video on NicoNico: http://www.nicovideo.jp/watch/sm25480315

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Preview and download free background music tracks 24-37

Background Music 24-37

Preview and download free background music tracks 1 to 23

Background Music 1-23

Preview and download short instrumental tracks (5 seconds to 60 seconds)

Short Themes for Intros & Outros

Free Background Music Page

Free Background Music Page

Free Background Music 32: The Hidden Path

 

The Hidden Path is the 32nd song in the Free Background Music series. As with the other songs in this series, this song may be used for free for non-commercial purposes in videos, presentations or other multimedia projects; you only need to provide a credit: music by longzijun. You can also use the music for free in monetized YouTube videos (that are otherwise non-commercial in nature). For more information about the terms and conditions regarding using the music (including terms for commercial use), you can refer to the Terms of Use.

The full version of the song is 11 minutes long. A shorter seven-minute version of the song is also available.


 

Download Links

The Hidden Path (full version)

The Hidden Path (seven-minute version)

If you are having problems downloading the files from Box.com, please refer to this page for possible solutions: Downloading Problems (Free Background Music Series).

Credits

Choreography & dance: Lee Chan
Video shooting: Teresa Ng, longzijun
Music, video shooting and video editing: longzijun

About the Music and Video

Lee Chan

Lee Chan

 

The video features Lee Chan. who choreographed and performed the dance, which combines classical ballet, contemporary dance and yoga.

The song was recording using Cakewalk’s Home Studio. Most of the parts were played on a Korg M50 synthesizer. I also played alto saxophone in one section. The percussion parts were mostly created using pre-recorded hits and loops.

Tempo: 115 bpm

The song is influenced by some African styles, most notably Juju music (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J%C3%B9j%C3%BA_music). If you are interested in finding out about this music form, King Sunny Ade is a good place to start.

 

You can find the East African music influences in The Hidden Path in the way that the song:

  • Relies on a strictly pentatonic scale. In this song’s case, the scale is related to C minor and only includes the notes C, E flat, F, G and B flat. This means there most of the traditional triads found in Western chord progressions cannot be formed. For example, the typical C minor chords of ii (D diminished), iv (F minor) and VI (A major) would need an A, while v (G minor) and VII (B flat major) would need a D. The use of the pentatonic scale also places a significant restriction on melodic possibilities.
  • Emphasizes the interplay between melodic instruments playing rhythmic, repetitive lines and percussion instruments of offering a kind of melodic counterpoint through the use of different pitches and timbres. The distinction between melody and rhythm is slightly blurred.
  • Features a song structure that doesn’t really on the usual verse chorus and bridge structure. It focuses more on the different kinds of grooves created by combining melodies and rhythms.

Of course, there are electronic music influences as well, such as the music in the album by David Byrne and Brian Eno—My Life in the Bush of Ghosts (which is also influenced by African timbres and rhythms).

The Carrier (from My Life in the Bush of Ghosts)

 

The Hidden Path was composed as a companion piece to my most popular song: Dreams, which is loosely inspired by Balinese Gamelan music.

 

More Music

Preview and download free background music tracks 24-37

Background Music 24-37

Preview and download free background music tracks 1 to 23

Background Music 1-23

Preview and download short instrumental tracks (5 seconds to 60 seconds)

Short Themes for Intros & Outros

Free Background Music Page

Free Background Music Page