Here is the latest addition to the Free Background Music Series. This beautiful piano instrumental is composed and and performed by Jessica Yip. This is a beautiful piano instrumental 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.Read More »
Holly’s Theme, the 37th song in the Free Background Music series, is a piano instrumental. The video for this song features dancers from Georgia (the country), Japan, the US and the Czech Republic. I composed this song as part of the soundtrack for a short film my students were working on (Holly is the name of one of the characters). Kate Kwok performed the music and was responsible for much of the arrangement. 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.
Duration: 2:47Read More »
Buoyant is the 36th song in Free Background Music series. It is a relatively upbeat song that is built around the idea of contrast. For example, sparse textures are set against very busy parts with multiple melodic lines vying for attention.
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.
Tempo: 120 bpm
We continue our student music series with Kate performing her own arrangement of Misty Road (안갯길) from the original soundtrack of the hit Korean television series Love in the Moonlight (구르미 그린 달빛, which has the literal translation of ‘Moonlight Drawn By Clouds’) The original version is sung by Ben (벤) and can be viewed here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=NrceHhXYkIA
Note: This song is NOT part of the free background music series as we do not own the copyright to the composition.Read More »
Here is the 35th song in our Free Background Music series—Broken. It is a gentle and melancholy minimalist piano ballad about the unexpected end of a friendship. For this video, I collaborated with Lee Chan, who choreographed and performed the ballet, and Kate Kwok, who arranged and performed the song.
The mood of the piece is 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 sudden and unexpected end of a friendship.
Duration: 3:17Read More »
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.
Cover of Riptide by Daphne Choi
Original composition by James Keogh, aka Vance Joy (2013); Vocals, piano and arrangement by Daphne Choi (2015). Note: this is not part of the background music series.
This is a lyrics video of Daphne Choi’s cover of Riptide by Vance Joy. I really love Daphne’s voice. This is the latest song in our series of Original 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). Of course, as the composition is copyrighted, we cannot include this recording in the free background music series.
The Mercury Tale by Jessica Yip
We continue our free background music series of Short Themes for Intros and Outros with this flowing 53-second piano instrumental by Jessica Yip. She also composed the song Somewhere Deep in the Sea, so if you like The Mercury Tale, do drop by and listen to her other song.
You can find download links for this song at: Short Piano Instrumentals by Jessica Yip.
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
- See: List of All Songs
- Preview: Background Music Tracks 1-23
- Preview: Background Music Tracks 23-44
- Preview: Short Instrumental Themes for Intros and Credits
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We continue our Featured Guest series with Kate Kwok performing her own arrangement of I Vow to Thee, My Country by Gustav Holst and Sir Cecil Spring Rice (1921). This is a beautiful piano arrangement that evokes a strong feeling of nostalgia.
This song is the 34th song in the Free Background Music series. 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.Read More »
We continue our student music series with Kate performing her own arrangement of Feast of Starlight by Howard Shore. The song comes from the soundtrack of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. Kate created the arrangement by ear (i.e., nothing is written down), so (unfortunately) sheet music is not available. Note: This song is NOT part of the free background music series as we do not own the copyright to the composition.
This is the tenth song in our music series featuring students at SKH Lam Woo Memorial Secondary School in Hong Kong. The purpose of this series is allow students to share their love of music while helping them develop their talents as performers and songwriters (and arrangers!). To view the whole series. featuring originals and covers in English, Cantonese and Japanese, you can go to: Student Music: Original Songs and Covers.
Piano: Kate Kwok
Piano arrangement by Kate Kwok
Music by Howard Shore
Video Production: CMe Creative Media Studio at SKH Lam Woo Memorial Secondary School (Hong Kong)
Music recording and video editing: longzijun
Electric Piano: Yamaha Clavichord
Recording software: Cakewalk Sonar X1 Studio
Please support our students by viewing the video, sharing it, liking it or commenting on it. Every little bit of support helps. You can download an mp3 version the performance here: https://app.box.com/s/c6nl4syx5n0wdxfyu50fs51xly2zdby9
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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). The music includes a variety of sounds—from orchestral instruments to rock guitar to electronic synth sounds.
Tempo: 134 bpm
The Hidden Path is the 32nd song in the Free Background Music series. The full version of the song is 11 minutes long. A seven-minute version of the song is also available.Read More »
Here is a new addition to the Free Short Instrumentals series. I finished this 31-second composition on March 20, which is the day of the Spring equinox (Yay, Spring!); hence the title. This song is mainly built from loops, with the piano part being played on a Korg MicroX. I started with an acoustic guitar base, but went for a jazzier feel with a hint of reggae.Read More »
Echoes & Fragments is the 30th song in the Free Background Music series. It is a gentle and minimalist synth-piano song (performed on a Korg M50 synthesizer and recorded using Cakewalk’s Sonar Home Studio). The name of the song is about memory. As I get older, long-term memories fragment and slip away; sometimes they resurface, bubbling up from the boundless sea of time; sometimes they simply sink and are never seen again. For many memories, I am unsure whether I am remembering the actual event or remembering a story that I once told or that someone once told me. Do I remember the house I grew up or do I simply remember its image from photographs? It seems that a lot of what I call ‘memories’ are merely faint and distant echoes.
The video features public domain footage from NASA.
Tempo: Around 70 bpm
Here is an upbeat jazz theme that you can use in video intros and outros, credit sequences or short animations. There are eight different versions of this 18-second song. There are eight different arrangements of this jazz instrumental. This is a loop based instrumental (i.e., the music is put together by combining pre-recorded snippets of the individual instruments.)
Upbeat Jazz Intro Versions 1-4 (YouTube)
1. Guitar & tuba
2. Guitar, piano, guitar, tuba & drums
3. Clarinet, trombone, saxophone, piano, tuba &drums
4. Female vocals, piano, guitar, tuba
Upbeat Jazz Intro Versions 5-8 (Vimeo)
5. Guitar, piano & tuba
6. Female vocals, piano, guitar, tuba & drums
7. Clarinet, trombone, saxophone, piano & tuba
8. Distorted vocals (electric guitar effect), piano, guitar, tuba, drums
This is a loop based instrumental (i.e., the music is put together by combining pre-recorded snippets of the individual instruments.)Read More »
Due to website redesign, the page has moved to: Free Background Music Part 2: Songs 24-44
This is a super short (six seconds) theme that can be used in a very short video or an intro. It can also be seamlessly looped (i.e., played repeatedly) to make a longer piece. The following video (I shot the footage at a beach near my home) shows how it sounds when it is looped.
If you are going to loop it, make sure you use the WAV or AIF formats. If you use MP3 files, they will no longer loop smoothly.
Here it is as the six-second version:Read More »
I paint with an inner
eye, gentle strokes
of fluid triangles.
Water colour writings are born, go through
the milestones, learn to
learn, then one day
live enough to be
hung on the wall.
These two songs, Arpology (Ambient Version) and Arpology (Frenzied Sax Version) are based on the same concept: synthesizer arpeggios (played on a Korg Micro X) going through the exact same chord progressions but with different instrumentation, timbres and tempos. Background Music 14: Arpology Ambient Version (6:10) Tempo: 71 bpmDuration: 6:10 Background Music 14: Arpology Frantic […]
Dubtitution is the 31st song in the Free Background Music series. The style can be considered a blend of electronica, chill-out, electronic pop., with the overall sound being inspired by dub music from the late seventies and early eighties.
Tempo: 95 bpm
Ravenchanter is the 29th song in the Free Background Music Series. This is mainly an acoustic song (acoustic guitar, bass, piano, drums, percussion and woodwind instruments), and it has a hypnotic and mysterious mood.
Tempo: 90 bpm
Sonicidence is the 28th song in the free background music series. It mostly electronica, but contains elements of Rock. It was designed as movie trailer music. It has a soft and hypnotic opening, a thumping bass and drum middle section and crunching rock final section. There are two different versions (the last section features a slightly different mix and arrangement). The original version is in the Vimeo version. The second version has a more pulsating and lively bass line in the last section
Tempo: 120 bpm
Sonicide: Short Versions for Intros (20-36 seconds)
An excerpt from this song is also in the Free Short Instrumental Themes series. There are four different durations.
There are four different versions. The last part of the song (starting from where the drums come in) is the same in each version; the difference is in how much music there is before that. The version in the video is Medium version 2. The cymbal crash in each version comes four seconds before the end of the song.
- Long version – 36 seconds (there are eight measures before the drums come in)
- Medium version 1- 30 seconds (there are five measures before the drums come in)
- Medium version 2- 28 seconds (there are four measures before the drums come in; the cymbal crash at the end is at the 24-second mark)
- Short version – 20 seconds (the song starts with the drums)