This section features my own songs and my collaborations with others. My articles about music are in the Writing section.

1. My Free Background Music Series

Most recent upload: BIXIE: Free Background Music 44

The songs in the free background music series are instrumental tracks that I’ve created that you can use for non-commercial purposes in your media projects (as well as in monetized YouTube videos (that are otherwise non-commercial); simply provide the credit: music by longzijun. Some of the songs have been created by featured guests, so if you use any of those, make sure you credit that artist.

1.1 Terms of Use (Free Background Music Series)

Before downloading and using the songs, check out the more detailed terms of use: Terms of Use. My songs are not in YouTube’s Content ID Match system, so if you get a Content ID match notification (or copyright claim) from YouTube, you should dispute it. The instructions are here: Disputing Content ID Matches.

1.2 Preview & Download Songs

You can explore the music in different ways:.

1.2.1 Browse Songs by Song Number and Category

1.2.2 Browse Songs by Style and Genre

Digital orchestra
New age
Sad & melancholy
Soft & relaxing

1.2.3 Browse by Duration (songs listed according to length)

If you are looking for a song that is a specific length, you may prefer this list: Free Background Music Series: Arranged According to Duration

1.3 Recommended Songs

Here are some song recommendations for a few specific categories of video. If you would like additional recommendations, please leave a comment below.

Looking ForSong
Most popular and versatileDreams
For vlogs or for a laidback vibeChillvolution
For introsShort Intro 6 (epic), Equinox (light and jazzy)
A nostalgic moodI Vow to Thee, My Country
For AMVsLittle Hero (fast)
Somewhere Deep in the Sea (melancholy piano)
Gentle and touchingBroken
UpbeatVersatile, Buoyant
Upbeat and jazzyBixie
RockRock Funk Beast
Acoustic guitarWild Illusion
Acoustic & laidbackRavenchanter or Drifting
Classical PianoRachmaninoff Prelude in E-flat Major, I Vow to Thee, My Country
EDM, TranceTransect

1.4 Support & Subscribe

You may like to subscribe to my YouTube channel (zijun01) to receive updates when new free background music songs are added to the various collections. To support my efforts, you can also do thing like sharing, commenting on and liking my videos.

1.5 Free Background Music from other Producers

My own selection of royalty-free songs is limited, so I have also included a list of other websites and YouTube Channels where you can find free music: Free Background Music by other Composers and Producers.

2. Music Articles

Music Articles

To keep the number of links on this page under control, the music articles (including articles on J-Pop, J-Rock and Chinese musical instruments are listed here Writing: Music Articles

3. Music by Students: Covers and Originals

Student Music: Original Songs and Covers: The high school where I work as a teacher has lots of talented musicians. To encourage them to develop their talents, I started this series of recordings, which include original songs, cover versions and original arrangements. The songs are in a variety of languages—English, Japanese and Cantonese—and include some instrumentals

4. Other Projects

Other music projects include live performances, collaborations and experimental music. I had also planned to start a series of backing tracks for blues and jazz musicians, but the reception was lukewarm, so I have put that on hold. There are only two songs there: Backing Tracks.

4.1 Performances

These days, my main involvement with music is in composing and producing. In the past, I was much more heavily involved with live performances and played with a wide variety of people in diverse genres: classical, swing, avante-garde, rock, blues, funk, pop and even golden-oldies pop. Here is a brief excerpt of an early-2000s performance with rapper Ghost Style (aka Brandon Ho).

4.2 Experimental Music

In university, I created a few experimental pieces. These are introduced on this page: Experimental Electronica 1984-1989

5. Composing Style & Influences

One of my main methods of composing is to start with a composer, artist, song or style of music in mind and then use that as the inspiration. The end result might only vaguely sound like the original, but if you listen closely, you should be able to hear the influence. Here are the inspirations behind some of the songs in my background music series.

  • Bixie (Track 44): The song was inspired by Herbie Hancock’s jazz-funk song ‘Chameleon’. You can hear that in the use of synthesizer for the bass and in the syncopated lines in the first couple of verses. However, because the brass and saxophone sounds on my synth aren’t great on their own, I went more for a swing band sound.
  • Dreams (Track 12): This chillout song is inspired by Balinese gamelan music.
  • The Hidden Path (Track 32): This song is inspired by the Nigerian Jùjú music of King Sunny Ade as well as by an album by David Byrne and Brian Eno called ‘My Life in the Bush of Ghosts’.
  • For Ravenchanter (Track 29), I was originally aiming for a song in the vein of the music by the indie-folk duo ‘The Civil Wars’, but once I started adding instruments the song moved towards a more mysterious, new age sound.
  • Track 26 (Almost a Love Story) is inspired by Joe Hisaishi’s soundtrack music for Studio Ghibli films.
  • Some of my minimalist piano songs like Echoes & Fragments (Track 30) and The Sea Withdraws (Track 43) are inspired by the music of Italian composer Ludovico Einaudi.
  • Chillvolution (Track 23) is inspired by the solo work of Money Mark, who is best know for his work as a musician with the Beastie Boys.
  • Dubtitution (Track 31) is loosely inspired by the music of Jamaican dub duo Sly & Robbie.

Other song ideas come from just noodling around on synthesizers or start from a base of a particular interesting sound loop and the song grows outward from there. And for some of the loop-based songs—like Rock Funk Beast—the song is mainly just based on the loops themselves.

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55 thoughts on “Music

  1. Dude, I have been using your music for documentaries and stuff, thanks for the wonderful compositions and I hope you make more. Greetings from the Philippines!

    Oh btw, don’t worry I give you credit for the wonderful music still.

  2. Hello Lonzijun,

    I would like to give kudos to your music composition “transect-no solo” of which I non-commercially (with credits) used for Leo Villareal’s “Buckyball” which is currently on exhibit at the Madison Square Park, NYC.

    I went past by the square on January 16, 2013 and can’t help but noticed and be amazed at the 30 ft. structure. Being inspired by Villareal’s work and as a fellow artist, I videotaped just a portion of the structure to expressed my interpretation on this beautiful artwork. Since I’ve seen the ‘forest’ (the 30 ft.spherical colored lights structure) from afar, I concentrated on the ‘trees’ (the close-up intricate color light synchronization) as my self-resonation of the “Buckyball”. With this magnificent artwork, I have to pair it with an equally sublime music on a specific synchronized beat. Lo and behold, I came across your beautiful music. I came up with a tribute via this videotape and uploaded this to youtube – Madison Lights 2013_NYC:Lifeline of Existence. This is my interpretation —

    Hope you enjoy my video of this two beautiful art pieces (sculpture and music). Thanks for the work that you do. Please feel free to direct anyone to this youtube link, if you so desire, and email me if there is anything I could be of assistance. Thank you.

    Ricardo Catalan Jr.

  3. hello Zijun, this is shankar from India, and i made a short film for competition and can i use your one of music as a background music. If it’s possible please let me know.

    wait your reply

  4. Simply amazing work u have going on here!! I have subscribed and would definitelly promote ur work anytime I can. ur music is just fantastic!!

  5. hi zijun
    i found your website from youtube. I would like to ask your permission if i can use one of your composition dream 12 for my school presentation ..

  6. Great music, thanks for sharing it. I used it in my video, Please, say if credit is ok. This is my first video without words, I hope next videos will be in better quality (in maybe with your music again…)… :-)

    • Hi, the use of music is fine. Are you teacher? I am one as well. Have you ever thought of doing English versions of the videos? That would be quite easy with the wordless ones as you would only need to change the opening slide and create an English title and video description.

  7. Yes, I am math teacher.
    What do you teach?

    And yes, I have thought to make an English version. I wasn’t sure if I should do it in the way you suggested or simply add English title in the beggining slide (that is, to have both titles, Croatian and English, on the same slide) and put both titles (Cacroatian and English) in the Youtube-title…
    The second version would be easier for me (one video edit and one upload), but your version would be more clear for users… I will think more about it, but first I must to make video better (better lights, no shakes etc.).
    Also, my English isn’t perfect, so it is a little problem for me to make fine descriptions…

    • An English teacher. The reason I suggest a separate English version is that for many people, if they see a language besides their mother tongue (or English) in the title, they will not even think of viewing a video. A half-Croatian title scare away most potential viewers.

  8. I have one more question.
    I made new version of video about parallel lines, with better quality.
    Here I used your music again. It was too short, so I made two copies. However, the pause between these two musics doesn’t sound good (to me), so I cut the end of the first copy and the beginning of the second copy, and tried to connect it more likeable.
    Is it allowed?
    Here is the link
    and connection is around 2:10 minutes.
    Do you allow it?

  9. You need to be a part of a contest for one of the most useful blogs on the internet.
    I’m going to recommend this web site!

  10. Hi Lonzijun !
    Loved your music. And used it for my self-funded short film teaser.
    You can hv a look:
    credit is at the end of the clip.
    Thank you

  11. Hi Longzijun. I’m an AP English/Music/Film teacher in Kona, Hawaii. Can you send me an email? I have a question about permissions. Thanks!

  12. Hi again!
    I just want to inform you that I made new video with your music, and this video has different style than my previous videos, . Here I tried to follow music by changing pictures, texts and inserted videos. This is my intro to my Youtube channel. Thanks again for sharing your great music! A.

  13. Hi! I just found your amazing website and music – I’m starting a youtube channel to go along with my Lifestyle blog and would like to use your music. When you say non-commericial, would that be included? I do get paid a tiny amount on the blog from ads …just wondering :) thanks ~

    • If the video themselves are monetized (or advertising something), that would be commercial. If the videos are something informational (e.g., a cooking demo) and are then posted on your website blog, which gets some advertising revenue, I would call that non-commercial. Does that make sense to you?

  14. Hey you have some great tracks here! I have used one of your compositions to promote my video at:

    I have credited you in the description. Would you like me to mention you in any other way?

  15. I love your work and am really happy to have found it. I do guided visualizations and I have a similar style that meshes with your music. I am happy to give you credit on anything I do.
    thank you for your generosity!

  16. Hi Zijun, thanks for sharing your works! I really like them all. I used some for my short movie project at school. I will surely give you a credit at the end of it. Bravo! God bless!

  17. Amazing blog! Do you have any hints for aspiring writers?
    I’m hoping to start my own site soon but I’m a little lost
    on everything. Would you suggest starting with a free platform
    like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many options out there
    that I’m totally overwhelmed .. Any suggestions?
    Bless you!

  18. Hello longzijun, I used your track 12 in a video which was part of a professional presentation that I presented in my company and it was a major hit. Thanks.

  19. hi I want ur help….?I want to publish a video on YouTube and use the intrumental love in this club by just for fun can get an otorisation plz

  20. Hi, Longzijun!
    I have amazed with your musics and I just download one of them “Almost a Love Story”. Then I have decided to make a sinhala song to above mentioned music. So, I would like to request your permission to use your music track. And I think you are able to give the permission.

    • The music can only be used for non-commercial use and it must be credited. If you are thinking of selling the your version at any point, we would need to work out a contract first (as I would still be the composer of the music).

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