Free Background Music Series: Terms of Use

As the Free Background Music series has been becoming more popular, there have been more requests being made for using the music for non-commercial purposes. Therefore, I have drawn up the following conditions for use. There are some restrictions for all categories of users, namely

  • The music may not be used in works which are pornographic (or which promote pornography) or that deliberately promote illegal activities or incite hatred
  • You may not distribute the music in your own collection of music (A similar restriction is applied to things to clip-art. You can use a clip-art image, but may not distribute it or sell it in your own collection of clip-art)
  • To re-mix the music or use it in a mash-up and then publish your remix, you need permission and need to provide credits specifying which parts come from my music.
  • The music may be cut and you can take out a segment and loop it, but you may not alter the tempo by more than 5%.

These terms of use may change at anytime without notice; however, changes will NOT be applied retroactively (i.e., if you have already used the music, you just need to follow the original terms of use). If the song is free when you used it to create a project, you will never need to pay for that use.

A1. Strictly Non-commercial Uses

The music in this series (and the Short Instrumental Themes series and Backing Tracks series) is free to use for non-commercial purposes; simply provide a credit—music by longzijun—somewhere in your work (e.g., in the video credits, the video description, webpage, PowerPoint presentation or programme notes etc). It would also be great if you could spare a few seconds to offer your supportin any of the following ways: liking, sharing, commenting on any of my song videos or background music pages, adding song video(s) to a playlist or favorites list, adding a direct link to this page or subscribing to my YouTube channel. Every little bit helps and any such support would be very much appreciated.

A2. Non-commercial Works Entered in Competitions with Prizes

Revised: 5 May 2013
These are now being treated the same as the non-commercial works mentioned above. Permission is given to use the music in this series (and the Short Instrumental Themes series and Backing Tracks Series) for free in the work as long as appropriate credit is provided (music by longzijun), even for competitions in which prizes are offered.

B. Makers of YouTube monetized videos, Adsense Users, Professional Video-makers, App developers

For the ten 12 songs in the Short instrumental Themes series , which includes Happy Virus (which is also Song No 8 in the background music series), the music can be used for free as long as attribution is provided (music by longzijun). This free use provision ONLY refers to these eight songs (which are between 12 and 60 seconds in length). For all other songs, the terms of use are as follows:

For the songs in Free Background Music Series (Background Music Songs 01 to 26 excluding Happy Virus) and Backing Tracks Series, there are two additional requirements for using the song:

1. A donation should be made to a charity of your choice based on the revenue obtained (or your estimate of the revenue). It is suggested that for each video, 1 to 3% (the figure is up to your generosity) of your revenue earned for that video or video production fee should be donated. In many countries, users would also be able to claim the donation as a tax-deductible donation. If YouTube or other organisation is requesting proof that you have the right to use the song then you may send them the link to this page and you should indicate willingness to follow the terms if and when you do receive earnings from your video. You do not need to make any donations before you start earning money; however, an initial donation might be helpful if you need to get monetization approved.

2. The crediting should be more careful in acknowledging the source material; the crediting of the songs should be as follows:

Song No. and Title Wording of Credit
2. Versatile
4. Snacks and Watches
5. Mime This
6. IS 1*
7. IS 2*
11. Safe Harbour
18. Rock Funk Beast
28. Who I am*
29. Ravenchanter
music (loop-based) by longzijun, used with permission, charitable donation to be made to: __ name of charity__
3. Walk in the Dark
8 Happy Virus
9. GIS
10. Little Ape
12. Dreams
13. Arpology 1: Frantic Sax Version*
14. Arpology 2: Ambient Synth Version*
15. Yeah! Why?*
16. San
17. Elegy
19. Transect
20. Cog in your Machine*
21. Slow Descent I and Slow Descent II*
22. As long as a word remains unspoken
23. Chillvolution
24. Lock and Love
25. Memoryne
26. Almost a Love Story
27. Sonicidence
30. Echoes & Fragments
31. Dubtitution
32. The Hidden Path
33. Little Hero
music by longzijun, (used with permission; charitable donation to be made to: __ name of charity __)

* = Songs are no longer available (as of 20 May 2014)

Further Information about Monetized Videos (Added 7 May 2013)
I would just like to clarify a few things

  1. Monetized videos are NOT non-commercial videos.
  2. Though I am allowing for the use of my music in monetized videos assuming that the terms of use mentioned in Section B are being met, I have no control over whether your video can be approved for monetization. That decision rests with YouTube and AdSense. You should be aware that the decision is often arbitrary (for example, I have one video, created entirely from my own music and images, that has not be approved for monetization)
  3. Therefore, I cannot guarantee that your video will be approved for monetization, nor can I lobby YouTube on your behalf.
  4. If your video is pending approval, you can send YouTube the link to this page as well a recent copy of a charitable donation receipt (to show your intentions of honoring the terms of use), but once again, I cannot guarantee that your video will be approved for monetization.

C. Small Businesses (i.e., local independent businesses)

There are three requirements:

1. The user should request and gain permission beforehand ( When requesting permission,  the user should  describe the project.  What is the business? What is the purpose of the work?   How, where and when will it be shown?

2. The user should make a minimum donation of 10 USD to a charity of his/her choice for each separate song used (the donation would be tax deductible in many cases).

3. The music should be credited according to guidelines mentioned in the above table (in the previous section).

D. Large Businesses, Advertisers, Filmmakers

They should contact me at When making the request, they should describe the project in detail. Who is the client? what is the purpose of the work?   How, where and when will it be shown? What is the estimated budget of the project?

— Return to Free Background Music Series

Additional Information about Creative Commons licences.

Background music compositions 1-15 were issued with the Attribution, Non-Commercial and No-Derivatives licence. The No-derivatives part of the license means that the videos may NOT be used to create a new works such as a video or computer game, without permission. The above Terms of Use, therefore, allow other people to use the music for such purposes (if the terms are met).

93 thoughts on “Free Background Music Series: Terms of Use

  1. yo man ur musics awsome!! just wondering if i can use it for some background music in a bmx web edit I’m making??

  2. Sure. I guess it is non-commercial, right? Just add a credit. (I hadn’t heard of ‘web edit’ before. It seems to apply mainly to bmx/scooter videos . .. kind of interesting how these different terms come to life)

  3. Beautiful music. Hi, i am part of a non-profit yoga/meditation organization. Can i use this music for meditation classes?

  4. You have a typo in the credit sign “music my longizijun”.I almost believe that I need to write that way. Music is excellent, thank you!

  5. Hello Longzijun, I have read the category (c) I am asking for permission, I will pay the $10 per song, you will get all the credit, and this is small business for Christian services.
    I believe I have meet all the requirements to use your song, only as background for a
    Christian Ebook, that’s all. contact me ASAP…….THANK YOU….Jrh

  6. hey,
    i just started making youtube videos and wanna use your background music no22 (As long as a word remains unspoken) as the background music.
    I will provide credits in the description and also at the end of the video.
    is that ok??

  7. Sure, that is fine. The music is free to use for non-commercial purposes. If you decide to monetize (e.g., place ads on the videos) later on, just note the different terms of use)


  8. Hello, Your music is beautiful. I would like to use Dreams as background music for a video that shows how to use a piece of software. The video will be hosted on a website that sells software. Is it ok for me to use it for this please? Thanks S :)

  9. Your music is *awesome*. I will be using it in a children’s hospital by playing flute, as a volunteer, to your pieces. I know your music, along with my flute, will bring some peace and relaxation to sick children, parents and hospital staff. Bless you for your generosity!!

  10. Here is an example of a “Strictly Non-commercial Use”…

    The music is an excerpt from “Ice Cream and Watches”, edited down to 1:53 to fit the length of the video.

  11. Hi, I play the piano and the peice 11b: Safe Harbor (without drums) is beautiful and I would love to play the piano part of it, is there any chance you could give me a copy of the score of the piano part in the Safe Harbor as I’ve been looking for music for ages that displays this amount of emotion.
    Thanks Emily

  12. Could I use, “Dreams (120 bpm)” in one of my videos for YouTube? I’m TGN Partner with YouTube, which means I can put ads on the video to earn money. I was wondering how I could use the song, and not get a copy right strike on YouTube? I have these questions: 1. Should I make the video “Creative Commons”? 2. What do i put in the description? 3. How do I not get a copy right thrown at me when I’m using the song?


  13. 1. You can simply follow the guidelines mentioned in Category B above (donate a small portion of the revenue earned to charity and include a credit). 2. Music by longzijun, used with permission (donation to be made to “name of charity”). 3. The song is not in the content-match system, so copyright strikes will not automatically appear. There is a small chance, however, that YouTube will not allow the video to be monetized (even a couple of my own videos have this problem).

  14. Hi longzijun, your music is awesome. I would like to ask permission to use your music as a background music for one of my assignment in the University. I will definitely put credit on the end of the slide show.

  15. Probably–if it is for non-commercial use, just go ahead, If you are monetizing the video or using it for commercial purposes can you give me more information?

  16. Hey can I use some of your music in my youtube videos for the background. How would I make sure nothing is copyrighted.

  17. Hi Stephen,

    Did you get my e-mail giving you more info about our client and the use of the music? Replied 23rd January and sent again today.

    Best wishes

    Jackie Cox

  18. hello,

    I’d like to use one of your backgrounds in a video presenting the activity of a non-profit cultural government institution. It’s a video for children presenting the activity of the institution and we don’t charge anything for children to come and find out more about cultural heritage.

  19. Hello I am an American independent film maker. I came across your music on YouTube and would like to have permission for the tracks 21,23 & 6. The film has no budget and all actors are performing for free. The film is being shot with the intentions of playing the film festival circuit is the USA. We make films for the art and love of creating. I look outward to hearing from you soon yank you.

  20. Hello!
    Your music works are wonderful. I would like to ask your permission of applying your “Rock Funk Beast” as background music of our 1-minute product film. Though it is for our company use but I am not sure if I should categorize it as a monetized one because at this stage I have decided to showcase this film on our website and facebook etc., In suchcase, may I just add your credit at the end of the film? Besides, if I make it on youtube in the future and show it to our clients, should I inform you here again?

    I look forward to your reply. Thank you!

  21. Florence, in the terms of use above, it states that when requesting permission to use the music, businesses need to first inform me of the business and related product. You need to give me this information first.

  22. My company name is Momax Technoogy (Hong Kong) Limited which sells mobile accessories such as external batteries and battery case. I would like to apply your music “Rock Funk Beast” as the backfround music for a very short film introducing our new product, “iPower 5 battery case”. You may click on the website link: to have more information of our company. (but the iPower 5 battery case has not been launched yet).

    Looking forward to your reply. Thank you.

  23. Hi there! I was curious as to what the conditions are for using it in a documentary as part of my university assignment? You will have a credit at the end, however does a university assignment count as a non-commercial project? It will only be seen by other students and lecturers.Thanks :)

  24. Yes, that is non-commercial. That is probably the main reason I’ve made the songs available for free–so that students can complete multimedia projects

  25. Dear longzijun, as you said, I need to donate to USD10 to a charity, it is okay for me. But what about the credit shown in the film? Is it only stating “Music ‘Rock Funk Beast’ by longzijun” okay?

  26. The requirements for the credits are also stated. They should be more detailed than you suggested as I don’t want other businesses telling me “hey, how come you let them use your song?” The credits don’t need to big or on the screen for a long time, but they should be there.

  27. So, I should state: “Rock Funk Beast” by longzijun, used with permission, charitable donation to be made to UNICEF.
    Is it correct?

  28. Can you give a link? Under review for what? Monetization? You are aware that the music is free for non-commercial use, but monetized videos are a form of commercial use, right? In any case, YouTube sometimes rejects monetization claims for no apparent reason (one of my own videos with my own music and images cannot be monetized).

  29. Hi, your music is really great. can i use one of your background music 02 Versatile? I am just start doing some video to post on youtube, but don’t know if it will be monetized. Should I need to donate it first or wait till I got monetize? Should i have the credit as music by longzijun, (used with permission; charitable donation to be made to: ___name of charity___) at the end of the video? Thanks, appreciated.

  30. Hi, you don’t need to donate any money first, but (as mentioned above) YouTube trends to scrutinize videos with music quite carefully before monetizing them (especially if the music can be clearly heard), so it MIGHT help to make a donation beforehand.

    You can leave the more detailed credits to the video description (as opposed to the end credits in the video itself) as you are not sure about monetization at this stage.

  31. Thanks! since i am not monetized yet and haven’t decide which organisation to donate, can i just put the credit (music by longzijun). I will donate some money and will informed you after the donation. Please let me know if this is ok. you can take a look of the video on this share link If it is ok, I will upload to youtube. Thank you.

  32. Hi Can I use your video for a presentation proposal I am making for a prospective education project?

  33. You would need to give me more information. For example, you haven’t mentioned whether the project is a commercial one. If it is, the use is OK, but you would need to follow the guidelines in Category C.

  34. Hi
    I would like to use your 02-versatile for a school video which might be posted on its own website and the school’s social platform. Do let me know which guidelines I should follow?

    Thank you!

  35. Hi should provide more information.
    If you are with a normal public school, then everything is free (just provide a credit).
    If you are working for a profit-making public school or tutorial school, then it belongs to Category C
    If you are a student doing a project (e.g.,class or activity) for your school, then everything is free.

  36. First, thank you. Your work is very impressive.

    I am working on a project which I intend on posting on Kickstarter. I would like permission to use the track named “Dream”. I consider what I am doing to be non-commercial. May I have your permission?

    Thanks again.


  37. Hi, I’m not sure how a kickstarter proposal could be non-commercial unless it is some kind of charitable work. Could you describe your project?

  38. Hi there Longzijun,
    So I’m a full time non paid volunteer for a christian organisation and making a video to update friends and family about the work I’ve been doing and next work I’m doing. But I’m also mentioning a website where they can donate to a current need I have. I’m putting it on youtube but it’s going to be private and only shown to people I know approx 50-60. Does this mean I’m commercial and need to pay to use your music or am I safe to write music by longzijun and thats ok. Sorry just want to be sure I’m safe as I dont have money to pay for any fines. Many thanks Ness

  39. It is difficult to say as the website you mention might be anything from “support a charity I am working with” (which is non-commercial) to “donate to my kick-starter campaign” (which is commercial). What is the goal of the website?

  40. Pingback: Upbeat Background Music: Free Instrumentals | Longzijun

  41. Hi! Logzijun

    I emailed you and requested permission for using #29 Ravenchanter, and felt that I met your
    requests for your category #C, but you have not returned my email or responded to my requests.
    Could you please consider my requests. I can resend my email if you somehow missed seeing it?
    Thank you,
    Love and Light

  42. May I use this on my video for college final? Sadly, I can’t put in the credits on the video, not even mine. But I can put them in the writing part of my final. Is that okay? It’s just for educational purposes and it will allow me to pass my bachelors degree.

  43. Hi Renato,

    That is fine. Just add the credit in the description. (It is kind of odd your college doesn’t want things properly credited in the video itself. Usually, they will insist everything is credited.)


  44. Hi longzijun!
    Thank you so much! I really do appreciate you allowing me to use your beautiful music!

    I will give you total credit for your music with a link back to your site and I will also donate $25 to my charity as I mentioned to you in my previous email to you (for each song) used by me. What I still would like to know, is do you want me to send ‘you’ a donation for your music as well? And also not sure if you want one of my decks that I mentioned to you? If you do, please let me know, and I would be very happy for you to have a copy of my art work deck. For donating to you I would need your paypal payment email address. I think you should be rewarded for being so generous to all of us!

    Thank you again…SO MUCH, I am so excited about your amazing music!

    Love and Light and some BIG Hugs too!

  45. I am editing an historic video as a Golden Bay High School, Takaka, NZ, fundraiser. The film is made up of old film footage that I am editing together, then putting a narration over it to describe what is going on in the film. What I quite like is a little background music to fill the gaps and add a bit of colour to the narration. The DVDs are sold purely as a fundraiser for the school. I and the others involved in the making of the video do it for free. I hope that complies with your non commercial use. It is like a charity. I love your music. Better than most free background music that I have come across. If this is OK I will run your credit. Many thanks, Pete Blasdale.

  46. Hi Zijun, i already sent you an email to get your permission to have your music at the application for a museum, waiting for your reply

  47. Hi. Your music is amazing. Could I use it for the presentation which I´m doing for clients from Integration centre for foreingners of Caritas? It isn´t commercial purposes it´s just small present. It´s 12 min. presentation with theirs pics and videos. :-)

  48. Pingback: Echoes and Fragments: New Background Music Composition | Longzijun

  49. hi, may I use this amazing background music of yours for a video contest? with music by: longzijun of course…thank you

  50. Hi! I have read many of your comments to try and verify what I am wanting to use your music for, but I need a direct response (per my department head). I am the Video Production Manager for a school district and we have a channel on a local cable station. Can I use your music as a background for graphics I create (e.g. calendar of events, intro, and closing credits)? I will definitely be giving you credit.

    Thanks in advance!

  51. May be I will publish my shortmovies in youtube website . this short movie not commercial purpose only checking my experience ..(I’m assistant dirctor)
    I want people opinions I’m using ur music tracks plz give me permission… Thanks

  52. I think it is really admirable that your terms of use include donating to a charity of choice. It is a great way of offering content and helping inspire positive change, I think more artists should follow suit. Kudos

  53. Hi. We are from a sch band in Singapore. Can we use your video in a promotional video for our concert?

  54. Hi ,i’m from Romania, may i have your permision to use a part of one of your songs(Dreams (Background Music 12) for a homemade presentation, used for entering an electronics design contest. All credits will be inserted and also non-comercial, no-monetization involved.

  55. Hi there. I’m looking to make a voice reel to launch myself into the animation business. What are the terms for using small snippets of various tracks that come from this website

  56. Hello. I am looking at creating some technical training courses on Udemy and I was wondering if I could use some of your tracks in my videos? Specifically Track 05 Instrumental.

  57. Well if it is strictly non-profit you would follow the guidelines in section A. If you are offering for-profit courses or in-house corporate courses that would fall under C (small businesses) or D (large businesses).I think You need to specify kind of course-provider you are.

  58. It is just me doing the work so I think it would fit under C (small business). It would be for-profit. I’m not sure when I will be releasing the courses. I am still currently working on them. I definitely don’t have a problem donating to charity for each of the songs used. I think this is an awesome idea.

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  60. I would really love to use a loop of one of the “upbeat jazz into music for videos” I will monetize the video but i make like a few cents a video…what do i do if i dont make enough to donate anywhere …thanks :)

  61. That’s not a problem. First, that particular song is in the short instrumentals series, so it is free to use even for monetized videos (as long as it is credited). Second, even for the regular songs, if you are monetizing but not actually receiving money (a few dollars is more or less the same as ‘no money’), there is no need to donate.

  62. I would really like to use your 05 instrumental theme to play as the background music on a course page with rotating graphics. The page serves as a way to spark our learners interest in what can be a dry topic – infection control. We are a very small, woman-owned business (there are only 2 of us) that specialize in interactive online continuing education primarily for healthcare professionals. I’m happy to credit you on the page where your music would play. The page is only accessible after the learner registers for the course, they are not able to download the course for use off-line.

    What do you think? Thank you for your consideration.

  63. Hi there, your music is really great and I would like to use ” Free Background Music 12: Dreams” for my video to promote a nails service brand. I will definitely be giving you credit. Is that okay?

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