We continue our Free Background Music series with Kate Kwok performing her own arrangement of I Vow to Thee My Country.
Crediting this Song
I Vow to Thee My Country: composition by Gustav Holst and Sir Cecil Spring Rice (1921); Piano arrangement and performance by Kate Kwok (2015).
The full version of the song is 11 minutes long. A shorter seven-minute version of the song is also available.
Free Background Music Series Songs
The download links for a particular are one that song’s information page (refer to the link below the video).
43. The Sea Withdrew (4:22, around 90 bpm on average)
This is a gentle piano song that drifts between minor and major keys. For MP3 and WAV file download links for the two versions, go to:
40. Tale of the Forgotten Forest Kingdom by Kate Kwok (3:00)
This gentle, rhythmically flowing solo piano piece is an original composition by Kate Kwok There are two versions available: the one in the video (which is slightly compressed) and a version with the full dynamic range. For MP3 and WAV file download links for the two versions, go to:
This is a pulsating, dramatic, orchestral piece submitted by Gary Ames. The kick drum comes in at around 1 minute and 10 seconds. It works well with action scenes. I used it recently for a sports video and it worked great. For MP3 and WAV file download links, go to:
38. Somewhere Deep in the Sea by Jessica Yip (2:42)
This beautiful and gentle piece solo piano instrumental is composed and performed by Jessica yip. There are two versions available: the one in the video (which is slightly compressed) and a version with the full dynamic range. For MP3 and WAV file download links, go to:
This is a solo piano instrumental. The first and third sections are fast and have a propulsive feel, while the middle section is very sparse and has melancholy mood. At the end of the video, there is also a 60-second orchestral version of part of the middle section (and a no-drums version of that is also available). The video is a collaboration with five dancers from four different countries. For MP3 and WAV file download links for the different versions, go to:
This is an upbeat song with lots of sonic variety. It has elements of different Electronic Dance Music (EDM), pop and folk music styles. The video is a collaboration with Juliana Payson, an underwater dancer. For MP3 and WAV file download links, go to:
A three-minute gentle and slightly sad song played on piano. It is influenced by classical minuets but is more minimalist and contemporary in feel. The video is a collaboration with Lee Chan, a ballet dancer. For MP3 and WAV file download links, go to:
34. I Vow to Thee My Country: Arranged and performed by Kate Kwok (2:12)
A two-minute piano arrangement of this lovely, nostalgic song by Gustav Holst. The melody originally appeared the Jupiter movement of Holst’s orchestral suite The Planets.
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).
Please note that it is possible to get false Content ID matches on YouTube for original performances of public domain compositions. The linked page contains information on what you should do if you get such a copyright claim. For MP3 and WAV file download links, go to:
This is an energetic and dramatic three-minute dramatic song that is particularly suitable for anime, AMVs (Anime Music Videos), anime and animation. It features nice melodies and a variety of textures and sounds—from classical strings to rock guitar to electronic synths. For MP3 and WAV file download links, go to:
An eleven-minute song with a mysterious atmosphere and a percussion-heavy rhythmic feel, The song is influenced by East African music styles.A shorter seven-minute version of the song is also available. This video is a collaboration with dancer Lee Chan. For MP3 and WAV file download links for both versions of the song, go to
This is a bass-heavy dub-inspired electronic track (think of the Jamaican dub of Sly & Robbie as opposed to dubstep). I wanted a lot of sonic variety in this song (a lot more than is normally found in dub), so there is a lot going on. Therefore, the song would be best suited to wordless videos (e.g., speed drawing, gaming, photography, sports montages, etc.). The video features the street art in and around the Hongdae area of Seoul. For MP3 and WAV file download links, go to:
This is a short and slow piano piece in a minimalist style somewhat in the vein of the songs of new age composer Ludovico Einaudi. It starts off (and ends) very quietly and features a crescendo in the middle. With this dynamic contrast, the song isn’t very suitable for use in vlogs. It is more suitable for ‘silent’ videos where you want to create a somber mood. The photos in the video are of the ‘homes’ of homeless people in the streets of Hong Kong. For MP3 and WAV file download links, go to:
29. Ravenchanter (Background Music 29) 4:04, 90 bpm
New age, ambient (acoustic guitar, bass, piano, drums, percussion and woodwind instruments). This royalty-free song is a mysterious and hypnotic piece that is a combination of folk and ambient music. It has a steady rhythm. For MP3 and WAV file download links, go to:
28. Wild Illusion by Nikolaos Taramanidis (Background Music 28) 5:43
This is an an acoustic guitar ballad with faint echoes of Pink Floyd. The song is composed and performed by Nikolaos Taramanidis. It is in two parts: the first part has a gentler folksy feel while the while the second part is more influenced by blues. For MP3 and WAV file download links, go to:
This is 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. For MP3 and WAV file download links, go to:
Piano instrumental, classical. This is a gentle and melodic song that is somewhat in the style of a minuet. The mood is nostalgic; it is somewhat sad, but light at the same time. Though it is classical in style, the harmonic progression is inspired by the jazz standard My Funny Valentine. The video features photos from around Kelowna and Penticton (in the Lake Okanagan region of Canada). For MP3 and WAV file download links, go to:
25b. Memoryne: Music Box Short Version (0:55, 84 bpm)
Here is a version of the main theme of Memoryne but in a music box style.The middle part ended up being too busy (too many notes), so this arrangement features the main melody only. For MP3 and WAV file download links, go to:
This is a romantic and melodic song with with flute, strings and acoustic guitar, bass and percussion. The video shows the love locks and the N. Seoul Tower. For MP3 and WAV file download links, go to:
You can use these short music compositions (between 10 and 60 seconds in length for any non-commercial projects that you are working on (e.g., video, animation, presentations, etc.). Just provide a credit (Songs 1 to 14 should be credited to ‘music by longzijun’. If you use Song 15 or Song 26, however, it should be credited to Jessica Yip).
This is an anime-inspired piano instrumental with a fast middle section. Note: If you use this song in one of your projects it should be credited as “Music: ‘Untitled by Jessica Yip (from longzijun.wordpress.com)”. The MP3 and WAV file download links are on this page:
There are four different versions of this track. Each version is a different length. The last nine measures (the part with the drums are the same in each version and the cymbal crash always comes four seconds before the end):
30 seconds (this is the version in the video)
The song is based on an excerpt from my song Sonicidence (Track 27 in the Free Background Music series).
The download links (MP3 and WAV files) are on this page:
This video features 8 new tracks varying in length from 7 seconds to 34 seconds. There are two variations for each track. In most cases, the second version is slightly faster and one semitone higher. The following tracks are included:
Intro 17 (synth, with a beat) 0:34 & 0:32
Intro 18 (gentle & melodic) 0:10 & 0:09
Intro 19 (bubbly synth) 0:07.5 & 0:07
Intro 20 (aggressive: piano, guitar, war drums) 0:13 & 0:12
A one-minute soundtrack that combines electronic and orchestral sounds. This is a kind of remix of the middle part of the solo piano song featured in the video. The 60-second version can be heard at 2:54 of the video. There is also a version without drums that can be downloaded. The MP3 and WAV file download links for all three versions are on this page:
Background Music 12: Dreams
This is the most popular song in the series. It was originally composed for a video done by students in my school’s Creative Media Studio team. They interviewed people about their dreams in life (see their video: (www.youtube.com/watch?v=QbLf9QZ-njY). The song was mainly composed on a Korg M50 synthesizer and is influenced by Indonesian gamelan music and minimalist music.
On this page, I will introduce different sites where you find and download free background music for your videos, presentations, websites or other multimedia projects. There are quite a few composers and musicians willing to let you use their music for free, especially for non-commercial purposes. There is a good chance that you won’t be able to find exactly why you are looking for, especially if you have a specific pop or rock song in mind, but if you look hard enough you should be able to find something that meets your needs.
It is important to distinguish between:
Music that you actually use for free and
Music that is royalty-free (which means you can use the music but you have to pay a one-off licensing fee) and
Music that you can download for free but that requires an annual licensing fee if you want to use it in your video (e.g., the deceptively named Freeplay Music offers this type).
This page focuses on the first type and includes four sections.
YouTube’s Free Music
Composers/Performers Offering Free Music: Songs to Download and Go
Sites with Some Free Music with Other Songs that Require Payment
YouTube has a lot of free music you can use (Vimeo used to provide a similar service, but recently stopped offering free music). In YouTube you need to have an account and be logged in. Go to Creator Studio and select Create (see the left column) and then Audio Library or simply go to this link: www.youtube.com/audiolibrary/music.
2. Free Background Music to Download and Go
If you are a hurry and need something immediately, the following composers allow you to use their existing work as long as you follow their term of use (e.g., by linking to their homepage, providing a credit). For many of the composers, the songs are free for non-commercial use. However, you should note that if you are making monetized videos, these would NOT fall under non-commercial use.
Style and Influences
Listen, Contact & notes
Over 50 free songs in different kinds of pop, soft rock and ambient styles.
www.danosongs.com/ Use for free if you provide a link/credit. Pay $10 for non-credited use
Includes acoustic piece, film scores, rock and electronic
3. Some Free Music, But Mainly Royalty-free Tracks
These channels offer some free music, but mainly deal in licensed music (i.e., you pay a one time fee)
Style and Influences
Listen, Contact & notes
Mainly rock, but includes some other styles
This is a new site, so the selection isn’t very large at the moment. Some tracks are free (as long as you provide a credit) and some are royalty-free (which means a small payment is required). YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/user/SophonicMedia. The free songs are here (as long as appropriate credit is given):http://instrumentalsfree.com/
First, people will sometimes upload their songs and mistakenly state that the music is in the public domain or available through a Creative Commons licence. One example, would be someone uploading their piano only arrangement of a hit pop song and being unaware that the composition itself (melody, harmony, structure) is protected by copyright. Therefore, if you were to use that arrangement, you would be in violation of copyright law. You should familiarize yourself with the concepts of Creative Commons and public domain (see the links in the preceding paragraph) so that you can assess whether the music you use is really OK.
Second, sometimes people change their mind and ‘withdraw’ the Creative Commons licence or ‘remove it’ out of the public domain. Such actions are wrong (Creative Commons cannot be revoked, and once something is legitimately released into the public domain the copyright holder, it stays there), but people still do them. To e safe, when you download Creative Commons or public domain music, you should jot down the download date and the source and also get a screen capture that shows the song is under Creative Commons or in the public domain.
FreePD: www.freepd.com Music recordings issued with Creative Commons Licences
Soundcloud: http://soundcloud.com/ An audio uploader that features many Creative Commons licensed music tracks. Try searching for a style of music (e.g. dub step) and then select one on the Creative Commons attribution qualities on the right. Not all music uploaded here is under Creative Commons