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

Broken (www.youtube.com/watch?v=k4Uli_CCMDg)

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.

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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.

(www.youtube.com/watch?v=ac2IiRNEr14)

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).

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Free Background Music 32: The Hidden Path

The Hidden Path (www.youtube.com/watch?v=U23s1qFcNbU)

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.

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Free Background Music Songs 24-41: Preview & Download

Here are songs 24-41 in the Free Background Music series. These songs can be used for free for non-commercial projects as long as they are properly credited (for my songs, add the credit “music by longzijun”, but for songs by other composers who have submitted their work, you should follow the crediting guidelines on the download page for that particular song). You can refer the more detailed Terms of Use for more information.

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).

41. Unfolded (3:56, 124 bpm)

My latest song! This is a minimalist, gently upbeat electro-pop piece. Te accompanying video is travel video footage I shot in Hokkaido. For MP3 and WAV file download links for the two versions, go to:

Background Music 41: Unfolded

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:

Background Music 40: Tale of the Forgotten Forest Kingdom

39. Summit by Gary Ames (3:26, 128 bpm)

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:

Background Music 39: Summit by Gary Ames

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:

Background Music 38: Somewhere Deep in the Sea

37. Holly’s Theme (2:47)

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:

Background Music 37: Holly’s Theme

36. Buoyant (4:20)

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:

Background Music 36: Buoyant

35. Broken (3:17, 120 bpm)

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:

Background Music 35: Broken

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:

Background Music 34: I Vow to Thee My Country

33. Little Hero (2:58, 134 bpm)

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:

Background Music 33: Little Hero

32. The Hidden Path (11:00, 115 bpm)

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

Background Music 32: The Hidden Path

31. Dubtitution (7:25, 95 bpm)

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:

Background Music 31: Dubtitution

30. Echoes & Fragments (3:00, 70 bpm)

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:

Background Music 30: Echoes & Fragments

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:

Background Music 29: Ravenchanter

28. Wild Illusion by Nikolaos Taramanidis (Background Music 28) 5:43

Wild Illusion by Nikolaos Taramanidis (www.youtube.com/watch?v=1SB47tLQS4w)

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:

Background Music 28: Wild Illusion Nikolaos Taramanidis

27. Sonicidence (2:48, 120 bpm)

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:

Background Music 27: Sonicidence

26. Almost a Love Story (5:00, 110 bpm)

This is a wistful, melodic ballad influenced by the soundtrack music of Joe Hisaishi (who frequently worked on the anime of Hayao Miyazaki). For MP3 and WAV file download links, go to:

Background Music 26: Almost a Love Story

25a. Memoryne (2:30, 116 bpm)

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:

Background Music 25: Memoryne

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:

Background Music 25: Memoryne

24. Lock and Love (6:24, 86 bpm)

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:

Background Music 24: Lock and Love


Some songs were created mainly using loops while other songs are mainly played using a Korg MicroX or M50 syntheszier. The songs were recorded together using Cakewalk’s Sonars Home Studio.


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Free Instrumental Music: Short themes for intros, outros, credits and very brief videos

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, however, it should be credited to Jessica Yip).

The fifteen songs in this Short Instrumental Themes series may also be used for free if you are monetizing the videos on YouTube or are part of the YouTube Red Partner pogram as long as attribution is given (music by longzijun). For more details, refer to the more detailed Terms of Use.

If you are looking for longer compositions, you can visit my free background music page: longzijun.wordpress.com/music.

Track 5. Sonicide (20 – 36 seconds)

Intro 25: Sonicide (www.youtube.com/watch?v=PFDHvFETEYU)

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):

  • 36 seconds
  • 30 seconds (this is the version in the video)
  • 28 seconds
  • 20 seconds

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:

Intro Theme 25: Sonicide

Short Instrumental Themes 17-24

www.youtube.com/watch?v=lt0RkXNymts

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
  • Intro 21 (perky synth & percussion) 0:08
  • Intro 22 (techno attack) 0:09 & 0:08
  • Intro 23 (slowly evolving electronic sounds) 0:20 & 0:18
  • Intro 24 (synth & drums) 0:17 & 0:16

The download links (MP3 and WAV files) are on this page:

Intro Themes 17-24: Free Short Instrumentals for Intros, Outros and Credits

Track 16. Holly’s Theme: Reprise (60 Seconds)

www.youtube.com/watch?v=jNgGpkFZ2f8?t=2m53s

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:

Holly’s Theme (full and short versions)

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Three new free background music tracks

Three new free background music tracks (Songs 10-12) have been added to the Free Background Music Series

You can use these music recordings for any non-commercial projects that you are working on (e.g., video, animation, presentations, etc.); just provide  credit (music by longzijun). You can refer to the Terms of Use for more information.

Background Music 12: Dreams

Dreams (www.youtube.com/watch?v=QRtHl9n-G3o)

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.   

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Free Background Music Sites

My own free background music and free music for intros is available from this page. You might find what you need here:

Free Background Music and Intro Themes

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.

  1. YouTube’s Free Music
  2. Composers/Performers Offering Free Music: Songs to Download and Go
  3. Sites with Some Free Music with Other Songs that Require Payment
  4. Sites where you Search for Public Domain Music and Music Issued under Creative Commons Licenses (if you want to know more about public domain and Creative Commons, you can check out my page here: longzijun.wordpress.com/2012/01/18/music-public-domain-and-copyright

If you are a composer and would like to be added to (or removed from) this list or would like to change any information provided, please let me know.

1. Free Music Library at YouTube

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.

When the audio library page opens, you can browse by genre or search using key words. As far as I can see, you can use the music for just about any purpose; according to the terms of use, the only restrictions are that you cannot distribute the music by itself and that the music cannot be used in an illegal manner or with any illegal content. However, the page now has a disclaimer stating that YouTube is not responsible for any copyright issues that may arise from your use of the content outside of YouTube.

Select and download free mp3s
Select and download free mp3s

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.

ComposerStyle and InfluencesListen, Contact & notes
Dan OOver 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
AudionautixIncludes acoustic piece, film scores, rock and electronicAudionautix Homepage
Use for free if you provide an attribution or link
TeknoaxeOver 200 free songs in different genres—electronica, dubstep, rock, orchestral, etcwww.youtube.com/user/teknoaxe/
Provide attribution and link to your video
DSTA few hundred songs with an emphasis on electronic, ambient and and dance stylesDeceasedSuperiorTechnician
The songs are issued under a Creative Commons attribution license (commercial use is also OK); you just need to provide an attribution
IncompetechHundreds of songs in different genres, lengths and styesincompetech
Just provide an attribution that includes the licensing terms. You can see an example here incompetech.com/music/royalty-free/faq.html
CeeeXMainly dramatic songs and upbeat electronicawww.youtube.com/user/FunKCX/
Available for non-commercial use. Add a credit, notify the composer (e.g., send a link)
Accelerated IdeasAround 15 short electonica intros/outros (12 sec. to 35 sec.)www.accelerated-ideas.com/FreeMusicTracks/
Add a credit (e.g., a link to the website)

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)

ComposerStyle and InfluencesListen, Contact & notes
SophonicMedia InstrumentalsFreeMainly rock, but includes some other stylesThis 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/

4. Other Sites to Get Background Music

Caution: The following sites focus on Creative Commons licensed music and Public Domain music. There are two things you need to bear in mind.

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.

Archive Org: http://archive.org/index.php
Video, music and text in the public domain or issued under Creative Commons licences

Freesound: http://www.freesound.org/
Music recordings issued with Creative Commons licences

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

CMixter: http://ccmixter.org/
A site of Creative Commons licensed music tracks


~by longzijun

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