Free Background Music 32: The Hidden Path


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.

Download Links

The Hidden Path (full version)

The Hidden Path (seven-minute version)

If you are having problems downloading the files from, please refer to this page for possible solutions: Downloading Problems (Free Background Music Series).


Choreography & dance: Lee Chan
Video shooting: Teresa Ng, longzijun
Music, video shooting and video editing: longzijun

About the Music and Video

Lee Chan

Lee Chan


The video features Lee Chan. who choreographed and performed the dance, which combines classical ballet, contemporary dance and yoga.

The song was recording using Cakewalk’s Home Studio. Most of the parts were played on a Korg M50 synthesizer. I also played alto saxophone in one section. The percussion parts were mostly created using pre-recorded hits and loops.

Tempo: 115 bpm

The song is influenced by some African styles, most notably Juju music ( If you are interested in finding out about this music form, King Sunny Ade is a good place to start.


You can find the East African music influences in The Hidden Path in the way that the song:

  • Relies on a strictly pentatonic scale. In this song’s case, the scale is related to C minor and only includes the notes C, E flat, F, G and B flat. This means there most of the traditional triads found in Western chord progressions cannot be formed. For example, the typical C minor chords of ii (D diminished), iv (F minor) and VI (A major) would need an A, while v (G minor) and VII (B flat major) would need a D. The use of the pentatonic scale also places a significant restriction on melodic possibilities.
  • Emphasizes the interplay between melodic instruments playing rhythmic, repetitive lines and percussion instruments of offering a kind of melodic counterpoint through the use of different pitches and timbres. The distinction between melody and rhythm is slightly blurred.
  • Features a song structure that doesn’t really on the usual verse chorus and bridge structure. It focuses more on the different kinds of grooves created by combining melodies and rhythms.

Of course, there are electronic music influences as well, such as the music in the album by David Byrne and Brian Eno—My Life in the Bush of Ghosts (which is also influenced by African timbres and rhythms).

The Carrier (from My Life in the Bush of Ghosts)


The Hidden Path was composed as a companion piece to my most popular song: Dreams, which is loosely inspired by Balinese Gamelan music.


More Music

Preview and download free background music tracks 24-37

Background Music 24-39

Preview and download free background music tracks 1 to 23

Background Music 1-23

Preview and download short instrumental tracks (5 seconds to 60 seconds)

Short Themes for Intros & Outros

Free Background Music Page

Free Background Music Page


Two New Short Instrumentals for Intros, Outros and Credits

Here are two new additions to the Short Instrumentals Collection. These are short pieces suitable for use as intros, outros and credits and can be used for free in non-commercial projects as long as credit is provided (Music by longzijun). I recently learned that songs from this series are also being used as ringtones, which is something I hadn’t thought of.

Short Instrumental 12: Equinox

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’ve been watching Breaking Bad on DVD recently, so this song is inspired somewhat by the theme music for that show. I started with an acoustic guitar base, but instead of heading for the country twang of that show’s theme, I went for a jazzier feel with a hint of reggae.

The video is of commuters going though either Central or Hong Kong station after work. I changed the footage into a line drawing in Premiere Pro. The footage was shot while on the way back from doing some video shooting with a student group (Maggie, Winsome and Teresa). On the way home, we thought we would get some footage of the commuters in case the girls needed it for their video later. The video they were working on was about people’s dreams in life. On that day, we interviewed Leonard Lee (aka CM Groovy), a professional bass player, who was one of the main interviewees in the documentary. Here is Maggie, Winsome and Teresa’s final video:

My most popular song is the one I created as background music for that video (it is called Dreams). Besides this documentary, there are some shorter videos as well. You can read about the series here: Dreamers HK: What’s Your Dream in Life.

The same day we interviewed CM, we also talked to two young skateboarders about their dreams.

Short Instrumental Theme No. 6

This 20-second song is a complete reworking of an earlier intro theme. The new version combines electronic arpeggios and sweeping chords with mellow French horns. The feel is relaxed, but with a sense of elegance. All the parts except for the kick drum were played on a Korg MicroX, a budget synthesizer with a two-octave keyboard.

The photo is one I took of Chinese University of Hong Kong at dawn on a particularly blue, clear and peaceful day. You can view more photos of the campus here:
Chinese University at Dawn

What about the original version? Usually, I spend hours upon hours on each composition, but the original version of this theme was recorded in a couple of minutes by just playing some chords on the Korg MicroX. My students needed a short soundtrack and the deadline for their book trailer competition video was fast approaching, so I just created the ‘song’ in a hurry’. Later, I put the song online, because ‘why not’, but somewhat embarrassingly, my simplest and most hurriedly created song is my second most viewed on YouTube

Here is the students’ book trailer for Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory:

Jazz Intro Music (Track 10)

I am in the middle of working on a longer song, but 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. The music is free for non-commercial use; just provide a credit: music by longzijun. For more short instrumental themes, go to Short Instrumentals and Loops. There are eight different arrangements of this jazz instrumental.

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
Download MP3 Part 1: Jazz Intro (Versions 1-4)

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
Download MP3 Part 2: Jazz Intro (Versions 5-8)

This is a loop based instrumental (i.e., the music is put together by combining pre-recorded snippets of the individual instruments.)


jazzComing up with interesting visuals that don’t take too long to make is always a challenge for me. I would prefer to concentrate on the music, but since YouTube and Google have been changing their search algorithms to focus more on how long viewers stick with a video, I need to make more effort to keep people’s attention. Even if someone is not interested a particular style of music, perhaps they will hang around longer if the visuals are interesting.

The video was produced by creating a short animation in iClone, a 3D animation programme that comes with some preset movements. You just need to bring in some 3D characters and then apply the movements to them. I then exported the animation and ran it through various video effects filters in Adobe Premiere Pro to create a 2D effect. I used Threshold to turn the animation into a two-tone black and white video and then added different combinations of other effects such as Invert, Find Edges, Paint Brush, Mosaic, Equalize, Texturize, Emboss and Mirror. I had previously experimented with iClone to do things like opening credits sequences. If you are interested in seen what the animation looks like in 3D, you can check out my work on this page: Animation tests with iClone 3

I previously used this two-tone animation effect on my last music video (for the song Ravenchanter). I like the effect and will keep using it for a while


Added to Vimeo

I am gradually adding all my songs to a back-up channel on Vimeo. This week’s upload is the short (27-second) piano instrumental Love and Time


Free Background Music Songs 24-39: Preview & Download

Here are songs 24-38 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 in the Featured Guest series, you follow the crediting guidelines below the video).

Read: Terms of Use
Preview: Background music tracks 1-23
Preview: Short Instrumental Themes for Intros and Credits
Return to: Free Background Music Page

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).

Summit by Gary Ames (Background Music 39) 3:26

A new song! A pulsating, dramatic, orchestral piece (128 bpm). The kick drum comes in at around 1 minute and 10 seconds. It works well with action scenes.
For MP3 and WAV file download links for the two versions, go to Background Music 39: Summit by Gary Ames.

Somewhere Deep in the Sea by Jessica Yip (Background Music 38) 2:42

A new song! A solo piano instrumental. A beautiful, gentle piece. 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 38: Somewhere Deep in the Sea.

Holly’s Theme (Background Music 37) 2:47

A solo piano instrumental. The first and third sections are fast and have a propulsive feel, while the middle section is sparse and melancholy. 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)
For MP3 and WAV file download links for the three versions, go to Background Music 37: Holly’s Theme.

Buoyant (Background Music 36) 4:20

An upbeat song with lots of sonic variety. It has elements of EDM, acoustic and pop music styles. For MP3 and WAV file download links, go to Background Music 36: Buoyant.

Broken (Background Music 35) 3:17

A three-minute gentle and sad song played on piano. It is influenced by classical minuets but is more minimalist and contemporary in feel. For MP3 and WAV file download links, go to Background Music 35: Broken.

I Vow to Thee My Country: Arranged and performed by Kate Kwok (Background Music 34) 2:12

A two-minute piano arrangement of this lovely, nostalgic song.

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).

For MP3 and WAV file download links, go to Background Music 34: I Vow to Thee My Country. Please note that it is common to get false Content ID matches and copyright claims on original performances of public domain work. The linked page contains information on what you should do if you get such a claim.

Little Hero (Background Music 33) 2:58, 134 bpm

A three-minute dramatic theme song 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.

The Hidden Path (Background Music 32) 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. For MP3 and WAV file download links for both versions of the song, go to Background Music 32: The Hidden Path

Dubtitution (Background Music 31) 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 and the would be best suited to wordless videos (e.g., speed drawing, gaming, photography, sports montages, etc.). For MP3 and WAV file download links, go to Background Music 31: Dubtitution.

Echoes & Fragments (Background Music 30) 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. For MP3 and WAV file download links, go to Background Music 30: Echoes & Fragments.

Ravenchanter (Background Music 29) 4:04, 90 bpm

New age, ambient (acoustic guitar, bass, piano, drums, percussion and woodwind instruments). This 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.

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

An acoustic guitar ballad with faint echoes of Pink Floyd.

Crediting Information
Music: Wild Illusion by Nikolaos Taramanidis

For MP3 and WAV file download links, go to Background Music 28: Wild Illusion Nikolaos Taramanidis.

Sonicidence (Background Music 27) 2:48, 120 bpm

Electronica. 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.

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

Pop, new age, folk. 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.

Memoryne (Background Music 25) 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. For MP3 and WAV file download links, go to Background Music 25: Memoryne.

Memoryne: Music Box Short Version (Background Music 25b) 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 (select the music box version).

Lock and Love (Background Music 24) 6:24, 86 bpm

Classical, pop & folk. This is a romantic and melodic song with with flute, strings and acoustic guitar, bass and percussion. 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.

Read: Terms of use

Preview and download free background music tracks 1 to 23

Background Music 1-23

Preview and download short instrumental tracks (5 seconds to 60 seconds)

Short Themes for Intros & Outros

Free Background Music Page

Free Background Music Page

My Musc Homepage

My Musc Homepage

Chinese University of Hong Kong: Beautiful Photos of the Campus

To view the entire set of 20 photos of CUHK (at a higher resolution of 2048×1365), go to the Pretty CUHK Google+ Gallery

Chinese University at Dawn

This lovely photo was taken from across Tolo Harbour just after sunrise. This is after a few months of rain and high humidity, so Hong Kong’s normal haze is gone and the sky is remarkably clear and blue. The sea is also very calm, especially near the shore, so there is an interesting reflection of the campus and hillside. The sun is just high enough in the sky to light up the whole scene and bathe it in a warm light. The overall effect is that it makes the campus look like it is set near a tranquil Swiss lake.

Here is an interesting sunset, with the clouds forming a phoenix-like shape:

Here is an interesting sunset picture. I wish I had done a time-lapse of this one as a white swirling cloud unraveled itself and turned into a long dragon-like shape.

Photo of the CUHK campus at sunset

~by longzijun


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Street Art in Hong Kong

The graffiti scene in Hong Kong is relatively new, but there are some great artists in the city. Most of the graffiti in the streets are simple tags (signatures) or throw-ups (these are fairly simple filled-outline works), however, there are a few places where you can see more elaborate works. in different districts, different styles and format predominate. You can preview some of the more representative works on this page, and if you are interested in seeing more, you can click on the links provided to see the whole sets


1. Hong Kong Street Art: Mid Autumn Art Jam (Ma On Shan)

This gallery features several graffiti pieces that were created during the moon festival in Hong Kong. Click on any of the below images to open the gallery slideshow. Unfortunately, if you are using Windows XP with Internet Explorer 8, the gallery function may not appear. However, you can still view the entire set of photos in this series (over 140 images) on Google Plus: Hong Kong Graffiti and Street Art Part 6: Mid-Autumn Graffiti.

While taking these photos of this graffiti Wall of Fame in Hong Kong, I spoke to a woman who lived nearby and she told me that all the pieces were done during last year’s Mid-Autumn Festival (at the very end of September). The usual way of celebrating this festival, also known as the Moon Festival, involves family dinners, lanterns and mooncakes; however, last year many of Hong Kong’s graffiti artists gathered to hold an art jam on the wall of a highway overpass that runs just outside the suburban area of Ma On Shan in the New Territories. The location is not difficult to get to but is quite well hidden, so I guess the artists could work uninterrupted. Some of the visuals, such as the rabbit image, are related to the festival (according to Chinese legend, a rabbit lives on the moon with the moon goddess Chang’e. There are around 30 pieces (including wildstyle works) on the wall.


2. Hong Kong Street Art: Graffiti Lane Mongkok

To see the whole set of pictures in this series (over 150, at a resolution of 2048×1365), go to Hong Kong Graffiti Part 1: Complete Set of Images (on Google+)

To view the following pictures in a slideshow, just click on any of the photos.

This alley near the Mongkok East MTR station has lots of more elaborate pieces in a variety of styles. It’s one of the few places where street art is generally left alone by the authorities (though pieces are painted over by other graffiti artists from time to time). It is also home to a fair number of homeless men who live in make shift cardboard shelters and who have a set up a mini-kitchen with a gas stove. Just around the corner is Argyle street, which is jam-packed with shoppers and tourists. It seems that there is an unspoken deal in place: ‘you can do what you want in this lane, just don’t take it outside’.


3. HK Street Art: Kwun Tong and Ngau Tau Kok

Click on any of the below images to open the gallery slideshow. You can view the entire set of photos in this series (over 150 images) on Google Plus: Hong Kong Graffiti and Street Art Part 2: Kwun Tong and Ngau Tau Kok.


The streets of the industrial areas of Kwun Tong and Ngau Tau Kok feature a lot of graffiti compared to other parts of Hong Kong. The district is an indie culture hot spot. It’s a factory area, but the manufacturing industry declined steeply in the 1980s as mainland China started to embrace capitalism. Factories and, of course, factory jobs moved to China’s Guangdong province. The resulting empty floor space in factory buildings is now being frequently rented out as band practice rooms and art studios.

In the previous series on Mongkok graffiti and street art, almost every photo was taken in one alley—a kind of graffiti gallery. In contrast, the street art work in Kwun Tong and Ngau Tau Kok is spread out through the entire industrial part of the district (basically everything to West of the MTR rail line). It took around four hours to take all the photographs.

There seems to be more stencil work and paste-ups (paper-based work that is done beforehand and then affixed to the wall) in this area of the city.

There is always the question of whether the artwork adds anything or whether it is just visual pollution and vandalism. I especially wonder about how the owners of the small mom-and-pop shops in the area feel when they come to work one morning and find their shutters covered in a hastily-drawn scrawl. The owners struggle hard working long hours to barely make ends meet; I don’t imagine they appreciate the new decorations.

The photos in this set are featured in the following video:


4. Hong Kong Street Art: Causeway Bay, Central, Sheung Wan

You can view the entire set of photos in this series (over 200 images, resolution of 2048×1365) on Google Plus: Hong Kong Graffiti and Street Art Part 3: Causeway Bay to Central.

These street art photos were mainly taken in Causeway Bay (perhaps the busiest shopping area on Hong Island), SOHO (the retail and restaurant area South of Hollywood Road, hence the name, between Central District and Sheung Wan). Because these are such busy areas, with things going on round the clock, the street art is usually done in a hurry—this is why you can only find things like paste-ups, stencils and tags.

A lot of the works provide social commentary. For example, former Chief Executive Donald Tsang is turned into a devil in an Obama-style poster. There are picture-text combinations highlighting poverty and quite a few works condemn greed, which is fitting given that Hong Kong has severe income inequality and that Central is the key financial district of Hong Hong. A few of the paste-ups are from the local artist Start from Zero (


5. Hong Kong Street Art: Mongkok & Tsim Sha Tsui

These are busy commercial and entertainment districts in Kowloon with a nightlife going on round the clock. It’s a challenge for graffiti artists to even find a blank wall yet alone work undetected. Thus, the art tends to be something that can be done in a hurry (tags, stickers or stencils) and is often done in dingy alleyways. There also tends to be a lot of çrazy messages left on utility boxes and lampposts. Can we call these mad ramblings street art?


6. Hong Kong Street Art: The King of Kowloon

Speaking of ramblings, perhaps the first graffiti artist in Hong Kong was thee self-proclaimed Emperor of Kowloon Tsang Chou-choi, who throughout the 1980s and 1990s painted messages in his distinctive Chinese calligraphy claiming that he was the rightful owner of the entire peninsula. At any one time, there were a few hundred of his messages spread around Kowloon. He tended to write on government owned walls and utility boxes, perhaps because he viewed the government as the thieves who stole his family’s land. He died in 2007, and towards the end of his life was considered an artist, with galleries curating exhibitions of his work. However, it took the government a while to realize that his graffiti was part of Hong Kong’s collective memory and by the time they took measure to preserve his work, only three pieces remained. These are now sealed in plastic (the easiest to view one is at the Star Ferry Terminal in Tsim Sha Tsui). I took the following two pictures mant years ago in Diamond Hill (click on each image for a larger version on Google+).

King of Kowloon: Graffiti in Diamond Hill (click on the picture for a larger version)

King of Kowloon: Graffiti in Diamond Hill (click on the picture for a larger version)

An example  of Tsang Chou-choi's graffiti

An example of Tsang Chou-choi’s graffiti

7. Street Art in Hong Kong: Kowloon City, Kowloon Tong & Cheung Sha Wan

You can find street art scattered in other areas of Kowloon as well. There is some in Kowloon City and quite a few pieces in Kowloon Tong, the latter of which are usually found on walls in the alleys between upscale condominium complexes. Kowloon Tong is an unusual area—it features upper-middle class residences (with an emphasis on the ‘upper’), kindergartens, a couple of universities and a lot of small love hotels. Other photos in this series were taken in Cheung Sha Wan and Lai King.

Click on any of the below images to open the gallery slideshow. You can view the entire set of photos in this series (over 150 images) on Google Plus: Hong Kong Graffiti and Street Art: Around Kowloon.


8. Street Art in the New Territories

This gallery features works from around the Tai Wai, Fotan, Ma On Shan Tai Po and Wu Kai Sha. These are the areas just north of Kowloon (on the other side of Lion Rock). You can find graffiti on factory walls and near bike paths. Click on any picture to view the gallery as a slide show. You can also view the entire set of photos in this series (over 160 images) on Google Plus: Hong Kong Graffiti and Street Art: Around Shatin.


Image Galleries on Google+

To view the complete sets of images at higher resolutions, select the click on the following links:

  1. Mid-Autumn Art Jam 140 images
  2. Graffiti Alley in Mongkok 150 images
  3. Kwun Tong & Ngau Tau Kok: Graffiti and Street Art 180 images
  4. Street Art in Causeway Bay< Central and Sheung Wan
  5. Street Art in Mongkok and Tsim Sha Tsui 40 images
  6. The King of Kowloon 2 images
  7. Street Art in Kowloon City, Kowloon Tong, Cheung Sha Wan & Lai King 100 images
  8. Street Art in the New Territories (Shatin, Tai Wai, Fotan, Ma On Shan, Tai Po, Wu Kai Sha) 160 images


~by longzijun


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Background Music: Techno, Electronica & Trance

Electronica, Techno & Trance Background MusicThese songs are under the broad category of electronica and are more upbeat than those in the chill-out category. The songs may be used for non-commercial purposes; simply provide the credit: music by longzijun (read the Terms of Use). More songs will be added later. Go the Free Background Music main page


Download Problems

If you are having downloading problems, please refer to this page for possible solutions: Downloading Problems (Free Background Music Series).

Background Music Songs

Buoyant (4:30. Background Music 36)
The song combines house music influences with pop and acoustic sounds. There are a lot of little sonic surprises throughout the song.

Download MP3 (320 kbps, 48 khz) from Boxnet:

Download WAV:

Transect (6:55, Background Music 18)
I like this one best. A harder-driving song

Download MP3:Transect
Download MP3:Transect (no guitar solo)

Dubtitution (7:25, Background Music 31)

A bass-heavy, dub-inspired song with a lot of sonic variety (bass, drums, celesta, clavichord, wah-wah rhythm guitar, processed lead guitar, organ and a lot of different percussion instruments)
Download MP3:Dubtitution

San (3:43, Background Music 16)
This one is also quite nice. It is a mid-tempo and more melodic piece

Download MP3: San

Happy Virus (0:36, Background Music 08)
A short techno-flavored song for intros. Do check out Mandy Mui’s lovely animation

Download MP3: Happy Virus


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