Music has the power to enhance the user experience of any video.
A video without music is like coffee without sugar. It can still be enjoyed, but in a very limited way.
If you’re a moviegoer, you wouldn’t deny that music enhances your emotional experience of a movie.
The filmmaker aptly, introduces music at selected points to help induce the mood he wants you to experience.
So, if you’re looking towards amping up the mood in your video with background music, but can’t afford to break the bank to do so, fret not.
There are a good number of sites offering royalty free background music for free download.
They would certainly come to your aid to serve your needs whether you’re making a training video, documentary or just a family video of a recent vacation.
Before we proceed, let’s be clear about one thing. Royalty free doesn’t mean it’s free of charge.
Royalty free means you don’t have to pay a royalty to the copyright owner each time you use it.
There are two types of royalty free music – the paid version and free version.
For the paid version, you pay only once for using it for an unlimited number of times. The free version allows you to use the music unlimited without paying for it.
One more thing. You’re not allowed to sell any royalty free music tracks as it is given to you. This is because the creator of the music holds the copyright and he’s the only one entitled to sell it.
So, where can you get free background music? Check out the list below.
Royalty Free Background Music for Free Download
YouTube Audio Library
YouTube Audio Library provides free music for your videos. Although the library is mainly meant to assits you in the production of a YouTube video, the audio tracjs could safely be used in other your other video projects.
There are two sections of downloadable audio files – Free Music and Sound Effects.
The Free Music section promises quite an extensive range of soundtracks you could use with your video for free.
You could choose your music by genre – cinematic, ambient, jazz & blues, country & folk etc, by mood – angry, dark, romantic etc -, by instrument – piano, trumpet, strings etc – by duration or most importantly by attribution – attribution required or attribution not required.
As for the sound effects, you could only choose by category which ranges from cartoon, crowds, sports and science fiction, among many others.
Files can be downloaded to your computer in the MP3 format with a sample rate of 441000Hz with 32 bits per sample and a bitrate of 320kb/s.
Free Music Archive
The Free Music Archive was initiated by WFMU, a well-known freeform radio station.
The website was started in 2011 and has about 7900 contributions to date.
Free music here doesn’t mean the music tracks available could be used freely for any purpose.
Each track comes with a license specification. Some are marked for non-commercial use. The majority of the works are under Creative Commons licenses which require you to provide attribution (credit to the artist).
Look out for the No Derivative Works license in particular, which doesn’t allow you to use the audio track with a video.
That said, your best bet would be to go for the public domain tracks in case you’re worried about running into issues.
There’s also the Creative Commons 0 (CC0) licence which gives you almost free use of the audio tracks.
Genres offered by Free Music Archive include blues, jazz, classical, insrumental, country and folk, not to mention old-time/historic.
You’ve a pretty good range her for your video projects. Check out Free Music Archive.
Free Stock Music
Free Stock Music do what they call themselves. They offer royalty-free music “without charging you a dime”.
Clips can be freely and legally downloaded and used for any project with Zero licensing fees.
Surprised? You don’t have to be. Free Stock Music is sponsored by a stock footage company called Footage Firm. That’s why they offer royalty free music for free.
No, Free Stock Music don’t hope for donations from users. They just ask for you to recommend the site to your friends and family. You should do that.
Each audio track is available in the WAV, AiFF and MP3 formats. The WAV format is in uncompressed CD quality.
To download royalty free music for free you have to sign up as a member first. That’s all that’s required of you to start using the audio tracks on this site.
Among the royalty free music categories available for free download are :
- cinematic scores production music
- corporate production music
- electronic production music
Check out Free Stock Music.
Royalty-free background music provided by TechnoAXE is licensed under Creative Commons BY 4.0.
What does this mean?
It means you can share and redistribute a music track after remixing or transforming it, even if it’s for commercial purposes.
You must provide attribution, however.
You must give credit to the original creator and have a link to the license.
Also, you must indicate whether you’ve changed the music. If you’re just using the music as it is, then you don’t have to worry about this requirement. You just offer the required credit.
If this restrictriction is fine with you, you may then browse through TechnoAXE for electronic dance music, orchestra and soundtrack, music in the miscellaneous category which includes Halloween. trailer and percussion.
Altogether there are 1552 royalty=free music tracks to look at.
Preview of the audio tracks are available via YouTube videos.
However, when you hit the red download button, the music clip is downloaded in the MP3 format.
If you’re the royalty-free music for a YouTube video, then you may want to create a license permission document via the site.
All you have to do is fill in your name, YouTube channel and email address.
This document will ‘protect’ you against any copyright claims for the music over YouTube.
Check out TechnoAXE.
Free Background Music
Free Background Music tracks are licensed under Creative Commons license (Attribution, Share Alike).
This means you’re required to credit the music creator – “music by Twisterium / freebackgroundtracks.net”.
If you don’t feel like it, you’re welcome to purchase the tracks.
One way you can escape crediting the artist is by becoming a patron. By paying $4 a month, you can download up to 30 tracks. You can then use them for YouTube monetization and commercial purposes.
The free music section has over 30 tracks, But there’s more under the royalty free music section under such categories as uplifting music, corporate music and cinematic music, among others.
You’re allowed to preview music tracks before directly downloading them. There’s no requirement for a membership sign up.
Check out Free Background Music for your YouTube projects.
Over at ccMixter you have contributions from over 45 000 artists around the world.
Tracks are provided under two types of main licenses.
The first is free non-commercial use.
The second is the CC BY license which allows you to use such background music for commercial purpose provided you give attribution.
Browse through the various categories – editor’s picks, remixes, samples and a cappellas (spoken words included).
You’re allowed to preview music tracks before proceeding to download them.
When you decide to down a clip as background music for your video project, be careful to read the license terms carefully, especially if you’re intending it for commercial use. There are some clips under ‘strange’ licensing like ‘Licensed under Creative Commons Noncommercial Sampling Plus’.
The safest option would be to follow the link and read the licensing terms over at the Creative Commons site before using a music track
Give ccMixter a try.
Fesliyan Studios Free Background Music
If you intend to use background music for a non-commercial project, the you would like Fesliyan Studios.
There’s a wide range of background music to choose from. You can choose by mood- motivating and inspiring. mysterious etc.
You can also choose by genre – cover music, fantasy, classical etc.
On the home page there’s a list of featured instrumental music tracks. Click on a ny one of them for an instant preview and download.
So, are all the music clips really free? Not really. If you’re using them for non-commercial projects, you have to provide credit to the creator.
If you’re using the background music for commercial or monetization projects then you would have to offer the creator a donation to obtain a royalty free license.
How much donation should you give? Any amount you wish. The creator accepts whatever yiu can afford.
With a royalty free license you don’t have to give the creator credit for using his work.
Pay Fesliyan Studios a visit and check out the free background music clips there.
The above are sites offering royalty free background music for free download.
These resources are enough to get you started if you’re looking for free background music for your YouTube or other video projects.