Free background music for videos

Did you know that 2017 is the year of video marketing? Of course music is a very important part of every video; it can radically change the impression and the mood of it, so you got to be careful choosing the right track.

In this two-part series of articles I’m telling where to find great background music for videos and how to use it without violating copyrights. This part is about free music and the second part will cover royalty-free (stock) music theme.  This information will be useful for vloggers, youtubers, filmmakers, video production companies and other video creators. 

First of all it’s not a good idea to download any track from the web or iTunes and put it in your project. It can cause some really bad consequences from Youtube Content ID claims, to serious copyright trials.

Creative Commons Licenses

In most cases legal free music that you can use is registered under the Creative Commons licenses. That means you can use the track for free but with some restrictions depending on the license type (e.g. you should give a credit to the author, or you can’t use the music in commercial projects). The most popular license for free background music is CC BY. Often you can see the CC BY icon on the pages with music.

It can look like this:     

Pros and cons of free background music

Benefits:

  • It’s free! (Hi Captain Obvious:)). And If you know the RIGHT places where to download free tracks without any pitfalls it can make your life as a video creator easier.

Disadvantages:

  • Poor quality. Often authors upload free tracks with low bitrate, or short versions of tracks on purpose. And then if you need a high quality version you should pay for it.
  • Hard to find something special. Because there are not too many good high quality tracks, it can be a challenge if you are looking for something particular.
  • Pitfalls. Let’s be honest, there are some bad people in every industry. So sometimes people can upload other musician’s tracks and share them as free. And it can be a very unpleasant situation if the original author will find out his music was used without permission.
  • Credits to author. In most cases using free music requires you to give a credit to the author in titles or description. It’s ok when you upload your video on the web. But if you are making, for example, radio/Tv ads, it could be a problem to mention the author and the song that you’ve used.

Where to download free music for videos

Here are some sites that I recommend. Only clean sources without any copyright problems.

  • YouTube Audio Library is a very popular place for creators to get free music. There is a really huge amount of tracks. Some of them require artist attribution, some don’t. In my opinion it’s a good place to find music because it’s provided by Youtube, and also some tracks have a really good quality.
  • Free Music by Ashamaluev. If you are looking for some romantic/sentimentall stuff it’s a place to go. CC BY
  • FreeBackgroundMusicTracks.net Here you can find free music mainly in pop and indie rock styles. CC BY.
  • Free Music by Sokolovsky.  Here are some of my no copyright music tracks that you can use totally free. CC BY
  • Moby Gratis. Yes, it’s Moby! And he provides over 150 music tracks for non-profits projects. In my opinion a little peculiar music but obviously worth to check out!
  • Musopen. Is a great site with Public Domain music recordings. Beethoven, Shubert, Bah and almost all famous classical music for free. Type of CC license is indicated on every download page.
  • If you didn’t find the track you need among the sources above, check this list of sites with legal music for videos from Creative Commons official website.

Know some amazing sites with free music for videos? Share them in comments.

Conclusion

In some cases free music is an easy way to add a good soundtrack to your project. You just need to be attentive about where you get it and double check if it’s really free. Sources that are listed above may be enough to find something suitable for most videos. But if you are looking for something special, or you are making TV/Radio ads or films, please read the second part of this series How to Find Background Music for Videos (Part 2. Royalty-Free Music)

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