Internet Tip - Royalty Free Music at No Charge
by Jeff Baker, Watsonville,CA
October 17, 2009
Where can you find royalty free music at no charge? Many sites on the web offer royalty free music with a
price tag. But here I have compiled a list of sites with royalty free music that is actually free. There are actually
quite a few artists that offer their music under the Creative Commons License, it is sometimes just hard to find
them through all the sites that ask a lot of money to use one song.
Some artists allow you to use their music in commercial productions whereas others only allow you to use
their music in personal productions. So look at the license agreement carefully. Most music is licensed under
Attribution, so in your production you should credit the author of the music. If it is a slideshow or a video
presentation then you should include a credit to the artist such as:
Music by Artist Name
My recommendation is that whether you use an artist's song in a non-commercial way (for a personal web
page, a personal slideshow, etc) or in a commercial way (for a TV commercial, film festival, movie, etc.) that
you contact the artist and let them know how you are using their music. It is great that they allow you to use
their music at no cost to you.
My second recommendation is that if you use an artist's music and it actually makes your web site, podcast,
slideshow, video presentation, etc better or more popular and you continue to use their song, then I suggest
making a donation to the artist. Based on other's recommended donation amounts, I suggest that you send
the artist at least $5 for each song that you use.
ROYALTY FREE MUSIC LINKS
http://www.musopen.com/ Musopen is an online music library of copyright free (public
domain) music. At Musopen they obtain recordings of public
domain music that have no copyrights so that visitors may
listen, re-use, or in any way enjoy music. Most of the music is of
classical piano or symphony pieces.
http://incompetech.com/m/c/royalty-free/ At this website Kevin MacLeod offers his royalty free music
creations under the Creative Commons License. There are many
different types of instrumental music at this site.
http://www.pacdv.com/sounds/free-music.html pacdv offers a few instrumentals for you to use royalty free.
They just ask that you mention "Music by
www.pacdv.com/sounds/" in your credits.
http://sonnyboo.com/music/music.htm Offers a few songs that you can use in your productions as long
as you credit the songwriter - Peter John Ross.
http://www.loganlproductions.com/pmp.html Offers a few royalty free instrumental songs under the Creative
Commons License. Just credit the musicians.
http://www.taylorhayward.org/freemusic.htm Taylor Hayward offers a few piano songs that are copyright free
so you are free to use them in any way, commercial or non-
http://www.soundclick.com/business/license_list.cfm I recommend that you sign up with a free account at
www.soundclick.com to take full advantage of its many
differnent music artsists and genres. To find royalty free music
at no charge under the Creative Commons License click on the
soundclick link above and then change License Type to Creative
Commons (Free), select the Genre and click go.
http://www.jamendo.com/ This site includes many different genre's of music by many
different artists under the Creative Commons License. The
difficult part at this site is just downloading one song. When you
go to an artist's page and click on an album it wants you to
download the whole album. But if you are listening to the album
with the jamplayerweb there is an option at the bottom to
Export this playlist: M3U. If you pause the music and click on
M3U then the songs should open up in your Media Player and
you can click the next and previous buttons in your Media
Player and also click on File -> Save As... to save the song you
are listening to.
http://derekaudette.ottawaarts.com/music.php Derek Audette offers his royalty free music under the Creative
Commons License. Most of these are instrumental pieces that
are either dark, moody, or hard driving.
http://www.publicdomain4u.com/ This site contains recordings of songs that were published prior
to 1922 and are now in the public domain which means the
public is free to copy and use the works in any way.
http://opsound.org/ This website offers a collection of music from a variety of artists
and genres under the Creative Commons License. In the left
hand menu click on artists or genres.
http://www.openmusicarchive.org/ Open Music Archive offers recordings of songs that are over 50
years old so their copyright has expired in the UK so the
recordings have become Public Domain. However, if you are
from another country other than the UK then the recordings
may not be Public Domain yet. See the FAQ for more
http://www.archive.org/details/audio This Audio Archive contains free recordings of many popular
bands. These are usually recordings of live performances. The
bands that allow their live concerts to be recorded and traded
are known as Trade Friendly Bands. For a list of bands that are
Trade Friendly and to view their policies see Trade-Friendly
Band Information and Furthurnet.org Band List. The FAQ page
and the details page make it clear that these recordings can only
be used for non-commercial purposes.
http://www.freeproductiontracks.com/ Free Production Tracks has a few styles of music that can be
downloaded for free and can be used for anything, commercial
or personal, without any royalty fees.
FREE MUSIC CLIPS
http://www.royaltyfreemusic.com/free-music- royaltyfreemusic.com mainly offers royalty free tracks for a price,
resources.html but they do offer some 30 second music clips, beats and loops
that can be used for personal or non-commercial productions.
You must credit RoyaltyFreeMusic.com as the source of the
http://internetaudioguy.com/iag/freemusic.htm InternetAudioGuy.com usually sells royalty free audio tracks for
a price but they also offer a few instrumental 30 second samples
that you can use for free for anything you want.
Using Non-Royalty Free Music
If you already found a piece of music from a professional artist that you want to use in your film or other production then
go to http://www.ascap.com/filmtv/faq.html to find out how to contact the copyright owner (usually the publisher) and
acquire the appropriate license. JB
RECOMMENDED SITES AND CREDIT TEMPLATE FOR FREE-ROYALTY MUSIC
by Nestor Abrogena I February 1, 2010
Free Download of Royalty-Free Music Loops and Sound Effects
Template for Closing Credits
For Musical Score:
(Title of the Song/Music) “Sunshine”
Written and Performed by Written and Performed by:
(Artist’s / Musician’s Name/Group) Kevin McLeod
Free Royalty Music from Free Royalty Music from
(internet site) www.incompetech.com
For Sound Effects:
Sound Effects from Sound Effects from
(internet site/s) www.sounddogs.com
free of royalty free of royalty