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How to get your hands on royalty-free music

22nd February 2019

Struggling to find the perfect soundtrack for your new video project? We’ve compiled a list for you to choose from.

What’s Royalty Free Music?

Royalty free music refers to the right to download and use music, without having to pay royalties or licenses. It also means that you can use this material for commercial purposes.

Finding music online that’s free and available to use commercially is not easy. That said, there are many online sources to choose from. Most websites that offer free music are listed under a Creative Commons License, however there a few different types you might come across: 

  • Completely free (CC0): You can do whatever you like with the track and you don’t have to credit the artist.
  • Attribution (CC-BY): You can do whatever you like with the track, but you have to include a link to the original artist's website.
  • Share A Like (CC-BY-SA): You can use the track, but anything that uses the track must be available under the same license.
  • Non Commercial (CC-BY-NC): The track cannot be used in anything that will generate money, without written permission from the artist.
  • Non-Derivative (CC-BY-ND): You can’t use this track without written permission from the artist. 

Click here to see the full list of Creative Commons licenses.

YouTube Audio Library

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It’s not every day that such a big brand like YouTube offers out high-quality material for free, so this is particularly useful if you’re looking for some sound for your latest upload.

The music is organised into genres, mood and even the instrument sound, so finding what you’re looking for should be pretty straightforward. 

Free Music Archive

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The FMA, which was founded by the non-commercial radio station WFMU, has thousands of tracks from different genres to choose from.

Most of the music on the website is available under Creative Commons with multiple different license options. Be sure to check the license of any track you want to use. 

FreeSound 

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Its interface may be outdated, but its extensive collection of free music is impressive. As well as music tracks, the site also has sound effects, background noise and natural sounds. 

There are tags you can choose from to find the perfect track or you can use the helpful search bar.

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