Free Royalty Free Music and Sounds

For use on websites, PowerPoint presentations, videos, etc


Free Royalty-Free Music and Sounds

This page lists sources of free music, songs and sounds that you can use, royalty-free, on your websites, in your videos, PowerPoint presentations, etc. They are useful since you can't simply grab any music or sound you like for such use, for reasons mentioned in the article Is It Legal to Use Any Piece of Music, Image, or Article for my Website?.

WARNING: before you use the stuff provided by the sites listed, be sure you read their licence (or "license" in certain variants of English) conditions. Some of them may only license the sound or music for use in specific situations (eg in PowerPoint slides) and not in others. Others may restrict you to non-commercial use. And so on. Let me say it again: read their licence before using the sound/music. Don't assume that just because their website says "free music" or whatever, it has the same meaning of "free" you have in mind. The devil is in the details.

Another thing to bear in mind is that the sites listed here may have started off providing free royalty-free music and/or sounds when I listed them, but switched to selling licences by the time you read this. If you find that this is the case for any site mentioned below, please drop me a note so that I can update this page.

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Free Royalty-Free Music and Sounds

Open Music Archive

The Open Music Archive distributes out-of-copyright sound recordings. The recordings are organised into various categories, eg instrumental, blues, female/male vocals, jazz, piano, country, banjo, guitar, solo, etc. The site states that the recordings are public domain in the UK, so if you are in a different country, you may have to check to see if the copyright has really expired in your country. Your country may have a different duration for the length of copyright, leading to these works being still under copyright there. Also bear in mind that only the recordings are stated to be out-of-copyright in the UK; the musical compositions may still be copyrighted.

The Freesound Project

The Freesound Project features sounds (not songs) licensed under the Creative Commons Sampling Plus licence. You can locate the sound sample you want by perusing their list of tags associated with each sample, eg, acid, acoustic, bass, dance, distorted, percussion, sci-fi, synthetic, techno, thunder, traffic, train, etc. Be warned that the licence does not permit the use of sounds in ads or commercials, and require you to attribute the creator of the sample. Read the licence for the details.

ccMixter

This site, ccMixter, features remixes licensed under the Creative Commons licence. The site invites visitors to download the sample packs and a cappellas for remixing before reuploading for others to re-sample, mash-up (etc). You can find the general conditions for use of their music from their Terms of Use page, although it appears that individual pieces of music may be licensed under different types of Creative Commons licences.

Opsound

Opsound provides music (mp3 files) released under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike licence; see the site for details. Music is tagged (categorised) so that you can more easily locate the type of music you want. Examples of tags include electronic, noise, punk, soundtrack, synth, improvisation, postrock, folk, avant garde, field recording, etc. You can also look for songs specifically by genres and artists.

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