Music is a preeminent source of expression and one that adds a pleasing note to the film. It sets the tone for the narrative & makes it more engaging for the audience. Irrespective of the duration of the film, a little melody can just make the film seem out of the ordinary.
A famous director once said, “It can’t be explained how important music or sound is, in setting up your story or film. If you can do it right, the whole film just falls into place”, and we couldn’t have agreed more! Contrary to how short films are perceived as being less significant, they actually carry the advantage of being more easily accessible t to the masses on their personal screens. Besides, they not only come out with strong messages, but more often than not, also acquit as a mode of entertainment.
For the ones still clueless about the sources available for copyright-free music and scores, Indie Shorts Mag has done the work for you! Here’s a list of music publishers’ websites that could help revamp your short film and set it apart from the rest.
- FIlmstro [Adpative Music/Create Custom Music] – https://filmstro.com
Filmstro is our uncontested go-to for all music requirements. Be it the background music for our Monthly Short Film Review Recap or any other videos, it is Filmstro that we turn to. They are by far, the most hassle-free, diverse and user-friendly platform out there offering royalty-free music. You can learn more about Filmstro and how they operate or how they are best suited for your short films and documentaries by clicking on the link above. The article, in fact, also highlights copyright issues and how best to circumvent them.
Use Filmstro’s search option to find free tracks from their built-in music library.
- Free Music Archive – freemusicarchive.org
Free Music Archive, also know as FMA is a free-to-use, royalty-free music provider. All songs on FMA are free to access and download. They also provide a paid service that offers safe-to-use, royalty-free, original musical compositions.
- Partners in rhyme – www.partnersinrhyme.com
Since 1996, Partners In Rhyme has been offering royalty free music. The royalty-free license you receive from them is for a one-time fee. No matter how big the project is, you do not have to submit cue sheets or report to any of the performing rights organisations. This gives you the freedom to use Partners in rhyme’s audio library for your film score, ads, corporate videos, music for videos, advertising, short-form video, etc. They also give you an option to ship the DVD incase you need it.
- Beat Pick – beatpick.com
Beat Pick has one of the most extensive royalty free music search function. You can use filters like genre, mood, vocals, language, tempo, main instrument used, artist name, etc to search through Beat Pick’s stock music.
If you are a music composer you can submit and sell your music compositions to Beats Pick.
- Musopen – musopen.org
Musopen is a non-profit that was founded in San Francisco, CA. They offer free music recordings, sheet music, apps and educational materials to increase access to music education. Their mission is to set music free.
- Clip dealer – en.clipdealer.com
Clip dealer not only has royalty free music, the agency has more than 200 million royalty-free stock photos and video clips (yes, you can use them in your music video).
- Story Blocks – storyblocks.com
Just like Clip dealer, Story Blocks also provides images, video clip & audio clip. While browsing through Story Blocks I found some popular music I heard on YouTube (videos). You can get more content for less with their subscription model, of course. Frankly, they offer a plan that works with every budget. For both commercial and personal projects, their royalty-free audio content comes with unlimited usage. With an active subscription, you can download content more than once and keep it forever.
- Audio Micro – audiomicro.com
Audio Micro claims that their contributors are GRAMMY winning composers and Oscar-winning sound effects artists and production houses. I previewed a couple of music tracks and the quality is incredible!
- Dano songs – danosongs.com
Unlike the others in this list, Dano songs are created and owned by a single individual. You can use Dano’s music for film, videos, apps, games, presentations, podcasts and other media. You can also stream Dano’s music on Apple Music, Spotify, YouTube Music & Amazon.
- Vlog No Copyright Music – www.youtube.com/channel/UCEickjZj99-JJIU8_IJ7J-Q
Vlog No Copyright Music is probably the first source I used when I needed non-copyrighted music. I was tired of the copyright claim I used to get and Vlog No Copyright Music was my go-to place when I didn’t have the budget to purchase. I also use Vlog No Copyright Music to listen to some music while working, they have a great collection of uplifting background music. Nothing beats listening to some uplifting music while working, right?
If you are a music composer and has some original scores with you, send your tracks to Vlog No Copyright Music and reach their 2.1M subscribers.
I am sure this list isn’t exhaustive, but it’s a reliable source of the many options out there for you to experiment with. Do let me know in the comments below if I missed your favourites!