13 Sources of Free Creative Commons Music for Videos (1/2)

Creative Commons Music

Not every company can afford an in-house composer, let alone the fee Lady Gaga charges for a cookie collaboration. Fortunately, by using free creative commons music, you can score (pun intended) the perfect soundtrack for your next video for free.

You can use creative commons music libraries to find exactly what you need, just like you can with free stock photos and free stock videos. And to make things even easier, we’ve compiled a list of 13 of the best resources below.

Bonus: Looking for Instagram Video Marketing information, please read Instagram Videos 2022: All Types of Insta Videos.

What exactly is creative commons music?

Let’s start with a definition: Creative Commons is a company that grants special licenses to the public, allowing them to use creative materials (such as music) for free. Creative Commons licenses over two billion creative works, including videos, photos, music, and other media.

There are various types of Creative Commons licenses that govern how you can use the work. You may use the work for free as long as you follow the terms of the license.

The key, however, is to adhere to the license. If you do not, you may be forced to remove the video or face legal consequences for copyright infringement.

Most likely, you’ll want to look for materials in the public domain, which will be labeled as CC0, which means they’re completely free to use. This means you can remix or modify the track, use it on any platform, and share it freely.

There are also six different types of creative commons licenses, three of which allow for commercial use with attribution.

  • CC-BY: This license also allows you to use the music in any way you want, on any platform or medium. However, you must give credit to the creator, and provide a link to the original license (for instance, by adding that information to your video caption) (for instance, by adding that information to your video caption).
  • CC-BY-SA: This license also requires you to credit the creator. You must also make the track available under the same license type if you remix or modify it in any way.
  • CC-BY-ND: This license requires that you give credit to the creator. However, you are not permitted to alter the material in any way.

The other license types (CC-BY-NC, CC-BY-NC-SA, and CC-BY-NC-ND) are only for noncommercial use, which means brands cannot use them.

Why should you use creative commons music?

TikTok is poised to become the most important platform for social media marketing in 2022, making video more important than ever. What good is a video without sound? It’s like eating a burger without the fries.

This is more than a feeling. TikTok discovered that sound is essential to 88 percent of users’ viewing experiences, and that campaigns with sound were more than twice as effective as those without.

However, licensing music or creating new music for your videos can be costly. Creative Commons music is free and legal to use as long as it is properly credited.

How to give proper credit to creative commons music?

Any license other than CC0 necessitates attribution. Even if the work is in the public domain, it is best practice to give credit to the artist. Learning how to credit creative commons music is useful even if you only intend to use public domain work.

Creative Commons has put together a handy guide and recommends a four-part format: Title, Creator, Source, and License.

  • Title: The track’s or song’s name.
  • Creator: The artist’s name, preferably with a link to their website or creator profile.
  • Source:Backlink to the original source of the music.
  • License: Include the license type (such as CC-BY) and a link to the original license agreement.

On their wiki, you can find detailed examples.

Let’s find some creative commons music now that you’re a copyright expert!

13 websites where you can find free creative commons music

1. dig.ccMixter

This is the index for ccMixter, an online platform for remix sharing. All of the music on the site is Creative Commons licensed (that’s what the “cc” stands for), making it an ideal place to explore.

ccMixter can also be used to explore tracks, but there is no easy way to filter by license type. The advantage of going straight to digging. The advantage of ccMixter is that tracks are already organized into categories, including free music for commercial projects. There are over 4,200 to select from.

You can find tracks by keyword using a search bar, or you can filter by genre, instrument, and style. Fun!

dig.ccMixter search bar -Creative Commons Music

Just a reminder that all of these free tracks are CC-BY, which means you must credit the artist.

2. ccTrax

ccTrax is a curated collection of Creative Commons music with a focus on electronic genres such as techno and house music.

You can filter tracks by license type, genre, and tags such as “cinematic” or “shoegaze.”

ccTrax genre and weekly charts

ccTrax also has a well-organized collection of tracks distributed under the CC-BY license.

3. SoundCloud

SoundCloud is a music sharing website with over 175 million users worldwide and over 200 million tracks. There are numerous tracks in the public domain or licensed under Creative Commons. As an added bonus, SoundCloud is simple to use and explore.

There are numerous ways to search SoundCloud for Creative Commons tracks, but here are three of the simplest:

  1. Follow Creative Commons, which has a SoundCloud profile with Creative Commons music.
  2. In the search bar, type in the license type you’re looking for (for example, “CC0”).
  3. Use the search bar to find specific sounds or moods, then filter the results to meet your requirements. If you want to find a specific mood or feeling, this is the best method.

SoundCloud search results for "ambient"

4. Bandcamp

Bandcamp, like SoundCloud, is a music distribution site where artists can share their work. And, despite the fact that Bandcamp was founded to compensate artists for their work, a sizable number of tracks are Creative Commons licensed.

You can search for music with the Creative Commons tag, but it’s not as easy to use as SoundCloud, which allows you to filter by usage. The simplest way to find tracks for commercial use is to search for music with the tag public domain.

5. Musopen

Musopen makes sheet music, recordings, and educational materials available to the public for free. They specialize in classical music, having recorded and released collections by composers such as Beethoven and Chopin.

They have a large collection of copyright-free recordings that can be used for any project by anyone. You can look up composers, instruments, arrangements, and moods.

Also, you can search for specific Creative Commons licenses, as well as length, rating, and recording quality, using additional filters.

Royalty Free Music

You can download up to five tracks per day with a free Museo account. Paid memberships are available for $55 per year and include unlimited downloads as well as other perks.

6. Free Music Archive

Another excellent resource is the Free Music Archive, which contains over 150,000 tracks by independent artists. FMA is a project of Tribe of Noise, a company based in the Netherlands that supports independent artists.

To find music for your project, use a keyword search (such as “electronic”) and then filter by license type, genre, or duration. Over 3,500 tracks are in the public domain on FMA, with another 8,880 licensed under CC-BY.

Free Music Archive electronic search results

On FMA, CreativeCommons has a curator profile that includes a selection of CC-licensed tracks. However, because they only have a few tracks on their page, searching the entire collection will yield more results.

7. FreeSound

FreeSound is a collaborative database project based in Barcelona that features a wide range of tracks and other recordings that are all Creative Commons licensed.

The website has a very Web 1.0 look and feel to it—you might get a Geocities flashback while exploring. However, they have over 11,000 public domain tracks that you can use without attribution or restriction.

Entering a keyword in the search bar is the quickest way to explore FreeSound. Then, on the right, you can use the filters to select the license type you require. You can then filter by additional tags.

FreeSound search sounds - Creative Commons Music

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