Copyright laws prevent you from using popular music that might be in your music library unless you pay what is called a ‘royalty fee’. This is a fee that is negotiated with the song’s composers and publishers for the right to use their song.
However, there are a number of royalty free music sites where you can download and use songs for free. When a song is royalty free, a person doesn’t need to pay a royalty fee in order to use it, but there are usually some conditions involving providing the composer or musician with credit. Below you will find a list of sites where you can find royalty free music. These are not the only sites, by any means, but they offer you and your team a good start in the search for music to accompany your media work.
http://www.danosongs.com/#music: This website features a range of instrumental tracks – jazz, country, acoustic – designed to score media projects. As long as you credit “Music by Dan-O at DanoSongs.com”, you can download and use his music in your video for free.
http://www.pacdv.com/sounds/free-music.html: This website features tracks that are characterized by mood such as ‘lover’s walk’, ‘gentle thoughts’ and ‘power juice’. You can use these in your media projects as long as you mention “music by www.pacdv.com/sounds/” in your credits or provide a link to their site.
http://www.gregvmusic.com/royalty_free_music.html: This site arranges music and sound effects by mood (‘gritty streets’) and length. Music is by Greg V and if only music from his site is used in the project, credit it as ‘Music: Greg V. www.gregvmusic.com’. Other conditions apply if you use music from other sources as well.
http://incompetech.com/m/c/royalty-free/: This site arranges its music by genre – rock, polka, Latin, horror, etc. Free music with credit given as follows: “Music: Kevin MacLeod”. If you only use music from this site, this is all you need to write in the credits. Other conditions apply if you use music from other sources as well.
Or search ‘royalty-free music’ in the iTunes’s store. Depending on the owner, they will ask you to credit them differently.
GarageBand – You also have the option of creating your own musical soundtrack. Using Apples’ digital audio workstation, GarageBand, you can create your own track using their synthesized instruments. It can be as simple as a steady beat with an oboe riff for a scene of a rejected boy walking alone down an urban street; or a recording of you whistling to convey the mood of a person walking through the park.
For a basic GarageBand tutorial, see this site:
There are also a number of sites where you can download all kinds of sound effects. Here are two to start:
http://www.freesound.org/browse/: This is a free-sound-for-credit site that offers both sound effects and ambient sound such as ‘Suburban Garden’ and ‘Restaurant Ambience Tandoori’.
www.soundjay.com: This site very clearly states the terms of reference, stating that “You are allowed to use the sounds free of charge and royalty free in your projects (such as films, videos, games, presentations, animations, stage plays, radio plays, audio books, apps) be it for commercial or non-commercial purposes.” Giving credit is not required for the use of their sound effects.