17 Best Sites to Find Free Creative Commons & Royalty free Music
Music completes any interactive creative work. Whether you are working on a film, a presentation, a podcast, or even creating a music app, the audio content can elevate the entire viewing and listening experience. In this world that consumes tens of hours of video content regularly, background music and sound effects play a vital role. Have you made a video recently? Are you looking for ways to edit it to perfection?
If you are passionate about music and looking for a background score for your next big production, you must have explored the Internet for free royalty-free music. And, like most beginners, you may even have had trouble finding suitable sites for copyright-free music. The Internet is a rich resource of free-to-use stuff like free photo editing software, free stock photos, free online courses, and more! Among these free resources, you can also find great resources for royalty-free music.
I wrote this blog to provide you with a comprehensive list of sites to download Creative Commons music for free. However, before we get into the list, let us answer a few questions often asked about Creative Commons music.
What is Creative Commons music?
Creative Commons is a company that issues special licenses to the public, letting them use creative materials like photos, music, videos, and more for free. The company has already licensed more than two billion such creative works.
There are different types of licenses for Creative Commons music which define how you can use the creative work, and as long as you adhere to the conditions, the work is free to use.
What is royalty free music?
Royalty-free music is a type of licensing that lets the purchaser buy the music license only once and then use it for as long as they need. Royalty-free music is not always free. It only means the music is free of any royalties.
17 best websites to get free creative commons music and royalty-free music for free
There are several resources for finding free music for commercial use, but still, most people often ask questions like where can I find royalty free music for free, and how do I find Creative Commons songs?
So here’s the list of sites for free Creative Commons music and royalty free songs you can use for your next video.
YouTube Audio Library
YouTube is the largest video-sharing website where content creators find their audience, and consumers can find the content they want to see. However, YouTube is a lot more than just that. For example, the YouTube Audio Library has hundreds of Creative Commons licensed tracks that you can download for free and use in any of your videos or projects while following the rules of use mentioned in the license.
The search filter lets you look for music based on super-specific criteria like genre, duration, and even instruments. You can also do a simple search on YouTube for Creative Commons music and see multiple channels that offer licensed Creative Commons tracks free for you to download and use.
The platform has more than 256 million songs and is an excellent platform for those who want to share their music or podcasts. The easiest way to find free Creative Commons music is by following their profile on Soundcloud and choosing from the hundreds of songs they have listed.
The other way is to look for royalty-free music by searching on Soundcloud and using the appropriate filters. Just click the CC button and choose what you want to use and how.
ccMixter is an online platform for sharing remixes and dig.ccMixter is its index. The platform is apt for anyone looking for free-to-use music because all the music on the platform is licensed under Creative Commons.
Using dig.ccMixter, you can filter your search by license type, which is impossible in ccMixter. On dig.ccMixter, the music is already sorted into categories, and you can easily find free music for commercial use for your projects.
Free Music Archive
Free Music Archive or FMA is a project from the Netherlands-based company Tribe of Noise which supports independent artists. The platform has more than 150,000 tracks from independent artists.
You can simply search for the kind of music you are looking for, then add filters like license type, genre, instrument, mood, and more.
An excellent resource for free Creative Commons music, Incompetech lets you download almost every piece of music on the platform. The platform has full search functionality with granular filters like duration, tempo, genre, and more.
The other option is to look at the pre-curated collections for specific tastes. Every music piece has details like license type and the attribution terms that must be followed if you choose to use it for your project.
Freesound is a great platform when you do not want to use a whole piece for your project and are looking for specialized sound effects like a particular instrument. Freesound is your best bet.
It is a musical database with everything from music samples to sound effects, audio recordings, and more! Even better, everything is available under the Creative Commons license.
You can search for terms like “wind-like,” and you will get search results that match wind sounds. With advanced search options, you can use filters like tags, duration, etc. Each music file includes details like the license type, file type, bit rate, and more.
Musopen is a unique platform that aims to make musical content educational. The platform has a rich collection of musical recordings, sheet music, textbooks, and even works of legends like Beethoven, Bach, and more.
You can search for your preferred music directly on the site catalog or explore collections by composer, genre, instrument, time period, etc.
Jamendo - the independent music community, is great for finding indie artists. The platform has a broad range of music, from instrumental music to background tracks and even full albums.
All the Creative Commons music listed on the platform is generally free to download for personal use. However, if you want to use it for commercial purposes, you may have to get a Jamendo license.
ccTrax is a site dedicated to Creative Commons music focusing on electronic genres. You can filter your search by Creative Commons license type, tag, music genre, and more. Almost all the tracks on the platform are royalty-free. The best part is that you can download single tracks or full albums from the site without even logging in!
The website has a collection of music entirely in the public domain. This means you can use everything from this site in any way you want, without any attribution.
Though you can download and use everything on the site for free, if you want to bulk download all the MP3 and WAV files from FreePD, you can do so by paying a small fee.
To use any music on Audionautix, all you need to do is provide attribution. Even though everything is available for free, you can donate to support the website. You can download more high-quality music by getting a subscription.
All music on the platform is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license, which means it is free to use, share, and remix commercially.
If you are looking for some free music when you are editing a video, Freeplay Music is an excellent resource for you. With over 15,000 musical pieces, the platform has categorized music as genres like Hip Hop, R&B, etc., and moods like romantic, melancholic, etc.
Bensound is an excellent platform if you are looking for music for your commercial or an animated short. The platform curated by a single individual has everything from acoustic to cinematic, from electronic to world, and more!
The homepage has a list of royalty-free music. You can sort it as per your preference and preview or download music with just one click.
The platform has a diverse collection of sound loops, beats, and more interesting sound effects, which make it a fantastic place for DJs. Almost all the music pieces listed on iBeat are available under the Creative Commons license. You can see the detailed attribution information on the information page of each musical piece. You can download any musical piece in multiple formats like MP3, WAV, and more.
Bandcamp is a great platform for Indie artists who can publish and promote their musical compositions here. It lets the artists list their work under the Creative Commons license while providing the attribution details for each musical piece.
You can search for the kind of music you require easily with many useful filters, for example, the Creative Commons license type, among other things.
A Japanese non-profit netlabel, Bump Foot, has two distinct sides of its music catalog. The Bump side features more Techno and House music, while the Foot side features more ambient and IDM music.
All the music pieces on Bump Foot are under Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share-Alike license. It means you can download and use any of the tracks on the platform as long as you credit the creator and do not make any money from it.
The Internet Archive is a non-profit library with free books, audiobooks, movies, music, and more. If you are looking for suitable audio for your next video project, you simply need to click on the Audio button on the Internet Archives to check out all the free music and audiobooks. Use the advanced filters and categories to look for the type of audio content you want and search among the 7 million recordings available in the library.
With all these free Creative Commons music resources at your disposal, the sky is your limit. You can create and edit musical pieces, make a music app, create a streaming website, and even use the music you like for your work presentations and podcasts. What would you do first?
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