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Music and Sound Effects:


Music is often used in videos. It can be an important element to maximize the impact of your video. But, it is not absolutely necessary. A good video does not have to have music. If you do decide to use music in your video, here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing your music:


  • The music you choose should complement the story. It is another layer of the narrative that is helping to communicate the message of your video. It can help convey a sense of time and place and set the emotional tone. For example, many people have used music from their native homelands to help tell their, or their family’s, immigration stories with beautiful results. 

  • Make sure that the music complements, rather than interfering with the emotional tone of your video. For example, a video about loss should not have festive music.  

  • Special effects can also be part of your soundtrack. Sounds such as horns beeping, a crowd cheering, crickets at night, dogs barking or alarm clocks can be successfully incorporated into your video in the post-production phase.

  • When the music has lyrics, make sure that the lyrics do not contradict the overall message of the story. Unless this is your intention.

  • Lyrics can interfere with listening to your voiceover. It might be better to avoid music with lyrics if you plan on using a voiceover.

  • If you are planning to use a voiceover, you will want the music to fade into the background as the voiceover plays.

  • Remember that the music and sound that you choose, if any, will affect the mood of your video. The volume should be soft enough to hear any voiceover you do.


The websites below provide digital music tracks that can be used in your video. Many of these sites provide music under a Creative Commons license. This is when musicians give away their music for certain non-commercial purposes or put their music in the public domain where it can be used without any restrictions. Some sites let you use music without any restrictions, others require you to include a citation to the music or website where you found it. You should always carefully review the "about" pages where you will find the Terms of Use for each site to make sure that you follow their guidelines when including music from these sites in your video. 


How Creative Commons Licenses Work: 


Information about Creative Commons Music License:


Free Music Archives:


You Tube Audio Library-No Copyright Music:


You Tube-Music for Creators:




Terms of Use:


Free Music Archive: 


FAQ about Legal Music: 


Free Music Public Domain: 


Music resources for your videos:

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