Choosing Library Music

There is a huge amount of production music available today, instantly accessible from the comfort of your own laptop. Many libraries are “royalty free”, but they are often niche-y as to what they contain, and the quality is highly variable.  “Royalty free” does not actually mean “free”, as these libraries generally have license fees and sometimes unique rules about how their music can be used.

Generally the best quality, most variety and easiest search process comes from the larger production music libraries. Which library you choose and how the video will ultimately be used (in-house, broadcast, for sale, Internet, etc.) will determine the licensing fees.

Some of the many considerations for choosing library music are:

  • The role(s) the music will play in supporting the story or message
  • Who your audience is
  • The musical style, instrumentation and tone that best supports your program
  • How you want the music to effect the audience’s experience
  • How the the pacing and fullness of the musical arrangements works with the visuals and/or spoken voice

Once you have narrowed down your choices, there are still other considerations: Is the piece long enough? If not, is it interesting enough to survive lengthening it by looping?  What kind of changes happen throughout? If the piece has a section that all of a sudden doesn’t seem to work, can you work around that?  How does the piece start and end?

Happy Hunting! – or contact me and I can help with this! 🙂