What is Background Music?
We identify background music as music that is broadcast with the intention of being passively heard by the listener. Maybe this simple definition is universally accepted … or maybe not. What is clear is that this definition refers to the accessory and passive nature of the use of background music. In other words, this type of music will never be the protagonist in the situation it is placed in. It will always have an indirect and environmental effect on the listener. The music will be heard in the background. The public will not be totally consciously aware of its presence.
If we go back to the origin of the use of songs as background or mood music, we will find two different contexts:
- Background music as ambient music, mood music or situational background music
- Background music for videos, movies, theatre, video games, public events and presentations
The Use of Background Music in Video
The origin of background music for videos was seen in the first soundtracks for film productions, that is, in cinematographic or incidental music. We are talking about the end of the 19th century! At this time, back in 1895, the first attempt was made to introduce a phonograph simultaneously to the film projector. In this way, a musical accompaniment to a film was created, which, until that moment, was unthinkable. It was Thomas Edison, who in 1896 invented the Kinetophone, a device that synchronised the mechanics of the projector with the mechanics of the phonograph. This device, which if we saw it now would make us laugh, was revolutionary! It was the beginning of what we know today as soundtracks, incidental or background music.
The Use of Background Music as Ambient Music
Although the origin of this use of music is less clear than the one already explained, informally we found the first background music used in this sense was called elevator music at the time. You may ask ‘What does an elevator have to do with this? ‘. Well, with the construction of the first skyscrapers, the trip to the top in the elevator was quite a long journey. You have to think that the elevators were not the same as now. Don’t forget either that there was even an elevator operator, who was the person who worked inside the elevator making it go up, down, or stand…. For young people now this is inconceivable!
Now you can probably better imagine the role of music in an elevator: relax the traveller and make him think that the elevator would never fail. (Yes, unfortunately before elevators were much less reliable than they are now.)
You can see how background music has always been used as a pleasant distraction. Breaking awkward silences and hiding other sounds are the main objectives in this use of music. If you’re not convinced, ask the neuromarketing experts of the 21st century who have extensively studied this.
Types of Background Music
Ambient Music or Mood Music
Currently, the use of music in establishments, shops and businesses is a real science. Neuromarketing studies measure the direct relationship between ambient music or mood music, musical style or genre, rhythm, time of day, volume, and any other variable you can imagine against customer consumption. How clients behave with music and without music in many situations has been studied and compared.
We, as professionals in the field for many years, will always recommend the use of background music in any business. We believe that it is something that integrates very positively, both for the potential client and for the company’s employees, as it will without a doubt create a better working environment too. There is no better marketing tool than music. There is actually a saying that says “turn up the volume and start selling!”
Background Music for Videos, Theatre, Public Events, Video Games and Presentations
Any audiovisual or video material should have music. It is a necessary element in any audiovisual content. This includes background music for videos, music for corporate presentations, or productions such as accompaniment music or musical backgrounds. Any song, sound or music, synchronised with audiovisual material is background music and should not be overlooked.
How can I download background music for videos?
We currently have two notable options for downloading background music for videos. We have one-time payment options, and on the other hand, we will have completely free options. Here we explain both:
Music Licences Explained
We live in the digital age, immersed in the Internet, in the world of downloads, royalties, copyright, and any content that may be protected by the intellectual property of the author.
The artistic scene has changed and creators have been looking for new ways of taking advantage of their musical works. The key to this is called the Internet.
When taking the payment option, the authors of the songs have decided to license their work for an amount of money. It is their work, their time, and it is fair that they demand remuneration for their work. As they say…. we all have mouths and we all eat! Depending on the intended use of a song, one fee or another will be required. It will not be the same rate if we are going to publish a song in a television spot worldwide, than if we are going to create a small advertising spot for a local business. The scope is not the same, and naturally, the price of the License will vary.
Free Music – Under Free Licenses or Creative Commons
This option is free, however, it is not the best. We will explain why… Here the authors have decided to license their works for free use and the music is Copyright Free (Copyleft). Depending on the type of license offered by the author, you will either be assigning all rights or only some rights to the song. The creator may assign the rights for free use on the condition that it is never used for commercial … The creator will also decide whether or not to grant rights for the transformation of their work in any way… These are the particularities of Creative Commons Licenses and there are different options offered by all authors and creators.
We hope that all the information provided here has been useful, and if you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact the Free Music Projects team, where we will always be happy to help you.