Finding Online Music for Digital Media Projects

By Crystal VanKooten

Finding music to use as part of your digital media projects can be tricky: you need music that is engaging for audiences, can argue or back up a point, is free for reuse and modification, and is quick to find. For those looking for online music to use in a digital video or audio composition, here are some useful links and sites!

Dig at ccmixter.org. CCMixter is a community music remixing site that features music that is licensed under Creative Commons. All of the songs on the site can be used in your projects, but some songs have certain restrictions depending on what kind of Creative Commons license they hold. Each song on the site is clearly marked with a Creative Commons license that stipulates how you can use it. Here is more information about CCMixter and Creative Commons.

Listen to and download music from musopen.org. Focused primarily on classical and instrumental music, Musopen’s mission is “to set music free,” and they provide a large royalty free music catalog, sheet music, resources for music educators, and even a free radio station of classical music! You can search their archives by composer, performer, instrument, period, or form.

Find music through freeplaymusic.com. FreePlay allows free downloads for specific circumstances, including personal use on Youtube and classroom uses. To use the site, you are required to make an account, select a license type, and accept the terms of a license agreement that stipulates your use of the music. Here is more information about FreePlay and how the website works.

What additional sites do you use to find music for your projects?

Hypermediacy as filmic technique

By Justin Hodgson

A few years ago I was fortunate to have a colleague share this 2013 video short by Patrick Cederberg & Walter Woodman. Noah was created for a film class that Cederberg and Woodman were in while students at Ryerson University in Toronto, and it demonstrates not only the amazing work students do, but, just as importantly, how new modes and means of mediation allow for the telling of new kinds of narratives.

WARNING: Mature content

I regularly use this film in my multimedia composition courses because the entire thing is shot on a desktop (minus a few smart phone scenes). Or rather, it is represented from the perspective of the desktop so as to give the sense that everything we see is being facilitated through a computer screen. Cederberg and Woodman not only capture a cultural moment for a particular age group, but they demonstrate how hypermediacy can be experienced as an authentic mediated experience. By saturating us with multiple media streams as a form of montage, they are able not only to foreground the mediation involved, but to provide narrative detail and movement in dynamic ways. As such, when I show this in class we spend most of our time focusing on the media representation central to the film, how it was potentially created, and how it reflects certain cultural practices. We do, of course,spend a few minutes talking about the narrative arc of Noah, but what fascinates me is the mix of media central to the narrative and the ways in which Cederberg and Woodman created tension for viewers through controlled and yet frantic movements between media streams on the screen.