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Royalty Free Music - A History

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How did Royalty Free Music come into being?

Royalty free music is a term which has evolved as a result of individuals and companies who, in most cases are attempting to circumvent the high costs inherent in creating original music for motion pictures, tv production, video production, and other types of general multimedia production and film production.

Buyout music; background music; foreground music, needle drop, music library, production music library, are a number of the terms that mean basically the same thing; acquiring existing music at a fixed, one time, charge, to be used in conjunction with some type of production, film, television or otherwise, that requires music.

Since the beginning of time, some type of 'music', perhaps a primal rhythm of some type, has been used to convey thought or feelings, or evoke emotion.

The sophistication of music improved as time passed.

The ability to enjoy music performances, in any other manner than the live performance, did not exist until the early part of the 20th century, when the advent of primitive recording devices enabled people to listen to archived musical performances, albeit in very primitive forms.

People who enjoy classical music now, in the 21st century, have undoubtedly heard their favorite symphonies, on more occasions than the composer who actually wrote the composition.

There was no such thing as recorded music; complete symphony orchestras, with every instrument that was written into the score, were not something that occurred with great regularity.

That, combined with the short life expectancy of the time, meant that many composers who have been immortalized with time, rarely, and sometimes never, actual heard some of their greatest works performed.

Some of the music written in the 1500's is used in film , television and video production today, hundreds of years later, because it it able to evoke the emotions which the composer intended; plaintiff, wistful, poignant, with a sense of despair and longing, or perhaps happy, festive, hopeful and positive.

Although musicians have been used routinely, throughout history, to provide entertainment, rarely were they seen as anything other than second class citizens, whose contributions to society and culture were not seen as being significant, substantive, or of real purpose.

Many of the worlds most eminent composers, died penniless.

Bach's wife wrapped fish, using original pages of his musical scores.

The largest payment that, Stephen Foster, who wrote such standards as 'Oh Susanna', ever received during his lifetime, for his musical writing endeavors, was $18.00.

Even though he wrote some of the most well known standards, in the early American idiom, he was not able to support himself as a writer of music, and had to work in more traditional settings, to try and make ends meet.

As America started to develop, and it's people started migrating to the west, it was common for people to entertain themselves by playing the banjo and fiddle as forms of entertainment.

Singers, accompanied by piano players, were common in many countries.

Shortly after the invention of the first recording device, people started to record performances of musical performances and vocal performances, that could then be played again and again, as desired.

When the first motion pictures were screened, there was no recorded music or voice track to accompany the filmed images. Piano players, would watch the story play out on the screen, and perform music that would convey the feel of what the action would dictate in terms of mood etcetera........

Most of these early moving pictures were either comedies, or mellow dramas, and the music was quite predictable.

As the technologies gradually changed, the degree of sophistication in the music that was used to accompany films, also improved.

Within a relatively short amount of time, the sound track that accompanied a motion picture, became a key component; an integral part of the experience; success or failure, of any given motion picture.

Films, without the music, simply did not evoke the same type and degree of emotion, that films that had great film scoring, with the music, did.

Imagine seeing movies which are regarded as classics, throughout film history, without the music.

Can you imagine what "Dr.Zhivago" would have been like, or, "The Way We Were", if the images on the screen had not been accompanied by the poignant, evocative music that helped access the feelings of the viewer

Music is an invaluable asset and component to motion pictures, or video productions.

With the success of both motion pictures, and the film scores that accompanied them, the costs involved in production have skyrocketed.

While the attendant risks involved in producing high budget films may sometimes pay off , there are many times in which the monies expended, are never recouped.

The fees paid to actors for some of these major productions may make recouping the costs very, very difficult, if not entirely unlikely.

Madonna's remake of "Swept Away", grossed less than one million dollars during it's first week of release.

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez reportedly received something in the vicinity of twenty five million dollars for their performances in "Gigli", which cost a total of fifty four million dollars to produce, only to have the film come out, and also gross less than one million dollars during it's first week of release.

The cost of filming in the United States, has also become an issue, driving many film, television and production companies to take their productions across the border, or to other countries.

An area in which film, television and production companies have started to reduce expenses is in the production of the music score; the film score.

This has become possible as companies that provide royalty free music; music which can be purchased with a one time charge- have come into existence.

Award Winning Music is the quintessential source for all types royalty free music; background music, production music, buyout music; needle drop music, as well as original music for films, music scores, video production, music on hold and all other types of production music.

The entire catalogue may be previewed by browsing our music library.

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