Digital Slideshow Music Guidelines and Resources

  • If you wish to post your slideshows to the internet (your website, Facebook, YouTube, etc.) you will need to use music that follows Internet copyright laws allowing it to be played on websites. You have several options:
  • Use music that you have explicit permission from the copyright holder to use this way.
  • Note that downloading a song or buying a CD does not give you permission to use the music in this manner. You must have a specific license to use it for a slideshow.
  • Use music that is in the public domain (both composition and performance).
  • Use royalty-free music that you’ve formally licensed for this purpose.
  • Use royalty-free music that’s freely usable for non-commercial purposes. See below for a list of places where you can preview and download music under these terms.
  • Note that many free sites require that you credit the maker and publisher in your show. They often provide very specific language that you need to add to a slide (usually at the end of the show).
  • You can edit the music in that you can shorten the track as needed to fit your show. You can add fades at the beginning and end of the track to improve the transitions between multiple tracks if needed.

For 2023, the NWCCC Digital Slideshow Competition will continue to allow entries with commercial music, but they may not be eligible for posting on the NWCCC website.

Sources for free royalty-free music (as of August 2023) Note: link doesn’t always work, but you can copy and paste this URL into your browser.

This list is not exhaustive. Note that some of these sites have both paid and free music, so pay close attention to the fine print. In some cases, the music is free only if it’s for non-commercial purposes (which would include the Digital Slideshow Competition). If you don’t find quite what you’re looking for, try a web search on “free royalty-free music” plus whatever additional search term you’re looking for. Example: “free royalty-free music bagpipe” might bring up some more specific sites.