What is Production Music?

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Have you ever wondered where the music from your favorite TV shows and movies comes from? Well, there’s a good chance it came from a production music library. Production music libraries are catalogues of readily available music that allow producers and music supervisors to select pieces to be used to score their films, television shows, advertisements, and web content. Today’s libraries typically feature a broad range of musical styles and genres, which are categorized specifically by mood and feel, to streamline the process of matching music to picture. Often, using production music is quicker, less complicated, and more affordable than commissioning a composer to write a piece from scratch. In fact, our Creative Content team at B&H relies on a pioneering music-production library by the name of De Wolfe Music for all the musical scores in our original content, such as our videos and podcasts.

De Wolfe Music’s founder, Meyer de Wolfe, first developed the concept of production music in 1909. In those early days, De Wolfe offered a sheet-music library of original compositions to accompany silent films. He personally selected scores for early silent epics like The Dishonoured Medal (1914), a film by the pioneering director D.W. Griffith, and Kenean Buel’s production of Rider Haggard’s She (1915), as well as the original Prisoner of Zenda, for Adolph Zukor, one of the eventual founders of Paramount Pictures.

Fast-forward to today, and De Wolfe Music is the longest-running independent film and television music library resource in the world. If you’ve ever seen Hidden Figures, Master of None, Transparent, Dawn of The Dead, Mr. Robot, Boardwalk Empire, Breaking Bad, Monty Python and The Holy Grail, or The Walking Dead, then you’ve heard some of De Wolfe’s music.

In addition to movies and TV, De Wolfe has provided music for some of the most memorable advertising campaigns in history and, in recent years, has crossed over into the realm of pop music, having been sampled by the likes of Drake, Beyonce, Mark Ronson, Gorillaz, Lily Allen, Madlib, DJ Premier, and Ghostface Killah. Countless radio programs have used De Wolfe for signature tunes, background music, talk show themes, dramatic moments, chart show countdowns, and commercials. The company also licenses its music for use in video games, mobile apps, Internet commercials, and Web shows. With a vast catalogue of more than 80,000 tracks, De Wolfe Music continues to produce high-quality music with many highly regarded composers and musicians, one hundred years from its humble beginnings in Edwardian-era England.

So, if you’re a content creator, by this point you might be wondering how you can license production music from De Wolfe. It’s very simple—right from the De Wolfe website. With keyword searching for tracks, playlist functions, and direct downloads, De Wolfe makes it easy to search through its entire production music library, so you can find exactly what you’re seeking. The friendly staff is also available to help you navigate the world of sync licensing, and help you find music for any production you are working on.

Have we answered some of your questions about production music? I encourage you to share your thoughts in the Comments section, below.

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