Classical music is far from old-school – it’s the fastest-growing genre in the world right now. If you want to give your content a cinematic feel, check out these tips and tricks.
Why classical music?
Despite being associated with the 18th and 19th century, classical music is still cutting edge. From modern classical to chamber music, string quartets to epic classical, the genre is in rude health. The sheer variety of classical music means you can use it to soundtrack pretty much any visual content, no matter the mood.
At Epidemic Sound, we work with a roster of top-tier classical musicians to help create the best royalty-free tracks for your content. If you want to know how to use it, don’t worry. Our music curation manager, Siri Winter, gave us 3 top tips for nailing the vibe with classical music in your content.
3 ways to make your content pop with cinematic music
1: Match the sound to the shot
Wide shots work well with bigger sounds, like building strings or grand orchestral swells. For closer shots, smaller sounds would be more appropriate, like delicate piano or some woodwind. Feel free to experiment and match disjointed music with your footage – just make sure you’re doing it for the right reason! Otherwise, your visuals won’t sit right with the soundtrack and may derail the mood you’re going for.
2: Know when to dial the music down
As Weezer once said, ‘If it’s too loud, turn it down.’ Music should complement the dialogue, not overpower it. For videos with voiceover, consider using tracks with less melodic activity. If people are straining to hear what’s being said once you add a track, you’ll need to make some adjustments.
3: Nail the mood with stems
Don’t be afraid to manipulate your tracks if they’re not quite capturing the mood. You can download the stems for each of Epidemic Sound’s 40,000+ tracks, covering melody, instrument, bass and drums. If a track is too overpowering, think about isolating the melody stem or removing the drum stem to change the impact of the track. Do what works for you and use stems to take control of your soundtrack.
Interested? Check out our catalog of 40,000 royalty-free tracks and 90,000 sound effects below, or head to our hand-picked playlists for cinematic production. We’ve got you covered.
You wanted more? Consider yourself served. We chatted with one of Epidemic Sound’s music creators, classical composer Christoffer Moe Ditlevsen, to get some more tips.
With a Bachelor’s Degree in Sound Design and more than 14 billion accumulated views of YouTube videos that include his music, he’s more than qualified to discuss the rise of classical music, what inspires him, and how you can use tracks like his to take your content to the next level. Holed up in his apartment in Southern Sweden, surrounded by musical trinkets and memorabilia, we chatted all things classical with Christoffer.
A classical composer’s take on cinematic music in content
You’re well known for classical music, but a little birdie told us you’re a huge fan of extreme metal, too. How does that track?
C: I'm a big metal fan. There's a lot of death metal and black metal going on every day for me. It's super complex stuff – you have to be really skilled to do it. Especially in black metal, there can be a lot of symphonic elements incorporated, like an orchestra and classical instruments. So, kind of a big difference, but there are of course a lot of similarities between metal and classical!
What are your thoughts on classical music becoming one of Epidemic Sound’s most trending genres on YouTube?
C: It makes me super happy that it’s getting the attention it deserves. There are a lot of layers in classical music. There's something for everyone and that's why it's popular.
What’s the most important thing when incorporating music with visuals?
C: If you know what you're going to score, try to connect the music to the feelings or mood of whatever material you have. Try to capture the feelings and mediate them so the viewer can feel them too. It’s all about enhancement. Whether it’s tension, love, or excitement, try to channel it through the music.
Do you have a favorite movie soundtrack?
C: I'm a big action movie nerd, so I have classic action movie scenes in my head when I create music. ‘Die Hard,’ ‘Lethal Weapon’ and movies like that. But I don't think there's a movie that has the best soundtrack. I think there are soundtracks that are the best for certain movies. I have a lot of favorites. If I were to name one movie, I'd probably say ‘Leon.’ Also, the movie that made me interested in film music is the Swedish film ‘Jägarna’ (‘The Hunters,’) which has beautiful music by a flutist called Björn J:son Lindh.
What’s the most powerful way you’ve seen your music being used so far?
C: I had a sync at Madison Square Garden in New York. It was their first-ever female boxing match, and my song was in a training montage for one of the boxers. There was also a guy who used one of my tracks for a timelapse showing protesters demanding freedom for the people of Iran. Those both made me super proud.
Speaking of your music, which tracks you’ve released with Epidemic Sound are you most proud of?
C: The ones we haven't released yet! But the song I'm most proud of that has been released is probably the latest one, ‘The Dawning.’ It’s a collab with Anna Dager and Hanna Ekström, two fantastic string players.
So, there you have it. Classical music is here to stay, and there’s no reason you can’t get a slice of the pie with Epidemic Sound.
Our music is more than just royalty-free. What sets us apart is that we own all rights to our music, which means we can offer users a direct license. Synchronization rights, mechanical rights and public performance rights? All included. Additional fees or royalties? Forget about it.
More than royalty-free. More like worry-free. Check out the 30-day free trial below, dig into our curated playlist for inspiration, and start soundtracking your content with top-tier classical bangers today!