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Hello, all.

This thread is meant as a follow-up companion piece to my previous thread listing royalty-free music by Kevin MacLeod that could be usable for new missions for The Dark Mod.

In this thread, I take a slightly different approach. Instead of focusing on one author and his royalty-free music, I'll be writing an ever-expanding list of songs, compositions tracks and ambients by various musical artists that could come in useful for mission makers working on FMs for TDM.

Aside from ambient music for background atmosphere, I'll also be listing some historical music and compositions from the real world's ca 14th-17th century that are in the public domain and could be used as background music in your missions, provided that someone does a royalty-free recording of them (i.e. not released on some payed-for album, but at most a royalty-free album or online collection/archive).

Please note that, though I will try to provide you with links to royalty-free versions of historical compositions in particular, I sometimes might not be sure of the status of some of these recreations/recordings and you'll have to snoop around for their royalty-free status on your own. However, if you do confirm that, e.g. some freelance artist recorded a well-known 16th century piece of music, and is giving it away royalty-free, possibly with the only necessity being attribution, then please let me know and I'll include any download links and the details concerning necessary attribution. Thank you !

And now, it's time to begin...

 

Royalty-free ambients

As in "free to distribute and use (though possibly with attribution)", not necessarily "free of the TDM universe royalty". 😉

List currently To be added (TBA)

 

Historical background music - lute and similar string instruments

La Rossignol ("The Nightingale"} - a Renaissance era piece, anonymous composer. This one was written as an instrumental duet for two musicians. So, if you'd use this for a scene of AI characters playing their instruments, you should use two such characters for added believability.

Here's what the composition sounds like when played as a duet on:

- lute (obviously the most medieval/Renaissance instrumentation)

- acoustic guitar (example 1) and acoustic guitar (example 2)

- 11-string guitar what it sounds when played as a duet on an 11-string guitar

- licensed album version (presumably lute)

If you find any royalty-free version in good quality, let me know.

 

Lachrimae ("Tears", sometimes known as "Seven Teares") by John Dowland - another Elizabethan era piece, by a 16th-17th century composer. Various reconstructions:

- on lute (example solo performance at the Metropolitan Museum)

- on lute, with vocal accompaniment (lutist and female soprano)

on lute, violas, and other (six musician ensemble performance)

- on viola da gamba (five musician ensemble performance)

 

Lachrimae Pavan ("Teary Pavane / Pavane of the Tears") by John Dowland - a variation on the previous composition, for the Renaissance pavane style dance. Various reconstructions:

- on lute

- on acoustic guitar (example 1), (example 2), (example 3)

Again, I'd like to find a royalty-free version of these two compositions.

 

Frog Galliard - one more by Dowland, for now. Another composition for a Renaissance dance style, the galliard. Reconstructions:

- on lute (solo performance)

- on lute, deeper sound (solo performance)

- on acoustic guitar (example 1), (example 2), (example 3)

Royalty-free version would be appreciated.

 

Greensleeves - by an anonymous 16th century author, quite possibly a folk song of the era. Trust me, you know this one, even if you don't know the name. It's one of the most well-known bits of Renaissance secular and courtly music in the popular imagination. (Trust me, it's been referenced in everything. Even the first Stronghold game from the early 2000s had an in-game character sing a made-up ditty to the tune/melody of this song.)

Reconstructions:

- on lute (solo performance)

- classical guitar (solo performance)

- acoustic guitar (solo performance)

I bet there's a royalty-free version of this one somewhere. I'll snoop around, and if you find one before I do, let me know.

 

In taberna quando sumus ("When we are at the tavern") - anonymous period song from the 14th century, of Goliard origin. Written and sung entirely in Latin (so if you can explain Latin within the TDM setting or use only an instrumental version, go for it). An unabashed drinking song, you could use this for more rascally Builder priests/monks or for various commoners and lower-ranking noblemen while they're having a good time at the inn. A pretty well-known song even nowadays (though the most famous melody for it might be the more recent arrangement). Reconstructions:

- example performance 1

- example performance 2

Again, an entirely royalty-free version of this one could come in handy.

 

Historical background music - by Jon Sayles

Jon Sayles is a musician who runs the Free Early and Renaissance Music website. His recordings are in .mp3 format (so you will need a conversion to .ogg and he's made them all freely available. The instrument he used for his musical reconstructions is the classical guitar. Some examples of Sayles' reconstructions of period music by anonymous or known authors:

Saltarello, based on the late-medieval and Renaissance dance tune from Italy

Madrigal by Anthony Holborne

Al fonsina by Johannes Ghiselin

Ich weiss nit by Ludwig Senfl

So ys emprentid by John Bedyngham, mid-1400s

Riu, riu, chiu, famous 15th century Spanish Christmas carol

Fantasia, by Orlando Gibbons, late 16th and early 17th century

Die Katzenpfote, German-speaking lands, anonymous author, 15th century

A gre d'amors, 14th century, anonymous French author

Nightengale (unrelated to La Rossignol), by Thomas Weelkes

El Grillo, 15th to early 16th century composition by Josquin des Prez

The Witches' Dance, by anonymous, Renaissance English composition

Ma fin est mon comencement, by 14th century composer Guillame de Machaut

In Nomine, late 15th and early 16th century composition by John Taverner

Ricercare ("ricker-caré", nothing to do with rice or care), by Adrian Willaert

Fantasia by Thomas Lupo, 16th-17th century English composer

The Nite Watch, composed by Anthony Holborne - appropriate for TDM :D

Plenty more where these came from...

 

Historical background music - from the A-M Classical website

This website offers plenty of freely available, royalty-free .mp3s of early and classical musical compositions and instrumental songs.

The only thing you need to do is provide attribution, as everything on the site is via a Creative Commons license (this is noted on every page).

Counting Christmas songs from the Middle Ages and Renaissance alone, I was able to download loads of them already years and years ago.

Though they're far from epic recordings, if you're just looking for a competently done free version of these compositions, this is an excellent site.

A few examples of medieval music from the A-M Classical site: Angelus ad Virginem (played quietly on organ), Diex soit en cheste maison by Adam de la Halle (organ and other instruments), Greensleeves (this is for a carol version of the lyrics, but the melody is the same as standard Greensleeves)

 

Historical background music - by Vox Vulgaris

The Swedish band/ensemble Vox Vulgaris aren't very active nowadays, but they did plenty of early music recording in the early-to-mid 2000s. From what I've read about their song releases, they're okay with others using the songs from their 2003 album and other material they've done. I don't know if their website is still around (there's an archived version) and whether you can still contact the band members, but if you'd like to be extra sure and ask, go ahead. I don't think they've changed their copyleft stance to their own works, but it pays off to be sure.

So, here are some of VV's own takes on period music:

Cantiga 166 - based on the eponymous song (full title "Cantiga 166 - Como póden per sas culpas (os homés seer contreitos)"), by Spanish composer Alphonso X from the 13th century (yes, king Alphonso X ! They didn't call him Alphonso the Learned for nothing). To provide you with a point of comparison, here, here and here are versions by other artists. (If I remember correctly, this particular VV song was also used by moonbo in his Requiem FM, as part of an inn's muffled background music. I did a real double-take when I played the mission for the first time and recognised it.)

Cantiga 213 - based on the eponymous song (full title "Cantiga 213 - Quen sérve Santa María, a Sennor mui verdadeira"), again by Spanish composer, king Alphonso X from the 13th century. To provide you with a point of comparison, here and here are versions by other artists. 

Saltarello - based on the well-known melody for the Italian late-medieval Renaissance dance, the saltarello (also the saltarello trotto specifically in this case). To provide you a point of comparison, here and here are versions by other artists.

La Suite Meurtrière - I can't quite source this one, it might be their own original composition, though "in the style of" some particular period music.

Rókatánc (Fox Dance) - this is a really wild bit of period dance and festive music, possibly Hungarian-inspired, given the name. I think this would fit both a tavern environment or some public event for the nobility and patricians, including an armed sparring tournament or similar.

 

Final note from me

New suggestions are always welcome as I expand this thread. For any suggestions concerning Kevin MacLeod's royalty-free music, please use the other thread I've already made, purely for listing MacLeod's stuff.

Edited by Petike the Taffer
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A little random but coming back to TDM's origins, the sounds, ambients created by Trent Reznor for Doom 3 are impressive. The monsters may be useful in particular if you are not happy with stock TDM monster sounds.

https://download.cnet.com/Doom-3-Trent-Reznor-sound-pack/3000-7441_4-10309314.html

Trent Reznor talking about his experience with Doom at 5:43:

It can fit perfectly to many TDM FM's.  Including the monster sounds.

Edited by Anderson

"I really perceive that vanity about which most men merely prate — the vanity of the human or temporal life. I live continually in a reverie of the future. I have no faith in human perfectibility. I think that human exertion will have no appreciable effect upon humanity. Man is now only more active — not more happy — nor more wise, than he was 6000 years ago. The result will never vary — and to suppose that it will, is to suppose that the foregone man has lived in vain — that the foregone time is but the rudiment of the future — that the myriads who have perished have not been upon equal footing with ourselves — nor are we with our posterity. I cannot agree to lose sight of man the individual, in man the mass."...

- 2 July 1844 letter to James Russell Lowell from Edgar Allan Poe.

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