Music can add emotion and excitement to your story. I tend not to use music with the local stories we have made for the Ranui Residents Association, because it can override the voice, because it can take time to find the right piece and because copyright can be fraught.
Generally it’s ok to use music that is 50 years old (i.e. out of copyright) and it’s ok to use copyrighted music as long as you don’t share it publicly, for example something shared at a funeral or tangi is pretty much ok.
For this video, made for my friend Bella, I added Dobie Gray’s Drift Away to the end where I added a series of images representing aspects of her life. There was a bit of a tangi singalong by the end of the story. I made another version and added Nick Cave’s Breathless – music that Bells liked. Both songs really lifted the story and gave it an ending that allowed us to remember her with joy.
You can find free music sites – some listed here.
This site from Creative Commons Legal Music for Videos is useful.
This wikipedia site List of countries’ copyright lengths may also be useful. Note for NZ it’s 50 years after creation.
As with images you should credit any music you use. Of course it’s best to make your own – using Garage Band, an Apple Mac application or by recording a song using Audacity or a more sophisticated application.
Most importantly, however, consider the time and effort in finding music when the voice of the speaker can be an effective sound.