Library music (sometimes referred to as “production music” or “stock music”) generally refers to music that has been composed and recorded for commercial purposes and which is licensed not through the composer but the library for which it has been recorded. This means it is much easier and cheaper to use in a movie or TV show than a hit song, which requires copyright clearance from the songwriter and record label, and, in some cases, separate clearances depending on the countries in which the work will be screened. Library music cuts out the middleman, but it also means that most of it can be licensed to any number of projects, so occasionally while scanning through the Killer Tracks archives I’d get this uncanny “Where have I heard that before?” twinge, until I realized it was from, say, a local furniture commercial, or maybe the corporate-diversity video my colleagues and I sat through last week. For anyone who keeps up with pop culture, browsing through certain corners of the Killer Tracks catalog is like traipsing through a bizarre shadow world full of easily identifiable doppelgängers.
more from Lindsay Zoladz at The Believer here.