Video Production

Royalty Free Music Like Skyrim

Let’s take a deep dive into the iconic soundtrack of Skyrim, and find out where you can find similar music for your content

Released in 2011 by Bethesda, Skyrim is a certified classic in the world of video games. Known for its immersive fantasy setting, vast storyline, funny Skyrim mods, and incredible writing and game design, Skyrim has sold over 30 million copies. But it’s not just gameplay and storyline that makes this game so popular, Skyrim is also known for its incredible fantasy soundtrack.

In this article, we’re going to take a deep dive into the origins of the award winning score, and investigate what makes the Skyrim music so good! We’ll also share some recommendations for similar music you can check out.

If you’re looking for music like the Skyrim soundtrack for your YouTube videos, podcast, or other content, look no further than the Accusonus Music Cellar. It’s a totally free source of royalty free music in many different styles. Check it out by hitting the button below!

→ Sign up to our free, royalty-free background music library. Get new tracks every week. Dead simple licensing

Who did the soundtrack for Skyrim?

The Skyrim soundtrack was written by American composer Jeremy Soule. Soule is a prolific composer for film, television and, most notably, video games. 

Who wrote Skyrim music?

As an avid gamers in his youth, and an accomplished pianist and composer, Jeremy Soule believed that the gaming experience could be improved by creating better scores. Acting on this belief he created a portfolio of music to illustrate what he believed game scores should sound like. He sent it to several game studios and two weeks later landed a job as a game composer - since then he has become one of the most acclaimed composers in the video game industry.

Skyrim is the fifth instalment of the Elder Scrolls series, and Soule is also responsible for the soundtracks of the two preceding games in the series: The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind and The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. The Elder Scrolls Skyrim soundtrack is regarded as some of the best game music ever written.

What type of music is Skyrim?

The Skyrim soundtrack consists of predominantly orchestral music. Stylistically it is similar to the soundtracks of many other films, games and TV shows that fall into the fantasy genre. Large orchestras and choirs are used in order to achieve a sense of epicness, and scale - it is a great example of immersive music, transporting you to a fantasy world. 

Skyrim soundtrack composer, Jeremy Soule, recorded a 30 piece male choir for the games epic main theme “Dragonborn”, and layered it three times to create the effect of a 90 person choir. However, though the choir is real, the orchestral instruments in the soundtrack were all recorded digitally by Soule. Instead of recording live instruments Soule played digital instruments himself using a MIDI keyboard.

However, not all the tracks in the Skyrim soundtrack have the same epicness as “Dragonborn”, each piece is designed to play at different points in the game, and so, every song has a mood and tone to fit.

For example, the angelic choral piece “Dawn” only plays when you are outside during the day time, whereas the anxious and epic “Tooth and Claw” plays when you are engaged in a battle. Video game soundtracks have to adapt to what the player is doing, and this is something Soule did expertly well here.

Why is the Skyrim soundtrack so good?

The Skyrim soundtrack is a firm favourite of many gamers and music lovers alike. Though it would be impossible to pin down one aspect of the suite that makes it so good, there are several elements that certainly helped to elevate it to its legendary status.

Firstly, the scale of the soundtrack is truly remarkable. The full Skyrim soundtrack is over three and a half hours long, and so you can be playing for a long time without hearing the same song twice. It also means there is a composition to suit every situation you may encounter perfectly.

Secondly, the soundtrack is expertly composed, produced and mixed. Skyrim had an eye watering budget of $100 million, how much of this was spent on the soundtrack is unknown, but Soule will have had a lot of resources at his fingertips to help make the Skyrim soundtrack the phenomenal work of art that it is. Of course, Soule’s own musical pedigree played a huge part. Soule gained the equivalent of a master’s degree in composition before leaving highschool and is a highly skilled pianist.

Finally, let's give some credit to the wider development team. It’s not just the music that’s so great, but the way it’s used in game as well. Video games have to react fluidly to whatever the player may be doing, and it is the masterful way in which Bethesda programmed Skyrim to play the perfect songs at the perfect moments is what makes the soundtrack as emotional impactful as it is.

Is Skyrim music royalty free?

The music of Skyrim is not royalty free. If you use a song from the soundtrack in your content you are more than likely breaking the law, and you run the risk of getting a copyright strike.

If you find the world of copyright and royalty free music confusing, you’ll find our in-depth guide to royalty free music very useful.

Music like Skyrim atmospheres

If you love the atmospheres of Skyrim, here are a few recommendations of other pieces of music to check out!

Many of the atmospheric tracks in the Skyrim soundtrack could be classed as ambient music. Take, for example, the gorgeous “Beneath The Ice”. With it’s slowly evolving, atmospheric pads, this is a stunning example of ambient music. If you’re looking for more music like this to check out, we recommend the biggest name in ambient music: Brain Eno

Eno is the man who is responsible for the naming of the genre. His seminal album “Ambient 1: Music For Airports” is a stunning listen, however, if you looking for music of his most like Skyrim atmospheres, then check out “Ambient, Vol.2: The Plateaux Of Mirror

If you’re looking for music like the more epic, fantasy style songs on the Skyrim soundtrack, then other fantasy soundtracks are a great place to look. Check out music from The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Dark Souls, and even other games in the Elder Scrolls series such as Oblivion.

Where to find similar songs

If you’re looking for similar songs to Skyrim that you can use in your YouTube videos or podcast, then look no further than the Accusonus Music Cellar. Music Cellar is a totally free music library packed with royalty free music that you can use in your content.

In the Music Cellar you’ll find a wide range of styles of music, including Skyrim fantasy soundtrack style songs. Sign up for Music Cellar for free below.

April 01, 2021
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