Tag Archives: creativecommons

Narration and Music

By Autumn R. Neal

The introduction video to the Edgar Snow Project was always meant to have narration and I knew from the beginning that I did not want to record the audio myself. It would be awkward hearing your own voice over and over as you’re trying to perfectly edit an audio track. Initially, I thought I’d ask one of my classmates to record it until I had a groundbreaking idea. Actually, it wasn’t groundbreaking and I should have thought of it long before I did. My good friend, Erika Baker, is a theatre actress in local Kansas City theatre so I asked if I could hire her in exchange for some baked goods. I already had some audio editing software and an external microphone so she came over and after a couple practice runs we had a nice audio track.


In reality, we had some technical difficulties and, in the end, recorded one long track full of errors and laughter which I edited out later. I’ve been working on layering the voice and music tracks and attempting to artfully match them up with the scrolling photos. Over the past few weeks, I had tried to have a couple other people record the audio but it didn’t work out. Throughout those attempts though, I learned that a lot of people in their mid-twenties do not know who Mao Zedong is and don’t know how to pronounce his name. Granted, they weren’t history majors, but I think he’s a pretty important historical figure. Is this an example of why we need public history?

Music and Copyright

By Autumn R. Neal

I thought the Edgar Snow Project intro video would be more interesting with an audio track of traditional or semi-traditional Chinese music so I’ve been looking for some recently. In Digital History last semester we learned that you can’t use just any audio track even if you give the author credit. I’ll try to explain it, but I am not an expert in this area so bear with me. The majority of music, photos, films, and any other created products are under copyright. If you want to use them you have to purchase a license which can cost a ton of money.

Foto3Foto4However, there is an organization called Creative Commons which allows people to create and share their digital products under their own terms. Some of these items can’t be used for commercial means unless you purchase a license, but some can be used as long as you don’t build upon them (using audio in a video with scrolling images would be considered building upon them) and others can be used, edited, and built upon in any way as long as you credit the original author. There are a lot of sites with CC music, but you’ll have to sort through a lot of tracks in search of the perfect one. If you’re interested in reading more about copyright, check out my blog post “No One Can Do to Disney, Inc. What Walt Disney Did to the Brothers Grimm”.