Stock Music Musicians: Hidden in Plain Sight

Next time you’re watching your favorite reality TV show, pay attention to the short musical interludes sprinkled throughout. Those short pieces are created and sold by musicians like Evan Oxhorn who, in his youth, took piano lessons and played bass and guitar. While playing in bands through college and beyond, his real passion was for writing songs. And now, wielding his computer, keyboard, guitar and the right software, his music is being heard by more people than he could have imagined and he’s getting paid for it.

Evan is a stock music musician. He creates generic songs and music beds that are designed to be used for backgrounds in videos, emotional guideposts in TV shows and any other application that requires music of a certain type. To date, he estimates he’s created somewhere around 400 tunes.

“I wrote my first song, probably in the second or third grade with a friend,” he recalls. “We called it Gerbils Like to Fly. I’ve pretty much been hooked on recording since then. It was a really primitive sort of computer system that he had. Then later on, I got a little four track tape cassette in high school and would record ditties on that. I really got into stock music about 10 years ago.”

His day job is as a lawyer for the federal government. He works from a home office which doubles as his studio. He uses a combination of live instruments like guitar, bass and keyboard, computer-generated sounds and recorded snippets of vocals and instruments called samples.

“It was a creative outlet to actually have my music be heard by people as opposed to just sitting on my hard drive collecting dust.”

Evan’s pursuit of making stock music in his home studio has evolved into a business, not only selling the music but selling courses and consults on how to create a stock music business from soup to nuts. His website, stockmusicmusician.com, has everything a nascent home studio musician needs to know.

Join us as Evan takes us behind the curtain and reveals how stock music is created and sold and where you might hear it. See and hear our episode of Type. Tune. Tint. below.

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