|See also:||AMV, Filk, Vid, Vidding|
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Fan music is, definitionally, music produced by (and primarily) for fans of a given source work, much as fanfiction is prose written by and for fans of a particular creative work. This takes in a great deal of territory (as, indeed, does “fanfiction”), the boundaries of which are evolving in modern fannish culture.
Until relatively recently, the largest and best-known body of fan music was filk, broadly defined as the music of science fiction and fantasy (SFF) fandom. In the 21st century, however, the broadening of organized fandom and the emergence of a greater variety of fannish communities has produced types of fan music that arguably exist outside the filk umbrella.
This type of fanwork is common among gaming fans (for example, players of Touhou), who create remixes or new arrangements of a video game soundtrack.
In Vocaloid or anime fandoms, fans often sing versions of existing songs, sometimes with the original lyrics, sometimes translated into other languages. These covers are particularly popular for anime OPs.
As the name suggests, this is a listing or grouping of musical works whose creator dedicates to or associates with a particular source work. In particular, it’s becoming more common for authors of SFF and young adult fiction to circulate the playlists to which they listened while writing a given story or novel.
Fan songs may consist exclusively of lyrics (in which case they’re usually though not always identified as being set to the tune of an existing song), or of both lyrics and original music. While the roots of filk are closely tied to folk music, and a significant proportion of filk continues that tradition, today’s fan songs and performers – both within the filk community and beyond it - draw on a broader range of musical genres, including rock, jazz, rap, and even classical music.
Also known as fanvids or songvids, these are one of the most recent forms of musical fanwork. In their earliest form, they were essentially slide shows – sequences of still images shown with a curated soundtrack as accompaniment. Today, fans use modern video editing software to merge filmed material with music to create works that amplify the themes and connections between the source material (for instance, a vid featuring images from Muppet Treasure Island and music from Pirates of the Caribbean).
- Bad Apple!!, the theme song from stage 3 of the 1998 Touhou game Lotus Land Story, has been remixed by fans myriad times.
- Raon Lee's cover of Silhouette from Naruto, posted 2015
- EUPHEME's cover of Like a Dog, a Vocaloid song by Ferry, posted 2021
- Geekyfandubs' English-language fandub of Again from Fullmetal Alchemist, posted 2009
- Lili Sanchez's Spanish-language fandub of Watashi-tachi ni Naritakute from Sailor Moon, posted 2015
- Hikarin's Spanish-language fandub of GOODBYE by K-pop group 2NE1, posted 2017
- Amanda Lee's English cover of The Baddest from League of Legends, posted 2020
- English cover (Will Stetson's) of Idol by Yoasobi from Oshi no Ko, posted 2023, lyrics translated by sayiris. Particularly notable in that some fans prefer this version to the official translation by yoasobi due to some of the creative liberties in translation.
- The Hanson Project, an album of sorts of 25 songs inspired by Hanson's music and career (with a few covers thrown in as well).
- CloudAtlas(note: works are archive-locked) made a fanmix for Move Dust Through the Light, the main fic of a series RedStar featuring James "Bucky" Barnes/Clint Barton/Natasha Romanov in a Band AU. One notable aspect of this work is the in-universe excerpts of a music biography and other outsider POV treating these albums as works.
See also filk.
- The Ballad of Jensen and Jared, a Supernatural RPF song
- Five Nights at Freddy's fandom is known for having a popular fansong community.
- The Baby Is You, a Homestuck fan album released by Toby Fox about Dave Strider giving birth to John Egbert.
- Let the Wind Tell You a Genshin Impact song by ChilliChill
- 全职高手OP&ED&同人歌曲串烧——十年热血写信仰，荣耀永不散场（朋友，你听说过K大吗？233333, a medley of (The King's Avatar) popular fansongs and the season 1 OP/Ed by Kyle钢琴
- Lullaby for a Princess a My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic song by ponyphonic