What type of song are these?

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Anonymous:
Dear Everyone,

Could you let me know, please, what you call a song in a film which is not the theme, just one of the many that can be heard in it?

And my other question, is there a synonym for "background music"?

Thank you very much.
The "soundtrack" is the recording of all the music in a film or show.

The film's theme song would be part of the soundtrack as would any other song in the film.

Example:

"Zap City", performed by The Cult, was a song from the soundtrack of the 1992 film Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
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Anonymous:
Thank you! Emotion: smile
AnonymousWhat type of song are these?
I can't think of any "type" adjective used to describe "a song from a movie." Sometimes they're written by the person who did the score, and sometimes they're written by someone else, but specifically for that film. Sometimes they've been composed long before the movie was conceived, but are made famous by the film.
We simply say, That song was from the movie, "X."

Would you consider "Jingle Bell Rock" the theme song from Lethal Weapon I ?

- A.
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The body of music for a film is called a score. But that is not one individual song, it is the entire composition. The soundtrack may or may not contain the entire score. Usually it is only the collection of the more important songs that can conveniently fit on a CD.

We used to call background music "elevator music." I don't know where the term originated, but the music may have helped prevent claustrophobia during an elevator ride. It is a somewhat disparaging term.
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This from a site selling CD's:

Please note that songs listed here (and in the movie credits) cannot always be found on CD soundtracks. Please check CD track details for confirmation.

We need to distinguish between "the movie soundtrack" and "a CD soundtrack." (I'm gonna buy the soundtrack.)

Technology marches onward. At one time, the soundtrack was a physical track on the film itself, off to one side from the "frames." The two were inseparable. The soundtrack also included the dialogue and the sound effects. I guess that now a lot of this is digital.

"A track" can be one of the discrete recordings on an old 8-track or quad cassette.

The definitions depend on whether you're in the movie business or in the record business.

These things get blurred.

Who did the music?

Who did the soundtrack?

Who did the score?

George Gershwin wrote Rapsody In Blue, but Ferde Grofe scored it for orchestra.

Likewise the "music/score/background" for the film An American In Paris.

The Beatles wrote the "title theme" for the movie "Live And Let Die," but I doubt they had anything to do with the score.

- A.

Edit. Ouch! Gershwin did score (orchestrate) An American In Paris, but not the musicals, eg, Porgy And Bess.

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Hi Anonymous and Alpha -

You might consider “Muzak” as a synonym for "background music".

My guess is that "elevator music" also refers to Muzak.

Muzak is the name of an American corporation that continues to sell scientifically engineered sound which they call functional music.[1] It affects those who hear it but does not require a conscious listening effort. The Muzak corporation call themselves "specialists in the physiological and psychological effects and applications of music", and they draw on the historical use of frequency, as well as the research work of founder Dan O'Neill, to create a "programmed environment for applications in offices, factories, banks and shops".[1]

[1] http://media.hyperreal.org/zines/est/articles/muzak.html
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AnonymousCould you let me know, please, what you call a song in a film which is not the theme, just one of the many that can be heard in it?
And my other question, is there a synonym for "background music"?
I took the second question in the context of film/movie music.
Showing my age, there was a time when the "mood music" accompanying the acting etc. was casually referred to as "background music." Before that, movies were silent, and the "accompaniment," or mood music, was provided in the larger theaters by a pipe organ, played ad libitum.

I suspect the OP refers to that part of the film music which could not be considered a song.

I don't know of such a synonym.

- A.
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Anonymous:
Thank you very much, JohnParis, Avangi and AlpheccaStars! Your posts contain very interesting details! Emotion: smile
Avangi I suspect the OP refers to that part of the film music which could not be considered a song.
I don't know of such a synonym.
Yes, I meant films, but now I'm confused: so far, I thought "background music" is an umbrella term for every piece of music you can hear in a film which isn't performed as the main attraction of the scene, and which isn't the theme of the movie, either. I thought it irrelevant in this respect whether the piece is a song or an instrumental composition. Was I wrong?

And, if we take a documentary about a region, for example, in which there're also a couple scenes without action or narration where only breath-taking landscapes can be seen and either songs or instrumental music heard (put in it digitally, not coming from the area which is shown), then will you call that music background music, too?

Thank you.
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