Most shows that are not [[MickeyMousing Mickey Moused]] have a stock set of instrumental '''B'''ack'''G'''round '''M'''usic (BGM) to use as themes for particular characters or sequences, or simply to set a mood. These usually fill up the bulk of a show's soundtrack, aside from [[ThemeTune Theme Songs]] and (in the case of {{anime}}) {{Image Song}}s. Music in VideoGames can also be referred to as BGM, as some (often older) games have music playing in the background at all times, rather than a blend of music and ambient sound effects.

The pieces that are most closely tied to characters or events are {{Leitmotif}}s.

Specific instruments and {{Standard Snippet}}s are used to create a {{Mood Motif}}.

For further exploration of this topic, listen to Creator/AnnaRussell's "The Ring of the [[Theatre/DerRingDesNibelungen Nibelungs]] (An Analysis)".

When it's not so much in the background, see SorryILeftTheBGMOn.

See also BGMOverride, VariableMix, DiegeticSwitch.