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Background Music

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Most shows that are not Mickey Moused have a stock set of instrumental BackGround Music (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 Theme Songs and (in the case of anime) Image Songs. Music in Video Games 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 Leitmotifs.

Specific instruments and Standard Snippets are used to create a Mood Motif.

For further exploration of this topic, listen to Anna Russell's "The Ring of the Nibelungs (An Analysis)".

When it's not so much in the background, see Left the Background Music On. When it goes quiet, it's Sudden Soundtrack Stop.

See also BGM Override, Variable Mix, Diegetic Switch.

Alternative Title(s): BGM


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