Author Topic: The many names of library music  (Read 884 times)


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The many names of library music
« on: July 22, 2018, 02:44:31 PM »
Hey! I sometimes start wondering about 'basic' things, and started considering a while back the numerous names the 'genre' of library music has, and has had.

Pieces of library music originate from a music library or archive, I'm not here curious about the names used to describe the music library, but the phrases used to desribe the music itself.

I don't think this is a conclusive list by any means, but taking a good ol' sift through my own notes and archives, I have found the following phrases:
Library Music
Production music
Stock music
Source music
Library production music
Media music, music for media, multimedia music
Mood music (seemingly antiquated)
Photoplay music (silent film era)
Sound library
Recorded music
Background music
Recorded background music
Film music
Scoring music
Theme music
Trailer music
Cue music (used in some academic writing, seldom elsewhere)
"Muzak"/Elevator Music (slang)

Illustration sonore ("sound illustration")
Illustration musicale ("musical illustration")
Musique d'ambiance
Musique d'illustration ("illustration music")
Musique de stock ("stock music")
Ambiance musicale ("musical environment")

Musikalische untermalung (something like 'musical underlay', literally "musical underpainting")
Produktionsmusik ("production music")
Filmmusik ("film music")

Sonorizzazione, musiche per sonorizzazioni
Commenti sonori, musiche per commenti sonori ("sound commentary", "music for sound commentary")
Sottofondi musicali ("musical foundation")
Musica d'ambiente ('environmental music')

Ilustraciˇn sonora ("sound illustration")
M˙sica de biblioteca ('library music', literally "music from/of library")
Stock musical

Mediamusik ("media music")

... does anyone know any other terms, possibly in other languages? What terms do you use?
« Last Edit: November 15, 2018, 10:27:18 PM by Mr »


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Re: The many names of library music
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2018, 05:34:36 PM »
In italian are often used also "illustrazioni sonore" or "musiche per illustrazioni sonore",  "illustrazioni musicali", "ambientazioni musicali" and "librerie musicali"

p.s. "sottofondi" actually means exactly "background" => "sottofondi musicali" = "musical background"
« Last Edit: July 22, 2018, 05:39:18 PM by Greta »


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Re: The many names of library music
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2018, 08:21:10 PM »
This is good. Thanks, Mr.
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Re: The many names of library music
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2018, 09:27:46 PM »
Das Ganze nochmals in deutscher Sprache (mit englischer ▄bersetzung):

Archivmusik (=Archive Music)
Filmvertonungsmusik (Movie Sound Music)
Hintergrundmusik (Background Music)
Vertonungsmusik (Sounding Music)
Filmvertonungsplatte (Movie Sound Music LP)

Ich hoffe, dass ich Euch mit meinem Beitrag helfen konnte!


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Re: The many names of library music
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2018, 11:43:08 PM »
Thanks for your additions! Grazie mille / danke sch÷n ;)


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Re: The many names of library music
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2020, 11:57:02 AM »
There is an interesting thing. In China, it is called canned music.
According to the wiki's explanation, because it is like a can, it is pre-made and can be used directly.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2020, 12:09:09 PM by magicice »