I believe the initial scene of Eyes Wide Shut is an example for this. I am sure I've heard a fancy term for the use of a piece of soundtrack that turns out to be heard within the film itself. How is that called?


2 Answers 2


What you're looking for is called diegetic music, or more colloquially Source Music. Switching back and forth in a single scene is called a "diegetic switch", or "cross-over diegetic music".

TVTropes has other terms for various incarnations of this, some of which are probably "official" and others probably invented by the site's community, e.g.:

  • 'Interscene diegetic': when the same song plays continuously, in-universe, across multiple scenes.
  • "Left the Background Music On": a specific diegetic switch where the music starts out as background music, until one of the characters "notices" it and it becomes diegetic.
  • "Theme Tune Cameo": (the other answer that gave this seems to have vanished) a specific form of diegetic music where it's the main title theme that later appears in-scene somewhere.
  • This fits some Movies, but falls before the scope of others: The Long Goodbye, for one, uses it's 'Theme song' both diegetically and non. Commented May 13, 2014 at 20:59

Any music heard as part of the 'reality' of the film's universe is called Source Music. I've never heard anyone say diegetic music on a production.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .