Elevator music refers to a type of popular music, usually instrumental, that is commonly played through speakers in elevators, shopping malls, grocery stores, department stores, telephone systems (while the caller is on hold), cruise ships, airliners (during flight after taking off), hotels, airports, business offices, restaurants, bars, hospitals, as well as electronic program guides, weather forecasts, television testcards, and some arcade game venues. The term is also frequently applied as a generic term for any form of easy listening, smooth jazz, or middle of the road music, or to the type of recordings commonly heard on “beautiful music” radio stations.
Background music refers to various styles of music or soundscapes primarily intended to be passively listened to. It is not meant to be the main focus of an audience, but rather to supplement that which is meant to be focused upon. Music that is played at a low volume and is not the main focus of an audience is also referred to as background music. Traditional examples of background music include music played at various social gatherings and music played in certain retail venues. It is also common to employ background music in various electronic media including film, television, and Internet videos such as video blogs.