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A sound track is a type of audio track or music that is used to accompany a film, television programme, a video game, etc. or as the soundtrack to an audio book, radio drama or play. In film, the sound track is the actual soundtrack that is recorded, including sound effects, dialogue, and musical cues, for the film itself. However, for sound editing, other parts of the soundtrack that are used within the project might be recorded, such as for sound effects, dialogue, or musical cues. During the production of a film, music is composed and used to set the mood and atmosphere, and to help indicate the time of day or the weather. For example, the score will often match the action on screen and change when a scene changes from action to conversation. For this reason, film music is often considered separate from the sound track.
In modern film, the soundtrack consists of, and is generally indistinguishable from, the music that accompanies the film itself (the music for the film that is played in the theater). This music, called film music or underscore, often sets the scene, characterizes the characters, and may be tied to the plot, and can be manipulated to accentuate dramatic moments or underscore other sound elements. Sound effects, dialogue, and songs are generally added later to the soundtrack. Some films incorporate a montage of sound that has no meaning apart from conveying the actual dialogue that occurs within the film.
The term "soundtrack" itself is misleading because, unlike sound effects, dialogue, or songs, the sound track itself is simply the soundtrack that accompanies a film, not a film itself. If the soundtrack were to be included as part of the film itself, the term "soundtrack" would also refer to the music of a film. The best-known example of this is the "Liberace Lounge" from the film Titanic, which was also called "The Liberace Suite" and sometimes also included the music of the film itself in addition to the music used in the soundtrack.
Film producers are increasingly using film music (in conjunction with production design and location photography) to place themselves and their product in a particular cultural or historical context. Popular culture continues to expand and diversify, and the film industry is adapting by using music to convey the mood, setting and character of the film.