'Cue the Music' or 'Queue the Music' – Which One is Correct?

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Okay so, you should “Cue The Music”, or just “Queue the Music”?

They do look kinda close, but are they the same?

Can you simply interchange these terms?

The short answer is…



They are not the same!

And you should NOT interchange these terms. You will sound pretty amateur.

Read this and you will learn from the Jedi, the proper way to say it.

Cue The Music

When you “Cue” something, it means that you listen to the start of a song.

If you are a DJ you definitely “Cue” the songs prior to adding them to the mix that your dancers are listening to. 

You “Cue” the music in your headphones by listening to it. This gives you a feel of the tempo of the song, the key, and the mood.

Once you have finished “cueing” the song, you can decide if you add it or not to your active mix.

Now, some live sound consoles have a “cue headphone” knob… This knob simply controls the amount of signal sent to an output that is connected to a headphone amplifier.

Same theory here, whatever you send using that knob only goes to the headphones, not to the speakers. You listen to it, people don’t.

Queue The Music

So here the situation changes completely!

When you “Queue” something, it means that you place that song on the list, or shall we say “playlist”?

So, think about Spotify for example…

You “queue” a song to your Spotify playlist, meaning you just simply add it to the list, typically at the end of the list.

There are people (believe it or not) that are paid to simply “queue” songs at a bar! Not even mix them, just queue them! They are called “selectors”.

You have probably met a selector in the past, they are hipster-looking, and they enjoy good music. They are melomaniacs that enjoy “queue” music into a playlist that follows a certain mood for a certain type of person.


And that is it!

Easy peasy lemon squeezy!

If you want to “pre-listen” to something while DJ-ing, you “cue” that signal on your headphones. Listen to the source and once you are ready, you go ahead and switch it to the program that people are listening to by using the crossfader.

That is it with “cue”, okay?

Now, if you want to simply add a song to a playlist or list of songs, you simply “queue” that song to the list.

As simple as that!

Jennifer Max


Hi, I’m Jennifer I’m a passionate singer and an audiophile from Detroit, MI. 

I’m on a mission to help music creators to create fine music that help them position uniquely in the saturated music space.

Follow my blog for regular content :-)

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