‘Cue the Music’ or ‘Queue the Music’ – Which One Is Correct?
“Cue the music” is a common phrase that is used when getting a piece of music ready to play, or when directing somebody to start playing.
“Queue the music” is not used very often, but it’s technically valid. “Queue” is a very common word in UK English, where those from the US would use the word “line” E.g. “I queued up for the groceries”.
Apple Music, for example, notes that you can “queue up music that you want to play next” on their devices.
Cue the Music
“Cue the music” comes from the word “cue.” “To cue” means to signal the start of something. It is a word that is commonly used in entertainment and theatre.
Thus, the phrase “cue the music” means to ask someone to start playing music. You can think of this phrase as being similar to a director saying “action” on a movie set.
Queue the Music
The phrase “queue the music” thus means asking someone to line up the music, usually in terms of lining up a playlist. This could be a digital playlist (like a Spotify or Apple Music playlist).
A queue is a line of things, usually people, and “to queue” means “to line up.” As mentioned previously, this is very commonly used in UK English.
The confusion between the phrases arises due to the fact that “cue” and “queue” sound identical when said out loud.
However, the phrase “queue the music” is not a common phrase.
While both phrases are grammatically accurate, the phrase “cue the music” is the more commonly used one. It is the one that most people will think of when they hear these words.