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When background music is added to a TV show or movie for dramatic effect, but it ends up drowning out the dialogue to the point at which a viewer can't even hear what people are saying. It is a stylistic choice based on the assumption that most viewers are primitive creatures whose attentions will more likely to be captivated by primitive noise than by words.

Although "ear-jamming" occurs in all types of auditory media (radio, TV shows, and movies), it most commonly occurs in documentary-style TV shows and movies.

It usually leads to a situation where viewers are constantly modulating the volume of their TVs as they watch a program in order to either: (1) mitigate the assaultive music or turning the volume down (2) or to hear the now-relatively-quieter underlying dialogue turning the volume up.

When the background music comes on especially suddenly, it is also know as a "music assault".
"Hey, that was a really entertaining documentary!"
"Yeah, but the background music was too frigging loud. I couldn't even hear what they were saying with all that ear-jamming."
by stocktrader March 30, 2012
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