Each Star Trek show has its own theme music, played during the opening credits. Have any of these theme songs appeared in-universe, e.g. as music someone is listening to or as music a character is singing or playing on an instrument? Do these themes exist in-universe, e.g. as an anthem for the federation?

  • BTW a handy musical term here is leitmotif.
    – Fattie
    Feb 19, 2018 at 15:45

1 Answer 1


TVTropes has a page about this: Theme Tune Cameo. It lists several Star Trek examples. For example, here's the DS9 theme being played in Quark's bar, in the episode "Sanctuary":

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    For those who don't want to click through (because, you know, TV Tropes), the other examples cited are: (1) In Star Trek: The Original Series, a light cocktail bar version of the theme was played, appropriately, in a bar in "Court Martial" and at a cocktail party in "Conscience of the King." (2) An episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation had a string quartet preparing to play in Ten-Forward, and during the warmup the theme tune of the show is subtly played. (3) In the pilot, the theme song is fully reprised to accompany the Enterprise's first saucer seperation sequence.
    – N. Virgo
    Feb 19, 2018 at 7:24
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    (4) "Sanctuary" in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, where the instrumentalist Varani plays the theme music for a rapt audience. (5) In "Fascination" in the third season of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Odo conducts a bajoran band playing a hardly recognizable version of the theme song.
    – N. Virgo
    Feb 19, 2018 at 7:25
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    @Nathaniel: 3 isn't diegetic though, is it? Unless space carries sound and the Enterprise blasts the TNG theme out of hull-mounted speakers when separating... Feb 19, 2018 at 12:23
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    @Nathaniel: Actually giggling at the thought of it. I mean, why not?! Feb 19, 2018 at 12:43
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    “Unless... the Enterprise blasts the TNG theme out of hull-mounted speakers when separating...” — Can we all just decide that’s canon now? In The Best of Both Worlds Part 2, the Borg would have been all “MUSIC IS IRRELEVANT. BUT WE DO FIND OURSELVES WONDERING HOW WE CAN HEAR IT THROUGH THIS VACCUUM?” Feb 19, 2018 at 12:48

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