the background music <was playing> Beethoven

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- I'm very fond of music. Especially Beethoven... (.............) And it just so happened that while they were showing me a particularly bad film of, like, a concentration camp, the background music was playing Beethoven.
A Clockwork Orange, movie

1. "was playing" is a past continuous
2. "was" is a verb, "playing" is a gerund
Which option do you think is right?
Thank you.
  • DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    I would say (1): it's a past continuous tense. It describes what the background music was doing while he was watching the film.
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