You may be planning a wedding rehearsal dinner or the actual reception, or possibly you’re arranging for a friend or relative to have a splash of a birthday party this year.
Even if the event in question is a work-related event, you’ve got to give careful thought to music.
Just what makes great dinner music?
You’ve got to pay as much attention to your musical agenda as with the dinner menu and table centerpieces.
Dinner music must have a good beat, but at the time same it must remain unobtrusive.
The best play list includes a lot of light jazz, featuring piano and strings over heavy brass or drums.
Instrumentals work better than songs rendered by the original vocal artists, because people dining will tend to focus more on the song’s words than on their dinner partners’ conversation.
Nevertheless, you can choose some great songs, with or without vocals, as long as it’s played softly in the background.
The best dinner music will evoke a positive mood for the occasion. It’s not intrusive, but it’s not invisible; it’s not annoying like so-called elevator music, either.
Your favourite genre very possibly will not be the best choice for your dinner music, because your wide variety of guests will have a similarly wide range of music preferences that don’t necessarily coincide with yours.
For instance, what may entertain you and your friends—Kanye West, One Direction, or Rihanna (In 2012)—will not appeal to your Aunt Mamie or the company’s vice president.
If you don’t understand why you can’t just have what’s hot on the airwaves these days, think how you would feel if you attended a dinner at Aunt Mamie’s and all the music was played by Lawrence Welk.
Some people compromise by choosing a top artist who has issued a collection of songs outside of his or her usual genre.
Rod Stewart, who cut his musical teeth as the bad boy of the 70s, has issued a couple albums of mellow standards.
Rapper Queen Latifah’s jazz tunes will really rock the room—but gently!
Think of your favourite artists and look around for something they’ve done outside the box.
Thinking Outside the Box
Music can also be used to accentuate a theme.
Spin some Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra if you’re serving Italian cuisine, or maybe something from Italian operas by Verdi or Rossini.
For a French theme, you’ll want La Vie en Rose, by Edith Piaf or Louis Armstrong, and you can add I Love Paris by Ella Fitzgerald.
Ella Fitzgerald – I Love Paris
If it’s a celebratory moment, choose instrumental versions of Rocky and Jai Ho.
How about a Hollywood or movie theme for your party? Try Oscar-nominated songs to be played whilst dinner is served.
Can You Feel the Love Tonight by Elton John, Evergreen and The Way We Were by Barbra Streisand, My Heart Will Go On by Celine Dion, and I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing by Aerosmith all have earned a place as solid movie classics beloved by most.
Too love songy? – you decide.
How about the soundtrack from a favourite film?
Loud rock-n-roll won’t do the trick at a dinner party, but Dirty Dancing has gained such widespread popularity that its familiar tunes blend comfortably into the background.
Maybe try some Cafe Del Mar or chill out out electronic music.
The DJ who is supplying your music can suggest other popular albums that will evoke a specific time period or mood.
When it comes to standards, there’s a reason why the best old songs are called standards.
It’s because someone, maybe a composer and a writer collaborating, came up with the best tune for the most perfect words to evoke a feeling, a thought, or a memory. It almost doesn’t matter who sings them.
Someone to Watch Over Me is just as wonderful whether Julia Fordham sings it or Linda Ronstadt.
Misty entertains whether it’s from Sarah Vaughan, Johnny Mathis, or Errol Garner’s original instrumental version.
Harry Connick Jr. sings It Had to Be You, and so does Frank Sinatra, or maybe you’d like Kay Starr’s version.
Harry James made us love You Made Me Love You, and Patsy Cline did the same.
If you’ve ever seen Whitney Houston’s film The Bodyguard, she first hears I Will Always Love You rendered soulfully, country-style, on a jukebox.
Music played during the dinner hour serves a dual purpose: You’re looking for soft, pleasant background sounds, but your choices should be able to jump out and serve as conversation starters when necessary.
Dinner is the time when your guests can sit quietly and chat with one another.
If your music is too loud, no matter what the genre, it’s going to disrupt conversations and cause some major annoyances. In the event that conversation drags, your guests can chat about the music. In the end, it’s not about showcasing your personal musical taste: It’s about making your guests feel good while everyone gathers together for the occasion at hand.
A beautiful quote to keep in mind
“Music is what feelings sound like”
Good music = good feelings or Bad music = bad feelings.
It could be as simple as getting in touch with how you feel when you are listening to songs for your playlist.
Goldbass DJ Entertainment