Mind your music manners

Published 7:00 am Friday, July 25, 2014

I recently attended a social event at a venue in Hattiesburg where many attendees enjoyed engaging conversation, only to have it impeded by music found to be more intrusive than complementary to the social setting.

Any soiree can be made memorable by cultivating a distinct mood for your event with the right playlist. However, it’s important to be aware of the tone you’re setting and never let the music overpower the event itself, unless, of course, you’re shooting for a dance party. Even in that case, it’s always best to set the volume level to one that blends naturally with the disposition of your guests.

Musical selections for formal dinner parties should be calm enough to make for pleasant background noise, never too loud or chaotic; and if your party follows a specific theme, choose a list of songs suited to that theme. For example, steel drum music would fit nicely into a party that has a tropical feel.

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Here are a few tips to take into consideration when building the song catalog for your event.

• Select songs people will recognize. It’s ok to intersperse a few really good obscure songs throughout your list, but now is not the time to impress others with your extensive knowledge of obscure music. Such music may adversely affect guest participation and enjoyment.

• Create peaks and lulls in the music. There will be times for socializing, dancing, eating and relaxing. Time musical interludes to coincide with these moments in the party schedule.

• Be aware of the volume of the music. If the music is too low, no one will hear it. If it is too loud, guests will not be able to hear themselves or their fellow invitees speak.

• Check with the venue to confirm rules regarding music. Parties that will take place at a restaurant or catering hall will be governed by that facility’s rules. Make sure they allow outside music and are wired for sound.