Making an effective and suitable music compilation for your party
What do you consider when compiling a music playlist
You have plans for a party, have come up with an excellent guest list and have ideas for fabulous, mouth watering recipes. So what’s missing?
The music that is chosen, or in some cases, not chosen, can make or break a party. Though always in the background at parties, it has subtle but far reaching effects.
So why is music so needed at parties and how do we compile that much needed playlist?
Why is music so important at parties?
Music is truly a vital element of parties. Without it, there will be a strong sense that something is missing or a feeling of discomfort and emptiness.
Music sets the mood at parties.
Whether the mood of the party is rousing, sentimental, or simply relaxed is determined by the music that the host of the party decides to play.
A relaxed party is not so relaxed when head splitting heavy metal music is being played. That might cause some of the guests to start leaving early!
Music indicates the theme of the party.
Music serves to remind party goers of what the party is about and what its purpose is.
It would not be appropriate to play songs about break ups, for example, at an engagement party. Nor would it be done to play sad, emotionally draining music at a high school reunion.
I once attended a wedding engagement where the person who compiled the playlist unwittingly or otherwise added the song “Changing Partners” by Patti Page to the list. Although the lyrics of the song end with “Oh my darlin I will never change partners again,” hearing this at an engagement or wedding nettled a few guests.
Music contributes to the atmosphere of the party.
Imagine that you are attending a party with lots of people where there is no music. Doesn’t it seem like walking into a vacuum?
Having no music at all at a party would certainly create a huge gap that must be filled before uncomfortable guests start to leave.
Music averts boredom.
Music creates an opportunity for an activity at parties. Whether for dancing or simply for people to sit down, listen to and chit chat, It certainly gives guests something to do.
If guests need a break from the socializing at a party, they may simply choose to sit back, relax and listen.
Consider the sound system
The efficiency of the sound system contributes greatly to the success or failure of a party, so it should be thoroughly tested before it is put to use then. Some considerations come to mind with regard to ensuring a healthy sound system at a party.
The system should be in a well-ventilated location.
Electronic appliances, when overheated, have a tendency to shut down. I, and so would many, have experienced this happening to computers that have been over used or not ventilated for long periods of time.
At a party that is going to last for a few hours with music being played for that long, locating the sound system in an airy area will help to ensure that it does not break down and leave you in a musical quandary.
Limit accessibility to the sound system.
You might have some guests on the list (even if you would rather not invite them) whose fingers are a tad itchy and like to switch CDs or prod the sound system. Of course, this can be a hazard.
Limit accessibility to the system by making sure it is in a place where only you can get to it. The music must be heard, but somewhere too near the party area is not a good idea because milling guests or their children might decide to toggle with it.
Make sure it is fully tested the day before.
To make sure that it is running efficiently, make sure that it is fully tested the day before so that any repairs or changes can be made. Though this is a trivial matter, the system breaking down is one of the little things that can send the host into a fluster if it happens at the time of the party.
At a party a colleague organized on our behalf, the sound system broke down on the day itself because no time had been spared for testing it. Though the guests were nice enough to assure her that it would be alright, they certainly appeared bored and made it a point to leave rather early.
Can it loop?
If possible, use a sound system that enables tracks to return to the beginning once the entire playlist has been played. This is useful especially if there is no time in between to change CDs or tracks. Having to do so contributes to the stress of the host!
What are the things to consider when building a party playlist?
Putting a music playlist for a party together may seem easy, but the success of the party depends on the thought that is put into building it. Here are somwe things that should be considered when putting that playlist together.
Songs chosen should have an upbeat feel and tempo without being too loud. Try not to include to many soft of moody tunes to the playlist, save perhaps one or two to suit the tastes of certain guests on the list.
Consider the guests on the list.
This, of course, pertains mainly to their ages and tastes. As a teacher who organized many year end beach parties for teens, including music from One Direction or Justin Bieber rather than playing music by the Beatles and Eagles gave these youngsters a sense of fun.
I would do the opposite at a cocktail party for adults.
Try to include music from as many genres as possible.
There may be older guests who prefer easy listening at the party, while a few youngsters might have a taste for hip hop music. Some might have a big band liking while others prefer hard rock.
If you have a guest list of people of varying tastes and ages, compile a list that includes as many genres as possible.
All of us have been to parties where the host plays the entire album of songs from one artist, then, if at all, merely switches to another.
That, of course, leads to infinite boredom. It does not point to the talent of the artist concerned. The same songs, over played, are jarring on the ears no matter how good they may be.
Inject a little humor in between the list.
Balance is the key and this should definitely not be over done. Playing a song that will tickle the guests a little contributes to the atmosphere. Humorous songs include parodies by Weird Al Yankovic (please do not over play these, though.)
Remember the theme of the party.
In planning a music playlist, you would have to consider the theme of your party. If your party has a 1960’s theme, search for music from that era. If it is a reunion. you might want to search for songs with lyrics pertaining to unity.
You might want to include in the list one or two unrelated songs to break the routine.
List of songs based on the theme of family
Mary J Blige
R and B
We are a family
R and B
We are family
Hank WIlliams Jr
A song for Momma
Boys to Men
R & B/Easy Listening
My Little Girl
We are family Sister Sledge
Songs for a family reunion
I have put together a list of 10 songs that can be played during a family reunion. Family gatherings are occasions that we experience relatively often, and are sometimes find ourselves in the position of having to organize.
We are family by Sister Sledge
This version of the song by Sister Sledge can serve as an upbeat introduction to a family reunion. Composed by Nile Rogers and Bernard Edwards, it was originally rejected by Atlantic Records but quickly gained more airtime and became the number 2 song on the US charts in 1979. It also reached number one on the disco charts and served as a theme for the movie, the Pittsburgh Pirates.
It certainly fits in well with the theme of family.
Homeward Bound Simon and Garfunkel
Homeward Bound (Simon and Garfunkel)
This song was written by Paul Simon, performed by both himself and Art Garfunkel and produced by Bob Johnston. It debuted on the Billboard Hot !00 on February 12, 1966 and peaked at number 5. Simon wrote it at a railway station while on a long wait for a train and describes Simon’s longing to return home.
Simon has also performed the song with other artists like George Harrison and Willie Nelson. Other artistes like Glen Campbell and Petula Clark have also covered the song. This is a suitable number that reminds everyone of the theme of family reunions.
Homeward Bound/Home Glee
Homeward Bound/Home (Glee Cast Version)
This is an enjoyable listen if there are any teens or younger people attending the family reunion. Performed for an episode of Glee, its eclectic harmonies and outstanding vocals (and matching eye candy, of course) will serve as a draw for the younger members of the family.
Addams Family Theme Song
Addams Family Theme Song
This is a good song to interject a little humor to the family gathering, so I put this in the playlist for a touch of cheekiness. Originally arranged by Vic Mizzy, the arrangement was dominated by a harpsichord. Actor Ted Cassidy, as Lurch, reprised his Lurch voice with words like “neat”, “sweet”, and “petite.” Just for a little fun.
Everyday Chaka Khan
Everyday (Chaka Khan/Gerald Levert)
A collaboration between Khan and Levert, this song is a cool R and B number that fits in well with the theme of a family reunions. It was featured in the soundtrack of the 2008 film, Madea’s Family Reunion.
Song for Dad Keith Urban
Song for Dad Keith Urban
From the album Golden Road, released in 2002 via Capitol Records, the suave, smoldering Keith Urban of Country Music fame sings a touching tribute to his father. The album also includes singles like Someone Like You, Raining on Sunday and Who Wouldn't Wanna Be Me.
With inspirational lyrics, it is a song that is a fitting tribute to all fathers.
Summertime by DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince
Summertime DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince
Taken from the duo's fourth studio album, Home base, this is an excellent song if your guest list includes a few hip hop lovers. It is a fitting song if your family reunion i also a summer reunion!
A replay of Kool and the Gang's Summer Madness, the song was featured in a series of commercials for supermarket chain Walmart. It reached number 4 on the Billboard Hot Hundred Charts.
Love Me Colin Raye
Love Me, Colin Raye
Sung touchingly by Colin Raye about the love between a child's grandmother and grandfather, this song, easy listening and sweet, is bound to touch hearts.It climbed the charts and became a number one hit for him in 2007.
Dance with my father Luther Vandross
Dance with my Father by Luther Vandross
Another Loving Tribute to a father, Luther Vandross' poignant lyrics touch on childhood memories of his father, who used to dance with his mother.
Vandross was hospitalized when this song was released in 2003, and despite the lack of promotion was a hotly requested humber. It is certainly a song to play during family reunions.
I hope you dance
I hope you dance by Leann Womack
A major cross over country hit for Leann Womack from her album MCA Nashville, this is a song of hope that a mother dedicates to her daughter as she watches her grow. Other songs from the album like Why they call it falling" and "Does my ring burn your finger"also made it to the Billboard Top 40.
Compiling a playlist takes a lot of effort and consideration of many factors. It is well worth it if the music is enjoyed by all!
Copyright (C) by Michelle Liew Tsui-Lin All RIghts Reserved
- The Essentials of Great A Capella Music: Ten great v...
A Capella is an expressive musical form that makes use of the most natural musical instrument of all- the human voice. Here are 10 of the best A Capella groups around.
- How music creates bridges across cultures:unusual in...
Instruments used in world music and how music can create a bridge across cultures
- Great men who have changed the world of music:influe...
Some legendary male musicians who have influenced the world of music
- Rock bands that made their mark on music of the 1980...
A review of some rock bands that made an impact on the music scene in the 1980’s and 90’s.
- Influential women in the world of music:some iconic ...
An article on some of the most influential women in the music industry, whether in terms of fashion, social causes or great musical breakthroughs.
- Compiling a music playlist for a long drive ahead
An article on how to compile music for a long drive
- How to use music to reduce or stress levels:listenin...
An article on how music can relieve stress and some stress busting music tracks.
- The history of Chinese music, the Chinese Orchestra ...
On Chinese music, chinese musical instruments and the Chinese Orchestra.
- How liking different styles of music can affect rela...
Understanding how different tastes in music can affect relationships and how this knowledge can be used to help love blossom.