When you plan to host a dinner party, be it a wedding reception or an after event stint, it is also essential to have a good programming of your soundtrack for that occasion.
Certainly, people make choices everyday about what radio station they listen to or music track to play. But there is nothing like the painstaking planning for a dinner party to make one assess the tiniest details of décor, table setting, food, personal appearance and, of course, music – which may make or break your dinner party.
Because of the diversity of moods and characteristics of people, there in noone ideal type of music to play at a dinner party. But there are some guidelines that apply across the board. First of all, decide whether to have music playing at all, a detail that many hosts overlook while trying to make sure their canapés are lovely and their mousses marvelous.
If you decide to play music – and if you don’t, you might be making a big mistake—you must then choose the style of music. In almost every dinner-party situation, instrumental music is preferred over vocal, and jazz is preferred over orchestral or chamber music. Most vocal music requires too much attention from your brain, making it difficult to concentrate on eating or chatting. In fact, a lot of instrumental music also requires moreconcentration than can be spared in social situations. The discordant and the atonal have an uncanny ability to interfere with socio-culinary intercourse. So does music that is nostalgic, because it has a tendency to take one’s attention away from those veal chops you spent the whole damn afternoon stuffing.
Jazz is safer than classical music it is less likely to make the host appear pretentious. Unless you are known to your guest as a classical musician or an enthusiast of the genre, they may very well think you just put on one of your Mozart records just to lend an upper crustiness to the cheese tart.
The tempo and rhythmic progression of music are important, too. Studies have concluded that when people listen to fast music, they tend to eat fast. They also eat more! Slower music can make for a more leisurely, pleasant evening, but really slow music can lend a funeral tone to any occasion.
Ultimately, the perfect piece of dinner music must be interesting enough that it doesn’t totally fade into the background but not so demanding that it will repeatedly force itself into the foreground.