Created on: March 10, 2013
If you’re holding a casual, impromptu dinner party for close friends, you probably won’t worry too much about a playlist – you can just stick on whatever you feel like and, if your friends don’t like it, they can get up and make their own choice. However, if you’re holding a more formal dinner party and are hoping to impress your guests, you may want to put a little more effort into choosing a playlist. The following tips should provide you with plenty of ideas for a
Ensure it flows
There is nothing more off-putting than a playlist that stops and starts. Fortunately, the days when you had to get up to turn the record over are long gone; even if you don’t have an iPod, you will probably have a computer or a CD player that plays multiple discs, long enough to last for the duration of the dinner party. If you do resort to CDs rather than making up your own playlist, compilation albums are probably your best bet, because the producers will have already ensured that the songs flow into one another.
Compilations are also a good idea because they provide your guests with a variety of music. The last thing you want to do is play a ‘Best of Frank Sinatra’ album when your guests don’t like Frank Sinatra. The odd song by an artist that isn’t to the guests’ taste is fine, but a whole album isn’t going to be conducive to a relaxing meal.
Try and find out what music your guests like
If you really want to avoid playing music that your guests don’t like, try to find out in advance what their preferred style of music is. You don’t have to stick to that one style all evening, but it could just help set the tone. Your guests should be touched by the fact that you have gone to so much trouble.
Make sure it isn’t distracting
Don’t forget that a playlist for a dinner party should not be too distracting. You need to ensure that it is possible to hold a conversation over the top of the music. Certain types of music, such as heavy metal, opera or some orchestral classical music, may not be appropriate for background music. If you do go with a compilation album or take a playlist from iTunes or LastFM, play it through to ensure that there isn’t anything that could disturb the evening. If you are using iTunes, you might want to take advantage of Genius, which allows you to choose a song that suits the tone you want to set and then play other songs of a similar tone.
Avoid anything contentious
When holding a dinner party, you don’t want to offend anyone. This can be difficult if you don’t know the people you are inviting and you have no idea if they are easily offended. However, as well as avoiding certain topics of conversation, you may want to avoid playing music that could potentially offend. Steer clear of anything with political or religious connotations and/or bad language.
When you’re hoping to impress your dinner party guests, a good playlist can make the difference between an average evening and a thoroughly pleasant one. Whereas you shouldn’t spend too much time worrying about it, a little bit of thought should ensure that your evening proceeds smoothly.
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