Creating Ambiance for Life's Celebrations - Instrumental Background Music

7 Reasons Why Live Music Should Be Used
At Your Next Event

By Rick Iacoboni

Music is the soundtrack of a person's life. People associate songs with pivotal points in their lives -- their first date, their senior prom, high school or college socials, or cruising songs to the beach, concerts or night clubs. It can even be the song used for the first dance of a person's wedding, or songs which elicit memories of loved ones no longer in this world.

So it's no surprise that when a person plans a special event -- music will figure into the equation. The question is how will the music be delivered: by musicians or a disc jockey? Listed below are seven reasons why live music should be used at your next special event:

1) Electricity - Think of the last time you went to an event which had live music. As you approached the venue, live music was spewing out of the doors and windows. It was in the air. You knew immediately that something special was happening. That intangible feeling came over you - tying together all your senses. Live music has that effect on people.

2) Audience Participation - Bands can help orchestrate special "scenes" that can be caught on film and video. People eat it up when a singer walks out into the crowd and sings and dances with members of the audience - or dedicates a 50th anniversary song. Often there are musicians in the crowd who want to play a few songs for their friends and family. The effect is indescribable.

3) Spontaneity - Nothing beats the enjoyment of listening to a live interpretation of a popular song played by real musicians. Maybe it's their own arrangement with different instruments, or it's intertwined into a medley of songs.

4) Wall of Sound - Due to technological advances such as digital sequencing, musicians can now create a full sound - such as horn, string and percussion parts - that can closely replicate the original recordings. As a result, there is no limit to the number and scope of songs that bands can play live.

5) Flexibility - Musicians can vary the speed or length of songs, depending on the mood of your guests and the atmosphere you wish to create. Additionally, a singer can change song lyrics to reflect something going on at the event, such as an impromptu line dance or somebody in a funny costume. Different instrumental or vocal solos can also mix things up.

6) Live Music Makes Every Occasion Special
To quote musician Bill Sargent, "The difference between live music and pre-recorded music is similar to the difference between going to a Broadway show and watching a movie - the live orchestra and entertainment make the show special." The same difference exists with watching a sporting event on TV versus seeing it live. Live performers can play to the crowd, evoking the right mood for the right moment, creating a memorable event.

7) Themed Events - Should your event evolve around a particular theme, you can't do any better than booking authentic musicians to replicate the desired sound and look. Say you have a Mexican theme at your next event. Imagine booking a Mariachi band dressed in sombreros; or an Irish anniversary event utilizing a Celtic band dressed in traditional costumes, or a bagpiper dressed in traditional garbs for a Scottish wedding.

Let's assume you use live music at your next event. In five years, your guests won't remember the food, decor or ice sculptures. What they will remember is that they had a great time at your event! Live music made it fun and memorable! Therefore when planning an event, why have recorded versions of your favorite songs when you can hire musicians to play the same songs live with all the passion and emotion of the original recordings -- and than some!

Having said that, when you are out for a night of fun and frolic, do you really want to hear someone play the same CDs you have in your home? It's like having Ragu versus homemade sauce. Let's keep it real.   

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About The Author: Rick Iacoboni is an acoustic guitarist who has performed instrumental background music at more than 1,000 personal and corporate events.

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