Silence is Not Golden

By Elisabeth Scott Daley, WED®, ABC,™

As a society, we are programmed to have music accompany everything we do in life.

From Commercials and Soap Operas to Action Pictures and Horror Movies, music not only conveys emotion, it amplifies it. However, this is nothing new. Ever since the days of Vaudeville, and even back in the days of “The Bard” ( ie: Shakespeare) music has been used to make a multitude of theatrical experiences more exciting.

Music brings Happiness

Do you ever find yourself “grooving” in the fresh produce section of the grocery store? This is a strategic choice of the corporate conglomerate. Happy people buy more groceries. Additionally, there is a reason why Katy Perry is blasting at Victoria Secret while a live pianist plays at Nordstrom. Teenagers want to buy their unmentionables from a “hip” and “sexy” store, while their parents want everything from their dishes to their formal wear to offer the same sophistication and class that’s associated with elegant music.

Now think about the Grand Entrance of the wedding party at a Wedding Reception. The same rules apply. If the bride and groom want a “hip and funky” vibe, the music chosen for the Grand Entrance should reflect that desire. Conversely, if the bride and groom are more traditional, the music should demonstrate that feeling.

Music in Commercial Media

It is a fact that music is ever-present in modern day entertainment, and we must use the knowledge of this fact to make our own performances more powerful. The “Jock Jams” CDs work and are a part of many sporting events because the music gets us excited. (Back in the day, it was the organ at Fenway Park) Things change, but they stay the same.

Strategically, music fills the void created when referees and/or judges are debating the minutia of sporting rules. And finally, music is triumphant. Each of us feels just a little bit more patriotic when our national anthem is played during the Olympics!

Don’t leave your audience in silence.

The only time there should be silence is if you planned it for effect. You should not have silence because you haven’t loaded your CD, or you’re not sure what’s happening next. That is just poor planning!

Since I am a theatre geek, I believe every moment in a reception should be, in theatre terms, “underscored.” The results are extraordinary.

Think about it. When you need to feel motivated during your workout, you load your favorite songs into your iPod and somehow your workout becomes a lot more fun! Behold, the power of music!

In my next article, I will talk about ways to effectively “underscore” your next wedding reception.

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