Background Music For A Dinner Party


Music evokes emotion, and I think the mood for a dinner party should be mellow. It should be conducive to setting a lower energy level. The right background music will encourage your guests to slow down and to relax so they can enjoy their dinner.

Your background music should also be nondescript – the less recognizable, the better. Your selections should be interesting yet unobtrusive. Lyrics can be distracting, so I believe the best music for your dinner party is instrumental. Also, be sure to turn the volume down low enough, so it doesn’t compete with the conversation.

You can keep it simple and let Amazon’s Alexa program your evening, or you can program your own. Employing the latter will guarantee that the music will be appropriate for your guests and the occasion .

And lastly, I think it would serve you well to change the music throughout the evening. Listed below are my suggestions:

For Arrival And Appetizers:

I prefer easy traditional jazz or smooth jazz. Some examples would be:

  • Ben Webster, a former tenor sax player in Ellington’s band. Look for his solo albums.
  • Ottmar Liebert, non-categorical but his style is Spanish guitar in a laid-back manner.
  • Larry Carlton, California smooth jazz. Search his mellower albums.
  • Free Flying by Fred Hersch and Julian Lage, will produce a good vibe.
  • Chicago, New York, Paris by Johnny Griffin is perfect for this (my favorite).

For Dinner:

You actually could continue with the above selections, but I prefer classical music:

  • Yo-Yo Ma, J.S. Bach Great Performances.
  • John Williams, The Baroque Album.
  • Duos by Itzhak Perlman and John Williams (my favorite).

Scotch and Cognacs:

  • The conversation highlights this stage. It’s probably best to turn off the music.

Romantic Cognacs For Two:

  • Just The Two Of Us by Grover Washington, Jr.
  • Francis Albert Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobim.
  • Actually, almost anything by Sinatra.