The Party Lifecycle and its Soundtrack

I have been sick over the past few days, which has kept me indoors and not being able to do much at all. However, it did mean that I could focus on my music.

One thing I notice I have had issues with in the past is working out when to transition between different music groups while DJing. If I was to create a specific set, then this is irrelevant, as the song order and transitions are known ahead of time. When doing a house party or birthday gig, it’s a bit different. Creating a six to eight hour set is hard and sticking to it is even more difficult – there are times when you need to shift the genre, allow for speeches and requests.

I was thinking about this when I was laying in bed over the last couple days and I thought about the actual event. Genre in this case is irrelevant, as depending on the group of people, their reaction will be different to different styles of music. I then realised that a party has structure which is similar to a good book. There is a beginning, a middle and an end. As people arrive the party begins slowly; as they begin to find their friends, get comfortable and start talking/drinking. Once all the people (i.e. characters) arrive, they being to interact with each other and the story starts to take off, the plot begins to gain momentum. Then at appropriate times, there are catalysts which cause the story to grow in excitement. This then ease off til the next catalyst and this continues until it reaches the climax of the story and this level of excitement is held until the closing out of the story.

To convert this into musical terms, have a look at the diagram below. As the night goes on, the music tempo grows and then using catalysts (i.e. floorfillers) the music gains in intensity. As people dance, they then need to rest and grab refreshments, so the music can then drop back to a lower intensity, however after a while, another catalyst can be used to bring them back to keep the cycle going.

From this, I was able to create a few playlists that I can use to group my music into these different zones to allow for a more smooth flow of tunes. Now I can have a play and see how they flow.



Posted by:submeg

Musician, Writer and Inspirer. I discuss the projects I am working on, the services I provide and my general thoughts.

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