One of my pet peeves is restaurant music that doesn’t match the cuisine.
We often go to a Chinese restaurant that has a wonderful sound system broadcasting the sweet sounds of, you guessed it, modern jazz.
Modern jazz? In a Chinese restaurant??
Yessirree. It really kills the mood for me. When I go for Chinese food I’d like to have the full experience.
Chinese music would be most appropriate. In a Mexican restaurant there should be Mexican music playing ... mariachis, or at least some singing in Spanish.
Italian restaurants, Middle Eastern, Greek, Thai, you name it ... they should be playing music from the region in order to set the mood and create the illusion that I am in the general area!
Maybe it’s just me.
Let’s take a look a funerals. Would you expect rock 'n' roll music?
Probably not, unless the mourning family wants to create a mood that celebrates the life that ended rather than the ending itself. For example, the classic funeral in New Orleans features a parade and Dixieland jazz.
What about movies? The music sets the mood. Without even looking, you can tell whether the current action is happy, sad, scary, exciting, etc.
My point here is that music affects your mood. It can generate an aesthetic feeling (restaurants), an emotion (funerals), or a tone or energy (movies). The music is provided for you and you react accordingly.
But what if we turned the tables?
What if we FIRST decided how we wanted to feel and THEN selected the music? Instead of us being controlled by the music, let the music be controlled by us.
Suddenly we are in the driver’s seat and we have a tool to help us feel the way we want to feel.
Are you melancholy or sad and want to cheer up? Find some music that gets your motor going ... disco (uh-oh, I just dated myself), rock ‘n roll, upbeat symphonies, etc. ...
Maybe you’re feeling a bit tense or wound up ... this would be a good time for soothing music, such as chamber music or soft pop ballads.
You can also use music to bring back memories. Music from the 40s, 50s, 60s, etc. will remind you of activities from your past, so choose wisely!