Background music suggestions

During family get togethers or when having people in the house, I have difficulty in finding appropriate ‘background’ music which does sound good, and is musically interesting enough. Lots of jazz/rock/pop music asks for attention to be able to follow the music. I tend always to put on the wrong CD which I labelled as ‘easy digestible’ which than developes to be disturbing for most people (apart from me…)

I do appreciate John Scofield, Pat Metheny, Bill Frisell for example, but hey even their ‘quietest’ records can come on too strong/wild.
Normally my musical taste range from Allan Holdsworth - Frank Zappa - Alex Machacek - or guitar related jazz rock… that doesn’t help either.

Please suggest some tasteful music that can serve as background music too.

I find almost all music asks for attention. For me, there is no such thing as background music.

Thus, if I want music for a gathering I put on music I like, avoiding only the bombastic.

There is Tafelmusik specifically written “for the table” such as Georg Philipp Telemann’s collections of quartets, trio and solo sonatas and concertos - all suitable to accompany a feast or other occasion. But it does not appear you are a classical listener.

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Loggins & Messina - ‘Mother Lode’. Not my sort of music but has acted as an effective background for more than 40 years.

Thank you Elk; makes sense Tafelmusik? When having dinner, might be interesting. I’ll check it out.

Hi Chrisj1948: I only know 'you’re mother don’t dance, and your father don’t rock and roll. From a looong time ago. Thanks for the suggestion though.

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On spotify there are study/chill playlists for piano, guitar, lofi beats. Usually instrumentals played at lower volume don’t call as much attention.

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I keep adding to my fairly new “dinner party” playlist… Jazz, essentially.

It’s definitely music that warrants closer listening on its own merits, but I try to include things that are not too crazy or discordant, or that might be distracting when you’re trying to have a conversation. It’s a living, breathing document; editing it when I find tasty stuff to add.

Oh, since I saved that screenshot I added the album “To Love and Be Loved” by Harold Mabern.

These are albums, but sometimes I remove individual tracks as needed.

If you have ROON or any other music manager, stream a radio station like “Smooth Jazz”

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yeah, good idea.

If you have Roon, the cool thing is that, if you like what you hear, you can turn the history into a playlist. (And if there are any duds, you can curate if necessary.)

I recommend Jazz Con Class Radio for background listening if you enjoy serious jazz recordings ! It is an internet service that has no commercials and is free to all listeners !

Anything from Devendra Banhart. His stuff is worth serious listening, but it’s so soothing and mellow in general it makes for high quality background tunes during a party.

Look for August Wilhelmsson, he is on most streaming services. So nice and calm, perfect music for these strange times.

I don’t stream, only cd… but thanks to you all for the suggestions. This weekend will search the interweb using your references.

Kudos to you, but streaming seems to me to be the perfect platform for background music. If for no other reason than you don’t have to get up to change a CD so you can keep conversing. (And higher-res streams – better than cd – are available, too, for more critical listening.)

Not sure what reasons are for not streaming (I’m sure there are many), but since you say you have an internet connection, it might be worth a try to see what you can discover. If nothing else, it’s an awesome way to find stuff you like so you can buy more CDs.

anyway, you don’t need me to evangelize anything. Enjoy!

There’s a lot to choose from so a best of is ok but The Ventures are kind of cool for retro instrumental background that won’t likely offend or annoy. I like the album Telstar if you want to not go for a best of.

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Mozart Divertimenti on Linn Records

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For interesting background music, I tend to prefer Satie.

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Radio Paradise Mellow Mix


Hi Terzinator: you probably right, my only reason for not streaming is probably laziness - I need to spend money for a decent streamer and parafernalia, which I also can use for cd’s. But I might take the jump… after next birthday… when I’m 62? …

Start out with some Norwegian Black Metal and ease into some Ornette Coleman followed by Frank Zappa’s 1970’s work and finish the evening with experimental opera.