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One More Thing

Last week, when I wrote about what makes a meal romantic, I deliberately left out one thing: music. Music deserves its own blog post, don’t you think? I obviously do.

To me, music is on a par with words as a means of communication. Sometimes it’s even better. For example, my daughter once said she knew if she heard Broadway show music playing when she walked into the living room I’d be cleaning–and soon, so would she. Without a word, I’d conveyed to her it was time to pick up a dust rag and help. (She even came home from her freshman year in college and taped my albums because she found it impossible to clean without Rodgers and Hammerstein in the background.)

How about setting the stage for relaxation for something like an acupuncture treatment or a massage? Or a spa treatment? Getting in the right frame of mind for meditation. Even as you read those words, if you’ve ever been in those situations, you can hear the Zen music, can’t you?

And can any of us make a trip to Fred Meyers without at least once thinking of an old boyfriend or a great party because of some song that comes on while we’re shopping?

Last, and maybe most obvious, movie soundtracks. Have you ever tried watching a scary movie without the sound track? It’s not what you see that revs up your imagination and gives you nightmares (not that I’d know about something like that. No, not me.) It’s the sound of the menacing music. Fast, upbeat music means either that we’re headed for a big city like New York, we’re about to watch a car chase or the space ship is about to go into hyperdrive. Slow, full-of-strings music? The love scene.

So, how much importance do I think music has in setting the stage for a romantic dinner? Major. My personal favorite is instrumental because if I hear songs I know, I will sing along and that’s about as far from romantic as it gets. Ask anyone who knows me. Or has been grocery shopping with me. (Although Andrea Boccelli singing in Italian is an exception I’m always willing to make. And I don’t sing along because I don’t know enough Italian to be credible.)

My faves? Soft jazz, classical music or piano music. Portland’s Tom Grant, for example, Chopin nocturnes or Wynton Marsallis.

What’s your favorite music to set the scene for romance?