Change and Progress for Wedding and Party Music

by Robbie Schlosser

Thanks in advance for reading this article. I appreciate your interest and hope you get a few good ideas. I'd love to hear what you liked. Please write me a little COMMENT below. Start a conversation. Tell me what you think, and I'll reply. Promise.

"Progress" Image courtesy of

Change and progress have been on my mind this morning.

Familiar institutions are transforming every day, bringing changes to how we live, work, relax, and celebrate milestone events.  And of course, how we use music in all these activities.

Before I go on, let me tell you a story.

Earlier this morning, I heard Charlie Rose interviewing best-selling author John Grisham.  Grisham mentioned that about half his current book sales will be in the popular digital formats.  He regretted that this trend is closing so many bookstores, but liked that publishers (and authors, perhaps, and the readers, too) are benefitting from the change.

Is this really a case of change AND progress?  For a minute I wondered about other consequences — are people actually reading more with their Kindles, or just buying more books more easily?

Are people’s reading habits changing from being thoughtfully engrossed for hours to grabbing a few moments here and there, and how will that affect the book’s impact?

And now that virtually anyone can create an eBook, how will that affect the quality of the average book, and will books become scorned as the next generation’s “vast wasteland”?

To rephrase Ronald Reagan’s 1980 question, is this change making our life better?

My imagination drifted into a wider perspective.  I noticed the similarity between the effects of digital books on printed books and digital music on recorded music.  Familiar industries are transforming.

24/7 news channels online and on TV have devastated daily newspapers and weekly news magazines.  Motion pictures compete desperately with newer sources of entertainment.  In just a few generations BlueRay discs (here today, gone tomorrow, I’ll bet) have replaced CDs, audio and video cassettes, laser discs, LPs, 45s, 78s, and cylinders.

And we can describe dozens more examples.  Are we better off now?

It’s the same story wherever you look.  I often hear people exclaim that nowadays more changes are happening more rapidly than ever before.  Well, I have a feeling that people have always said that.  Seems to me most of us can’t see much beyond the end of our nose, so we lack a broad enough historical perspective to judge the sweep of time.

Listen to an average TV news broadcast, and you’d think we’re really in for it now: nations are arming, epidemics are spreading, crime and incivility are increasing, economies are collapsing, tastes and standards are plummeting — surely the world will end tomorrow!

Are you kidding?  When has any of this NOT been true?

Now back to wondering about change, progress, and planning music for a celebration.

Everything always changes, as hundreds of clever people have always reminded us.  People always regret losing the old ways, and they always welcome the benefits of the new ways.  “Progress” marks the difference between what WAS and what IS — always better in some ways and worse in others.

I see it in the music people enjoy at their celebrations.  For example, weddings often follow the “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue” tradition.  I help brides and grooms select wedding music, and this venerable tradition always gives them wide-open and ever-changing choices.

Musical fads come and go, but they all leave a legacy in today’s music.  Keeping up with the new, while polishing the old, keeps life interesting and challenging for me and all my colleagues.  One of these days, hoping for Progress, we’ll probably start working on a medley of Lady Gaga’s greatest hits.

Whatever they are.  Can you recommend any songs here?

How about YOU?  What is the biggest change in YOUR recent life?  Did it bring progress?


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Thanks for reading this article. I appreciate your interest and hope you get a few good ideas here. Got one or two? I'd love to hear what you liked. Please write me a little COMMENT below. Start a conversation -- I'll reply. Promise.

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Meanwhile, the Magnolia Jazz Band entertains at weddings and parties throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. If you are ever nearby, you’ll love catching us in action, seeing and hearing us create a great mood.

How can I help you? Call 408-245-9120 or use Planning a celebration? Ask about our availability.

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