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The Value of Music Trivia?

The Value of Music Trivia?

Every quiz player turning up to your venue enjoys a bit of variety in the event whether it be a range of rounds, hand outs, picture questions or indeed the much under valued music round. Including a great music trivia round in your trivia event can add to the enjoyment and make your customers leave even more satisfied. However, it is a very simple issue to get wrong and you need to ensure that you are going about the music trivia round in the correct way.


Forget about your own tastes

Before you even begin to put together an audio quiz round you need to remember one key fact as a trivia host…..this is not about you. Its not a chance to show off your music collection, highlight your tastes or play the music you like. That will only result in customers feeling disengaged and unsatisfied. Some many trivia hosts simply use CD’s in their own collection to play audio tracks and it will always result in bad rounds.


Add some variety

Two things are needed. Firstly you need to mix it up. Avoid sticking to one era and one genre otherwise your audience will be bored. Avoid themed rounds…there is nothing worse for a 22 year old quizzer than turning up only to find that the quiz theme for that week is “70s Rock”.

Secondly you also need to consider your audience. Although you do need to make a balance, if week after week your audience is over 60s then reflect that in the music round. They may not know last weeks number 1 hits but sure enough ask them about hits from when they were teenagers and they will perk up and show interest in the round.


Incorporate a Wireless Buzzer system


There are apps out there, like Sound Hound, that can ‘hear’ a song and then display the song title and artist on a smartphone.  This present a problem when trying to do a legitimate game of music trivia.  The easiest way to overcome this potential cheating issue is by adding wireless buzzers to your game.  How it works is simple.  You play a song and the first one to buzz in and answer correctly gets the points.   How does this help against cheaters?  Because no matter how good the app is, it will never be fast enough to give a cheating player the artist and title.  Also, it is very easy to identify cheaters, especially if you see them looking down into their laps too often.


Music Bingo


There has been a recent insurance of entertainers performing music bingo formats.  The advantage of a good music bingo event is that it combines two favorite games into one super game, namely name-that-tune and bingo.  It is a great way to have folks of all ages participate in a music trivia type format.  How it generally works is that a song plays and players have to identify the song, like name-that-tune.  Then the player locates and marks the song on their bingo card.  When the fist player has 5 in a row, they are the winners.  DigiGames has excelled in making a music bingo tool with 16 different formats that allows more than just music.  They have even encorportated video bingo, picture bingo, trivia bingo and much more, into their software tool.


Avoid obscurities

You want tracks and artists people have heard of. If you hear a piece of music and are told the answer and STILL have no idea….that’s bad trivia. Stick to mainstream artists that people know, songs that have been at least a minor hit and songs that people may have stumbled across on radio and tv. Don’t chose obscure album tracks and hidden b sides. Its not a specialist quiz. You are far better off giving a nice mixed round that gives people a change of points rather than an obscure collection of tracks from your own personal top 10.

If you need ideas for top songs, then do an internet search for “Top songs of <era>”.  So, you might search “Top songs of the 80’s” and get a result, like this Wikipedia article.  Then simply compare the songs listed there with your own music library and select the songs popular in your area.


Artist Only

In my vast quiz experience I have noticed that music trivia goes down best when you only need to be identifying the artist. Don’t let your players sweat over the wording of a title, or the name of a song, allow them just enough time to work out the artist and at least your players can have a guess…it is much harder to guess a song title than a band/singer.


2 tips from past experience….

I have used two good methods in trivia nights in the past to add spice to my music round. The first was a decades round so at least the player could guess from bands from that era if they didn’t know. For example a round of ten tracks, 2 songs from 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s and 00s. Gives everyone a chance.

Another idea is to have two rounds. Ten tracks post 1980 and ten questions pre 1980. Teams can play both but only their first score counts! This will keep people engaged and interested and give everyone a chance no matter their age!

All in all the value of music trivia is very underrated. Get this round wrong and people will start to look elsewhere for their trivia needs. Get it right and people will be clambering to get back to your trivia night.


5 Responses to The Value of Music Trivia?

  1. […] where each team member gives one answers….anything that can get people talking. If you are using music trivia and picture trivia make sure you vary the age range and the type of music then everyone should be […]

  2. […] turn up. You need to make sure your questions are spread in terms of generational gaps….doing a music round? Then make sure every decade is covered. Including a picture round? Then have questions that granny […]

  3. […] picture round could be famous people and faces from that era, the music round needs to be hits they have heard at school, sports clips from famous sporting clips and TV […]

  4. […] where each team member gives one answers….anything that can get people talking. If you are using music trivia and picture trivia make sure you vary the age range and the type of music then everyone should be […]

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