Musical chairs is a game that involves music, movement, and listening, and is primarily used in schools and at parties for children. At parties, it is often used among a set of games, such as pin the tail on the donkey, and blindman’s buff, that provide an opportunity for the hosting family to give gifts to the guests. Typically, the winner of a round will receive a small prize or token.
Playing Musical Chairs
To play musical chairs, you need to have some device to provide music. This can be a piano that someone plays, a CD player, or any other device. A grown-up controls the starting and stopping of music.
The game set-up requires that one less chair than the number of players be arranged in a circle with the seats facing outwards. They can also be arranged in two long lines back-to-back. When the music starts, children form a single-file line and march around the chairs in one direction, either clockwise or counterclockwise. The grown-up allows them to get the feel of it, then suddenly stops the music. This is a signal for each child to sit in a chair as quickly as possible.
One player will be left without a chair, and is out. A chair is removed, the children stand up and reform their line, and resume marching when the music begins again. The game continues until one of the last two players sits in the only remaining chair, and is declared the winner.
Reference to Musical Chairs in Advertising
Musical chairs is referenced in a 2007 KIA Motors commercial in which a group of cars are circling around an empty parking lot, with circus type music playing on the loud speaker. At a given signal, the cars are allowed to seek a parking space, but there is one space too few for the number of cars, so one car is left out. It drives away and as the commercial ends, the cars back out, the music begins again, the cars form a circle driving around the empty spaces again, with the implication that round two of the game is about to begin.