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a game of musical chairs

A situation in which people or things are moved, shuffled, or rearranged from one position to another. After the boss resigned, it was a regular game of musical chairs in the company to figure out who would take over for whom. It's been a game of musical chairs trying to create enough space in the living room for Alex's birthday party this weekend.
See also: chair, game, musical, of

accompany someone on a musical instrument

to provide complementary instrumental music for someone's musical performance. Sally accompanied the singer on the piano.
See also: accompany, musical

play musical chairs

to move people from one organization or job to another The teams play musical chairs at that position - all of the top punters have played for at least two teams.
Usage notes: also used in the form a game of musical chairs: Buckley was reassigned in a game of corporate musical chairs Thursday.
Etymology: based on the children's game in which there is one more player than there are chairs and the players walk in a circle around the chairs until music stops playing, at which time they hurry to the nearest empty chair
See also: chair, musical, play

musical chairs, play

Move around from position to position, such as the jobs in an organization. For example, Bob took over for Tom, who took over for Mary, who got Bob's title-the boss loves to play musical chairs with the staff . This expression alludes to the children's game in which children walk around a number of seats while music plays, and there is one less chair than players. When the music stops the players must sit down, and the player who is left standing is eliminated. Then another chair is removed, and the game goes on until only one player is left sitting. [c. 1900]
See also: musical, play

musical beds

n. acts of sexual promiscuity; sleeping with many people. (From the name of the game musical chairs.) Mary has been playing musical beds for about a year.
See also: bed, musical
References in periodicals archive ?
Impressive on all levels, this was a technically astounding, theatrically exciting, musically moving experience.
The best thing about it is that students don't need to be musically minded or computer geniuses to create something they can be proud of.
Musically, the Canadians are getting away with murder.
Brendon David Nielson of Lehi, Utah, is a musically precocious seven-year-old.
Aida Ruilova draws on both: Her conception of video is indebted more to the montage-based aesthetic of cinema than to painting or sculpture, in which so much video work remains tacitly rooted, and she uses images of things like records and musical instruments not only to mention sound itself but also to draw our attention to the way her pieces are musically structured--somewhere between trip hop and drum 'n' bass, maybe, making rhythm both hypnotic and assaultive.
This is not music for the musically faint of heart.
Even if this CD didn't help out a worthy cause, it would still be worth buying because it's musically superior.
A little acrostic for struggling students of the musically rich Renaissance used to tell of the JAILCOB generation: Josquin, at the lead, followed by Agricola, Isaac, et.
Following in the wake of Glass's truly experimental "portrait" trilogy, The Voyage was regarded as politically controversial and musically provocative; four years later, it seems politically and musically a very tame evening indeed.
We're extremely proud of the musically integrated line, which will hit store shelves right before the August premiere of High School Musical 2.
From a ``dumb-floundered'' pirate to ``marooned'' sailors aboard colliding cargo ships hauling red and brown paint, ``Sailing'' is just one of 15 songs featured on the thunderous concert CD from the smart, musically sophisticated duo of Grimwood and guitarist Ezra Idlet.
The upward incremental adjustments in these instances feel so easy that the performer is hardly affected technically or musically by the increases, and if problems do occur, he knows to temporarily slow it to increase the speed.
It's a great record, but also a reminder that you didn't have to be particularly musically adept instrumentally to make worthy music.
Musically, Body of Song finds Mould effortlessly integrating the defining styles of his career, including the raw distortion of Husker Du, the plaintive pop of Sugar, and even the dance spin of Modulate.