Musical chairs

Musical chairs, also known as Trip to Jerusalem, is a game of elimination involving players, chairs, and music. It is a staple of many parties worldwide.

Musical chairs
Musical chairs Lawn Jam Our Community Place Harrisonburg VA June 2008.jpg
Musical chairs being played at a party
PlayersVariable
Setup timeVariable
Playing timeVariable
Random chanceMusic stoppage may seem random to players, but is under the control of the leader
Age rangeUsually children
Skill(s) requiredQuick reaction time

GameplayEdit

A set of chairs is arranged in a circle with one fewer chair than the number of players (i.e. seven players, six chairs). The players then move around the set of chairs as music plays. When the music stops, all players must sit on the chairs and whichever player fails to sit on a chair or find one in the set is eliminated. One chair is then removed and the process repeated until only one player remains and is declared the winner.

History of the nameEdit

The origins of the game's name, Trip to Jerusalem, is disputed. However, it is known to come from its German name "Reise Nach Jerusalem" (lit. The Journey to Jerusalem). One theory suggests that the name was inspired by the Crusades, wherein several heavy losses were incurred. Another theory suggests that it was inspired by the Aliyah, the immigration of Jews from the diaspora to the Land of Israel historically, which today includes the modern State of Israel, wherein it is stated that spaces on ships taking the Jews to the said land were limited. None of these theories were officially confirmed.

As metaphorEdit

The term "playing musical chairs" is also a metaphor for describing any activity where items or people are repeatedly and usually pointlessly shuffled among various locations or positions. It can also refer to a condition where people have to expend time searching for a resource, such as having to travel from one gasoline station to another when there is a shortage. It may also refer to political situations where one leader replaces another, only to be rapidly replaced due to the instability of the governing system (see cabinet shuffle).

In the musical Evita, during the song "The Art of the Possible", Juan Perón and a group of other military officers play a game of musical chairs which Perón wins, symbolizing his rise to power.

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