Musical chairs is intended to be played by a large group of people.


The game is usually played by children, but variations are available for older players.

Type of Party

Musical chairs is often played in informal settings such as birthday parties, purely for entertainment.


A number of chairs (one chair less than the total number of players) is gathered and arranged into a circle facing outwards. Other shapes can be used in smaller spaces, but the players should be able to walk around the group of chairs fairly easily. After arranging the chairs, a music source is set up. Enough music should be prepared to last the entire game.


A non-playing individual must take control of the music source. As the music plays, the players must walk around the chairs together. When the music controller turns the music off (without warning), everyone must sit in a chair as quickly as possible. The player who doesn't manage to get a chair is removed from the game, along with one chair (so that there is always one less chair than the number of players). The music resumes and the process continues until one person is left, who is the winner.

Other Information

  • Musical chairs was formely called Going to Jerusalem.
  • There is a non-competitive version of musical chairs, where a chair is removed but no player each time the music stops. All players must sit down on the remaining chairs without their feet touching the floor.
  • "Playing musical chairs" is a metaphorical way of describing activities where items or people are repeatedly and sometimes pointlessly shuffled between locations.


1. - Wikipedia.