I’m still pondering the whole applause thing.
If we begin to applaud between movements, might we eventually applaud during movements? But if we did end up there our performances would become much like jazz concerts. (Okay, I’m probably stretching this a bit by suggesting folks would applaud while we’re playing, but I like stretching.) And this is what hit me: I really hate applauding for the solos when I hear live jazz. I find it disruptive. So maybe it’s a personality thing. Maybe some of us don’t really want to applaud all that much.
Or are we attempting to appeal to those who like rock concerts? In that case maybe we should nix the chairs, and let everyone mill about and talk during the concerts. (The advantage there would be that I would never get nervous! Hmmm. There’s a thought.)
Music etiquette is such a bizarre thing, really. In opera the audience applauds after certain arias. They sometimes applaud when the curtain rises (I’m assuming it’s because they love the set), and of course they applaud at the end of each act. But sometimes they applaud after an entr’acte and sometimes they don’t. We sometimes have a claque in the audience and she’ll clue in the audience if they aren’t on top of things, but when she’s not there the applause points can vary greatly.
In ballet the audience will applaud when a dancer does something nifty. And they applaud when each dance number is over. And they applaud at the end of the entire ballet. At least most of the time that’s how it goes.
So ballet and opera audiences get to applaud a whole lot more than a symphony audience. Maybe the symphony audiences are just envious and want to put their hands together more often.
Me? I love music that moves me. But I especially like the music that moves me to the point of silence. Or even of falling to my knees. I like music that knocks me out, to be honest. And it doesn’t make me want to applaud. It makes me want to be quiet.
So there you go. I’m just not one to applaud a lot. Go figure.