I guess I just find it hard to believe that anyone who is likely to actually be interested in classical music is being kept out of the concert hall because of these petty prohibitions. At some point you have to want to sit through 40 minutes of Beethoven, not just try to endure 40 minutes of Beethoven by distracting yourself with your phone and intermittent clapping. And if you don’t want to sit through it then why should you have to? Look, if the goal here is to trick people to get some extra butts in the seats and massage hurting orchestras’ revenues, that’s a business decision and you gotta do what you gotta do. But that’s a conversation for business development departments or something, not for people interested in broader questions about how to best serve music they love.

… and …

Let’s have more trust in the judgment of people who seek out the performance of music because they love to know how they want to experience it. I suspect anything else is an exercise in futility.


I have to get ready to teach or I might spend more time commenting on this, but I really do appreciate what Alex writes at the blog wellsung and I think it’s worth pondering.

Last Sunday at church the pastor was talking about the things some churches are doing to get people in the door. I cracked up (silently) because he very easily could have been talking about the classical music world. (One thing he mentioned, in fact, was about a minister making an entrance on a Harley. Well, I’ve certainly read about a conductor doing that!) And … well … it seems like we are all talking about being “relevant” and getting more than just the white-haired folks in the door, and “if we only have a (coffee/alcohol) bar they’d be here” sort of stuff.

It does get very old and makes me somewhat weary, both at church and in the concert hall.

This is not to say we can’t do new things. This is not to say changes can’t be made. But if we think that letting people text and clap whenever they want (assisting them in their lack of attention span, perhaps) will suddenly make us the Most Popular Thing On Earth we are, I believe, delusional.

And now I’m sure I’ll get blasted by someone(s). But oh well. 🙂

1 Comment

  1. Very true. Music should appeal to the inner soul, and not give in to the superficial, materialistic world we live in today. It is above and beyond that.