23. September 2007 · Comments Off on What Would You Change? · Categories: Ramble

Clapping: The protocol is that you do not clap during a full performance of a multi-movement piece, such as a symphony or concerto, until the work is completely finished. The logic is that applause breaks the audience and musicians’ concentration.

This is the classical concert convention I would most like to see drop-kicked out of the concert hall.


So how about readers here? What would you change? What would you keep?

Me? Well, I have a few things I guess …

Clothing: I’d go for all black, no tails or tuxes for men on stage. I mean all black; no white shirts. I just like the look better. For the less formal concerts I’d say solid color shirts/blouses would be cool too. But no white. (Heck, I can’t keep white clean!)

Clapping: Meh. Clap if it seems appropriate, but a little knowledge is helpful; if the work is attacca clapping can kind of ruin things, you know? Maybe someone needs to clue an audience in on this sort of thing beforehand, rather than correcting them during a performance. It would be easy for a conductor to turn around prior to the start of a work and say, “For this work we’d really love silence until the very end” … and she or he could even explain why.

The WALL: Not all orchestras observe this, but I remember when San Jose Symphony players were told we couldn’t go up to the apron and talk to audience members before the performance or during intermission. It was something about “not being professional”. Well, I say take the wall down in any way possible. Heck, why can’t we talk to audience members? It doesn’t ruin anything … does it?

I’m sure I’ll think of more. Right now my brain is on idle and my headache is on a sort of 10 mph sort of thing. What with opera this afternoon it’s time to take it easy.

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