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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000114.txt from 2005/08

From: Jacob Boyle <>
Subj: [kl] National Anthem and other things
Date: Mon, 08 Aug 2005 19:15:28 -0400

The rationale I've heard regarding post-anthem
applause is that it's "okay" if the applause is in
recognition of the beginning of a sporting event,
ceremony, or other occasion. I'm not sure if this
"rule" was put in place after it was realized that
people weren't aware of or capable of following the
no-applause rule or not.
This is somewhat in the same vein as the
applause-between-movements debate. Has anyone ever
actually been at a performance where the Anthem was
sung/performed (does it still count if it's not sung?)
and there followed DEAD silence? Wasn't it awkward?
What happened next?

Also...and I'll take full responsibility for opening
up this can...what exactly is the purpose of public
symphony concerts? Regarding the comment from Dan,

<The romantic movement, which saw and sees the
emotions of the
music and its impact on the listener as the essence
and purpose
of a concert, stopped that practice cold. Applause
within a
composition was considered both interruptive of the
given to the audience by the music, and offensive.>

I would venture to say that some feel that we enter
the concert hall and sit in our partitioned seats,
close ourselves off from the rest of the world at that
time--all that exists is the music and ourselves. We
absorb ourselves in the music and soak in the
aesthetic responses elicited by the performance.

However, some of the best experiences I have had
performing and taking in a performance is when I look
to my side and see my good friend has also been moved
to tears by the New World largo, or that the principal
bassoonist--also a dear comrade--is as emotionally
(and physically!) exhausted after the never-ending
Brahms' German Requiem fugue as I am.

I guess my point is that if we wish to soak ourselves
in the music and not be "offended" by other people,
then sitting in the privacy of your own home in a nice
comfy chair with a really great stereo system, a
recording of a world-class orchestra under an immortal
conductor (flawless, no doubt--those pesky human
errors really ruin the mood too, no? ;-)) may be the

But as for myself, when I attend a normal
subscription-season concert at the Minnesota Orchestra
with my six-dollar student saver ticket, I expect to
be involved in an experience with an auditorium full
of other human beings who are there for hopefully
similar reasons as I am. I approach any "whoopsies"
with that mindset--that it is a live environment, it
is the reality of the day, and realize that I do my
part to not interrupt the enjoyment of others. I
refuse to let my experience be "ruined" by these
things. Who reading this can say they have never in
their concert-going experience been a culprit of even
a single muffled cough, program drop, sneeze,
seat-squeak, etc...? My point is that some of these
things are truly an accident and demonizing those who
are at the time responsible is IMHO inappropriate.
YES, those things which ARE under their complete
control--electronic devices, etc.--should be taken
care of beforehand. However...last night, saxophonist
Eugene Rousseau (who is teaching a clinic at the camp
I am working at) gave a recital and told an anecdote
where he chastised his students before a performance
to turn off their phones. Afterward he retrieved his
phone from his pocket and lo and behold...he had not
followed his own advice! We are all human.

So when these other warm bodies are so affected by the
performance that they wish to show their appreciation
to the performers, and to each other that they are
thankful for being there at that time to share in the
moment with others, then I don't have a problem with
it. Sure, I might not be as "riled up" after Barber's
Adagio to stand up and throw out a "Bravo!" or two,
but if other people are, then so be it. We all
respond differently to music. And somehow, saying
that people should or shouldn't react or behave in a
certain way as a response to such a mysterious and
unexplainable experience just isn't right to me.

About to enter my fourth year as an undergrad I still
have much to learn about music, and these are all
simply my thoughts as I understand things right now,
and welcome anyone else's input on all of this.

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