Utopian Turtletop. Monsieur Croche's BĂȘte Noire. Contact: turtletop [at] hotmail [dot] com

Saturday, February 19, 2005


My suggestion last night that I'd be happy to see people pumping their fists and playing air violin at a classical concert was mostly facetious; but music can move the body as well as the spirit -- even Western Classical music -- and the suppression of urges to respond to the music physically might not be everybody's cup of afternoon tea.

Alex has made it clear that his interest in loosening up the decorum of a classical concert is in hopes of attracting new audience members who might otherwise be completely put off from the classical concert experience. Alex -- and lots of other people, me included -- worry that without new audiences, some major musical performance institutions might not survive. Alex's concerns are valid & his suggestions for addressing them feel on-the-mark to me.

The sorrow inherent in Alex's suggestion is, as Marcus makes clear, that a change in decorum standards at classical concerts would substantially lessen the joy and pleasure that many current classical patrons find in the concert experience, and that these decorum standards have aesthetic justifications, and are not mere snobbery and exclusiveness.

My suggestion for "rowdy" and "non-rowdy" performances sounds goofy, but it may actually be the way to go. We all love music in our own ways, and it would be great if we could devise ways to maximize everybody's opportunity to find joy in experiencing and expressing that love.

Like the saying goes -- and it's the American way -- different strokes for different folks.
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