Ten Commandments for Concert-goers

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Allen
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Ten Commandments for Concert-goers

Post by Allen » Sun Sep 18, 2005 6:50 am

Ten Commandments for Concert-goers

I
Thou shalt hearken unto the music with all thy heart, with all thy soul, and all thy mind, to aid thee in thine endeavor. Study thou thy programme notes and hereby be sore fully prepared to garner the blessings of the inspired melodies which are about to be sounded.

II
Thou shalt not arrive late, for the stir of thy coming disturbeth those who did come in due season; neither shalt thou rush forth as a great wind at intermission time or before the end of the programme; nor shalt thou trample to thy left nor thy right the ushers or the doormen or the multitudes that are about thee.

III
Thou shalt keep in check thy coughings and thy sneezings for they are an abomination, and they shall bring forth evil execrations upon thee and upon thy household, even unto the third and fourth generations.

IV
Thou shalt not rustle thy programme, for the noise thereof is not as the murmur of the leaves of the forest but brash and raucous and soothest not.

V
Thou shalt not yahoo unto thy relatives, nor unto thy friends, nor unto any member of thy club or of thy household, nor unto any of thy neighbours.

VI
Thou shalt not whisper, for thy mouthings, howsoever hushed they may be, bring discord to the ear of those who sit about thee.

VII
Thou shalt not chew with great show of sound or motion. Remember that thou art not as the kine of the meadow who do chew the cud in the pastoral serenity which is vouchsafed them.

VIII
Thou shalt not direct thy index finger at persons of public note and say unto thy neighbour, "Yonder goeth so and so," but reflect that some day thou shalt perchance be a celebrity, and thou shalt be in great discomfort when thou art pointed at and thou shalt not be pleased one jot or tittle thereby.

IX
Thou shalt not slumber, for in thy stupor thou hast ears and heareth not; peradventure thou possesseth a rumbling obbligato when thou sleepeth and, verily, the rabble may be aroused thereby to do thee grievous harm.

X
Thou shalt not become a self-ordained music critic and with booming voice comment garrulously about the players or the playing; neither shalt thou hum, or tap thy foot; for thou hast come as a listener and a lover of music, not as a critic nor as a performer, and remember that none among the multitudes has paid to hear thy hummings or thy tappings or to listen unto thine opinions.

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Re: Ten Commandments for Concert-goers

Post by MaestroDJS » Sun Sep 18, 2005 7:17 am

Well said.
Allen wrote:II Thou shalt not arrive late, for the stir of thy coming disturbeth those who did come in due season; neither shalt thou rush forth as a great wind at intermission time or before the end of the programme; nor shalt thou trample to thy left nor thy right the ushers or the doormen or the multitudes that are about thee.
Further commentary:

Late Comers Rebuked, by Mark Twain
Excerpt from A Tramp Abroad, Chapter X, published in 1880

I was at a concert in Munich one night, the people were streaming in, the clock-hand pointed to seven, the music struck up, and instantly all movement in the body of the house ceased -- nobody was standing, or walking up the aisles, or fumbling with a seat, the stream of incomers had suddenly dried up at its source. I listened undisturbed to a piece of music that was fifteen minutes long -- always expecting some tardy ticket-holders to come crowding past my knees, and being continuously and pleasantly disappointed -- but when the last note was struck, here came the stream again. You see, they had made those late comers wait in the comfortable waiting-parlor from the time the music had begin until it was ended.

It was the first time I had ever seen this sort of criminals denied the privilege of destroying the comfort of a house full of their betters. Some of these were pretty fine birds, but no matter, they had to tarry outside in the long parlor under the inspection of a double rank of liveried footmen and waiting-maids who supported the two walls with their backs and held the wraps and traps of their masters and mistresses on their arms.

We had no footmen to hold our things, and it was not permissible to take them into the concert-room; but there were some men and women to take charge of them for us. They gave us checks for them and charged a fixed price, payable in advance--five cents.

In Germany they always hear one thing at an opera which has never yet been heard in America, perhaps--I mean the closing strain of a fine solo or duet. We always smash into it with an earthquake of applause. The result is that we rob ourselves of the sweetest part of the treat; we get the whiskey, but we don't get the sugar in the bottom of the glass.

Dave

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Post by Ralph » Sun Sep 18, 2005 8:28 am

As long as the fundamentalists don't try to make those commandments the Law of the Land I think they're great advice.

I would add an eleventh commandment:

Make ye not the concert hall the place for arousing touchings of your enamoured companion lest his/her squeals of ecstasy displace the music.
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Post by oisfetz » Sun Sep 18, 2005 8:59 am

As Porter said "She loves the theatre and never cames late.."

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Post by herman » Sun Sep 18, 2005 10:09 am

I would propose an eleventh commandment:

XI Thou shalt not fuss and fret and hoity-toit about thy fellow concertgoers, but rather pay attention to the music.

If nr XI pre-empts most of the preceding commandments, so much the better.

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Post by Wallingford » Mon Sep 19, 2005 1:10 pm

Well, every time I'm at a concert in Seattle, I'm brought face to face with an audience full of people who take gigantic pride in the fact they're a rock-'n'-roll city, with lots of slap-happy, reckless drivers to boot. So these poor sods would have to occupy themselves with a second set of commandments:

http://chris.pirillo.com/blog/_archives ... 51319.html

Always wondered, too: do they have this very same problem with concert etiquette in CLEVELAND (home of the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame)??
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Post by Auntie Lynn » Wed Sep 21, 2005 1:43 pm

AND FURTHERMORE, thou shalt not interminably lean forward in thy seat chin perched on hands and elbows on knees, thus ruining the sightlines for about five rows back...

I tellya, some people need to get out more often...

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Post by Auntie Lynn » Wed Sep 21, 2005 1:47 pm

AND AND FURTHERMORE FURTHERMORE, if thy treasured child shall endlessly kicketh the back of my seat, that worthy shall be dealt with in such fashion as to be unable to continue the family line...

Thanks...

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Addition

Post by RebLem » Wed Sep 21, 2005 7:08 pm

Here's another one--

If, for some reason, thee cannot or will not obey the First Commandment, at least do so in silence, so that others who have may enjoy the concert.

I remember one occasion when I attended a Chicago Symphony concert where Giulini conducted the Brahms First Symphony and did what I thought was a better performance that one that Karajan had done with the Berlin Philharmonic in the very same Orchestra Hall only 10 days before.

I was concentrating on the music and not on my surroundings and had the feeling at a subliminal level that I was listening to a good, but very slightly scratched LP of the work. Then I realized with a bit of a start, which I believe I concealed well, that I was at a live concert. I checked around for a minute or two, discreetly, so as not to disturb anyone, and finally determined that the woman sitting in front of me was filing her nails! :twisted:
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Post by Corlyss_D » Wed Sep 21, 2005 8:29 pm

My contribution:

If you have to eat anything during the performance, unwrap it before the music starts. Unwarp enough to last you the entire performance.
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Post by Ralph » Wed Sep 21, 2005 9:22 pm

Corlyss_D wrote:My contribution:

If you have to eat anything during the performance, unwrap it before the music starts. Unwarp enough to last you the entire performance.
*****

That's very difficult when you are enjoying a multi-course take-out meal. I try to be very careful with those plastic containers but the tabs usually snap loudly, unfortunately too often during a quiet passage.
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Post by Werner » Wed Sep 21, 2005 9:48 pm

Just the thing for a Schubert slow movement.
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Post by Library Bob » Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:33 am

There's a person who sits next to me at the Philadelphia Orchestra concerts to whom the following commandment would apply:

Thou shalt not rattle thy #*$#@!#* cough drops against thy teeth. Or, if thou canst not avoid it, at least try to do it on the beat.

:lol:

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Post by Harvested Sorrow » Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:52 am

Here's one related to an elder woman that sat by me at a concert with a guest celloist playing with the San Antonio symphony (albeit, it's a bit specific...but oh well)

Thou shalt not bitch about how the theater used to move people up the rows when the seats were not filled, when it is possible to do it thyself during the performance.

Thou shalt not ask people near you questions such as "Are you a cellist?" during a performance.

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Post by Bob » Thu Sep 22, 2005 3:09 pm

Thou shalt NOT be the first to applaud or shout huzzahs prior to the last breath of the concluding note of the performance. (Don't be the first to shout "Bravo" before the music sound stops vibrating.)

Bob

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Post by Ralph » Thu Sep 22, 2005 6:19 pm

And killeth thou thine perfume and cologne.
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Post by daycart » Fri Sep 23, 2005 12:32 am

Auntie Lynn wrote:AND FURTHERMORE, thou shalt not interminably lean forward in thy seat chin perched on hands and elbows on knees, thus ruining the sightlines for about five rows back...

I tellya, some people need to get out more often...
I don't get this one! If someone leans forward don't they improve the sight lines for those behind them? :?

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Post by Ralph » Fri Sep 23, 2005 8:38 am

daycart wrote:
Auntie Lynn wrote:AND FURTHERMORE, thou shalt not interminably lean forward in thy seat chin perched on hands and elbows on knees, thus ruining the sightlines for about five rows back...

I tellya, some people need to get out more often...
I don't get this one! If someone leans forward don't they improve the sight lines for those behind them? :?
*****

Usually not.
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Post by Library Bob » Sun Sep 25, 2005 4:04 pm

Here's one:

When told to turn off all cell phones and pagers, remember that that's not a suggestion. Not doing so can be injurious to your subscription and, if it's annoying enough, your health.

What made me think of that was a concert here in Philadelphia about 5-6 years back. David Zinman was leading the orchestra in the Tchaikovsky "Little Russian." In the top balcony were some very bored looking teenagers, probably there on a school trip. Right at the end of the first movement, whether by accident or design (I suspect the latter), all their pagers/cell phones went off at once. They must have thought it great fun. The rest of us didn't. Zinman didn't. He abruptly brought the orchestra to a crashing halt, turned around, and told the audience that, if all cell phones and pagers weren't turned off, he would end the concert right then and there. The audience applauded him for taking such a stand and the applause was even louder when the piece was finished.

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Post by Barry » Sun Sep 25, 2005 5:14 pm

There were two cell phone incidents during last night's Philadelphia Orchestra concert, in spite of an announcement on that topic prior to the beginning of the opening piece.
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Post by Huckleberry » Sun Sep 25, 2005 5:39 pm

Barry Z wrote:There were two cell phone incidents during last night's Philadelphia Orchestra concert, in spite of an announcement on that topic prior to the beginning of the opening piece.
I hope that these cell-phones had the decency to play an off-key FUr Elise and not rap. :D

Well, during a thrilling performance of Die WalkUre, the sweet young thing next to me fell asleep on my shoulder, and some gentleman decided to poke around with a flashlight just as Siegmund's sword was shattered and Hunding made short work of him. :P
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Post by Ralph » Sun Sep 25, 2005 5:47 pm

I wonder how many wouldn't think to turn off their cell phones were there NOT announcements!
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