The quirks of clapping

What if….just once, the audience didn’t applaud at the end of a performance? Not because they weren;t appreciative, but because they were so moved, they wished to remain ‘in the moment’ and not disturb the lingering sounds as they soaked in……?

A concert without applause would be very different to what we’re used to. Would the audience leave repressed? Would the performers go home feeling like failures?  In the quirky world of concert etiquette, audiences applaud and call out  after arias mid- opera, but not between movements of choral or orchestral works.

Simon O’Hagan from The Independent reviews the issue. In his feature, (link below), he says “The performing of classical music carries certain traditions, and they give rise to two particular areas of contention: first, applause between movements; and second, the lapse in time between the fading away of the final note and the first audience reaction.”

Click here for the full feature.

Click here for Alex Ross on the history of applause in performance:


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