“Though some argue that the etiquette for concert halls is outdated … concert halls actually provide unique experiences that have become all too rare,” writes Linda Shaver-Gleason in Friday’s Van magazine. “Spaces built specifically for music performance certainly existed before the 19th century, but access to them was limited: nobility who had enough resources to employ their own musicians and composers might devote a room of their estate to musical performance…. The concert hall still provides something unique: the individual aesthetic experience within a communal context…. Movie theaters create an environment similar to that of the concert hall. Yet movies often prompt spontaneous communal responses: gasps at an unforeseen twist, shouts at a scary jump-cut.… Classical music has moments like this as well, though they may not be as obvious…. A change in the way we approach the concert hall would make the environment more accessible without trying to pass classical music as something it isn’t. We can ease up on the strictest aspects of concert etiquette … to acknowledge the concert as a public experience … without sacrificing the freedom from distraction that makes the concert hall worth keeping.”

Posted April 16, 2018