Those old rules about clapping between movements might seem a little silly, after a year-long starvation diet of no classical music performances. We should be so lucky get a chance to clap our hands at a live performance at all!
Live music can be exciting, especially when the music is fast and loud and amazing, as it was for the New York Phil's concerts at the festival. People clapped after movements that felt especially excellent, or exciting.
Sometimes, when a movement concludes in an especially grand way, it can actually feels awkward and a little tense if people don't clap -- as if people are holding themselves back from their natural reaction.
On the other side of the coin: I also went last week to a smaller venue, the Vail Interfaith Chapel, for a chamber recital, played by the Viano String Quartet. It was a rather sophisticated audience, and you could tell - no one even considered the idea of clapping between movements. Everyone was on the same page, and it felt less awkward. In this case, that quiet time between movements felt reflective and appropriate. It was just right.
But does that really mean we need to keep the no-applause rule, for everything?
What are your thoughts on the matter? Should there be no applause between music? Or do we just need to change that rule and let people clap between movements? Or, do we need a more nuanced approach that allows the applause sometimes, but not always? Please choose the answer that most closely reflects your thoughts about the matter, and also share any ideas you have about handling the situation. Should there be announcements? Concert etiquette guidelines in program books? Something else? If you answered "sometimes," how will people know when it's okay and when it's not?
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