The big applause issue

Drew McManus has scratched open a wound that will unfortunately never really heal I’m afraid: applauding during movements. He originally wrote an article for the Partial Observer, in which he explains how he is turned off by the applause regulations at classical music concerts and by the general pretentiousness of the industry.

The discussion on when to applaud during classical music has had many journalists and bloggers express their opinion. Here’s a brief and selected overview:

If you would like to weigh in with your opinion, Drew McManus is doing a quick study on his Adaptistration blog on the matter. The survey takes less than a minute.

In tackling the delicate issue of enlightening the mainly new audiences about the applause regulations, dress codes and all other pretentiousness, the Atlanta Symphony’s Web site does a great job of not making it pretentious.

The older non-applauding audience is the audience that spends the money, buys the subscriptions and returns to the concerts. The new applauding audience is the audience that is only just discovering classical music, not sure if they will return to the venue, and not spending large amounts of money.

The delicate issue here is: do you aggravate the older, non-applauding, subscribing and money-making audience; so that there is a chance they might not donate, buy fewer subscriptions, or not spend other money at your venue? Or do you overwhelm and belittle the younger, new, discovering and future subscribing and money-making audience; so that there is a chance they might not return for a second time or become that future subscribing and money-making audience you seek?

Ultimately, my heart lies with not overwhelming and belittling the newer audiences.