Slightly OT: music etiquette
Some friends gave me a pair of their season tickets to the symphony the other night, and it was a delightful evening of Strauss, Bernstein, and Brahams (his angsty first piano concerto). This should go without saying at this point in civilization but from I hear (quite literally) it needs to be repeated a little bit frikkin more. When you’re at a concert (or movie):
1. Turn off your cell phone.
1a. If your cell phone does ring, be very ashamed and humiliated and hope that you live long enough to repay all the bad cosmic debt you racked up in the process, but for the love of Romantic piano concertos everywhere, don’t just let it ring. If you can’t find it in your handbag or jacket pocket, stomp or punch in the general vicinity until it stops. Buying a new cellphone is a fraction of the price you should have to pay. Don’t pretend it’s not you; we all know the truth. You weren’t listening or you were late or you’re just inconsiderate and you didn’t turn your ringer off. Honestly.
I know it’s prohibitively troublesome to put cellphone jammers in concert halls, but I don’t think it’s too draconian to do a high-tech version of what happens at the U.S. Capitol these days: you surrender your pager or phone to the guard desk before entering the House or Senate chamber, you’re given a number and an attendant will come get you if ask them to when your phone rings. Why not up the octane on this idea a bit and give a house pager to those people who need one – doctors and other on-call professionals and people with sufficiently exigent circumstances (sufficiently, because if you can get to the symphony, life can’t be that exigent at the moment). If it goes off, you get up and go check it. Not perfect but better than hearing that annoying default ringtone for Cingular phones bleat on and on. Just when you think that’s the last one … DEN-UH-nuhnuh, DEN-UH-nuhnuh, DEN-UH-nuhnuh nuh.
2. Don’t wear jangly bangles to a classical music event. I attended a musical recently where there was a hardcandy wrapper scourge. But the woman behind me had on one of those sets of a dozen or so thin brittle arm bracelets that clanged like wind chimes every time she breathed and put any hardcandy wrapper to shame as noise pollution goes. It’s Brahams for piano and orchestra, not piano and metal arm jewelry. At least that’s what I told her with my dirty looks.Email this Post