Classical Music Etiquette for Beginners

The crowd hums with expectation. A sea of grey covers the terrain of the stalls, whilst a bell tolls, signaling the imminent downbeat. The lights dim - the ever so mildly restless crowd hushes. It’s time.

But first, an announcement - ‘please ensure your mobile phones are turned off.

The Maestro emerges to loud, rapturous applause. Or perhaps the orchestra emerges first, followed by the designated tuner, then followed by the Maestro. Either way, a lot of applause happens to signify appreciation for something that hasn’t yet occurred.

Silence again, and boom goes the orchestra.

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Tall Poppies Are Pretentious Twats

We’ve all been there - musicians, that is. Generally, sitting down somewhere: be it at a world famous concert hall listening to a professional performer smashing away at a piece we’ve played; a masterclass we should have signed up for; early for your lesson and listening to the previous victim; or even just listening to some friends run through repertoire.

‘I could do that better.’

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Musicians Are Worthless

The steady descent started with the first recording.

Think about it. What is music for us now? Music is the most readily available commodity in our lives. It plays on the subway trains from a caustic mixture of headphones, buskers, and inconsiderate narcissists and their varied speaker systems. It is in every shop, restaurant, grocery store, cafe, even on the street when cars drive past with their windows down. It creates a space for every individual with a set of headphones that is completely hermetic and cut off from those around them. It is on our laptops, computers, phones, soundsystems. It is purchased, it is streamed, it is unconsciously absorbed.

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The Problem With Classical Music - Part 1

Part One of a six part dossier. In recent times, musicians and music lovers alike have been writing the obituary for classical music. Classical record companies are faltering, concerts are lesser and lesser frequented, and general interest is low. The flashpoint for classical musicians is now, and it's either evolve with the times, or face complete irrelevancy.

So here's how we're going to do it.

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