Changing Perceptions of the Symphony
When you think of the symphony, you might think of people dressing up in evening gowns and tuxedos for a night of high fashion, but that’s not what the symphony is about. While once upon a time, many people may have used a night out of enjoying music as an excuse to compete in a high-end fashion show, that is not the case today.
Today, a night out enjoying the symphony or orchestra does not need to be a major production. This goes far beyond fashion, too. It extends to every aspect of culture, and it has made the symphony far more accessible to the general public. It’s even made it more enjoyable for many individuals.
Concert etiquette still plays a prominent role. This means that while you don’t need to go out and rent a tux, you still need to dress up a little bit. That doesn’t necessarily mean a tie or dress, but it also means staying away from flip-flops and cut off t-shirts. Other points of etiquette also are important to follow. If you’ve never been to a show, you should know that cheering and speaking during a performance is frowned upon. This is a common feature of other types of shows, but not a symphonic performance.
However, things are starting to change. A lot of groups are beginning to recognize how divisive perceptions have become and are putting together shows that are designed for everyone, including children. There have even been fights reported in the news recently. For example, one news outlet reported a fight breaking out because one audience member was eating too loudly during a performance. Obviously, acting right while you are at a concert performance is a much bigger deal than it might seem at first glance.
This is important to keep in mind. An appreciation of culture is important to instill in our younger generation, but if kids are not welcome at the symphony, how else will they be able to nurture this interest in music and the arts? The difficulty that is faced here is that a symphony is supposed to have a quiet audience during the performance, and anyone who has been around kids for any length of time knows that they can have difficulty sitting quiet and still for extended periods of time. According to some symphony fans, if this love isn’t handed down to children, the future of the symphony and classical music in general could be in jeopardy.
Of course, there are a few easy ways to avoid this. One is to enjoy the many performances that are available on YouTube, television, and the radio. Thanks to the internet, there are more options for enjoying classical music than ever before. This can be a good way to infuse your home with great music and pass this gift on.
Another alternative is to support local groups, like your high school or community performers. Typically, these audiences are a lot more encouraging when it comes to younger audiences and can be a good way to overcome the etiquette gap that may exist. These are also a great way to enjoy good music for free or very cheap while supporting members of your community.
What about you? Do you have any concerns about the symphony? Are there places where you think it could change for the better, or should it remain how it is? This can be a contentious issue, and we’re curious to hear what you think. After all, the symphony is one of the greatest experiences anyone can have. Our goal is to help you get the most out of this experience. Please feel free to let us know your thoughts on the matter.