Classical Music Concert Etiquette – A Primer

Classical music can be very intimidating to get into. With such a large volume of music spanning centuries and many different genres, it is impossible to pick a good starting place without guidance. I will be writing an article on this at some point in the new future, but for today, let’s assume you are simply interested in attending a live classical music concert near you.

We as classical musicians are a very snobby bunch. We expect people to come into our hallowed concert halls and know exactly what to do and what not to do. The modern act of sitting down in (hopefully) completely silence in a concert hall is actually a fairly new practice – in classical music’s earlier years, it was perfectly normal to stand up, mill about, have a chat or a drink with a friend while Haydn’s latest creation was blasting behind you. This is not the case anymore and if you don’t have a friend to explain what’s going on to you, you will probably be completely as oblivious as I was when I first stepped into a concert hall myself.

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