Concert Etiquette

Coming in: The best way to come into a classical concert is early. If you are late, there are guidelines:

  • Open the door and enter when you hear applause – as no one is performing at that time.
  • When you do come in, quickly pick a seat in the back.
Going out: The all-time greatest times to leave a hall: intermission and at the end. If you must leave, except in the case of emergency, wait for the right time:
  • Good choice – in between pieces.
  • Best choice – during applause
Applause: Ever notice that some people know exactly when to clap and when not to clap?
Here’s the code:
  • Applaud for the entrance of the Concertmaster and for the Conductor.
  • The other main rule is to applaud after each piece of music. It is sometimes hard to distinguish when the piece ends if the selection has several sections, for example:
    “Symphony #9”
    I. Allegretto
    II. Adagio
    III. Allegro
  • Wait until the whole piece is over before applauding
Final Hints: The concert hall is not the place for food, drinks, candies, lozenges, etc. Wrappers are very distracting to both the performers and the audience. If you have a cough, unwrap a lozenge or two before the music starts or during applause.
  • Avoid talking. Whispering is especially audible in a music hall designed to pick up every sound. Enjoy the music – talk later.
  • Share this liberal arts knowledge, as knowing is half the battle.