How to be a well-mannered audience member
to audience etiquette is to know what is considered good manners for the type
of performance you are attending. What is appropriate in one context doesn't
always readily translate to another.
go the theatre to watch a play, talking through it will upset members of the
audience around you and perhaps even the cast on stage. The same applies to a
musical presentation in a concert hall.
However if you
go to a large outdoor political rally or rock concert you'll be free to comment
to your heart's content.
is generally accepted audience etiquette for listening to musicians?
early. The starting time is generally the signal for the MC speaker to begin,
not for you to be finding your seat.
all electronic gadgetry off. Remember that you are here to hear. Save
texting and social media for before or after the concert. Or if you must
have your cell phone on, set it to vibrate and make sure you're seated on the
end of a row near an exit.
is the key. Remember the sound of someone chewing gum,
eating or slurping on a water bottle can be disruptive to others. You may not
think you're being distracting but if those around you experience your behavior
as such, you are. If you need cough drops or tissues have them ready rather
than having to rummage through your bag for them.
private whispered conversations to a minimum. Please
do not talk, sing along, hum, or yell, or keep a beat with a body part during a
you're a habitual rattler of programs, keys, or coins put them out of your own
way to avoid temptation.
alert and actively listening. Slouching, yawning and falling
asleep does little for the performer’s confidence and the audience around you
hate it if you snore!
very, very important that you stay in your own seat and remain quietly seated
throughout the concert for two reasons:
disrespectful to the performers who are working hard to perform good music.
disrespectful to other audience members to interfere in their enjoyment of the
music in any way.
the end of the concert. Never enter or leave a concert hall or
auditorium while a concert in progress unless it is an absolute emergency.
If you arrive late or need to leave early, make every attempt to wait until
intermission or a break in the program. It is considered to be very rude to
leave a concert that is in progress except in cases of dire need or emergency.
appreciation for the effort the musicians have gone to
practice, rehearse, and deliver the performance. Clap when it's
appropriate. A musician needs your response. Your laughter, eye contact, and
clapping all let them know they’re doing a good job. Clap at the end of Concert or Strings
arrangements but not between sections if a multipart arrangement, however
clapping after solos during a Jazz performance is encouraged.
However if you feel they’re not performing well, it is not considered good
manners to make that public knowledge. Audience etiquette follows the 'do unto
others as you would have done unto you' rule.