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Classical Notes: April 27, 2010 Archive

Manners - A Refresher

Posted at 1:55 PM on April 27, 2010 by Ward Jacobson (1 Comments)
Filed under: Concerts

Etiquette expert Elizabeth Post (known by family and friends as "Libby") died Saturday in Naples, Florida. She was 89. Ms. Post was the granddaughter-in-law of the country's foremost etiquette expert, Emily Post. Along with revising "Emily Post's Etiquette" five times, Post also wrote several books of her own, as well as a column for Good Housekeeping magazine for 25 years. She once said, "Etiquette is meant to smooth the path between people to better relationships."

It got me thinking about good manners (or the lack thereof) in today's concert halls. There are several websites out there offering suggestions - some obvious, some helpful, some rather condescending.

As far as I'm concerned, it's all common sense. Turn your cell phone off. Try to hold that cough or sneeze until the end of a movement. Don't be the first to applaud. If a particular movement is an earth-changer well...yeah, maybe the hall will explode in applause even though the work isn't complete. Feel free to join in if that's the case. You know...common sense stuff.

Pianist Emanuel Ax has his own unique take here. I think he's on to something!

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