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.
What do you think about small kids in the concert hall? I just went to the opening show of the Marimba Festival, where there were quite a few families with very young children. Maybe because it was a free concert? I think it's great to expose kids to various forms of performance art. But several of the kids had to be taken outside by their parents. I wish their cries didn't have to happen during the soft pieces!