Give classical music the respect it deserves

Perhaps one of the best things about this season is that the city plays host to a number of classical Indian music concerts, both outdoors and indoors, with the country’s top artistes playing for aficionados and those wet-behind-the-ears about classical music, alike. Today, too, the Nehru auditorium in Worli plays host to a music fest which is returning to the city after 32 years.

It is a revival worth applauding, given that culture is really the lifeblood of  a city. With the audience comprising a spectrum of people, one naturally sees people who behave in different ways. One has to keep in mind that artistes need to be respected. Do not enter the auditorium late; some venues actually disallow it but even if you have to attend an event at a venue that does allow it, avoid doing that. It means an interruption in performance and break in concentration for the artiste. Using your cell phone shows gross disrespect. Even sending messages, clicking madly, and shining your cell phone screen light while doing so are a complete no-no. Today, the selfie craze, too, has made people camera- crazy. While a slice of musical immortality is to be appreciated, be aware of where and when you are clicking a selfie.

Sadly, one sees show sponsors using their phones during a performance, as if sponsoring a show gives you licence to disturb artistes and the audience. There are people who walk in the aisle exchange seats, or stand up in the middle of the performance to walk out.

Some artistes are known to throw fits at this behaviour. Others simply stop performing, and yet others actually order the offender out of the auditorium. These, though, are limited to a few big names, those that one knows can ‘afford’ to be temperamental. Other artistes are more passive or accepting by nature, and some may not be big enough to have that kind of choice. Whatever the case, the audience needs to show restraint, respect, appreciation, and class.
After all, this is classical music.

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