Cough drops, lollipops -- why is the crackly sound of a candy wrapper so annoying in a symphony hall?
Let's face it, classical music thrives on fine details, and the ideal backdrop for listening to it is silence. Those details come across best in a special space with fine-tuned acoustics for capturing and conveying the music as it is created.
Of course, those fine-tuned acoustics also serve to amplify noises that aren't actually part of the music: coughing, unwrapping candy, rustling papers, whispering, cell-phone beeping. That's part of the reason a small noise that normally would not be terribly annoying (turning a page) takes on a much more annoying quality in the context of a concert hall. We can be forgiven -- when we've dressed up, taken off the night, paid good money, looked forward to the experience -- for being a bit perturbed when a precious musical moment that some 90 people have contrived to create gets ruined by the beep of a cell phone.
A few days ago, Philippe Quint was laughing at himself over something that happened on an airport: "I was sitting on the plane, and suddenly someone behind me started to open a very loud candy wrapper. I am so used to giving dirty looks to the person in the audience making noise, that by habit, I gave this person THE LOOK - only to realize that I am neither performing, nor sitting in the audience!"
So Philippe is the inspiration for this vote: What kind of extraneous noise do you find to be most annoying in the concert hall?
Maybe it's something else, if so, please tell us about it below, in the comments!
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