Goodbye, Darwin

Music Appreciation and Musical Publics


A famous anecdote about Beethoven quotes him as complaining about the behavior of a Berlin audience after one of his performances there. He was not applauded, he reports, but people crowded around him and wept, which was not what he wanted, preferring that they show their appreciation through applause.1 According to Beethoven scholars, sometime after this incident, clapping became the norm. Beethoven’s career coincides with the beginning of a middle-class classical music audience and the initial formation of the rules of concert etiquette in which listening, replacing more active forms of participation, became the norm.2


Classical Music Popular Music Music Educator Entertainment Venue Musical Object 
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  1. 57.
    Anne Shaw Faulkner, What We Hear in Music, ed. Victor Talking Machine Company (Camden: RCA Victor, 1928).Google Scholar

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© Ruth Gustafson 2009

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