If you're not used to go to classical concerts, you should notice it's not like other concerts, such as rock, jazz, pop, or whatever. There are some usual practices to make this more enjoyable, although you don't need to have previous knowledge about the composers and songs to have a good time. Follow the tips:
- Read the program. In every classical concert, there is a folder, in which you'll find descriptions of the music that will be played, who the composers are, and how many movements make up the symphony (or concerto, or suite, or whatever kind of song it is). Movements are "parts" of symphonies, such as "acts" in theater plays. It's good to memorize how many movements each symphony has, or take a look on your folder often, so that you'll know the time to applaud.
- Dress comfortably, but not carelessly. It's suggested to wear comfortable clothes, for you to feel well during the concert. Avoid using shorts and slippers: this breaks the visual harmony of the event.
- Maintain silence. Unlike other musical genres, classical music's details and delicate sounds require the silence of the audience.
- Know when to applaud. Maybe it's the most complicated thing in these concerts. You just applaud at the very end of the opus. It means, if the concerto or symphony has three movements, you're supposed to applaud only in the end of the third movement. It's the rule for every symphony or suite that will be played. So be sure you read the program and memorize the movements, or take a look at the folder if you need to. Don't applaud between movements of the same opus.
- Don't be late. As silence and peace are essential to the best appreciation of the pieces, many theaters close their doors when the concert is about to start. If you get there late, but are still allowed in, sit as silently as possible. If you need to go out, do it as silently as possible, too.
- Turn off your cellphones and pagers. This one is a little obvious, but we can't remind ourselves too many times (there's always an absent-minded person who doesn't do that, and spoils the harmony of the show). Anything that makes noise is better turned off, or far from places like that.
- Don't smoke, eat or drink during the concert. It does break the concentration of you and people around you, and makes noise. And smoking is, of course, an unpleasant action at this kind of fine place.
- Relieve the symptoms of an illness. If you are sick and have a cough or runny nose, remember to relieve those symptoms before you enter the concert. Suck quietly on a cough drop if necessary during the show.
- Have a good time. There's no need of be thinking about problems, broken hearts, bills to pay, injured pals... You're there to enjoy it, so have a great time!