Did you know that there’s a Wikipedia entry for Classical Music Riot?
I knew about the Rite of Spring, but there were others? I got all excited, until I discovered that:
The usual respectful and sedate manner of classical music audiences means that any sort of rough behavior, ranging from catcalls to shoving, can be seen as a comparative ‘riot’.
How can I put this? No it can’t. I’ve played in bars where that counts as a warm reception. That might be a sign that I need to join a better band, but it’s not a riot until an angry mob starts throwing things.
Still. There’s probably something we can learn from this. Of 12 instances of unrest in a 180 year period (one every 15 years), two thirds happened in the 21-year period between 1905 and 1926 (a frequency of one every two and a half years).
This was the period in which modernist music entered the concert hall – a period in which major arts presenters staged concerts that they knew would seriously upset a large part of their core audience.
This was when concerts were interesting. I don’t know about anybody else, but I’d much rather worry about whether or not the seats are adequately screwed down than wonder what we are going to do when the last member of the audience dies.
Big thanks to Denise, who keeps Wikipedia open all time and appears to know everything when you talk to her on the phone.