How to Listen

At Honens we want our audiences to have a sensational concert experience. That’s why we have added this section to for easy reference before attending a concert. These basic ideas can help any music enthusiast – no matter how experienced – get the most out of a performance.

  1. Prepare for the concert by listening to recordings of the music that will be performed. Read the liner notes to understand the context in which the music was written.
  2. Sleepiness Don’t eat or drink too much before attending a concert. No one wants to hear you snore!
  3. Noise In the Concert Hall and at any live concert, the performer is aware of many distractions that may be present. It is important to sit quietly and listen carefully. This creates the best atmosphere for both the musician and the audience.
  4. Concentration helps you enjoy the performance as much as possible, and can transport you to another world. Careful listening also helps you to develop a more discerning ear. This means that you can be more selective in your choices of listening in all genres.
  5. House Programs Normally, at a classical music concert, there will be a printed program – equivalent to liner notes in a CD. The program outlines the order of the works to be performed. Try to read the program before the lights in the concert hall dim, in order to prevent rustling of pages during the concert. In pieces with sections, such as sonatas and suites, the individual 'movements' or parts are indicated in the program.
  6. Applause There is usually a short pause between a work’s movements. Normally the audience applauds only after an entire piece (i.e. after all the movements) has been performed. Applause is the appropriate response at the end of a piece. The performer appreciates an enthusiastic audience, and while some people may call out “encore” or “bravo”, excessive whistling or yelling is usually not suitable.

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