What to do before attending a concert
  1. You should first have an understanding of the concert you are going to attend, such as the repertoire, history and relevant stories, at home in order to adjust yourself physically and mentally to the most suitable condition for the concert.
  2. It is a sign of respect for the performers to have a good knowledge of the repertoire and the ways to appreciate it as well as gain greater familiarity with the program in advance.  This will also help you to get involved in the concert and behave properly.
  3. On the date of the concert, get your work done early to save time for dressing yourself up a bit, so that you will not arrive at the hall in a hurry.
  4. Lastly, have a snack before the concert and do not go hungry or eat too much to avoid falling asleep or burping, so that you can enjoy the program in a peaceful manner.
What to wear
  1.  Slippers, sandals, shorts or sleeveless T-shirts are not advised.
  2. A safe outfit for a female would be an elegant and subtle suit or dress.  If she wears pants, it is better to go for dress pants.  A male may wear a suit but do not go overboard.
  3. A female should pick accessories that will not emit ding-dong sounds.
  4. Outfits that produce rustling sounds should be avoided, such as trench coat.
  5. Take it easy on cologne and perfume as the scent may disturb the audience members around you.  If those sitting next to you have allergies, your overwhelming scent may cause them to sneeze or they may even have to leave the hall in the middle of a concert.
  6. For a female in high heels, beware of making clicking sounds when walking.
  7. The audience members should follow the dress code requirements as provided by the concert organizer (if any).
When entering the hall

  1. Punctuality is essential.  It is advisable to arrive at the concert hall at least 20 minutes before the start time to give yourself an opportunity to relax, get in trim and read the program, so as to prepare yourself better for the concert.  Also, take a look at the seating plan and locate your seat in advance, so that you can find your seat as quickly as possible after entering the hall.
  2. For latecomers, wait patiently until ushers open the entrance again.  Keep quiet when entering the hall and sit down as quickly as possible.
  3. Keep quiet when entering the hall, find your seat and sit down as quickly as possible.  Do not keep talking to your friends while entering the hall.  As there are a number of audience members, do not delay the others for your own pleasure.
  4. Turn off the sound on all electronic devices, such as cell phone, iPad and watch immediately after being seated because even a soft noise can be heard clearly in a spacious concert hall.
  5. Read the program before the performance begins.
  6. For those using wheelchairs, notify the staff about it early, so that the seat can be well arranged.
  7. Go back to your seat immediately after intermissions, otherwise you may have to wait until the next one to enter the hall.
When listening to the performance of music
  1. Do not talk during the performance.  If necessary, a discreet whisper or gesture is acceptable.  Avoid continuously making noise as the audience members are enjoying the concert silently, any noise will disturb others, especially those performing on the stage.  Since a live performance cannot be redone, each audience member has the responsibility to maintain a nice environment for everyone to listen and enjoy.
  2. Avoid making comments about the performance in the hall.  Discuss with your friends until the concert ends and when you leave the venue as the performers on stage performs diligently, no matter you like it or not.
  3. Do not eat in your seat as this is very disrespectful to the performers.
  4. If you want to take a rest, close your eyes just for a while and make sure you will not snore.
  5. Do not walk around and leave your seat during a performance.  Go to the restrooms during intermissions.  It is therefore advisable to take care of your physiological needs before the concert begins.
  6. If you have a cold and continued coughing, you should consider not going to a concert.  Even if you go, make sure you cough into a piece of tissue or handkerchief, control the volume and leave the hall at intermissions when necessary.
  7. Do not record the performance using cell phone or video camera.
When to clap

  1. Give a big clap for the conductor, concertmaster and soloist when they enter onto the stage as well as when they complete the performance to extend welcome and appreciation.
  2. If a piece of work on the program is a single movement, clap after the end of this work; some compositions are made up of several movements, clap when the piece is completely finished.
  3. Clap when the performers lay down their instruments, stand up and prepare to take their bows to thank the audience members.
  4. Look at the body language and expression of the conductor or performers to determine whether a piece is completed.
  5. After the completion of the last piece, clap enthusiastically and say “encore” loudly to express your approval to the musicians.
  6. For the ballet, clap when the conductor of an orchestra enter onto the stage.
When bringing children to a concert
  1. If this is the first time you bring a child to a concert, choose your seats near an exit, so that you can carry your child outside when he/she is crying.
  2. Teach your children the concert etiquette in advance and develop their ability to concentrate.
  3. It is obviously not a good idea to bring a child who is too young to a concert.
On Yidu, a global Chinese information website, there is an article called “Points to Note During a Perfect Concert”(in Chinese only), which explains in detail the points to note when attending a concert.  After reading it, you may find yourself having a classical music lesson.