Classical music concerts may seem intimidating. Many questions may arise, such as what if I don’t know what to listen for, what if I don’t know when to clap, and what if I just don’t get it.
Don’t worry. Expect to enjoy yourself! Your main goal is to let the music affect you, so let go of any and all ideas that you may have about classical music or the concert experience.
Let the music touch your emotions or bring about recollection of fond memories. Feel the rhythms: the ebbs and flows, the power or delicacy. Also pay attention to the interaction between the musicians and the conductor because music is only as passionate as the individuals playing it.
Whether you realize it or not, you have been exposed to classical music before, even if you have never been to a concert. Classical music appears all around us: in commercials, movie soundtracks, television shows, cartoons, retail shops and the list goes on. Today’s popular music samples sounds from classical music as well. While you are listening at the concert to a piece that you think that you have never heard before, a tune that you have heard a thousand times may jump out at you.
How do I get to the performance hall?
The Florence Symphony Orchestra currently holds its performances in the FMU Performing Arts Center. To get directions and maps, please visit the Directions & Maps section of their site.
Where do I park?
There is plenty of parking at the FMU Performing Arts Center. View an area map of parking locations.
What will the concert be like?
Classical music comes in many different shapes and sizes and has much to offer. It can be exciting, moving, funny, and often surprising. Odds are, you will be touched by the music and enjoy having the opportunity to be apart of it.
What should I wear?
While there is no dress code for the Florence Symphony Orchestra performances, patrons generally wear semi-formal or business attire. Formal attire may be required for certain occasions, but contrary to popular thought, tuxedos and evening gowns are not the norm for symphony performances. We do ask that you go easy on the perfumes and cologne – as it may distract others near you, maybe even prompting them to sneeze and distract you and others from the performance.
What are some of the other demands of good etiquette that I need to follow?
There are certain things that all concertgoers need to be familiar with. Please visit our Etiquette section to gain more knowledge of this subject.
How long does the typical performance last?
Program lengths vary, but the typical Florence Symphony Orchestra performance will last from about 90 minutes to two hours, including one intermission, which is at the halfway point. Most intermissions are 15 to 20 minutes long, allowing you enough time to use the facilities, socialize, visit concessions, or to pour through the symphony program again.
When do I clap?
The basic rule of thumb is to applaud when a piece is complete – not after each section. One way to judge the correct time to clap is to familiarize yourself with the symphony program. Take a look at the program book and count the number of movements the work has. If all else fails, you can always follow the rest of the audience.
What should I listen for?
As we mentioned before, your main concern is to be affected by the music. However, you can also begin to focus in on a few things happening in the music. Here are a few things that you can try to tune in to:
1. Groups or solo instruments playing and their sounds.
2. Volume, is it loud or soft?
3. Tempos, are they fast or slow?
For more information on the different instruments that the orchestra is composed of, please visit our Educational Tools & Instrument Glossary section of our site. Also consider visiting the Featured Composer & Composer History section to learn more about the historical figures that created this beautiful music.
Above all else, we ask that you enjoy yourself and your experience with the Florence Symphony Orchestra! We hope to have you back as a frequent guest.