Why do people cough during classical music concerts? Is it a physical reflex or is there something else going on? WRTI’s Meridee Duddleston takes a look at some recent research
Hiccups and sneezes are not a standard accompaniment to a performance of classical music. But when was the last time a live performance was free of coughing? At a classical music concert, rules of etiquette demand silent immersion in the music - no cell phones or texting of course, no talking, and a limited array of acceptable responses to the performance.
Economics Professor Andreas Wagener, who specializes in social policy at Leibniz University of Hannover in Hannover, Germany, reviews the research and outlines six motives for why there’s more than the usual amount of coughing during classical concerts.
Professor Wagener is the author of Why Do People (Not) Cough in Concerts?The Economics of Concert Etiquette - published by the Association for Cultural Economics International.
On this week's Philadelphia Orchestra In Concert broadcast, the Philadelphians pays special tribute to their former music director, Wolfgang Sawallisch, who died earlier this year. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, he’s remembered as a master on the podium.
Listen to reflections about Conductor Laureate Wolfgang Sawallisch on the podium in Philadelphia, and on tour, from Philadelphia Orchestra musicians Kathryn Picht Read, Jonathan Beiler, and Mark Gigliotti.
Opera Philadelphia seemed to be itching for a break from the opera house with its pop-up performances at the Reading Terminal Market and Macy’s Center City. As The Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns reports, the company has announced formal plans to perform in even less predictable places.
On Sunday, August 11th at 2 pm, WRTI will broadcast a recorded live concert featuring The Philadelphia Orchestra performing three of Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos, his Double Violin Concerto, and his Orchestral Suite No. 3.
A smartphone app developed at Drexel University deconstructs music into discernible elements like tone, intensity, and rhythm, and facilitates a fuller way of experiencing a live performance. Drexel University’s Expressive & Creative Technologies Center (ExCITe) uses the “Science of Jazz” app to translate some of what’s measurable about music into visual form.
Microphones capture sound and the app transforms it to images in real time: one for how sound waves reach different parts of a concert hall, another to approximate which notes musicians are playing on their instruments, and another to depict the pitch and intensity of each instrument.
Dr. Youngmoo Kim, ExCITe’s director, is behind the app, which he says makes the live concert more educational and meaningful. Limited to the iPhone - and used only for jazz performances so far - see how it works:
Audio FileIn these excerpts of Meridee Duddleston’s interview with Dr. Kim he describes synergy between art and science and creates a word picture of how the “Science of Jazz” Iphone app works. It was first demonstrated during a jazz concert at the Philadelphia Science Festival in 2012 and was further refined for another concert in 2013.Edit | Remove
Follow the Schuylkill west from Philadelphia - either the river or the expressway will do - and you’ll eventually arrive in Reading. The state’s fifth-largest city, John Philip Sousa spent his last days here, the Rabbit series by John Updike was set here, and, Reading once lent its name to a now-defunct railway company with a still well-known Philadelphia terminal.
Today, as WRTI's Jim Cotter reports, the city is best known for its outlet malls, its pagoda, and a wealth of regional cultural organizations including the Reading Symphony Orchestra. Music Lives in Reading.
Philadelphia has produced its share of opera singers. But what about operas themselves? Conservatives might say we have quite enough of them already. Nonetheless, there are currently six operas in the making in our region - one, each, by Jennifer Higdon, Missy Mazzoli, and Melissa Dunphy, and two from Andrea Clearfield. But the Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns tracked down the one who crossed the finish line first - Havertown-based Michael Hersch - only to ask, is this really opera?
Michael Hersch's opera, On the Threshold of Winter, premieres next summer in New York by the Nunc new music ensemble.
After some uncertain times, the Philadelphia classical music scene is enjoying one of its brightest periods. While most of this is a reflection of the resurgence of The Philadelphia Orchestra, the ensemble that shares its Kimmel Center home is also on the up and up, as WRTI's Jim Cotter reports.
Seen by many as the smaller sibling of the "Fabulous Philadelphians," The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia has been quietly growing and expanding in ways that are causing similar groups around the country to sit up and take notice.
This coming Sunday marks the anniversary of the birth of trumpet virtuoso, singer, and bandleader Louis Armstrong. WRTI’s Susan Lewis looks at the life and legacy of a musician who propelled jazz onto a mainstream stage.