Philadelphia introduces its in-concert app

Patrons are requested to keep their phones *on* for the duration of the concert. You will receive important updates during the course of the performance, especially in the sleepy bits of the Bruckner adagio.

The app went live last night. Read here.

phone app phil

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  • So now people near you are going to distract you from your enjoyment of the music with the light from their device ! NO WAY !!!
    Please nobody else copy !

  • I have no problem with new devices replacing or supplementing the role of program book whether in concert or opera as long as everybody remembers to mute the device but real time interactive updates ??? How can that be helpful and non-distracting to the listening which is the most important part!

    • This is the beginning of the end. If audiences are deemed too stupid to just be able to sit and concentrate without being force-fed additional Information, it will soon be the case that it will be better to sit at home and listen to CDs or watch DVD or live transmissions without these intrusive’ add-ons’. The fact that it is also grossly discourteous to the poor performers having to compete for the attention of the audience sems to be unimportant to the sadists who have thought up this new instrument of torture….

  • I’m not sure if it is really a bad news. I can tell you that many times in the last decades and even at Academy of music or Kimmel in Philly, I’ve been surrounded by unpleasant loud sounds of pages turned on traditional paper program notes. Sometimes I’ve wondering why a person change 3 times a page in a second, like if they were just looking for any store discount coupon. My opinion is that these people are really bored to be there and anxious to do something else, besides the concert. In fact the worst is the sound of a paper program falling down to the floor during a pianissimo, and the owner asking someone to pick it up for then. I can bet we all saw similar situation many times, but the difference is that we got used to it since our very first concert. On the other hand, Electronic devices are really new stuff.

    My point is that I don’t need lights on or off to listen music, I don’t even need to open my eyes, but sounds can really interfere and even wreck the whole experience. I would easily exchange noise for lights, and it is very easy to demand an electronic device to be muted during the whole concert, but too subjective to determine proper way to handle paper programs or to curb any other long-established causes of noise.

    • You can speak for yourself, Rgiarola.

      For me, the light from electronic devices, as well as the movement and fidgeting their usage inevitably cause, constitute an unacceptable distraction. With a little forethought, it is perfectly possible to read a paper programme without being noisy about it, as anybody who follows the libretto in an opera (or song recital) can tell you. The trick is to fold it over so that the pages do not flap around, and turn the pages (which you will have dog-eared in advance) carefully, and not at a really quiet point in the music. In my view, it is preferable to read the programme notes before or after the music, and restrict yourself to following the libretto/score during the performance itself.

      And what happened to being able to just listen to the music in peace, and not having to think about any “important updates”?

      • Yes, it is possible to read a paper program without being noisy about it, but unfortunately, only few have mastered this art and even fewer seem to even care if their fidgeting and noise making is distracting for others…

  • The folks that use this feature will certainly be checking email and texting. I know of no one that could resist the urge.

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