During the concert, we were reminded how listening to classical music makes us smarter: studies found that, while you get the most cognitive benefits from learning to play classical music, even listening to classical music can have some benefits on the brain.
Should we wait for the end of a symphony or a concerto before applauding? Yes indeed, if we want to avoid the condescending sshhh! of our neighbours at Salle Pleyel, Carnegie Hall or any other concert hall.
A tip of the hat to College Humor's Will Stephen and Nathan Yaffe for these - a collection of Facebook status humblebrags
Do you own a phone with accompanying ear/headphones, or perhaps an iPod/ equivalent MP3-type device? Yes? Ok, well do you ever ride public transport as well? If the answer to these questions is yes, then there's a chance this rant is aimed at you...
I'm used to being surrounded by musicians, but it usually involves lots of floppy-haired guitarists and sticky-floored venues (none of which smell so good, pre or post smoking ban). So, Friday night was something out of the ordinary.
It seems like music has always had a place for rebels, those individuals who become fashionable by taking against the more established fashions of their day.
The RPO are a brilliant ensemble and the thought of hearing the Superman fanfare emanating from their brass section is tantalising. It's always been an annoyance to me that movie scores aren't accorded the same respect as "traditional" classical music.
Every summer I sit amazed and delighted at the BBC Proms audience who so enthusiastically, and yet often politely, applaud between movements while I so often sneakily snigger at the woman, a being of the utmost conventional practice, sitting in front who would always shake her hear in utter disapproval at the vulgarity of such a concept.
Kenneth Clark once noted that he could not describe 'civilisation' - but he knew it when he saw it. With Beethoven's fifth, sixth and ninth symphonies, I wouldn't attempt to form any description of what human civilisation is or represents - but I know it when I hear it.
If I've learnt anything, it's that Enya should come with a health warning (then again, I think I knew that instinctively already).