Chapter IV. The concert experience


The previous chapters illustrated the diversity of modes of socialization and of the elements likely to stimulate interest in symphonic music performances. While accounting for the dialogue that exists between the sociological characteristics of the audience and their participation in concerts is an essential step, the concert experience must be analyzed in itself. The symphonic music concerts occupy various places in the individual routes. There is naturally no question here of questioning the unequal distribution of the chances of access to classical music concerts – and to culture in general. This is a fact that we find the mark throughout our investigation. On the other hand, it does not exhaust the problematic of the diversity of the relationships with classical music and with this specific activity which is the orchestral concert. In this sense, a more comprehensive perspective makes it possible to extend the question of the diversity and heterogeneity of lived experiences through the study of spectatorial experiences. What meaning do spectators give to their outing (s)? What do they look for when they go to symphony concerts and how do they express it?
Finally, taking the general experience of the concert as an object makes it possible to tackle the question of the formation of tastes through practices rather than just social origins and acquired cultural capital. The collective dimension, often constitutive of going out and listening, the arrangement of the concert hall or even the standards of conduct during the performance are all mediations that play a role in…

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