Symphonic Piece -
Piotr Tabakiernik

A symphony concert operates simultaneously on two levels. We can, as most of the audience do, content ourselves with the surface experience, contemplating the beauty of the music and the seemingly miraculous communication of ideas and emotions from one individual to another through organised sound; this is music, an abstract art celebrated by composers, performers and audiences alike and discussed by critics and musicologists. But it is the second, ritual level, generally unperceived or ignored since it is so close to us, that is the really important and interesting aspect of a concert, hinting at what really keeps symphony orchestras playing and concert halls lit. To perceive a concert at this level, we need to begin by examining it, not just as sound, but also an event taking place within our society, at a particular time and in a particular place, involving a particular group of people.

Christopher Small,

"Performance as ritual: sketch for an enquiry into the true nature of a symphony concert"