Chapter 12

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I go to student concerts at a famous School of Music. It's part of the system to give the kids some air time in front of real people. The concerts, or recitals, or whatever you want to call them are almost always excellent, and I recommend them, especially knowing that you won't go and crowd the place anyway. Oh, and they're free.

These musicians being students, they tend to prefer slightly more obscure and fascinating musical selections. That being the case, neither you nor I nor anyone else knows when the selection ends, or whether any moment of quiet is just an artistic pause or transition between segments. Or the end of the piece.

Which makes me wonder whether there are designated clappers in the audience, whose job it is to initiate applause at the correct moments. Maybe there's a secret signal that the conductor gives to them. Or maybe there are people whose hobby it is to know the end of whatever piece is being played, and race to be the first to demonstrate their knowledge. Which is a little fascinating by itself.