Concertgoers, does it irritate you when someone whispers during the Webern? Coughs during the Copland? Sniffles through the Schumann?
If so, you're not alone. In a recent survey commissioned by Warner-Lambert Co., manufacturer of Halls Cough Suppressant Tablets, symphony audiences rated whispering, coughing and sniffling - in that order - as the most distracting noises.What about the doctor down front whose beeper goes off during the Brahms, or the concertgoer who rustles his program during the Rachmaninoff? Are they as much of an annoyance as the boor who applauds after the slow movement of the quartet, instead of waiting for the end?
According to audience members at the Atlanta Symphony, the St. Louis Symphony and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, such people are a bother, too, but not as bad as the folks who rattle candy wrappers, move around constantly in their seats or try to get into the act by singing or humming along.
When asked the best means of eliminating such noise pollution, Los Angeles concertgoers suggested throwing offenders off the balcony or cutting their ears off. Their St. Louis counterparts leaned toward decapitation or banishment to Siberia, or better yet, to a rock concert.
Others suggested less drastic though embarrassing methods - from equipping each seat with a red bulb that would light up each time an individual made excessive noise, to having ushers hand all offenders a note stating that they are annoying everyone around them.