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Zhenya my letter to the editor (66* d) RE: my letter to the editor 30 Nov 06

At many of the trad concerts I go to, the musicians play a bit beforehand to test out the sound system setup, as opposed to checking their actual playing. I'm not sure how this would translate with a classical concert. Also, sometimes they retune during the performance because the next piece will actually be in a different tuning from the last one they played. (Happens a lot at Old Time concerts, in particular.)

Personally, since I (try to) play myself, I would probably find it interesting to watch how the musicians warm up, since if they are playing professionally, they likely play much better than I do. I would probably be observing technical things they were doing to try and learn something. I don't think this kind of situation would bother me, but without actually witnessing myself what you experienced, it's hard to tell. If they really seemed to be cramming at the last minute to learn their parts, well, that doesn't seem very professional. However, there are times when I've been aware that a musician had to fill in as a substitute at almost the last minute, so there might be legitimate instances of this.

At any rate, I hope you have a better experience at the next concert you go to.

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