It was once the scourge of classical music traditionalists, then embraced by the powers-that-be in attempts to make concerts less intimidating to excited new audiences.
But it appears Proms modernisers could be losing their battle to insist clapping in between movements is perfectly welcome.
While the new director of BBC Proms confesses he “loves” hearing enthusiastic audiences clap, his own die-hard audience members have dismissed the practice as “barbarous”.
I actually loathe the experience of attending classical concerts, with their codified rules of applause, demands of encores, the guy who yells “Bravo!” as soon as the music is over, and the annoyance of those who make even the slightest noise. Calling clapping barbarous is simply a way of expressing superiority. And it’s childish: “Do it my way, or don’t come to the concert!”
Classical music needs new listeners, not more people put off by anal concert-goers who get irked by any expression of emotion. I had thought that the BBC Proms were much less stressed than that, but I guess I was wrong.