This is probably an unusual question about tradition or etiquette. I believe I heard from a critic many years ago that it was appropriate for a critic not to applause after a concert. It gives the feeling that the critic perhaps would not commit him- or herself to a positive reaction before publishing.

It sounds somewhat outdated, but I wonder if anyone knows if such a tradition is used today?

  • Perhaps you never have seen, or heard of, the sarcastic slow-clap? Mar 1 at 22:06
  • That would be a commitment my hypothetical critic would stay away from. I use "critic" as a person who offers an opinion, not necessarily negative. Mar 3 at 7:17

1 Answer 1


I recognize the point, but consider it impolite for these reasons:

  • I can't imagine, that a performance failed in every respect; the successful ones deserve their applause.
  • Today it is quite unlikely, that the critic is recognized as such; even if he/she is, nobody will consider applause as a commitment.

I heard once from an critic the statement, that he will not write a positive sentence for a concert he found lacking overall, because he then repeatedly found the isolated positive sentence quoted afterwards.

Summarize: I consider this a a convenient pretext.

  • You mean the infamous " Mr.SoAndSo's performance was not half-bad. In fact, it was all bad." ? :-) Mar 1 at 22:07

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