Why do people feel the urge to….

Why do people feel the urge to….

… CLAP

be it during a live concert or watching a session, someone has to start clapping. Do they get immense satisfaction at being able to clap and blot out the sound from someone trying to play music?

Don’t get me started on people who can’t clap in time or speed up when clapping etc

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Re: Why do people feel the urge to….

They want to show their appreciation and join in.

BTW Kevin Crawford actively encouraged the audience to clap (Lunasa, 350 people, last week).

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clapping can be fun. it shows people are excited. it annoys me when people can’t keep it up for a whole set (don’t start if you aren’t in it for the long haul), and of course when it’s out of time. if they start clapping and stop, it feels like people stopped caring, rather than just got tired.

i was actually at a session on sunday where the audience did clap for entire sets, and it was in time. i thought it made it a lot of fun, and it really filled out the evening, especially with the copious dancing and good company.

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It’s known as EBS - Early Bodhran Syndrome.

We don’t have a cure but remain hopeful that one will be found.
Through your donations we can bring an end to this and other similar debilitating neuro-discognitive afflictions.
Operators are standing by waiting to take your call.

During the next break we will be discussing ICS - Inspirational Clapping Syndrome which is caused by watching to many movies with a slow clap sequence that takes time before becoming applause.

Thank you and we now return to our broadcast already in progress.

Re: Why do people feel the urge to….

It’s got to be some trial for a stage musician’s concentration. There are the crazy clapping audiences who want to have the music go faster and faster. A lot of American concert audiences suffer from this. Combine this problem with the split-second time delay of the bigger sound systems; then send the whole beautiful mess out over the radio.

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You are correct Mr. Quigley! In the last couple years my band has played alot of shows and at first the clapping really threw me/us. I/we since have learned how to deal with it timing wise on stage. Sort of humorous now looking back at it. Now when people clap we are able to keep up OUR flow somehow. I’m not sure what changed!

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I can’t stand audience clap-alongs, but it seems like 90% of live bands, everything from ITM to rock to synthpop, have one of the members start it themselves at least once per show.

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"They want to show their appreciation and join in."

Show appreciation by clapping after.

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First beat clapper during a set gets "Im with Stupid Shirt". We all know where the arrow goes. Make it a challenge. ON with the cheesy ideas…

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One of the problems, besides timing, is that audiences tend to clap on the back beat, which is fine for pop music but …

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Audience clapping on the back beat? We haven’t reached that stage yet. Oompah, oompah..

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Then what do you do if the singer in your own band encourages people to clap while you are playing a tune set? I had a hard time to make it clear that I would not tolerate her tambourine.
To hand out shaky eggs could be the answer, I suppose..

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My least favorite move is the near-universal "CLAP CLAP ClapClapClap" that seems to happen whenever the audience feels obligated to clap along, but is actually a bit bored by the music—so they decide to spice it up in their own way…

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Dervish always encourages clapping too. I guess it is to get the audience involved with the music. I don’t mind it, at least I know they are paying attention. It is also better than them talking to one another too. I would much rather have someone involved and clapping instead of someone ignoring the music.

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I was playing in a big tent for some dancers and the people were clapping along which I took to mean that they enjoyed the music. Unfortunately with the size of the tent, the claps were coming back somewhere around the 2nd and 3rd beat.
Smile and wave boys - smile and wave.

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kuec asked: "Then what do you do if the singer in your own band encourages people to clap while you are playing a tune set? "

You fire the singer because they will quit eventually any way.

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When people start clapping at the pub, they’re usually too p*ssed to find the beat, even if it jumped out and bit them on the arse.

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Here’s a curious observation. Some of our children play in school groups - trad. Sometimes they play a few sets at concerts and the like where the programme is mixed - mostly school brass band, maybe a few singers, then the trad group. The audience of parents (mostly) will sit happily, quietly and listen to the concert band & vocalists but as soon as the trad group starts up, you get this sudden rush from everyone to clap along. I can’t quite figure it out but somehow, somewhere in the modern Irish psyche, there’s this idea that ‘this is trad, so we clap along’. I don’t think it’s a ‘traditional’ response - but something that’s been acquired in recent years??

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Its great if you have a loud sound system and good monitors etc,
But if not and the people are clapping out of time, It’s a Nightmare.
jim,,,

Re: Why do people feel the urge to….

"Its great if you have a loud sound system and good monitors etc,
But if not and the people are clapping out of time, It’s a Nightmare" Amen…..

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I think it comes from Irish people watching too many American films (or should I say ‘movies’ nowadays?!). They see scenes like those in ‘Titanic’ where a group of poor but elated Oirish peasants are playing and dancing merrily below decks. There’s always a crowd gathered around them and they’re all clapping like mad. If I remember correctly, the same thing happens in ‘Michael Collins’. It all seems to be a part of Hollywood directors’ fantasies about Irish music.

Since most Irish people don’t have a clue about the music, they get the impression that you should always clap along with ITM.

Danú are another band who encourage it. The result is that the music gets drowned out.

I always feel sorry for musicians who make it onto the likes of The Late Late Show on television. They break into a nice jig or reel and the clapping invariably starts!

Planxty had the right idea. Whenever people started clapping during a set, they would turn down the speaker sound until the clapping stopped. It always worked.

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In the 1st film the band played "John Ryan’s Polka". Might as well clap, if you ask me.

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Clap clap z/2 z/2 z/2 z/2 zzzz |

I’ve gotten better over the years at not losing the tempo. I will use my playing to force the beat where it should go by accenting the beat much more loudly than normal, the other players in my band know I’m confident about it and can follow me on the rhythm.

The singer should encourage clapping, if only on a tune that is simple enough for the audience to figure it out. Then they’ll hopefully have it out of their system when a hard set comes up with a nice rhythm.

Re: Why do people feel the urge to….

So how about foot tapping? Around here, when a really good band is playing, you can feel the pulse in the floorboards as folks tap along.

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Bosh bosh foot tapping in a Trad player is a blooming doodah (i hope my strong language is filtered by the Jeremy-swear-word-Sieve-o-Matic).
Foot percussion spoils so many sessions and the playing of some (‘on paper’) good Trad botherers.

Clapping- dreadful, like blinking (more Sieve-o-Matic potential) dancing. Tell the uniformed uninformed uncreative to sit down shut up and listen! Bloody churlish plebs!

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Oh bugger! The Sieve-o-Matic removed all the emotional adjectives…

Re: Why do people feel the urge to….

And then of course, there is the full blown foot stomping that I often hear from musicians who like the tunes from the Canadian Maritimes. The Lambeg drum of the foot tapping world.
So different than the clever tapdancy foot tapping of their Quebequois cousins…

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Irish clapping all over the place is bad enough, but think of the poor Chinese.

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Should I be in a situation where my playing is attended by clapping (the situation is hypothetical rather than remembered…), I would make it my business to maintain and concentrate totally on an iron rhythm, and to make-believe that I was the only person alive on the planet. Also, that I was driving a heavy, powerful vehicle over large flocks of sheep. I don’t know why: after all, too much of this would clog up your vehicle’s underparts and interfere with your rhythm. Never done it. Not that I’m aware of, anyway.

Re: Why do people feel the urge to….

Crever gam

Re: Why do people feel the urge to….

"I think it comes from Irish people watching too many American films (or should I say ‘movies’ nowadays?!). They see scenes like those in ‘Titanic’ where a group of poor but elated Oirish peasants are playing and dancing merrily below decks. There’s always a crowd gathered around them and they’re all clapping like mad. If I remember correctly, the same thing happens in ‘Michael Collins’. It all seems to be a part of Hollywood directors’ fantasies about Irish music.

Since most Irish people don’t have a clue about the music, they get the impression that you should always clap along with ITM."

I think you’re on the right track there, Amhrán. It’s a telling thing though, isn’t it, in many ways. One of those little markers that shows how far most Irish people have moved from their cultural roots and towards some sort of British/ American soap sensibility.

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"Planxty had the right idea."

And Christy Moore just stops playing when the clapping stars.

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Seen Steve Cooney a couple of years ago. He played a solo with the accompanying sound of someone chewing into a packet of tayto! Not happy!

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Miserable sods. The music of the people, as long as the uneducated proles don’t expect to be part of it? GTF.

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Perhaps it’s not really the music of these people, Sugarfoot. It was but they’ve more or less given up on it. But when they hear it, they recognise it as part of their culture and try to respond by getting involved and that usually entails clapping. It is similar to the bodhran response but at a more elementary level.

However it jars and it’s smaltzy and twee. Foot tapping, I’ve no problem with it all - a gentle pulse that lifts things along and gets people involved without drowning out the melody and screwing up the musicians.

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This isn’t science, and it’s not classical or jazz. It’s music that speaks directly to the soul and if it touches people they respond in the ways they know, and clapping is one of the most fundamental of these. It’s people enjoying themselves, connecting to the music and has bugger all to do with "the bodhran response" (whatever that is - I can guess).

Perhaps all those oh-so-brillaint performers who eschew their audience expressing their emotions could simply put a sign up at their recitals: "Audience: Shut the feck Up, this is Art you Ingrates"

You can also ban whooping and hollering, foot tapping and buying your CD’s at the interval/pints in the session.

Blimey.

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I agree on your first sentence but if you have a handful of people playing acoustic instruments in front of an audience of a couple of hundred - some well intentioned but clueless parent starts clapping and immediatedly all join in - would you not agree that this kinda destroys the music?? My comment above was on the Pavlovian response - these same people will listen with polite attention to a large concert band or a guitar/ singer but bring on the tradies and there’s a sea change. It’s nice at one level but it’s naff.

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‘…if it touches people they respond in the ways they know, and clapping is one of the most fundamental of these.’

They respond, yes, but are they really listening to the music? More often than not they’re clapping along aimlessly and the subtleties in the music and in the playing are just drowned out.

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Why anyone older than about 7 or 8 years feels a need to clap along to music - any music, not just our music - is entirely beyond me.

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Clapping at sessions can be injurious to hearing, too.

I was sitting down, and some idiot standing behind me clapped incredibly loudly inches from my right ear. I was ready to use some colorful language, but when I turned and noticed he was a large individual with no discernable neck and a t-shirt that proclaimed "Felonious Assault", I thought the better of it, my ringing right ear notwithstanding.

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this thread is so…how do I say…um… the session.org.

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I don’t like it when it happens, but you have to figure you have moved the audience to some happy place though, right?
They’re not doing it to p*ss you off, for sure.
So I’d grin n bare it, & be glad they were reacting in some good way…as apposed to me dodging flying bottles or them heading for the exit etc
I can’t help but tap me foot while playing, & have been known to stamp out the odd accent note or two when things are going well &I am in full steam mode!
rhythm is in us all to some extent , i find it a back handed compliment when folks clap..as is usually screws things upbut i kinda like the response
rogerb