Well-written article and from what I have seen at performances and momentous occasions, it describes reality.
Clapping along with a song or musical piece does seem whistling’s equal. Then what, if any, is whistling’s real impact or value-added?
Clapping to a song may enhance cohesion in a pre-school or kindergarten scene, while encouraging children to notice and feel the rhythm. In a more adolescent setting, clapping can enliven listless, badly sung, nasal, moany folksongs.
Drowning out even good music became a habit in the late 50s and early 60s, when I was at college. As the one thing most of the audience was actively doing, clapping gave a sense of solidarity. The far-away, hypnotized expression most attendees would adapt was most cringeworthy to see.
Now if the Boston Pops plays The Radetzky March, its middle-aged and senior audience goes all clappy-hands as if back in KG or at a 1960s folk mass.
It doesn’t stop there. When I lived in Houston, cowboy-clad types would whoop and yelp in western themed bars to announce they were in the western mood. But by then in Boston, widespread yelping and wailing could be heard at my daughter’s prim and proper girl’s school’s commencement. Whenever featured speaker Gloria Steinem expressed the correct thoughts the young ladies went made like teeny-boppers at a Frankie Avalon concert.
Now ululating — an even more primitive vocalization — has broken into Western culture’s group meetings. Will once relaxation activities ever be adult, relaxed and civilized again?