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Basically Beethoven FAQs and Tips

If you are new to Basically Beethoven, welcome! You might be unsure about what to expect. Here are a few frequently asked questions and tips to put your mind at ease. 

Where are the concerts?

 

The Basically Beethoven Festival is held on 3 SUNDAYS in JULY - in 2024 they are on July 14, 21, and 28th at Moody Performance Hall. Each concert begins at 2:30pm with the Rising Stars, pre-professional musicians who are still in college or graduate school or just beginning their careers - all of them excellent musicians. The Rising Stars perform for 20 - 25 minutes, and then we take a short break and the Featured Performers begin at 3pm. Concerts usually end by 4 or 4:15pm, depending on the pieces played. Moody Performance Hall is at 2520 Flora Street, Dallas.

 

The Basically Beethoven Hallam Concerts are on 7 SATURDAYS, monthly from October through May, excluding December. These concerts begin at 3pm and will all be at Central Commons for the 2024 - 2025 season. 4711 Westside Drive, Dallas.

 

Where can I park / How can I get there?
 

Moody Performance Hall Parking:

  • In the Lexus Silver Parking Garage (the parking garage UNDER Moody), parking will be $12. BBF24 Patrons can use cash or credit card. The exit gate for Lexus Silver will stay open, patrons can exit without issue.

  • There are several parking lots close to Moody - we will add them shortly. Our concerts are free, but you might have to pay for parking for BBF24.
     

DART:

  • Please consider using DART! the DART Pearl/ Arts District Station is within walking distance and on all four rail lines

Parking for Central Commons is free and around the whole building (if the front parking lot is full, definitely check the back by the dog park.) There is a covered entrance around the back as well.

 

What should I expect?

Basically Beethoven concerts are meant to be casual, yet interesting and exciting. Feel free to let go of any preconceptions you may have about classical music or the concert experience. If you want to learn about the music before the concert, check out the notes in the program. There will also be a list of the repertoire on our website well before the performance.
 

When should I arrive?

The lobby opens 45 minutes to one hour prior to the start of the concert. Please try to arrive at least 15 - 30 minutes before the concert begins to get a good seat. Seating is first-come, first-served. Late arrivals will be seated when there is an appropriate break in the performance, either by an usher (Moody) or by Basically Beethoven staff (Central Commons.)
 

What should I wear?

Where whatever is proper for the weather - we do not have a dress code for our afternoon concerts. It’s Dallas, everything inside is air conditioned, of course. If you tend to get cold seated for a time (in an office, for example) definitely bring a light cardigan, jacket, or shawl. Please refrain from wearing anything that will obstruct views, such as large hats, or could irritate someone’s allergies, such as strong perfumes.
 

I don’t know anything about classical music. Do I need to study up on it?

Not unless you want to; we don’t want you to feel like you’re coming to class. We offer physical programs to read, or you can use a smartphone to log onto our website to see the program there. In the program are the list of the musical pieces played (the repertoire), the composer, and the dates of the composer’s life. Usually, we have program notes to add context, or a performer or a speaker will say a few words about the piece. 

 

You can watch some of our YouTube Videos from the last few years HERE:

 

When do I applaud?

At classical music concerts, the convention is to applaud only at the end of an entire piece / symphony or concerto. NOT applauding between movements can feel very bizarre to modern audiences because we’re so used to applauding for every song at a concert. It can actually feel uncomfortable and rude! But, don’t worry, it’s not. The point is to experience the entire piece without interruption from the audience. You’ll have plenty of opportunity to applaud at the end. Remember that there might be several full pieces per performance.


Think of a classical music piece like a big meal and the parts of the meal are “movements.” We might have an appetizer (1st movement), then salad (2nd movement), then entree (3rd movement), then dessert (4th movement). Just as we don’t tip our server at the end of each part of the meal, we don’t applaud our musicians until the end of the entire piece.


The movements are all related by being in the same key (most of the time) and complementing one another, like the course of a meal, to use that analogy again. The movements in a symphony follow a specific formula:
 

The Opening movement is usually bright and upbeat. The tradition is that this follows Sonata Form, which means that the opening section of the movement is repeated, then twisted and mangled in an interesting way, before being heard again.
 

The Second movement is usually slow and sedate, either melancholy or polite and dainty.

 

The Third movement can take the form of a dance — the minuet — which is a direct throwback to Bach and Handel’s orchestral suites. It can alternatively be a boisterous, humorous scherzo — literally a musical joke.

 

The Final/Fourth movement can be strong, triumphant and assertive, often with repeating sections.
 

Tradition holds that the audience applauds only at the end of the entire work and not between movements.


Because Basically Beethoven concerts don’t have a conductor, who will usually keep their back to the audience until the end of all of the movements, sometimes it’s difficult to know when to applaud or not. 

Here’s the thing - you can keep an eye on your program, or just wait to see what other people do. When in doubt - don’t clap! Then, clap with abandon! And, if you “make a mistake” - do not worry, we are glad you’re here and enjoying the music.

Can I check my phone during the concert?

Please do not! The screen is extremely disruptive to anyone behind you and exceptionally bright in a dark theater. Also, flash photography and personal recordings of our concerts are prohibited. Remember to silence your phone, but we love you to tag or take pics before and after - you can use the #BBF24 or #BasicallyBeethoven 

How long is the concert?

Most of our Hallam concerts are between 1 ½  hours long, with no intermission; our July festival concerts are 1 ½ hours to 2 hours long with a 5 - 10 minute break between the Rising Stars and Featured Performers.

Should I bring my kids?

We encourage families at our concerts, but we ask that if younger children become too wriggly, a parent remove them to the lobby where we do have children’s and coloring books, drawing utensils, and everyone can do some quiet activities while listening to the music there without disturbing others.

What if I have to get up and leave during the performance?

If you must leave your seat, please do so between pieces—preferably when the audience is applauding.
 

Are refreshments at the theater?

Moody Performance Hall has concessions available. Central Commons does not, so definitely drink your water or coffee beforehand. PLEASE NO eating or drinking in either Moody Performance Hall or Central Commons during the performance!

How does Basically Beethoven offer these concerts for free?

Basically Beethoven’s mission is to produce free, high-quality, professional classical music performances throughout the year to Dallas residents. We are supported by generous grants from Capital One (Basically Beethoven Festival), Fanchon & Howard Hallam (Basically Beethoven Hallam Concerts), The City of Dallas Office of Arts & Culture, TACA- The Arts Community Alliance, Texas Commission on the Arts, Ben E. Keith Company, DART, National Endowment for the Arts, Moody Fund for the Arts, and individual donations. We do everything we do with a skeleton crew and a lot of collaboration with other artists and nonprofits, but we definitely need your help! Please consider a gift to Basically Beethoven during your visit.

 

ENJOY THE CONCERT!

 

Vocabulary:

 

Concerto: a classical music composition that highlights a solo instrument against the background of a full orchestra.
 

Leitmotif: (from German Leitmotiv, from leit- ‘leading’ (from leiten ‘to lead’) + Motiv ‘motive’.) a recurrent theme throughout a musical or literary composition, associated with a particular person, idea, or situation. An example is "The Imperial March" from Star Wars, which tells audiences that Darth Vader is about to make an appearance and the shark leitmotif in Jaws, which indicates that imminent danger is at hand.

 

Repertoire: a list or supply of dramas, operas, musical pieces, or parts that a company or person is prepared to perform.

Symphony:  a long piece of music for an orchestra, usually with four movements.
 

We welcome any other vocabulary, questions, or suggestions! Email us at music@fineartschamberplayers.org

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