Official White House photo by Lawrence Jackson.
In 2005, I wrote a series of posts here on the changing etiquette of concert-hall applause. I summarized my findings in an extended "special report." I returned to the topic back in March, in a lecture at the Royal Philharmonic Society in London. I meant to post the text of the speech but never got around to it. Here's a pdf. Incidentally, I was delighted by the response to my "Paris" Symphony experiment, in which I asked the audience to behave as Mozart's audience behaved. The very distinguished crowd at Wigmore Hall applauded in the "right" places and then applauded itself for doing so. Some video footage of the incident appeared on the BBC, but it longer seems to be available.