What Is a Concert?


A concert is a performance of music that usually involves several musicians performing together and to an audience. The word concert is derived from the Italian term “concerto,” meaning “together.” A concert can be a single event or a series of performances, often held over many days. The performances are often performed in a large hall, such as a theater or stadium. In some cases, concerts are presented in other types of spaces such as churches or palaces.

The concert is a form of musical performance that developed in its present form from the informal music-making of the 17th century. Its development paralleled social, economic and intellectual influences, and its evolution influenced the works that were conceived for it. During the early modern period, concerts became a central aspect of the cultural life of urban society, and they began to develop into an art form in their own right.

Today, the concert is one among many kinds of musical performance, although it was once the dominant genre in both production and dissemination of written classical music. Its origins date back to the end of the 17th century in England (when Thomas Britton organized paying concerts in a London loft) and to the 1720s in France (when the Concert spirituel, founded by Anne Danican Philidor, gave its first concerts).

Until the late 19th century, most classical concert performances were given in small groups by local amateur ensembles. During this time, professional musicians were also busy founding the orchestras that still make up the core of most concert activity. This period was also marked by the first concerts devoted to music by contemporary composers, including some of the most significant innovations in composition.

With the advent of modern amplification and light technology, it was possible to take concerts out into the open air. They could be performed in anything from church halls to school auditoriums to village halls and even football stadiums. The most important thing was to ensure that the music could be heard.

While the music was the main attraction, the concert usually included other activities that were designed to add to the experience. These activities might include dancing, singing along, or moshing. Some performers, such as Pink Floyd and Sarah Brightman are particularly famous for using these kinds of elements in their concerts.

In addition to the aesthetic experiences that they provide, concert performances also serve as an important means for confronting different historical periods. This can be done in a number of ways, such as by revealing heritages or genealogies, by highlighting obvious borrowings and formal similarities, or by provoking transhistorical encounters that only the concert can bring about. These five perspectives of the concert suggest that it is an art that continually reinvents itself, both in its forms and in the way that it is experienced by audiences. However, the concept of a concert should be extended beyond this to encompass all the ways in which it can be used to enhance human experience.