Audiences: Let Them Eat Bananas

"Painters paint on canvas," Conductor Leopold Stokowski once lectured an unruly audience. "We paint our tone pictures on silence. Only you can supply that."

But they never do. In fact, when the house lights go down on a concert today, it is often the audience that strikes up the overture. It is a kind of barnyard symphonette. The Hummer and the Time Beater serve as the rhythm section; the Cellophane Crinkler and the Program Rattler handle the solos. In the percussion section, the principal performers are the Bracelet Jangler and the Premature Clapper,...