I am sure that I am not the only one who finds coughs, watch alarms, sweet papers, even mobile phones (e.g. Rattle's Rite of Spring at last year's Proms) at concerts maddening.
There is an interesting take on the problem on the Ink Pot web site which publishes reviews of classical concerts in the Far East. Each review includes an 'Overall Noise Rating'. Here is an example and explanation............
OVERALL NOISE RATING: 0 (Except for that 10pm beep, all was quiet.)
The Noise Rating Index is a partially-objective measurement of pager and handphone blasts, 9pm and 10pm watch beeps, coughing-during-the-pianissimo-bits, intra-audience conversation and other mind-bogglingly inept noises emitted in the concert hall during actual performance of music. It is measured on a scale of 0 to 5, in increasing annoyance.
Silence is golden - so are noise ratings on concert reviews a good idea?