As Dr. Know explained in the June 2013 issue, sometimes moving chairs around has to do with what Music Hall patrons hear.
During a stage change at the CSO, why do the stagehands exchange chairs and move the existing chairs around? It seems like wasted effort to me!—Music LoverDear Lover:That music that you say you love? Your local conductor loves it too. Because he loves it, he wants the music to sound as good as possible within the restrictions of the score. To that end he will add or subtract or re-position musicians and instruments. The result is the maestro’s vision—if ears can have vision—of a balance of sounds. In those arrangements and re-arrangements, some chairs may become empty. Would you want them out there on the orchestral floor? Glaringly vacant? The Doctor thinks not. However, the Doctor is not going to touch the union rules covering who exactly gets to fiddle with those chairs and how much it costs.
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