The Attitudes of University Students to Classical Music Concerts: A Study in Consumer Behaviour

Article excerpt

The main purpose of this research is to acquire an understanding of consumer behaviour regarding classical music, through a consumer investigation study. The main objective is to examine why university students in Taipei, Taiwan, appreciate classical music concerts. How the different sub-cultures influence consumer behaviour is the main factor discussed within this research. Methods employed in this study include data collection, literature review, and questionnaire analysis. Firstly, we try to understand how consumers enjoy classical music concerts. Secondly, we study the relationship between the consumers' sub-cultures and their attendance. Thirdly, we analyze the main factors which influence university students to appreciate classical music concerts. Finally, we conclude that the sub-culture, gender and age of consumers, influences consumer behaviour and appreciation of classical music concerts.

1. Introduction

Chang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall started to host classical music concerts in 1987. Also due to the Western musical impact on Eastern culture, demand for classical music concerts has been nourishing. Each philharmonic orchestra keenly invited domestic and overseas experts to be their conductors and give advice. A good example is the Taipei Sinfonietta and Philharmonic Orchestra. Since 1988, it was a small music orchestra and it has performed more classical music concerts every year.

Due to the factors described above, every year in Taiwan, several hundred different types of classical music performances take place. According to research by Yu-Jing Lin, Pei-Chen Lee, and Hsiang-Chun Tai in 1989, 1996, 2001 respectively, it was easy to see that within audiences of the performing arts, the biggest group was students.

For these reasons, students comprise the main market for classical music concerts. In this research, the main objective is to research student appreciation of classical music concerts. The main focus is the appreciation of classical music concerts by university students in Taipei.

2. Literature Review

The literature review will start by studying the main points of research into this area. It focuses on how consumers make relevant decisions and what motivates them to attend classical music concerts.

Blackwell (2001) defines consumer behaviour as the activities people undertake when consuming, and disposing of products and services. There are several activities included in this definition of consumer behaviour:

Obtaining refers to the activities leading up to, and including, the purchase or receipt of a product. These include the way in which consumers search for information about classical music performances, how they book tickets, for example, by telephone or over the Internet, and how culture influences consumer behaviour.

Consuming refers to how, where and under what circumstances, consumers use products. For example, when consumers decide whether to attend classical music concerts, what are the factors they consider? Do they think about price, the convenience of the location, or their own personal interests? Where do they usually enjoy classical music?

Disposing refers to the way in which consumers get rid of products and packaging. Classical music concerts are not biodegradable or recyclable products. However, consumers may make choices on the basis of ecological advertising of classical music concerts, such as environmentally friendly posters.

Copeland (2000) explained that this motive is based on an inherent desire to obtain primacy, to excel, to "set the fashion". He makes it clear that consumer's decisions about whether to attend classical music concerts are based on personal interest and whether they are attracted by live performances. Consumers not only consider ticket prices before they decide whether to attend classical music concerts, but also consider the convenience of the location and the method of booking tickets. …