When was the applaud invented?

Have you ever thought about when the applaud was invented? I sure have. And looking into it made me flabbergasted. Did you know that no one knows for sure about when the invention of the applaud was made?

appalud

So what is an applaud? Well everybody knows that. But if you’d put it into measurables; An applause has three fundamental characteristics:
Strength: Intensity of the applause
Pace: Clap repetition speed
Length: Time the applause persists

According to these characteristics, the applause can be classified into the following categories: Booing, Absence of applause, Weak, Collective, Intense, and Ovation.

The age of the custom of applauding is as I said uncertain, but it is widespread among human cultures. The variety of its forms is limited only by the capacity for devising means of making a noise (e.g., stomping of feet or rapping of fists or hands on a table). Within each culture, however, it is usually subject to conventions.

The ancient Romans had a set rituals at public performances to express degrees of approval: snapping the finger and thumb, clapping with the flat or hollow palm, and waving the flap of the toga. Emperor Aurelian substituted the waving of napkins (orarium) that he had distributed to the Roman people for the toga flapping. In Roman theater, at the close of the play, the chief actor called out “Valete et plaudite!”, and the audience, guided by an unofficial choregus, chanted their approval antiphonally. This was often organized and paid for.

Similarly, a claque (French for “clapping”) was an organized body of professional applauders in French theatres and opera houses who were paid by the performer(s) to create the illusion of an increased level of approval by the audience.

In Christianity, customs of the theater were adopted by the churches. Eusebius says that Paul of Samosata encouraged the congregation to indicate approval of his preaching by waving linen cloths (??), and in the 4th and 5th centuries applause of the rhetoric of popular preachers had become an established custom. Applause in church eventually fell out of fashion, however, and partly by the influence of the quasi-religious atmosphere of the performances of Richard Wagner’s operas at the Bayreuth Festspielhaus, the reverential spirit that inspired this soon extended back to the theater and the concert hall.

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