You never know who might be busking.....

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Salukulady
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You never know who might be busking.....

Post by Salukulady »

SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT . . .
Washington, D.C.
Metro Station on a cold January morning in 2007.

The man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes.. During
that time approx. two thousand people went through the station, most of them
on their way to work.
After three minutes a middle aged man noticed there was a musician playing.
He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried to meet
his schedule.

4 minutes later:
The violinist received his first dollar: a woman threw the money in the hat
and, without stopping, continued to walk.

6 minutes:
A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his
watch and started to walk again.

10 minutes:
A three-year old boy stopped but his mother tugged him along hurriedly. The
kid stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pushed hard and
the child continued to walk, turning his head all the time.
This action was repeated by several other children. Every parent, without
exception, forced their children to move on quickly.

45 minutes:
The musician played continuously. Only six people stopped and listened for
a short while. About 20 gave money but continued to walk at their normal
pace... The man collected a total of $32.

1 hour:
He finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed. No one
applauded, nor was there any recognition.

No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greatest
musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever
written, with a violin valued at $3.5million dollars.
Two days before Joshua Bell sold out a theatre in Boston where the seats
averaged $200.
This is a true story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station
was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about
perception, taste and people's priorities.
The questions raised: in a common place environment at an inappropriate
hour, do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize
talent in an unexpected context?

One conclusion reached from this experiment could be this: If we do not
have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world,
playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of the most
beautiful instruments ever made... How many other things are we missing?
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Quint
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Re: You never know who might be busking.....

Post by Quint »

That is amazing. I love to read stories like this. Just shows proof that society is way out of touch. Thank you for posting this.
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Wino you know
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Re: You never know who might be busking.....

Post by Wino you know »

WOW!
What a story.

I also like reading stories like this, but, in all honesty, I'm guessing I probably would've stopped for about five minutes, listened, put a few dollars in his hat, and kept walking.
To say I've missed out on some of life's sweetest moments would not be an overstatement.
Again, wonderful story. Thanks for posting it.

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Re: You never know who might be busking.....

Post by pair8head »

Just checked snopes and it's true.

Great story too. Sad the way we live our lives sometimes though.
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wiscoleeds
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Re: You never know who might be busking.....

Post by wiscoleeds »

On the other hand how many people can afford to pay $200 a ticket to see a musician? Or can afford a $3.5 million dollar instrument?
Nevermind all these "feely" questions in the article, how about the financial questions they don't bother to ask!
Cheers
Wiscoleeds

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Re: You never know who might be busking.....

Post by pair8head »

wiscoleeds wrote:On the other hand how many people can afford to pay $200 a ticket to see a musician? Or can afford a $3.5 million dollar instrument?
Nevermind all these "feely" questions in the article, how about the financial questions they don't bother to ask!
Cheers
Wiscoleeds
Those other questions would have no bearing on what the article was about.
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buffettbride
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Re: You never know who might be busking.....

Post by buffettbride »

Not to mention the lack of music and arts education in schools so that people could readily identify the artist and the music. :-?
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I'm an Altered Boy
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Re: You never know who might be busking.....

Post by I'm an Altered Boy »

I wonder what he did with the $32.00

dnw
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Re: You never know who might be busking.....

Post by dnw »

Great story!
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Debbie

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Re: You never know who might be busking.....

Post by I'm an Altered Boy »

wiscoleeds wrote:On the other hand how many people can afford to pay $200 a ticket to see a musician? Or can afford a $3.5 million dollar instrument?
Nevermind all these "feely" questions in the article, how about the financial questions they don't bother to ask!
Cheers
Wiscoleeds
shouldn't you be working?

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Re: You never know who might be busking.....

Post by Bicycle Bill »

I am certain that would not have been able to identify the musician, and quite possibly would not be able to identify the opus being performed. I am reasonably sure, though, that I would be able to recognize virtuosity when I was hearing it.

Just one thought, though, before you try to draw any other implications from this experiment: If (as in the example cited) I'm passing through a Metro station, or an airport terminal, or most other public places, I am usually on my way from somewhere to somewhere else and do not have the luxury of being able to stop and dawdle over a street musician. And I'm certain that I'm not the only one.
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Re: You never know who might be busking.....

Post by land_shark3 »

Quint wrote:...Just shows proof that society is way out of touch....
On many fronts...
The fact that a theater full of people would pay $200 each for something that 2000 people collectively value at $32 would certainly be one. The notion that a violin could have a distinguishable difference that would value it at $3.5kk would certainly be another. I have no doubt it was valued that high, but rather that anyone other than the performer could tell a difference in sound quality between $10k, $100k, $1kk, and $3.5kk. :roll:

BTW, I'm surprised no one mentioned the fact that he did make $32/hour which would roughly be $64k per year (tax free). :lol:
It's your world, I'm just living in it! :pirate:

Quint
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Re: You never know who might be busking.....

Post by Quint »

Knowing who the musician is or not was not the point. Since it appeared to them be just some bum no one was willing to give him the time of day. Whether you could they could tell who he was does not matter. You do not have to know who a great performer is to be able to tell talent when you hear it.

People would be willing to shell out hundreds of dollars to see this guy perform. Yet when seen as just a bum most people could not afford a second glance.

Think of it this way. People pay hundreds of dollars to see Jimmy perform. But what if he disguised himself a little, dirtied himself up, and played on a the sidewalk of Duval St. I promise that as pathetic as it is... the same thing would happen.

People are just so judging these days and wrapped up in their own lives. Then again perhaps I was just born to late. :lol:
" I am but just a small bug on the windshield of life"

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Re: You never know who might be busking.....

Post by buffettbride »

Quint wrote:

People are just so judging these days and wrapped up in their own lives.
I work very hard for my money and it's important to me to get to my job in a timely fashion so I can continue to have a job. I'm not sure that's exactly wrapped up in my own life. But, whatever. I pass bums on the street every day. It's not that I'm not compassionate, but honestly, I have to worry about feeding and clothing my OWN family. That doesn't make me a bad or socially unaware person.
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Re: You never know who might be busking.....

Post by RinglingRingling »

Quint wrote:Knowing who the musician is or not was not the point. Since it appeared to them be just some bum no one was willing to give him the time of day. Whether you could they could tell who he was does not matter. You do not have to know who a great performer is to be able to tell talent when you hear it.

People would be willing to shell out hundreds of dollars to see this guy perform. Yet when seen as just a bum most people could not afford a second glance.

Think of it this way. People pay hundreds of dollars to see Jimmy perform. But what if he disguised himself a little, dirtied himself up, and played on a the sidewalk of Duval St. I promise that as pathetic as it is... the same thing would happen.

People are just so judging these days and wrapped up in their own lives. Then again perhaps I was just born to late. :lol:
I saw him there Sunday afternoon. he even went to the effort of a fake beard and pants...

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Re: You never know who might be busking.....

Post by RinglingRingling »

call me foolish, but I think the point of all this is this:

a top professional, equipped with one of the best tools of his trade, and employing that to produce something that few other folks in the world could, barely rated a second glance from most folks exposed to him. Would DaVinci have gotten the same response if he had been sketching and painting just outside the flow of traffic in Penn Station or Times Square?

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Re: You never know who might be busking.....

Post by surfpirate »

"Busking" ? !!

yep (I had to google it) 8)

alphabits
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Re: You never know who might be busking.....

Post by alphabits »

So it's indicative of some flaw in society that very few paid attention?

I wouldn't have stopped. Why? Because I really don't care for classical violin music.
Nothing to do with the performer or the venue. Just my taste in music.

Does this make me "out of touch"? Apparently. But I know what I like.

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Re: You never know who might be busking.....

Post by surfpirate »

Quint wrote:Think of it this way. People pay hundreds of dollars to see Jimmy perform. But what if he disguised himself a little, dirtied himself up, and played on a the sidewalk of Duval St. I promise that as pathetic as it is... the same thing would happen.
Depends.

If he sang *Margaritaville* the Duval Streeters would probably chase him away.
Now if he sang *Girls All Want to See Jimmy* by the Boat Drunks .....

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Re: You never know who might be busking.....

Post by sunseeker »

I stop to watch the sunrise or sunsets every once in while..when I was on my saling adventure in The Exumas- I made it a point to see every sunrise and sunset. I laugh when I see little children playing.....I gou outside and look at the stars. I make it a point to view the full moon or meteor showers.....I think I probably would have stopped to hear him play his music as well....life's too short to miss these things.
There's this one particular harbor.....


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