World class violinist plays in Metro Station, ignored by nearly everyone - boards.ie
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20-02-2012, 15:05   #1
nyarlothothep
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World class violinist plays in Metro Station, ignored by nearly everyone

Interesting article.

Quote:
"A man sat at a metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin; it was a cold January morning. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that 1,100 people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.

Three minutes went by, and a middle aged man noticed there was musician playing. He slowed his pace, and stopped for a few seconds, and then hurried up to meet his schedule.

A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw the money in the till and without stopping, and continued to walk.

A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and started to walk again. Clearly he was late for work.

The one who paid the most attention was a 3 year old boy. His mother tagged him along, hurried, but the kid stopped to look at the violinist. Finally, the mother pushed hard, and the child continued to walk, turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. All the parents, without exception, forced them to move on.

In the 45 minutes the musician played, only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money, but continued to walk their normal pace. He collected $32. When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed it. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the most talented musicians in the world. He had just played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, on a violin worth $3.5 million dollars.

Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100.

This is a real 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 priorities of people. The outlines were: in a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour: Do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize the talent in an unexpected context?

One of the possible conclusions from this experience could be:

If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing the best music ever written, how many other things are we missing?"
And



Are people so wrapped up in their daily routines that they're missing out on artistic beauty? Discuss.

Last edited by nyarlothothep; 20-02-2012 at 20:17.
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20-02-2012, 16:00   #2
maccored
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thats a pretty old article that one. some people only like music when they realise other people had already appreciated that music. Im sure if word had got around that a wolrd class violinist was busking, the place would have been packed around him - but since no-one was aware he was famous, they didnt bother. the quality of the music doesnt make any difference to such people.
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20-02-2012, 16:51   #3
Sl!mCharles
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Thought you meant the band. Was pretty surprised
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20-02-2012, 17:22   #4
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And a band -U2- play on a rooftop and bring the place to a standstill.
So what does it prove? It proves that if you stick an unknown - unknown to most people: classical music is not very popular in the scheme of things - violin player into a busy spot where people are in a rush to catch the train then he will be largely ignored.
I am baffled that anybody expected a different result!

Your conclusion
Quote:
If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing the best music ever written, how many other things are we missing?"
is BS, based on a very flawed experiment!
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20-02-2012, 20:17   #5
nyarlothothep
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulieBoy View Post
And a band -U2- play on a rooftop and bring the place to a standstill.
So what does it prove? It proves that if you stick an unknown - unknown to most people: classical music is not very popular in the scheme of things - violin player into a busy spot where people are in a rush to catch the train then he will be largely ignored.
I am baffled that anybody expected a different result!

Your conclusion is BS, based on a very flawed experiment!
Not my conclusion! Its that of the author. There could be some ambiguity as to whether its a conclusion in the form of a rhetorical question or a question asking us to reflect on the nature of the society we inhabit eg the restraints placed on our time.
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20-02-2012, 21:15   #6
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Originally Posted by nyarlothothep View Post
Not my conclusion! Its that of the author. There could be some ambiguity as to whether its a conclusion in the form of a rhetorical question or a question asking us to reflect on the nature of the society we inhabit eg the restraints placed on our time.
And it's bull! It's based on an experiment that was designed to fail.
They started with the conclusion and then figured out how to conduct an 'experiment' that would give that result.
You can reflect on the nature of the society we inhabit but those people in the train station were rushing to get a train! No time to reflect on the nature of society. They faced the sack for being late for work !!

I wonder if the same violin player had gone to a park on a sunny day how many people would have stopped and listened to him? Quite a lot I would expect, but that would be useless as a result for the idiots that conducted this experiment.
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20-02-2012, 21:30   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulieBoy View Post
And it's bull! It's based on an experiment that was designed to fail.
They started with the conclusion and then figured out how to conduct an 'experiment' that would give that result.
You can reflect on the nature of the society we inhabit but those people in the train station were rushing to get a train! No time to reflect on the nature of society. They faced the sack for being late for work !!

I wonder if the same violin player had gone to a park on a sunny day how many people would have stopped and listened to him? Quite a lot I would expect, but that would be useless as a result for the idiots that conducted this experiment.
Whether they're idiots as you say is irrelevant. Actually no wait...this sounds like an AH post.
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21-02-2012, 17:01   #8
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At least there is a fine principle to glean here - stop and smell the roses! But yes, it does seem the results would have different given different conditions.
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21-02-2012, 17:47   #9
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I would say for the average non classical music buff (me for instance) that it's hard to distinguish (and recognise/have heard of person) between a very competent busker and a world class virtuoso when it comes to "classical" music, whereas if Morrissey was singing there it would be easy to spot him.
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