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View Full Version : Hmmmmmmmm. Just Hmmmmmmmm, That's All



SurferJoe46
10-10-2010, 02:25 PM
THE SITUATION:

In Washington , DC , at a Metro Station, on a cold January morning in 2007, this man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, approximately 2,000 people went through the station, most of them on their way to work. After about 3 minutes, a middle-aged man noticed that there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds, and then he hurried on to meet his schedule.

About 4 minutes later:

The violinist received his first dollar. A woman threw money in the hat and, without stopping, continued to walk..

At 6 minutes:

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

At 10 minutes:

A 3-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 the whole time. This action was repeated by several other children, but every parent - without exception - forced their children to move on quickly.

At 45 minutes:

The musician played continuously. Only 6 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.

After 1 hour:

He finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed and no one applauded. There was no recognition at all.

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 worth $3.5 million dollars. Two days before, Joshua Bell sold-out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100 each to sit and listen to him play the same music.

This is a true story. Joshua Bell, playing incognito in the D.C. Metro Station, was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and people's priorities.

This experiment raised several questions:
In a common-place environment, at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty?
If so, do we stop to appreciate it?
Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?
One possible 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 as we rush through life?

xyz823
10-10-2010, 02:53 PM
I always seem to notice more when I stop, and take a moment to take in whats actually happening around me.

pctek
10-10-2010, 03:45 PM
Joshua Bell, one of the greatest musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars. Two days before, Joshua Bell sold-out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100 each to sit and listen to him play the same music.

Or perhaps when people pay huge amounts of money for something well advertised they naturally think it's great.
But when the same person plays on the strret they think it's average.

Perhaps it is.

Nomad
10-10-2010, 03:51 PM
This was on TV before. Someone did a stint at the public railway station, people by most couldn't care less but they are willing to pay in the hundreds to hear him play at a posh place.
In some countries they are called "professional beggars".

I guess you can put a crappy restaurant in some prime location and do relatively well.
You can have w wine menu and jack up the price by 300% and they feel they had a awesome time and can't wait to return :D

Metla
10-10-2010, 03:56 PM
What the hell did they expect?, people are on there way to work, not in the frame of mind to listen to and enjoy music.

I wouldn't stop or give money to any chump if I was on my way to work.

SurferJoe46
10-10-2010, 05:28 PM
Well - he made a few bucks anyway!

SP8's
10-10-2010, 06:58 PM
Remember that too .... think he was also playing a Stradivarius worth a bloody fortune.

Hope he declared his earning to IRS :D

ubergeek85
10-10-2010, 10:53 PM
So, roughly, he earned $32/hour? In a subway station?

He's still better off than me.

SoniKalien
10-10-2010, 10:55 PM
Or perhaps when people pay huge amounts of money for something well advertised they naturally think it's great.
But when the same person plays on the strret they think it's average.

Perhaps it is.

You're right, and that's why the advertising and marketing industry is so huge and worth big money. So huge in fact it often overshadows the products and services they are selling...

ubergeek85
10-10-2010, 10:59 PM
Yes! Exactly!!

Think about it, when was the last time you saw an ad for coke that wasn't pushing the brand, but rather the product.

That probably stopped when they took the cocaine out of it.

SoniKalien
10-10-2010, 11:02 PM
when was the last time you was an ad for coke

I've never been an ad for coke :p

ubergeek85
10-10-2010, 11:07 PM
I've never been an ad for coke :p

Oops, lol, don't know how I managed to do that. Fixed.

Strommer
11-10-2010, 06:29 AM
What the hell did they expect?, people are on there way to work, not in the frame of mind to listen to and enjoy music.


Exactly. And it was in DC - one of the most violent cities so people are probably more uptight being jammed with commuters.

The experiment should have included the violinist going to a park on a warm sunny day. No doubt people would have stopped, awestruck.

Cuba Street pedestrian mall in Wellington has buskers and often people stop to listen, perhaps sitting on the various seating provided. One day I came across an amazingly talented guitarist-singer on Lambton Quay. I stopped and took a video of him, then stood by the curb. Only then did a few people stop. Everyone else was too much in a hurry. It all depends on the location.