21
Jan
09

Missing the Music…


joshua-bell

A man stood 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 thousand of 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 hat and without stopping 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 best 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 his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston and the seats average $100.

This is a real story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of an 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 don’t 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?


15 Responses to “Missing the Music…”


  1. January 21, 2009 at 1:07 pm

    You gave me a LOT of food for thought now.🙂

  2. January 21, 2009 at 1:43 pm

    Baie goeie eksperiment…
    Dit laat mens nogal dink!

  3. 3 Zee
    January 21, 2009 at 2:14 pm

    Sjoe, ek dink ek mis baie….

    /me maak nota om te stop en luister en ek meen luister as iemand weer met my praat…. nie net om te maak asof ek luister nie! Iets wat ek tog altyd gedoen het maar nie in die laaste paar weke nie!

  4. 4 Jaco
    January 21, 2009 at 2:22 pm

    As die ou ‘n paar BB originals gespeel het het die hele straat tot stilsatnd gekom. Serves him right om sulke onbekende goed te staan en speel!
    Maar seriaas nou, daar is ‘n lessie hier wat ons almal maar kan leer. Ons is so besig om te besig te wees dat ons in die proses vergeet om te lééf. Nice post BB

  5. 5 BB
    January 21, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    😳 @ Narcie – you humble me…

    Maar wag voor jy verdwyn!!! Wat de dinder gaan daar aan by die Wosonki’s dat daar NIKS aangaan nie??? Die hele blogosfeer is in rep en roer – almal is huilerig – Boendoe moet ook al troos!! Maak oop daai hek! Ons queue nou al soos ‘n trop skape voor ‘n ‘red hanger sale’:mrgreen: – en ek willie die gemors sien as ons almal SAAM daar instorm as die poorte oopgaan nie!😆

  6. January 21, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    Dagse BB
    Baie goeie skrywe wat mens se denke kry om te orden. Dis baie waar dat hy met ‘n mooi kleed aan daar gestaan het en sy naam was orals het baie seker gestop vir ‘n CD en handtekening. Maar dressed in ordinary rags het niemand eers notisie geneem nie, net nog ‘n bedelaar met ‘n foefie.
    Dankie BB en groete.

  7. January 21, 2009 at 2:53 pm

    Ek dink die narcies is op die elipticals – los hulle uit !!

  8. 8 BB
    January 21, 2009 at 3:10 pm

    Oops!! die Narcies se PT is op my case! (‘k sal maar stilbly voor ek pak kry!!):mrgreen:

  9. 9 Jaco
    January 21, 2009 at 3:46 pm

    Die narcies neem ‘n break van elipticals en blogging en al daai mundane middelklas goete. But we shall be back soon

  10. January 21, 2009 at 8:52 pm

    Dis ‘n lekker inskrywing BB! Mens moet soms net so effens terug staan en die lewe en mense met ander oë bekyk!!!

    LOL @ Jaco!!! 😆

  11. January 22, 2009 at 7:01 am

    Ongelooflike goeie persepsie van die lewens wat ons lei. Ons jaag van die een punt na die ander sonder om te stop en te waardeer. Ons is gedurig bekommerd oor more, en oormore en die naweek en volgende maand en die volgende vakansie, sonder om te onthou dat vandag OOK belangrik is.

    Ek dink ons moet net ons persepsies verander, more as jy werk toe ry, en jy sit in die verkeer- Vat ‘n oomblik en kyk na die sonsopkoms, min stede in die wêreld bied jou die geleendheid! Ons moet onsself programmeer dat EERS doen jy jou beste vandag, more bekommer jy oor more.

    Ongelukkig besef die meeste van ons te laat dat die lewe te spesiaal, en te kort is om soos besetenes oor more te bekommer. Party van ons is gelukkig om dit agter te kom op ‘n harde en hartseer manier, want dit het my hele uitkyk op die verganklike lewe verander.

    Every day to the full, no regrets, only learn from your mistakes!

  12. 12 Toggs
    January 22, 2009 at 12:09 pm

    Die huidige oomblik word nie verniet “PRESENT” genoem nie. Mens moet dit sien as ‘n geskenk en nie weghardloop of agter die toekoms aanhardloop nie.
    Onthou jy wat jy in jou Blog so jaar of wat gelede seskryf het, BB? – ‘This day will not come again’ ? Goed of sleg, ons sal hierdie dag mat al sy geleenthede nie weer hê nie.

  13. 13 BB
    January 22, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    Og Toggs!! Ek onthou dit goed! (partykeer al gedink om van my ‘ou-ou’ inskrywings te paste hier – in die ‘maer’ inspirational tye dalk… x

  14. January 23, 2009 at 12:13 am

    Jis, dit laat mens nogal dink.

    Sondagmiddag by Spar was daar drie manne wat gesit en kitaar speel het. Regtig mooi. Ek het my geldjie ingegooi, maar te stupid gevoel om te staan en luister. Almal loop verby, dit sal ‘n aardigheid wees as ek staan. 😳 Maar hulle HET regtig mooi gespeel…en gesing.


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