My other blog (Prof. blog)


Why should anyone care, anyway ?

Washington, DC 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 approximately two thousand people
went through the station, most of them on their way to work.
After 3 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 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 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 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.

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 worth $3.5 million
dollars. Two days before, Joshua Bell sold out a theater in
Boston where the seats averaged $100.

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 commonplace environment
at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty? 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?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.