January 23, 2009

Stop And Listen


"A man stood in 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 thousands of people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.

...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 averaged $100.

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?"

I stole this summary directly from I Heart You, because I felt I couldn't say it any better myself.  For the full rundown, go here.

4 comments:

jenx67 said...

Wow. Thanks for sharing the link.

Trina said...

I am glad this story makes it around every so often. we could all do well to stop and smell the roses, to appreciate what is right in front of our eyes.

Anonymous said...

Sadly, how much trouble are we going to be in when we're late for work?
Anon

Stacey Snacks said...

Henry had a good point.
People are rushing to get to work and aren't stopping to listen because are running late.
If he was out on the street, more people would've stopped and maybe have noticed.
No one takes the time anymore to stop and smell the roses.
Remember the video of the person hit by the car and no one stopped to help??????
I am moving. But where to?
Mars?