The Joshua Bell experiment

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The Joshua Bell experiment

Postby breeze » 14 Apr 07, 12:34 pm

Joshua Bell is probably one of the top five, living violinists in the whole world.

It is a little long, the article, but put me a lot of questions about how people see art, accept art, where are they prepared to find art and if art is recognized anywhere, or if you have to pay very much to accept or admit that something is art.  :? ... id=topnews
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Re: The Joshua Bell experiment

Postby Don't Blink » 13 Feb 11, 8:11 pm

Was going to post the same story but you beat me to it

A question to ask would be " Would any of the people who passed by have paid $150, $100 or even $50 to see him in concert?
Would you pay to attend the Superbowl?
What about a boxing match?

You couldn't drag me to a Huge-o-Ugleyasses concert no matter how free the tickets were.

Maybe that just wasn't his target audience



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?

Enjoy life NOW ... it has an expiration date.

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Re: The Joshua Bell experiment

Postby cerina » 13 Apr 11, 5:10 pm

I somehow missed this when breeze posted it. A very interesting article and a sad indictment on the pressures of life that we can't take out a few minutes to appreciate beauty in whatever form. :dontknow:
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