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  #1  
Old 01-08-2013, 06:29 AM
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Interesting how people are these days..

"A man sat 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 1,100 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 till and without stopping, and 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 most talented musicians in the world. He had just played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, on a violin worth $3.5 million dollars.

Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100.

This is a real 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 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 do not 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?"
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  #2  
Old 01-08-2013, 06:35 AM
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If you're going to quote, a link or source would be nice.

Besides, that's an old story.
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Old 01-08-2013, 06:42 AM
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The way classical music is presented and staged, only the rich and snobs enjoy it. I'm not rich nor am I a snob, but I enjoy Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven more than contemporary music. Maybe because I was introduced to listening to classical music when I was in the 8th grade. Yes, I enjoy being an odd ball.
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Old 01-08-2013, 06:44 AM
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http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...ht=joshua+bell
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  #5  
Old 01-08-2013, 07:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwsqbm View Post
If you're going to quote, a link or source would be nice.

Besides, that's an old story.
Sty wouldn't make up his own story. Lighten up, this is not PS sub-forum.

Besides, the outcome wouldn't be any different if the experiment were done yesterday.
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  #6  
Old 01-08-2013, 07:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwsqbm View Post
If you're going to quote, a link or source would be nice.

Besides, that's an old story.
It was a copy/paste from a friend who posted the story on Facebook. Did not have the link which is why I did not know that it was old. My apologies to you my friend. I'm sure it is it there on Google some where though.
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:03 AM
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Interesting, but I don't agree with the conclusions.

You can't really make conclusions on people's behavior in a setting like that where they have a train to catch that if they miss could make them very late for work. That train won't wait for them. So it's less about appreciating the art than having commitments to keep.

"Sorry boss, I'm late because I was listening to some guy play the violin in the subway station."

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  #8  
Old 01-08-2013, 10:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E36 Phantom View Post
Interesting, but I don't agree with the conclusions.

You can't really make conclusions on people's behavior in a setting like that where they have a train to catch that if they miss could make them very late for work. That train won't wait for them. So it's less about appreciating the art than having commitments to keep.

"Sorry boss, I'm late because I was listening to some guy play the violin in the subway station."

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If Kobe Bryant were there, I bet the reaction would be very different. So, I don't buy your assessment. The guys may be late to work, but they got a story to tell, and a good excuse for being late too. People see classical music and performers not as super stars, but music you listen in the background.
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  #9  
Old 01-08-2013, 10:16 AM
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Try it in a mall, bet the reaction would be quite different.

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  #10  
Old 01-08-2013, 03:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E36 Phantom View Post
Interesting, but I don't agree with the conclusions.

You can't really make conclusions on people's behavior in a setting like that where they have a train to catch that if they miss could make them very late for work. That train won't wait for them. So it's less about appreciating the art than having commitments to keep.

"Sorry boss, I'm late because I was listening to some guy play the violin in the subway station."

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Gotta agree - a Saturday, or a green space, or a social environment... They did this test in a situation where people are on a tight schedule and breaking that schedule could have consequences.
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  #11  
Old 01-08-2013, 03:29 PM
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Here's the video:

WS

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  #12  
Old 01-08-2013, 03:29 PM
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Seriously, none of you even tried to read:

Quote:
This is a real 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 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?
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  #13  
Old 01-08-2013, 03:44 PM
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New York City has a program called Music Under New York which is administered by the MTA (Metropolitan Transit Authority)


The performers generally attract a crowd and add a very nice ambiance to the city. Many of the performers are very good and when I am able to take the time I will stop and listen for a while and throw a dollar intro the collection basket (which is usually an open musical instrument case)

Music Under New York
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Classical violinists, Cajun cellists, jazz ensembles, bluesmen, Latin guitarists, opera and folk singers are just a few of the MUNY Performers in the subway and train stations contributing to the music culture of New York City. Since 1985, MTA Arts for Transit has managed the MUNY program presenting quality music to the commuting public. At present, more than 350 soloists and groups participate in MUNY providing over 7,500 annual performances at 30 Locations throughout the transit system.
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  #14  
Old 01-08-2013, 03:59 PM
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This article is quite old.
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  #15  
Old 01-08-2013, 04:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Griffoun View Post
Seriously, none of you even tried to read:
I saw that, but their measure of perception was tips and people stopping.

I don't carry cash. Ever.
If I'm late for my train I don't care if there's a symphony there, I've got to keep moving.

Does that mean I don't notice or even greatly enjoy the music as I walk past?

According to their conclusions, it does. Of course really, it doesn't have anything to do with the beauty, too many external factors at play to draw conclusions.

I was in choirs for many years, we would do impromptu performances in random places like malls, and we were certainly not the caliber of the violinist, but many people would stop and listen for a long time.

It's all about setting. You would need a brain scanner to know if the subway people actually perceived and enjoyed it.

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  #16  
Old 01-08-2013, 04:34 PM
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If I owned a $3,000,000+ Stradivarius, I wouldn't take into a DC subway station.
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  #17  
Old 01-08-2013, 07:11 PM
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Here's the video:

WS

Interesting. When people started running, he played faster.
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Old 01-08-2013, 07:36 PM
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Yes, this is an old article, but it's always been one of my favorites.

I hope that by the end of my days I can always say that wherever beauty was, there was I also; and I saw it, and I heard it, and I drank it. This guy playing a violin in the subway could be something pleasant to a few bystanders, worthy of a few bucks and a few minutes of time. But it's different for someone who knows what is being done. There is a story about Colonel Thomas Kane, who was a military man during the mid 1800s. I forget the story's details (it's in one of my books somewhere), but he was leading a group of settlers though the American West, when he heard someone playing music down a canyon. He stopped and recognized the song as one of his favorites, and was shocked in awe that he heard it in such a place. If no one else had recognized it, do you think they would have cared as much as he did? Not really. It's music being played in a random location; it's a dude making a few bucks in a subway.

Beauty may be all around, but it's also in the eye of the beholder. To me personally, beauty in whatever form it's in will always mean a lot. Whether it's my favorite song being played live in a subway, or seeing the clouds arrange themselves in such an unusual way, or watching a father teaching his little child something important, or simply the "atmosphere" talked about by Walt Whitman (see below), beauty is always worth my time. I will GLADLY miss a train for something more beautiful than getting to work on time.

"Houses and rooms are full of perfumes, the shelves are
crowded with perfumes,
I breathe the fragrance myself and know it and like it,
The distillation would intoxicate me also, but I shall not let it.

The atmosphere is not a perfume, it has no taste of the
distillation, it is odorless,
It is for my mouth forever, I am in love with it,
I will go to the bank by the wood and become undisguised
and naked,
I am mad for it to be in contact with me."
--Walt Whitman, Song of Myself


PS: I wonder if thoughts like this is why I'm so single
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Old 01-08-2013, 08:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E36 Phantom View Post
I saw that, but their measure of perception was tips and people stopping.

I don't carry cash. Ever.
If I'm late for my train I don't care if there's a symphony there, I've got to keep moving.

Does that mean I don't notice or even greatly enjoy the music as I walk past?

According to their conclusions, it does. Of course really, it doesn't have anything to do with the beauty, too many external factors at play to draw conclusions.

I was in choirs for many years, we would do impromptu performances in random places like malls, and we were certainly not the caliber of the violinist, but many people would stop and listen for a long time.

It's all about setting. You would need a brain scanner to know if the subway people actually perceived and enjoyed it.

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You still failed to read nor understand the goal of the research, and what you've stated has only proven them correct. It doesn't matter what your musical background is, you simply wouldn't appreciate nor recognize that guy.

Otherwise, let us know what other attributes should be used to measure passers-by who actually appreciate and recognize the talent without using brain scanner? That would totally ruin the setting, unless you've got something real-time and not disruptive.

Last edited by Griffoun; 01-08-2013 at 08:05 PM.
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Old 01-08-2013, 08:41 PM
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you think I'd stopped to listen to the beautifully played music when I was rushing to a crime scene? In my book, the victims are more important then the great music.
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Griffoun View Post
You still failed to read nor understand the goal of the research, and what you've stated has only proven them correct. It doesn't matter what your musical background is, you simply wouldn't appreciate nor recognize that guy.

Otherwise, let us know what other attributes should be used to measure passers-by who actually appreciate and recognize the talent without using brain scanner? That would totally ruin the setting, unless you've got something real-time and not disruptive.
That's my point - there's really no way to accurately measure this.

I could recognize the person and greatly enjoy the music, it might even brighten my day and I go tell everyone at work about it, but if I don't tip or stop for a while according to the study I'm the same as anyone who thinks it's a bum. See what I'm saying? It's a flawed study.

Just because I recognize and appreciate something doesn't mean I'll necessarily act in the manner they think I should.
Hence, the study is fatally flawed.

If you don't understand what I'm saying, I'm done. We can agree to disagree.
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  #22  
Old 01-08-2013, 11:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave 330i View Post
The way classical music is presented and staged, only the rich and snobs enjoy it. I'm not rich nor am I a snob, but I enjoy Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven more than contemporary music. Maybe because I was introduced to listening to classical music when I was in the 8th grade. Yes, I enjoy being an odd ball.
I don't know what it is like in your area but in New York and other Northeast Cities classical music is readily availble to the public on the radio, TV, on CDs and live in Concert. Tickets to Carnegie Hall can cost as little as $19.50 and are no more expensive (and in many cases far less expensive) than tickets to rock and pop concerts at Madison Square Garden. Additionally classical music venues like Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and Boston Symphony Hall generally have far superior acoustics than the sports arenas where rock and pop concerts tend to be held.

Many major symphony orchestras have free outdoor concerts in the summer such as the Central Park Concerts in NY and he Esplanade concerts in Boston and in many cases inexpensive tickets to open rehearsals are available. Lawn tickets at Tanglewood, the Summer home of the Boston Symphony in Lenox Mass (which is a spectacular venue) can be as low as $20).
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  #23  
Old 01-09-2013, 07:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E36 Phantom View Post
That's my point - there's really no way to accurately measure this.

I could recognize the person and greatly enjoy the music, it might even brighten my day and I go tell everyone at work about it, but if I don't tip or stop for a while according to the study I'm the same as anyone who thinks it's a bum. See what I'm saying? It's a flawed study.

Just because I recognize and appreciate something doesn't mean I'll necessarily act in the manner they think I should.
Hence, the study is fatally flawed.
If you don't understand what I'm saying, I'm done. We can agree to disagree.
It's "flawed" because you don't understand how to measure in a social research. It's not always quantitative and exact like measuring length between point A to point B.

So I understand what you're saying but your points are flawed, not the research nor its measurement, just because some groups want to observe people's behavior that is not within norm.

This is why discussions in PS subforum fail so badly.

Last edited by Griffoun; 01-09-2013 at 08:30 AM.
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Old 01-09-2013, 09:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Griffoun View Post
Seriously, none of you even tried to read:
Lighten up, this isn't Poly Sci

I read the first sentence of a post, then check everyone's response. Depending on the responses, I decide whether or not to go back and read the op.

Last edited by AndrewZ; 01-09-2013 at 09:53 AM.
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  #25  
Old 01-09-2013, 10:59 AM
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My daughter is a violinist and she would stop no matter what kind of rush we were in.

Plus she's met Joshua Bell so she knows what he looks like
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