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goddess1

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I received this story by email, and verified it on Snopes.com.  It made me kind of sad.


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 thousands 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 till 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 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?


I found it very interesting that children were the ones most likely to stop and recognize the beauty being freely offered.  I am so glad that we have this forum to be reminded daily about the value of "one of the best musicians in the world" playing some of the best music ever written, with more on the way! 

http://www.snopes.com/music/artists/bell.asp



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ric

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rtc125

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Outstanding story and spot-on insight, G1, thanks for sharing!

John

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Great story, G. Thanx for the plug at the end. I am not worthy.
mikestune420

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great story g1 .. I believe there is actual video f00tage of this d00d playing the violin and U see the kid .. If I find it I will add it to this thread!!

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ksw213

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I think when I saw this story on TV it was on ABC, but not sure if it was morning or evening news.

Definitely a 'stop and smell the roses' reminder for many.

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great story G and Johan you are worthy!!!!!!!

goddess1

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I agree with ya, David.  Remember Johan - beauty is in the eye of the beholder.   


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Amie

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Reply with quote  #9 
Gotta chime in, too...Sir Wetton, you are definitely as worthy as anyone. 'Couldn't agree with G1 more if I tried.

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Evelyn

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Reply with quote  #10 
I'm going to jump in also ~ you ARE "one of the best musicians in the world". I feel like you are a living legend. When I was in junior high, my friends and I were absolutely blown away when we heard "Only Time Will Tell" ~ you have no idea how many times we played Asia's first LP. The music is permanently part of my childhood and it still sounds amazing today. Your other CDs (especially Battle Lines) are musical treasures. The fact that you're not arrogant makes you all the more greater.

ps ~ Goddess, I enjoyed reading that story!
jonberg

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Reply with quote  #11 

You're definitely 'worthy', Johan. Your humility and willingness to take time to interact here only adds to your 'cool-ness factor'  in my book.....(not that I'm writing one).


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cseking

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Reply with quote  #12 

This was a great story, and I remember, too, feeling pretty sad about it when I read about it shortly after it happened.  You know, it's even more the pity when you see a lot of really great unknown musicians in places like that over the years.  And the vast majority of people just ignoring them or, even worse, saying rude things to them or putting down trash instead of money.


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AudioSlave

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Reply with quote  #13 

I hope those people who ignored Joshua during that incident are regretting their behavior after reading that article.   


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