A writer for the Washington Post recently decided to try a social experiment to find out if commuters in a subway station would recognize musical genius if performed by a master virtuoso in the guise of an ordinary busker. So the trap was set: Joshua Bell, one of the world's greatest violinists, along with his $3.5 million instrument crafted by Antonio Stradivari in 1713, played 43 minutes of masterpieces in a Washington metro station on a typical Friday morning. The results were depressingly predictable. Of the 1,097 people who rushed by, only seven stopped to listen to the music for more than one minute. Another 27 tossed some money in his violin case, and the rest were completely oblivious to the spark of beauty interrupting their otherwise dull day.
Thursday, March 06, 2008
Stop and Hear the Music
I read a post on Midsummer Meandering's Blog today about going to the symphony. While her post was mostly comedic, mine is not. Awhile back Isaac shared with me a news story that detailed the findings of a social experiment. The results were somewhat surprising and a little sad to me. Its not unlike my previous post asking the question "who decides what is art-worthy?". In the midst of our hustle and bustle we as a culture have lost sight of what is truly beautiful.