Joshua Bell, One of the Worlds Greatest Musicians, Goes Unnoticed (This Breaks My Heart)

H/T to a reader/friend, Tommy “Boy”

I love music, almost all music. Thanks to the influence of my grandmother, I even love classical music. I would have stopped and listened as long as the hypothetical schedule would have allowed. The sad truth and commentary on our society is that if you had some break-dancers there in the Metro Station, you would have had larger crowds. This story broke my heart. To be fair however, this was done at a place where people are going to and from work. I think you would have had a different story if you placed Mr. Bell in one of D.C.’s small parks during a lazy Saturday afternoon or even a work-day lunch time in the area there. This may be a reflection on the Washington Post and how they accumulate the “pulse” of the nation, especially in regards to politics… they skew the questions or parameters of the thing being queried about in order to get the answer they seek. Thus making this one more example of mainstream media doing what they do best.

Joshua Bell is 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. 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:

  1. In a common-place environment, at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty? [This is what may be challenged as part of this experiment]
  2. If so, do we stop to appreciate it?
  3. Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?