Do You Stop?

Here is an intressting story about a not so ordinary musician playing in the subway.…-fruit-for.html

While certainly a fun story to read, I doubt that this “experiment” says anything about the perception of the passer-bys. People are in a hurry, it’s cold, maybe they’re still tired - and on top of it all, maybe just don’t get the beauty of intricate pieces like a true connaisseur of classical music.
I cannot prove this claim, but I’m convinced that the actual quality of a street musician’s performance does not play a big role regarding the money they make. For most people passing by, it’s just a different, maybe more original way of begging for money - not very surprising, seeing how music is treated as a good, not an art, these days.

I would have stopped, but that’s just because I find street musicians fascinating. That, and the fact that there are none where I live. So on the rare chance that I’m visiting a big city, I’m likely doing touristy things, and therefore not in a rush, and actually have time to stop & watch them.

When I visited Chicago, my gf and I saw this amazing woman play in the subway there. She had an acordian, a violin, tap shoes, and she would play them all and whistle. The tune she played was haunting. It reminded me of dub music for some reason. She wasn’t dressed very well so she was probably homeless. When she was done, I told her how great I thought it was and that she should make a CD and sell it. She said she didn’t have the means to. I told her I would have helped her make the CD if I lived locally …

I wonder whatever happened to her. She’s probably still plays there!

Edit: you’re also asking this question to a forum full of musicians, so there is probably a larger bias towards stopping. :D

if you like classical music, and knows what’s good Shi’ite
you won’t let it be suppressed by daily shores.

go to your boss and tell him that there was this dude
that was playing Bach on the subway without as much as
a note off… and it was beautiful!

thats atleast what im about.

absolutely a misplaced experiment: why should a person who is late at work or is going to do something else should be interested in someone who is showing off in a place where people is just supposed to passing by?

I don’t see what the example of the child is supposed to show… of course the child has more perception, curiosity and hasn’t seen something similar before, so what? This remembers me an old discussion two people had on the old community: one told that music should keep people interest all the time so, to test his music, he placed the PC in front of his little 4 years old brother to see his reactions. Well, of course this is a good test to see if you write music for children, but it’s not the best music test overall…

I would have stopped by if I were a tourist, that’s for sure.

Interesting story… I personally would have stopped and listened. I love listening to buskers. Some of them are truly talented people.

That being said, the article’s assertion that the music he was playing was the “best music in the world” is fairly pretentious, and subjective at best. Obviously the masses have decided that classical, although very good music, isn’t the “best” music in the world. According to our music consumption habits, we, as a society, have given that title to rock music. Still, it’s hard to label any artist or song with the label “best”, as it’s all a matter of personal taste.

What this article proves more than anything is that there’s only a certain type of people that care to place musical skill above the actual enjoyability of the music. I guarantee if they did the same thing and had a random professional gig guitarist start singing + playing Beatles and Rolling Stones songs on a guitar in the subway, and he actually put on a show with feeling, they would get a large crowd.

If you’re talking about Larry Wright, that dude is amazing…
I’ve never seen him play live but I love watching him on youtube. One day I just watched as many as I could for hours and hours.
When he starts really breaking it down at around :47 seconds, it gives me chills :D
It’s all very tribal. I don’t think he’d sound right on a real kit though. I mean I’m sure it would be good, but the buckets have their own charm as well. :D

I saw it comig that it was somebody famous ::::same thing happened in copenhagen ::::it was a very cold autumn evening and 2 violin players where playing a bach piece …so I stop`ped and enjoyed the music …

i’d walk on by - you can hear great classical music on the radio or tv so much that it’s hard to be inpressed just by overhearing a snatch of it whilst walking down the street -

i’d probably think he was showing off if the piece was that intricate anyway, i like my shit lo-fi…

…plus his violin was worth 3.5 million dollars - is that not a little irresponsible taking it out to piss around with?

well. i dunno what i would have done. i probably would have enjoyed what he was doing.

replacing this guy with brittany spears, or some other person that is popular in pop or american idol playing the violin all messed up or barely.

there is a reason they base the average intelligence quotient at 100. it’s not like it’s a secret. Classical people have always known if they want to make money or fame they must do low brow stuff. it’s just how things are, mass appeal.

The reason being “100 is defined as average” ;) No matter how smart or dumb humanity will become, the average IQ will always be 100.

That is so unbeliebably idiotic, sorry…

Well, dear author, you just publically missed an opportunity to question your use of the word “best”.

I wonder what kind of sex life this guy might have haha… “but honey, 2 hours and 20 minutes, you just HAVE to be happy… that was 24% better sex than the last time! What do you mean you felt like I wasn’t even knowing you were there? What are you talking about… 2 hours and 20 minutes, COME ON!!!”

General thing I don’t like:

“Would you like me to perform X for you!”

“No thanks”

performs anyway, stretches out hand

You know, I’d probably given him some change if he had just asked. Don’t guilt trip me.

So he’d probably didn’t give a shit that nobody tipped him

I’d most probably give him some money, cause I prefer performers to beggars. It doesn’t matter how good you are, what’s important is that you are trying to earn your bread.
Hard to tell if I’d have stopped. Probably if it sounded interesting.

The whole ‘experiment’ hardly yielded anything surprising, and the fact that the violin was expensive is irrelevant.

I’ve thought about what it is like to perform in the streets since I’ve seen them in many cities. My first exposure to the magic of the green Line 6 pedal came from a street performer, who played a shoegaze “America/God Save the Queen” on a cheap electric guitar plugged into said pedal and a roland cube amp.

Are many street performers worthy of professional praise and so on? Yes, they are… and sometimes they do get lucky and become somewhat famous, like Wesley Willis did, Language in video not worksafe.

YouTube - Cut The Mullet

Do I stop for street performers? No, usually I’d pull my headphones off for a quick listen and keep them tucked back if it’s good, otherwise I just try to get where I’m going.

I’d go up and jam with the mofo. Nice big bass drone. Possibly on the minor 2nd.

I would stop
… hammer time

No matter what, if the music the guy is playing gets your attention you more probably are willing to stop by and have a listen.
As already said several times: if you’re in a hurry to catch your ride you’ll not notice the guy playing extraordinary music on such an inconvenient place.

I probably wouldn’t stop, maybe if he was playing some Haydn

There are some electronic music artists, playing in Tallinn from time to time. I stop and listen to their music sometimes. So do many other people. The “best piece written” is really subjective anyway. For me those works are rather boring compared to Electronic stuff played buy some kids on the street.

I simply don’t enjoy music the same if I’m not in the right frame of mind. I mean, I can hear my favourite piece of music in a store and while it may put a smile on my face it doesn’t move me as it would have if the acoustics had been better and I had anticipated it.

The experiment is flawed. The genre doesn’t fit everyone and people are rushed. I’m pretty sure many of the passers-by were impressed by his skillful playing even though they hurried on.