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Posts Tagged ‘classical music’


You’ve probably figured out by now that I find human behavior pretty fascinating.  I’m a little late to the party on this one, since it happened in 2007, but it just came across my FB desk this morning.

(You might also know that I am an absolute classical music junkie {my background is in music (piano, band, choir, music theatre, vocal performance, etc) and my parents thought I should be a music teacher} and that my perfect job would be to get paid copious amounts of money to listen to classical music of all periods. I cannot do anything else when I listen, because I become too absorbed in the actual music; in the themes and the intricacy of the writing; listening and isolating particular instruments and imagining what the score for that instrument looks like- I can see the music in my head…… but I digress…… 😆 )

“In Washington DC , at a Metro Station, on a cold January morning in 2007, a man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, approximately 2000 people went through the station, most of them on their way to work. 

After about four minutes, a middle-aged man noticed that there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds, and then he hurried on to meet his schedule.  About four minutes later, the violinist received his first dollar. A woman threw money in the hat and, without stopping, continued to walk. 

At six minutes, a young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again. 

At ten minutes, a three-year old boy stopped, but his mother tugged him along hurriedly. The kid stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head the whole time. This action was repeated by several other children, but every parent – without exception – forced their children to move on quickly. 

At forty-five minutes: The musician played continuously. Only six people stopped and listened for a short while. About twenty gave money but continued to walk at their normal pace. The man collected a total of $32. 

After one hour: He finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed and no one applauded. There was no recognition at all. 

No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, 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. 

This is a true story. 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:  In a common-place environment, at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty?  If so, do we stop to appreciate it?  Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context? 

One possible conclusion reached from this experiment could be this: If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world, playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of the most beautiful instruments ever made… How many other things are we missing as we rush through life?” 

What would you do? Leave me a comment and let me know!

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If you’ve been reading along, you know of my great, and sometimes detrimental, love of books.  😆

The question was a posed a bit ago: would you rather be deaf or blind? I used to answer this question without hesitation.  Why, of course, given my background in music, I would MUCH rather be blind than deaf.  I could not imagine a life without my music! 

Classical music soothes my soul.  So much so that time escapes and nothing else gets done while listening.  I know people (like my guys) who can listen to music while studying and doing other things.  Not me.  Once the music captures me, the world can cease to exist and I might not notice.

I can paint (as in, the walls) and listen to music; I can clean and listen to music.  I run and listen to music.  It’s not classical music, though, and that’s what allows me to get things done.

But, the classical comes on and I am lost.  I take great joy in identifying parts and seeing the weaving and the artistry of the composition, all the while recognizing I will never have that vision and divine gift. It makes me love it all the more.

Wednesday, however, gave me a new answer. We’ve been on vacation this week, and even though it’s a staycation -our first in years – I’ve done a bit of reading.  The last vacation we took was the first with my Kindle, and I admit, I barely crawled out of the bed the entire time because I was reading.

There is nothing better than having an unlimited amount of books to read. Always in the past, I had been limited to how much I could take by the amount of space available.  I even left yarn behind to take a few extra books!

But not this time, for I had loaded my Kindle with 40 some odd titles. Titles that were free!

One of the reasons I chose a Kindle over other e-readers was the amount of freebies I had stumbled on prior to purchase. Being married to an engineer has taught me the concept of payback.  In this case, it is initial cost of the Kindle vs. space and cost of e-titles. I figured I’d have to read enough free titles to cover the cost of the Kindle, and then I would be home free.

We’re now months later, and I’m still reading freebies. I don’t have magic; I don’t have psychic ability to predict which titles are free when.  I do, however, have Facebook. A friend shared a link and I’ve been hooked ever since.

In my I’m Drunk  post, I shared how a friend on FB posted a link to Ereader News Today, which sent me into overload.  I immediately joined, and have been loving it since. 

On Wednesday, there was a post simply stating, “There is some big news for free Kindle books today. There are over 200 new freebies! I’ve created a link to a list of all the free Kindle books instead of making a post for every one.” (insert drooling smiley here)

Over two hours later, as I finally finished page 9, I realized that getting through all those 584 titles (which is now 606) was not for the faint of heart. Some titles I already had. Some I didn’t want (like textbooks). Some were short stories. Some were sneak peeks of the first few chapters. On the Amazon site, the titles are just listed and you have to click through to get the description.  That’s time consuming, but the freebies are worth it to me.

I stopped at a suitable place (somewhere after 100) because, after all, I was eager to get reading. Another thing I really love about my Kindle is the light in the case.  I debated about spending the extra money on the light, but I will tell you, it was WELL worth the extra $$.  I have read while everyone else was in bed; I’ve read out by the campfire.

It was in bed, around 1 am when I finally finished the one book. I was surprised at the time, but it’s fantastic to finish a good book.  I remember thinking, “I could live here forever.” Meaning, I could live in the book world forever and do nothing else; taking minimal time to eat, reading all the while.

And then it hit me. I have changed. My Kindle has caused me to change! Instead of my default setting of being blind instead of deaf, I would now rather be deaf. (And this is in no way to make light of or make fun of disabilities, but thinking along those lines from time to time can help a person better understand themselves.)

Books captivate me; they take me to another place, where I get lost. And now I’m getting them free! 

I have something like 15 pages of unread titles.  And I haven’t gotten through the list yet.  I’m trying to work my way through it, but books are calling me……..

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