31 May 2012


Last week, my father sent me a story about Joshua Bell.

Bell is one of the best violinists worldwide. In 2007, Washington Post invited him to play at the L’Enfant Plaza Station during the morning rush hours and see how people react to excellent music.

On that day, Bell disguised himself as an ordinary street musician in jeans and cap. He opened his violin case, threw in a few coins as seed money, and began to play. The first piece was Chaconne by J. S. Bach.

Before this project, the journalists asked some professionals to estimate the result. Provided that no one recognized Bell as the famous violinist, they thought, only 75 to 100 people out of 1000 passersby could appreciate the quality of the performance and would stop and watch. But a small crowd would gather nevertheless.

The result? From 07:51 to 08:34 that Friday morning, 1097 people passed by. Only seven people stopped to listen for at least one minute. Bell earned $32 in total.

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