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Wondering About Busking
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Jeff Cairns
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PostPosted: 2013-01-24, 05:41    Post subject: Wondering About Busking Reply with quote

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I chose to remove my previous post because it was a knee-jerk reaction to what I thought was a bit of a ridiculous question. However, I think that the bigger issue of the point that the question raised needs to be addressed, so I'll start.
Perhaps at this point, the only answer you can give to the question of the cat's understanding is, 'I don't know.' Given adequate time and patience, I might observe your cat in many situations and I may be able to observe similar and repeatable reactions to being exposed to similar stimulation. I might then venture to say that your cat reacts in certain ways to certain stimulation. It's difficult to imagine that a cat understands happiness as a person does, but it probably appreciates agreeable situations and if it experiences those situations enough it may be able to connect them to certain predilections of your nature. This in effect is education.
Move this into the arena of people of differing cultures judging each other. We might say that all things of an abstract nature, like music, can only be experienced subjectively. I believe this to be true. However, I also believe there is depth to subjectivity when armed with repeatably observed information. So much so that it can even look objective to a lesser informed person. And this was the basis of my suggestion originally. Arm your self with as much knowledge as you can about the subject, experience over and over through practice, and a different subjective appreciation will emerge. One that could be radically different than your initial observation and possibly closer to that of the originator.
However, you may be happy with your initial feeling and not care in the least what the inspiration or intent of the originator is/was. Yours is good enough. So be it. Shocked
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Brian Tairaku Ritchie
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PostPosted: 2013-01-24, 22:59    Post subject: Wondering About Busking Reply with quote

Kiku Day wrote:
This reminds me of one incident where I was asked to come and play the shakuhachi at a retirement home for (rich) Jewish people in San Francisco. Most were sweet and loved it but there was this one lady who came up to me again and again during the time where I played and yelled: "You make me depressed!!! Play something cheerful!!!"
That was hard work! I tried my best, improvised, tried to play melodies she might know and like... nothing helped! She looked happy when the klezmer band took over... Phew!
Neutral


This reminds me of a time in 1976 when we played at an old age home. We tried to play the oldest songs we knew like "in the Mood" and "Beer Barrel Polka". Afterwards a lady came and said, "I'm 100 years old today......that was nice but next time could you learn some of the old tunes?" Tough crowd old people. Razz
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Fiona Dawes
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PostPosted: 2013-01-25, 11:34    Post subject: Wondering About Busking Reply with quote

Last time I played at an old people's home I got mixed feedback. For one lady it was indignity enough to be in a nursing home, let alone exposed to music that was culturally inappropriate, she asked me not to come back until I had listened to Italian folk music, and could appreciate it, and could play something like that.

I heard one older gent whistle a croatian folk tune as he took off down the corridor, part way through the performance, that was so heartening.
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Rick Riekert
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PostPosted: 2013-01-29, 18:41    Post subject: Wondering About Busking Reply with quote

A few years back Josh Bell was busking anonymously on his $4,000,000 Stradivarius in a Washington, D.C. Metro Station. He played several pieces by Bach, including the great Ciaccona. During the one hour that Bell played a couple thousand people went through the station but only 6 stopped to listen. Several children tried to stop and listen, including a 3 year old boy, but invariably they were hurried along by their parents. After one hour Bell stopped playing. No one applauded or even noticed. He had collected a total of $32.

Two days before, Bell sold-out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100 each to sit and listen to him play the same music.
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CharlesKoeppen
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PostPosted: 2013-01-29, 19:22    Post subject: Wondering About Busking Reply with quote

Rick Riekert wrote:
A few years back Josh Bell was busking anonymously on his $4,000,000 Stradivarius in a Washington, D.C. Metro Station...


I remember that being discussed on the old BBQ forum. There was an article about it, and if I remember right it was an experiment. Despite the results being somewhat discouraging, you have to keep in mind that the prospective audience were for the most on their way to someplace and realistically may not have had the time to stop and listen. And just think of the effect it may have had on the 3 year old that obviously noticed, never mind the children that were not allowed to stop at all. Personally, I appreciate the players I hear in the subway when I visit NYC whether I stop to listen or not, and whether I tip or not I am thankful for the opportunity to hear them regardless of how good their playing is. $32 in an hour isn't bad for a busker either. I've stopped and listened for a good 15 minutes or so to a few that were impressive and I don't think I saw more than a few dollars go into their cases or hats.

Some of buskers are just going for the dollars. For example, one I started chatting with one a little after buying his CD and some guy comes out of a nearby alley and tells him to get playing because there is a group of people coming down the street. But then again, in upstate NY here in the cold during the holiday season I find a sax player on a rather desolate street in Rhinebeck during the evening hours playing Christmas carols. Both of those characters made my day a bit brighter. Either way, some passerby's will appreciate it, despite that it may not appear that way. That is what music is about. You learn a song, and then you show it to others for whatever reason. It's almost like a butterfly effect kind of thing, the slightest thing may have an impact. It is very beautiful.
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Rick Riekert
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PostPosted: 2013-01-29, 20:15    Post subject: Wondering About Busking Reply with quote

CharlesKoeppen wrote:
you have to keep in mind that the prospective audience were for the most on their way to someplace and realistically may not have had the time to stop and listen.


Your right Charles. Those commuters were on the go and hadn’t even requested Bach. And one shouldn’t expect children to know any better. As you probably know, in NYC the real public draws are breakdancing, rapping, and mariachi. Those audiences appear to have the time and the money.
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Mastery does not lay in the mastery of technique, but in penetrating the heart of the music. However, he who has not mastered the technique will not penetrate the heart of the music.
~ Hisamatsu Fûyô
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GalinaSG
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PostPosted: 2013-01-29, 20:57    Post subject: Wondering About Busking Reply with quote

CharlesKoeppen wrote:
That is what music is about. You learn a song, and then you show it to others for whatever reason. It's almost like a butterfly effect kind of thing, the slightest thing may have an impact. It is very beautiful.

Thank you for the butterfly, Charles. Exclamation
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Fiona Dawes
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PostPosted: 2013-02-01, 12:27    Post subject: Wondering About Busking Reply with quote

CharlesKoeppen wrote:


It's almost like a butterfly effect kind of thing, the slightest thing may have an impact. It is very beautiful.


The exception is when the pitch is incorrect and then I understand, there may be an intervention, and tears.
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Fiona Dawes
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PostPosted: 2013-02-10, 02:06    Post subject: Wondering About Busking Reply with quote

Actually, tears then intervention.
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Christopher Nickels
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PostPosted: 2015-01-27, 00:20    Post subject: Wondering About Busking Reply with quote

I find what works for western listeners is to channel happiness, uplifiting of spirit with whimsy, then improvise melodically.
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