Joshua Bell experiment – proves the context / environment is important

What happens when a singular talent like Joshua Bell plays Chaconne on his $3.5 million Stradivarius for rush-hour commuters in Washington D.C.?

Interesting take by Metacool on the result of a experiment of a famous musician playing in a rush hour in a commuter train station. I heard about this experiment on NPR radio yesterday. Joshua was speaking about this experience.

I have different point of view :

  • Context / environment plays a key part in how we react /interact. I would think that this experiment should have been tried in a relaxed place (a small town … during evening) in a remote village in Africa or Asia. That would be an interesting experiment to measure universality of musical taste.
  • One needs to training /tuning to appreciate finer arts. It is obvious that Picasso would be really appreciated by (artistically) trained mind more than an untrained one. Note how some songs /tunes take some time to grow on.

Though a good designer needs to always keep his /her ears open, this excersize might not be effective in measuring sensitivity of general public to fine art music.


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