A Little Street Music, Anyone?

by Becky on May 30, 2013 · 4 comments

in Music, Travel

Cello & sax_8597

Street music. Such a unique phenomenon. And such a delight. For a euro or two, you can hear a whole movement of something. What’s more, street musicians often play as if no one’s around at all, and with the kind of focus that belies the casualness of their surroundings. It’s as if they’re in a music room somewhere, alone with their instruments.  True, some of them acknowledge passersby.  After all, engaging an audience may mean the difference between a few euros or many finding their way into the guitar case lying open on the ground.  But I’m so often amazed at how cool these musicians remain.  And how skilled they are.

blond cellist_8852

Once, I saw a gentleman sitting at a grand piano at the Line 5 metro stop.  Inside the metro station. I want to say he was playing some Tchaikovsky, but I can’t recall exactly. I just remember the shock of hearing such robust piano music and then realizing it was coming from a real instrument . . . inside the station!

Girl in front of Palau de Musica_3266

You’ve probably heard the story about world-famous violinist Joshua Bell playing in a metro station as part of an experiment to see whether people would stop to engage with the music. One of the only ones who did was a small child anxious to stay and listen, only to be pulled away by–what else?–a parent in a hurry.

When the kids and I come across musicians in the street or the park, we often stop to listen. Among the many we hear, there’s no doubt a young Joshua Bell or Yo-Yo Ma or Jean Pierre Rampal.  It’s easy to be a parent in a hurry.  But it’s surprisingly easy to stop for the music, too.


Karen L May 30, 2013 at 8:29 pm

I love it. A great reminder to stop and listen now and then. It’s so easy to rush from one thing to the next and never appreciate the place where you are at the moment.

Becky May 31, 2013 at 3:30 am

I know, right?–such Right Now Moments, where the music is happening and you’re either listening or moving on. Great physical reminder of the many ways in which the music, so to speak, is always playing, if we stop to listen. xx

Karen L May 31, 2013 at 7:33 am

the auditory version of “stop and smell the roses” 🙂

Becky May 31, 2013 at 2:47 pm

Perfect! xx

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