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Re: busking

Quoting samba - <sambacomet@hotmail.com>:

> Just cause somone is a virtuoso instrumentalist doesn't mean
> they know how to busk.

... or even can hold down a job.  I know of many highly trained  
classical organists who are unable to hold down steady church jobs  
because they are insensitive to the desires of their church-employers.

> Classical repertoire requires steady attention
> and not distractions.Not apporpriate to the venue when busking.

This is true just about anywhere.  Classical music, particularly the  
works of Johann Sebastian Bach, are demanding works for both  
performers AND listeners.  Bach's music possesses what I call an  
"intrusion factor" -- except for the most cerebral music (such as "The  
Musical Offering") most of it is too strident to have in the  
background.  Although Bach's music is recognised in many circles as  
the epitome of church music, if I played a Bach Fugue as a prelude in  
my church I would be tarred and feathered.

People have expectations.  In some churches, people may expect to hear  
major works before church.  In others, people want to socialize. At  
still others (like the church I play at), people want it quiet.

> What is
> appropriate is stuff that is very rhythmic,can be enjoyed while not a t
> center of attention,is dynamic enough to grab attaention,etc.

Worded a different way -- the music doesn't demand attention yet, for  
those that choose to pay attention, there is something there worth  
listening to.  Most musicians and many great composers worked under  
constraints.  Indeed, it is possible to create create music while  
working under severe constraints.

> I highly
> reccomend busking for anyone who hasn't done it. It's a great way to
> learn about musical communication.

I think it would be fun.  Playing the pipe organ doesn't lend itself  
to busking.  With electronic instruments (synthesizer, theremin) there  
would be logistical issues with moving the equipment and finding an  
a/c power source.

A friend of mine went out in Manhatten one day with a small (battery  
powered) Theremin and amplifier.  He reported that crowds gathered  
when he played Beatles songs and scattered as soon as he played  
something classical.  His solution was simple... when no one was  
around, he played classical to entertain himself and as soon as people  
were within earshot he played tunes with which people were familiar.

Another point, well-taken, is that people were on their commutes to  
work and most of them probably were running on tight schedules.  To do  
this experiment in a park or a district where street performers are  
part of the draw might have yielded a different result.

-- Kevin