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#1541271 - 10/22/10 07:10 PM Save the Music - Bach in the Subway?  
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He's playing to save the music
By Tawanda Scott, CNN
October 21, 2010 9:06 a.m. EDT




New York (CNN) -- It is fear that drives Dale Henderson down into the subways, lugging his large case.

"I caught some fear from some other musicians that classical music is dying and in 100 years there will be no more classical music. I can't believe that's true. I mean, it scares me to my soul if it were true."

So he sits with his cello on a New York subway platform and plays Bach as a sort of CPR to keep his style of music alive.

Henderson has played cello since the age of 5, making his professional debut at age 13 with the Buffalo Philharmonic and earning a degree from the New England Conservatory of Music.

When he first moved to New York in 2008, he played for tip money that he needed to survive. He now supports himself by teaching cello and playing at recitals and solo performances.

Henderson stopped accepting tips in 2009 and began focusing on Bach Solo Cello Suites. His website says he chose them because their "power and beauty unfailingly inspire great appreciation, joy and deep emotion in those who hear them."

"From the first time I ever started Bach in the Subways, I had a sense of conviction of the value of what I'm doing," he said. "I think that Bach in the Subways is providing something meaningful to the people who hear it."

Some commuters immerse themselves in the harmonic sounds as they pull out their cameras to record the experience, and others just stare, as if they are captivated by the ambience.

Postcards propped on his silver music stand read, "I do not take donations."

"I don't collect donations while I play, because on the most simple level, it pollutes the experience for myself and everyone listening," he said.

"I think the most obvious answer to the question why am I doing this without collecting money on my own time is that I love it," he said. "The interest is growing, so I think it's working."

Some listeners take a postcard from the music stand to learn more about Henderson and his music.

"The most memorable, satisfying moments happen when there's a group of people listening to me and connecting with the music, and it creates this other space -- this other realm that we can all come together in. And that's an incredible thing ... that's the magic of music."


http://cnn.com/video/?/video/living/2010/10/20/bach.subway.save.genre.cnn


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#1541277 - 10/22/10 07:25 PM Re: Save the Music - Bach in the Subway? [Re: Piano World]  
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That's pretty neat! I wish it were that easy to get a piano on the streets. I'd love to do things like this!

And I love his choice of pieces, hehe. wink

And the best part is, he can play as many "concerts" as he wants! If I could perform as much as I want...

Last edited by Orange Soda King; 10/22/10 07:30 PM.
#1541310 - 10/22/10 08:43 PM Re: Save the Music - Bach in the Subway? [Re: Piano World]  
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I'm kind of shocked that when Joshua Bell did something similar no one actually stayed to listen but when this guy does it he actually gets a lot of attention!

#1541340 - 10/22/10 09:50 PM Re: Save the Music - Bach in the Subway? [Re: How you doing?]  
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Originally Posted by How you doing?
I'm kind of shocked that when Joshua Bell did something similar no one actually stayed to listen but when this guy does it he actually gets a lot of attention!


Haha, maybe what got the attention was the "No Donations" sign! laugh

Also, a cello is probably a bit less commonly seen in this setting than a violin. At least in my own experience, I have seen multiple street violinists, but never a street cellist.

Those are my unscientific hypotheses at any rate...

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#1541349 - 10/22/10 10:23 PM Re: Save the Music - Bach in the Subway? [Re: Piano World]  
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There's nothing to save. If people like the music they'll listen to it. If not, they won't. It's that simple folks.


Play New Age Piano
http://www.quiescencemusic.com
#1541351 - 10/22/10 10:25 PM Re: Save the Music - Bach in the Subway? [Re: Piano World]  
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Ooh! I'm in NYC frequently, perhaps one day I'll spot him.


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Piano Performance, Class of 2014
#1541356 - 10/22/10 10:36 PM Re: Save the Music - Bach in the Subway? [Re: eweiss]  
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Originally Posted by eweiss
There's nothing to save. If people like the music they'll listen to it. If not, they won't. It's that simple folks.


I totally agree.

#1541358 - 10/22/10 10:38 PM Re: Save the Music - Bach in the Subway? [Re: eweiss]  
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Originally Posted by eweiss
There's nothing to save. If people like the music they'll listen to it. If not, they won't. It's that simple folks.


Do you think it may be more appropriate for him to use the word "promote" instead of "save"?

#1541359 - 10/22/10 10:39 PM Re: Save the Music - Bach in the Subway? [Re: Piano World]  
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59th st? hmm... i guess he doesn't play on the 66th st station since that's the lincoln center and juilliard stop...

#1541466 - 10/23/10 02:27 AM Re: Save the Music - Bach in the Subway? [Re: Orange Soda King]  
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Originally Posted by Orange Soda King
Originally Posted by eweiss
There's nothing to save. If people like the music they'll listen to it. If not, they won't. It's that simple folks.


Do you think it may be more appropriate for him to use the word "promote" instead of "save"?


Yes! And he should get donations for a good cause (I won't mention Iraq and wikileaks here :P)


Currently working on: Perfecting the Op 2/1, studying the 27/2 last movement. Chopin Nocturne 32/2 and Posth. C#m, 'Raindrop' prelude and Etude 10/9
Repetoire: Beethoven op 2/1, 10/1(1st, 2nd), 13, 14/1, 27/1(1st, 2nd), 27/2, 28(1st, 2nd), 31/2(1st, 3rd), 49/1, 49/2, 78(1st), 79, 90, 101(1st)
#1541493 - 10/23/10 04:05 AM Re: Save the Music - Bach in the Subway? [Re: Piano World]  
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First of all, the cello is a bit underrated in all, and as a monophonic basically instrument it doesn't gather that much attention as the piano does... So it's not that weird that people haven't heard the Bach cello suite! In fact I haven't and I don't feel that bad with myself!

Then, it's this silly argument of music dying. Completely silly! We don't need preachers around the road to promote that loudly, we need education! It's nice and all, but let's face it the Joshua Bell experiment was aiming at the opposite end!

So, yes, a nice promotion, nice advertisement for himself but that's about it. Sorry frown

Last edited by Nikolas; 10/23/10 04:05 AM.
#1541549 - 10/23/10 07:10 AM Re: Save the Music - Bach in the Subway? [Re: Piano World]  
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Nice that he shares himself and his music.


"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything."
#1541555 - 10/23/10 07:18 AM Re: Save the Music - Bach in the Subway? [Re: Lingyis]  
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Originally Posted by Lingyis
59th st? hmm... i guess he doesn't play on the 66th st station since that's the lincoln center and juilliard stop...


haha, the people that pass by there have certaily listened to alot of music *cough* juilliard people*cough*

#1541563 - 10/23/10 07:48 AM Re: Save the Music - Bach in the Subway? [Re: Nikolas]  
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Quote
let's face it the Joshua Bell experiment was aiming at the opposite end!



Explain, please.


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Yahama CVP-401
Will somone get my wife off the Steinway so I can play it!
#1541592 - 10/23/10 08:45 AM Re: Save the Music - Bach in the Subway? [Re: eweiss]  
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Originally Posted by eweiss
There's nothing to save. If people like the music they'll listen to it. If not, they won't. It's that simple folks.

One could object that classical music often is an acquired taste - and how could people acquire it if they aren't exposed to classical ?
Sometimes art and culture isn't as simple as just "liking it" ; sometimes you need time, education, hard work even. Not everything is "ready to be liked".

So I disagree, and I think this quote illustrates a pretty sad train of thought, and often dominant thought.


Quote
the cello is a bit underrated in all, and as a monophonic basically instrument it doesn't gather that much attention as the piano does...

Well, it's obviously no piano (but then, what is !), but the Cello's probably my second favorite instrument.

Last edited by Mostly; 10/23/10 08:49 AM.
#1541641 - 10/23/10 10:19 AM Re: Save the Music - Bach in the Subway? [Re: Bart Kinlein]  
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Originally Posted by Bart Kinlein
Quote
let's face it the Joshua Bell experiment was aiming at the opposite end!



Explain, please.
The Bell experiment was spread because it was THE JOSHUA BELL who wasn't attracting THAT MUCH attention. On the contrary here we have someone who isn't Joshua Bell and indeed he is attracting attention!

So on one case: "People are not listening to music, despite having one of the best violonists playing. It's sad that music isn't coming through", while on the other "A cellist is saving classical music and things are going better all the time.".

And yes, I also adore the cello (and actually most of the other symphonic instruments), but it remains a monophonic mainly instrument and as such, for the general public less attractive as a solo. (at least I think).

#1541644 - 10/23/10 10:26 AM Re: Save the Music - Bach in the Subway? [Re: Nikolas]  
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Originally Posted by Nikolas
First of all, the cello is a bit underrated in all, and as a monophonic basically instrument it doesn't gather that much attention as the piano does... So it's not that weird that people haven't heard the Bach cello suite! In fact I haven't and I don't feel that bad with myself!

Then, it's this silly argument of music dying. Completely silly! We don't need preachers around the road to promote that loudly, we need education! It's nice and all, but let's face it the Joshua Bell experiment was aiming at the opposite end!

So, yes, a nice promotion, nice advertisement for himself but that's about it. Sorry frown


Bet you would've felt different if it wasn't Bach but your music wink



"The eyes can mislead, the smile can lie, but the shoes always tell the truth."
#1541650 - 10/23/10 10:44 AM Re: Save the Music - Bach in the Subway? [Re: Piano World]  
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I think the Joshua Bell subway performance didn't get many people staying to watch his performance at least in part because he did it during a time when many were going to work.

I definitely agree with the cellist about his concern with classical music dying out. One only has to look to the % of the population that regularly listens to classical music or consider the financial problems facing some orchestras and classical music radio stations.


#1541653 - 10/23/10 10:49 AM Re: Save the Music - Bach in the Subway? [Re: Nikolas]  
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Originally Posted by Nikolas
So, yes, a nice promotion, nice advertisement for himself but that's about it. Sorry frown
I don't think he's doing it as an advertisement for himself.

#1541655 - 10/23/10 10:58 AM Re: Save the Music - Bach in the Subway? [Re: eweiss]  
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Originally Posted by eweiss
There's nothing to save. If people like the music they'll listen to it. If not, they won't. It's that simple folks.


centuries of Bach conveys that he is liked.


accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)
#1541681 - 10/23/10 12:00 PM Re: Save the Music - Bach in the Subway? [Re: Mostly]  
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Originally Posted by Mostly
One could object that classical music often is an acquired taste - and how could people acquire it if they aren't exposed to classical ?

Sometimes art and culture isn't as simple as just "liking it" ; sometimes you need time, education, hard work even. Not everything is "ready to be liked".

If we're talking about liking music for music's sake, then it is that simple. In fact, that's a good litmus test. As far as culture goes, that's another subject entirely. You shouldn't have to study the culture the music came from to like it. You either do or don't. Amazing how so many think they need to 'understand' something other than actually enjoying what they are hearing.

Perfect example ... I hate brussels sprouts. You can tell me they're good for me. You can tell me how healthy they are. It won't matter. I'll still hate em.



Play New Age Piano
http://www.quiescencemusic.com
#1541686 - 10/23/10 12:07 PM Re: Save the Music - Bach in the Subway? [Re: eweiss]  
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Originally Posted by eweiss
If we're talking about liking music for music's sake, then it is that simple. In fact, that's a good litmus test. As far as culture goes, that's another subject entirely. You shouldn't have to study the culture the music came from to like it. You either do or don't. Amazing how so many think they need to 'understand' something other than actually enjoying what they are hearing.


But it makes such a difference if you do study it. And it kind of opens your eyes to it. Instead of thinking Prokofiev got inspired by video games.. or something retarded.. you could read up on Prokofiev, or the war, or Russian history.

I used to hate Shostakovich before I started giving it a chance, and particularly reading about his life and how he composed music. Then I understood a lot of things, it just clicked. Of course it would've been different if I lived back then, when his works were premiered and people loved them - because I would've understood the exact circumstances and the way people felt. But without knowing any of that, it's quite easy actually to dismiss a composer such as Shost.



"The eyes can mislead, the smile can lie, but the shoes always tell the truth."
#1541687 - 10/23/10 12:10 PM Re: Save the Music - Bach in the Subway? [Re: Piano World]  
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Another example. Rap music. You could say ... if you don't understand the culture, you won't get it or like it. I don't like rap music. I 'get' the culture it comes from. Still don't like it.

Why is it so hard for some to admit they don't like something and leave it at that? No need to force feed 'culture' to someone. Judge and evaluate music on its own terms.


Play New Age Piano
http://www.quiescencemusic.com
#1541712 - 10/23/10 12:43 PM Re: Save the Music - Bach in the Subway? [Re: Piano World]  
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I didn't say that studying the culture will automatically make you like the music. But it still has a chance that once you understand it better you will see it in a different way. Don't dismiss something simply because you have no clue about any aspect of it. Ignorance is bliss, eh?

Sure, judge music on its own terms but really, you're going to refuse a little bit of extra educaton about something? Why? If anything, it's interesting on its own. It's not that difficult to read a book.

Last edited by Pogorelich.; 10/23/10 12:45 PM.


"The eyes can mislead, the smile can lie, but the shoes always tell the truth."
#1541718 - 10/23/10 12:59 PM Re: Save the Music - Bach in the Subway? [Re: Piano World]  
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Classical music is sure going strong in Asia.

Elene

#1541744 - 10/23/10 01:40 PM Re: Save the Music - Bach in the Subway? [Re: eweiss]  
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Originally Posted by eweiss
Originally Posted by Mostly
One could object that classical music often is an acquired taste - and how could people acquire it if they aren't exposed to classical ?

Sometimes art and culture isn't as simple as just "liking it" ; sometimes you need time, education, hard work even. Not everything is "ready to be liked".

If we're talking about liking music for music's sake, then it is that simple. In fact, that's a good litmus test. As far as culture goes, that's another subject entirely. You shouldn't have to study the culture the music came from to like it. You either do or don't. Amazing how so many think they need to 'understand' something other than actually enjoying what they are hearing.

Perfect example ... I hate brussels sprouts. You can tell me they're good for me. You can tell me how healthy they are. It won't matter. I'll still hate em.


You obviously have no clue.
Having a weird feeling, I checked your post history, and saw a few points you tried to make on this forum ; then it all came back to me.

Even your example with the brussels sprouts shows you don't really understand what I meant, and I do believe I conveyed my point decently. Would a great French chef working in a famous restaurant use brussels sprouts in some of his cooking, even if he himself doesn't like them ? He probably would, because he knows that for centuries, people have come up with great menus involving brussels sprouts, and that they can provide an enjoyement different than other foods.
It has nothing to do with how healthy they make you, how intelligent you need to be to eat them, how knowledgeable of the brussels sprouts history you are ; it has to do with learning how to appreciate (and here, make) fine cuisine. That's also why cooking can be an art form, and not simply a mean of sustaining yourself to live another day.

I really have nothing against you, but your close-mindedness is a widespread plague, and apparently a cure has yet to be found.

"Understanding" a taste for something is really different that understanding a mathematical equation.
You might not like brussel sprouts because they taste bad, and one could make that argument. But a dish with brussel sprouts in them ? Many dishes have a very complex taste, made of several flavors, that need rigorous training (and lots of practice) to be perceived. Likewise, much of classical music require an ear (that is to say : a brain) trained to perceive what makes it good. Because it is a complex object, and at best, trying to perceive it as a whole "as is", you would only hear a blurred mess.
That's why "pop"(ular) music exists ; it doesn't require much training to be enjoyed because it is relatively simple most of the time (or on a different complexity level, relying on sounds rather than pitches, etc.)

Last edited by Mostly; 10/23/10 01:46 PM.
#1541759 - 10/23/10 02:09 PM Re: Save the Music - Bach in the Subway? [Re: Mostly]  
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Originally Posted by Mostly
It has nothing to do with how healthy they make you, how intelligent you need to be to eat them, how knowledgeable of the brussels sprouts history you are ; it has to do with learning how to appreciate (and here, make) fine cuisine.

No need to learn how to appreciate something. Life's too short. You like it or you don't. For example, do you like tuna testicles? Because that's what I saw the host of Bizarre Foods eat on the Travel network. He didn't seem to like it even after an explanation of how good it is for you.

Originally Posted by Mostly
I really have nothing against you, but your close-mindedness is a widespread plague, and apparently a cure has yet to be found.

Widespread plague?

Originally Posted by Mostly
Likewise, much of classical music require an ear (that is to say : a brain) trained to perceive what makes it good. Because it is a complex object, and at best, trying to perceive it as a whole "as is", you would only hear a blurred mess.

No brain required here either. You either like it or not. For example, I just was turned on to George Crumb right on this forum. Never heard of him before. I listened to this 'classical' music and liked it immediately. All that is required is to listen.


Play New Age Piano
http://www.quiescencemusic.com
#1541766 - 10/23/10 02:13 PM Re: Save the Music - Bach in the Subway? [Re: Piano World]  
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#1541770 - 10/23/10 02:18 PM Re: Save the Music - Bach in the Subway? [Re: Piano World]  
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My wife dragged me to an art museum with one of her friends. Her friend went up to one of the docents and asked "what can you tell me about this painting?"

As if she couldn't learn all she needed by just looking at it and evaluating it on her own. There's no need to look to an external source when 'evaluating' art. Trust your initial reactions. Something people have a hard time with because they think they're supposed to think or feel a certain way. Usually the way the 'experts' tell them to.


Play New Age Piano
http://www.quiescencemusic.com
#1541774 - 10/23/10 02:25 PM Re: Save the Music - Bach in the Subway? [Re: Piano World]  
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to each his own


accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)
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