If you were passing through your local metro or subway station on your way to work and saw Joshua Bell playing (over a 45-minute span) in front of a trash can, would you have stopped to listen?

Gene Weingarten, staff writer of the Washington Post, wrote this piece April 8, 2007, “Pearls Before Breakfast” in which he describes how he and Joshua Bell, a virtuouso violinist, staged a fake busker scene (on January 12, 2007) to see if anyone would really notice (or care). From snopes, it is declared a true story, although the video below would seem to be proof enough; and the Snopes article is itself a little inaccurate in saying that there “was no recognition” of Bell or his quality playing. If you look at the video below, and wait till the end, you will see that a woman recognized him, having seen his concert two days before.

Here is a 2:37 video of the scene from YouTube. The video is sped up, though thankfully the music is not. This video has been viewed some 850,000 times so far. Click and enjoy!

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