Saturday, 30 June 2007

Listen to the poor busker!

Buskers are a varied breed. Some are tuneless Bob Dylan impersonators of little talent; I even suspect some of being tone deaf. Others are true professionals; I've known members of major orchestras supplement their income this way, as well as music students and jazz bands. (Rockers and rappers seem not to busk; I wonder if their sound equipment just isn't portable enough.)

There's a marvellous busker in Salzburg. Go through the arches from the Franziskanerkirche into Domplatz and he'll be there, most days, playing accordion. Yes, the obligatory Mozart, of course, but also some rarities - a lovely piece by Fran├žois Couperin, Les Rozeaux, which has never sounded so good on a harpsichord. He plays with real emotion as well as technical sureness - this is another of those free concerts you can be lucky enough to find.

Yet most people walked past without noticing. In the fifteen minutes or so that I sat and listened, only two other people stopped to hear. The rest just treated it as muzak.

There's not really a moral here. But I wonder why so many people pass up on the riches that life delivers for free?


  1. I love Salzburg and I love buskers (being one myself).
    Next time I'm there I will look for the accordion guy :)

    All the best,
    Saw Lady

  2. Hi Saw Lady - thanks for stopping by. I visited your blog and loved it. Of course you have a rather more unusual instrument than most of us (me: bagpipes, recorder, flutes, keyboards; best friend: ukulele)! How did you start out on the saw? I doubt it was your first grade teacher suggested it to you, somehow!