Busking

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Street performance or busking is the practice of performing
Performance
A performance, in performing arts, generally comprises an event in which a performer or group of performers behave in a particular way for another group of people, the audience. Choral music and ballet are examples. Usually the performers participate in rehearsals beforehand. Afterwards audience...

 in public places, for gratuities, which are generally in the form of money
Money
Money is any object or record that is generally accepted as payment for goods and services and repayment of debts in a given country or socio-economic context. The main functions of money are distinguished as: a medium of exchange; a unit of account; a store of value; and, occasionally in the past,...

 and edibles. People engaging in this practice are called street performers, buskers, street musicians, minstrels, or troubadours.

Street performance dates back to antiquity
Ancient history
Ancient history is the study of the written past from the beginning of recorded human history to the Early Middle Ages. The span of recorded history is roughly 5,000 years, with Cuneiform script, the oldest discovered form of coherent writing, from the protoliterate period around the 30th century BC...

, and occurs all over the world.

Performances can be just about anything that people find entertaining. Performers may do acrobatics
Acrobatics
Acrobatics is the performance of extraordinary feats of balance, agility and motor coordination. It can be found in many of the performing arts, as well as many sports...

, animal tricks, balloon twisting
Balloon modelling
Balloon modelling or balloon twisting is the shaping of special modelling balloons into almost any given shape, often a balloon animal. People who create balloon animals and other twisted balloon sculptures are called Twisters, Balloon Benders and Balloon Artists...

, card tricks, caricature
Caricature
A caricature is a portrait that exaggerates or distorts the essence of a person or thing to create an easily identifiable visual likeness. In literature, a caricature is a description of a person using exaggeration of some characteristics and oversimplification of others.Caricatures can be...

s, clown
Clown
Clowns are comic performers stereotypically characterized by the grotesque image of the circus clown's colored wigs, stylistic makeup, outlandish costumes, unusually large footwear, and red nose, which evolved to project their actions to large audiences. Other less grotesque styles have also...

ing, comedy
Comedy
Comedy , as a popular meaning, is any humorous discourse or work generally intended to amuse by creating laughter, especially in television, film, and stand-up comedy. This must be carefully distinguished from its academic definition, namely the comic theatre, whose Western origins are found in...

, contortions and escapes, dance
Dance
Dance is an art form that generally refers to movement of the body, usually rhythmic and to music, used as a form of expression, social interaction or presented in a spiritual or performance setting....

, singing
Singing
Singing is the act of producing musical sounds with the voice, and augments regular speech by the use of both tonality and rhythm. One who sings is called a singer or vocalist. Singers perform music known as songs that can be sung either with or without accompaniment by musical instruments...

, fire eating
Fire eater
A fire eater is an entertainer, often a street artist or part of a sideshow. The performer places flaming objects into their mouth and extinguishes them by cutting off oxygen. They also practice controlling and transferring the flame....

, fire breathing
Fire breathing
Fire breathing is the act of creating a fireball by breathing a fine mist of fuel over an open flame. Proper technique and the correct fuel create the illusion of danger to enhance the novelty of fire breathing, while reducing the risk to health and safety...

, fortune-telling
Fortune-telling
Fortune-telling is the practice of predicting information about a person's life. The scope of fortune-telling is in principle identical with the practice of divination...

, juggling
Juggling
Juggling is a skill involving moving objects for entertainment or sport. The most recognizable form of juggling is toss juggling, in which the juggler throws objects up to catch and toss up again. This may be one object or many objects, at the same time with one or many hands. Jugglers often refer...

, magic
Magic (illusion)
Magic is a performing art that entertains audiences by staging tricks or creating illusions of seemingly impossible or supernatural feats using natural means...

, mime
Mime artist
A mime artist is someone who uses mime as a theatrical medium or as a performance art, involving miming, or the acting out a story through body motions, without use of speech. In earlier times, in English, such a performer was referred to as a mummer...

 and a mime variation where the artist performs as a living statue
Living statue
The term living statue refers to a mime artist who poses like a statue or mannequin, usually with realistic statue-like makeup, sometimes for hours at a time....

, musical performance
Music
Music is an art form whose medium is sound and silence. Its common elements are pitch , rhythm , dynamics, and the sonic qualities of timbre and texture...

, puppeteer
Puppeteer
A puppeteer is a person who manipulates an inanimate object, such as a puppet, in real time to create the illusion of life. The puppeteer may be visible to or hidden from the audience. A puppeteer can operate a puppet indirectly by the use of strings, rods, wires, electronics or directly by his or...

ing, snake charming
Snake charming
Snake charming is the practice of pretending to hypnotise a snake by playing an instrument. A typical performance may also include handling the snakes or performing other seemingly dangerous acts, as well as other street performance staples, like juggling and sleight of hand...

, storytelling
Storytelling
Storytelling is the conveying of events in words, images and sounds, often by improvisation or embellishment. Stories or narratives have been shared in every culture as a means of entertainment, education, cultural preservation and in order to instill moral values...

 or recite poetry
Poetry
Poetry is a form of literary art in which language is used for its aesthetic and evocative qualities in addition to, or in lieu of, its apparent meaning...

 or prose
Prose
Prose is the most typical form of written language, applying ordinary grammatical structure and natural flow of speech rather than rhythmic structure...

 as a bard
Bard
In medieval Gaelic and British culture a bard was a professional poet, employed by a patron, such as a monarch or nobleman, to commemorate the patron's ancestors and to praise the patron's own activities.Originally a specific class of poet, contrasting with another class known as fili in Ireland...

, street art
Street art
Street art is any art developed in public spaces — that is, "in the streets" — though the term usually refers to unsanctioned art, as opposed to government sponsored initiatives...

 (sketching
Sketch (drawing)
A sketch is a rapidly executed freehand drawing that is not usually intended as a finished work...

 and painting
Painting
Painting is the practice of applying paint, pigment, color or other medium to a surface . The application of the medium is commonly applied to the base with a brush but other objects can be used. In art, the term painting describes both the act and the result of the action. However, painting is...

, etc.), street theatre
Street theatre
Street theatre is a form of theatrical performance and presentation in outdoor public spaces without a specific paying audience. These spaces can be anywhere, including shopping centres, car parks, recreational reserves and street corners. They are especially seen in outdoor spaces where there are...

, sword swallowing
Sword swallowing
Sword swallowing is an ancient performance art in which the performer passes a sword through the mouth and down the esophagus towards the stomach...

, and even put on a flea circus
Flea circus
A flea circus refers to a circus sideshow attraction in which fleas are attached to miniature carts and other items, and encouraged to perform circus acts within a small housing...

.

History


There have been performances in public places for gratuities in every major culture
Culture
Culture is a term that has many different inter-related meanings. For example, in 1952, Alfred Kroeber and Clyde Kluckhohn compiled a list of 164 definitions of "culture" in Culture: A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions...

 in the world, dating back to antiquity
Ancient history
Ancient history is the study of the written past from the beginning of recorded human history to the Early Middle Ages. The span of recorded history is roughly 5,000 years, with Cuneiform script, the oldest discovered form of coherent writing, from the protoliterate period around the 30th century BC...

. This art form was the most common means of employment
Employment
Employment is a contract between two parties, one being the employer and the other being the employee. An employee may be defined as:- Employee :...

 for entertainers before the advent of recording and personal electronics. Prior to that, a person had to produce any music or entertainment, save for a few mechanical devices such as the barrel organ
Barrel organ
A barrel organ is a mechanical musical instrument consisting of bellows and one or more ranks of pipes housed in a case, usually of wood, and often highly decorated...

, the music box, and the piano roll
Piano roll
A piano roll is a music storage medium used to operate a player piano, piano player or reproducing piano. A piano roll is a continuous roll of paper with perforations punched into it. The peforations represent note control data...

. Organ grinders were commonly found busking in the old days.

The term "busking" was first noted in the English language
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 around the middle 1860s in Great Britain. Up until the 20th century buskers were commonly called minstrels in America, Europe and other English-speaking lands.
The word "busk" comes from the Spanish
Spanish language
Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...

 root word "buscar", meaning "to seek" – buskers are literally seeking fame and fortune. The Spanish word "buscar" in turn evolved from the Indo-European
Indo-European
Indo-European may refer to:* Indo-European languages** Aryan race, a 19th century and early 20th century term for those peoples who are the native speakers of Indo-European languages...

 word *"bhudh-skō" (to win, conquer) via the Celtic
Celtic languages
The Celtic languages are descended from Proto-Celtic, or "Common Celtic"; a branch of the greater Indo-European language family...

 word "boudi-" (victory).

Busking is common among some Gypsies, also known as the Romani people. Romantic mention of Gypsy music, dancers and fortune tellers are found in all forms of song poetry, prose and lore. The Roma brought the word busking to England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 by way of their travels along the Mediterranean coast to Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 and the Atlantic ocean
Atlantic Ocean
The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's oceanic divisions. With a total area of about , it covers approximately 20% of the Earth's surface and about 26% of its water surface area...

 and then up north to England and the rest of Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

.

In medieval France buskers were known by the terms troubadour
Troubadour
A troubadour was a composer and performer of Old Occitan lyric poetry during the High Middle Ages . Since the word "troubadour" is etymologically masculine, a female troubadour is usually called a trobairitz....

s and jongleurs. In northern France they were known as trouveres. In old German buskers were known as Minnesingers and Spielleute. In obsolete French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

 it evolved to busquer for "seek, prowl" and was generally used to describe prostitutes. In Italian
Italian language
Italian is a Romance language spoken mainly in Europe: Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City, by minorities in Malta, Monaco, Croatia, Slovenia, France, Libya, Eritrea, and Somalia, and by immigrant communities in the Americas and Australia...

 it evolved to buscare which meant "procure, gain" and in Italy buskers are called buscarsi or, more simply, Buskers (see loan word).
In Russia buskers are called skomorokh
Skomorokh
The skomorokhs were medieval East Slavic harlequins, i.e. actors, who could also sing, dance, play musical instruments and compose most of the scores for their oral/musical and dramatic performances. The etymology of the word is not completely clear...

 and their first recorded history appears around the 11th century.

Mariachi
Mariachi
Mariachi is a genre of music that originated in the State of Jalisco, in Mexico. It is an integration of stringed instruments highly influenced by the cultural impacts of the historical development of Western Mexico. Throughout the history of mariachi, musicians have experimented with brass, wind,...

s are Mexican street bands that play a specific style of music by the same name. Mariachis frequently wear ornate costume
Costume
The term costume can refer to wardrobe and dress in general, or to the distinctive style of dress of a particular people, class, or period. Costume may also refer to the artistic arrangement of accessories in a picture, statue, poem, or play, appropriate to the time, place, or other circumstances...

s with intricate embroidery
Embroidery
Embroidery is the art or handicraft of decorating fabric or other materials with needle and thread or yarn. Embroidery may also incorporate other materials such as metal strips, pearls, beads, quills, and sequins....

 and beaded designs, large brimmed sombrero
Sombrero
Sombrero in English refers to a type of wide-brimmed hat originating in Mexico. In Spanish, however, it is the generic word for "hat", which originates from "sombra", meaning "shade"....

s and the short charro
Charro
Charro is a term referring to a traditional horseman from Mexico, originating in the central-western regions primarily in the state of Jalisco including: Zacatecas, Durango, Guanajuato, Morelos, Puebla...

 jackets. Mariachi groups busk when they perform while traveling through streets and plazas, as well as in restaurants and bars.

Around the middle 19th century Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

ese Chindonya
Chindonya
Chindon'ya , also called Japanese marching band, and in the old times also called tōzaiya or hiromeya are a type of elaborately costumed street musicians in Japan that advertise for shops and other establishments. The performers advertised the opening of new stores and other venues, or promoted...

started to be seen using their skills for advertising
Advertising
Advertising is a form of communication used to persuade an audience to take some action with respect to products, ideas, or services. Most commonly, the desired result is to drive consumer behavior with respect to a commercial offering, although political and ideological advertising is also common...

, and these street performers are still occasionally seen in Japan.

In the US, medicine show
Medicine show
Medicine shows were traveling horse and wagon teams which peddled "miracle cure" medications and other products between various entertainment acts. Their precise origins unknown, medicine shows were common in the 19th century United States...

s proliferated in the 19th century. They were traveling vendors selling elixir
Elixir
An elixir is a clear, sweet-flavored liquid used for medicinal purposes, to be taken orally and intended to cure one's ills. When used as a pharmaceutical preparation, an elixir contains at least one active ingredient designed to be taken orally....

s and potion
Potion
A potion is a consumable medicine or poison.In mythology and literature, a potion is usually made by a magician, sorcerer, dragon, fairy or witch and has magical properties. It might be used to heal, bewitch or poison people...

s to improve the health. They would often employ entertainment acts as a way of making the clients feel better. The people would often associate this feeling of well-being with the products sold. After these performances they would "pass the hat".

One man bands are buskers who perform a variety of instruments simultaneously. One man bands proliferated in urban areas in the 19th century and early 20th century, but they continue to exist in the first decade of the 21st century. A typical first decade of the 21st century-era one man band set-up is a singer who plays acoustic guitar, while also playing a harmonica (attached to his neck with a rack) and tapping a tambourine with his or her foot. Many new one man bands are using karaoke recordings on CD or sequenced MIDI recordings for backup.

Folk music
Folk music
Folk music is an English term encompassing both traditional folk music and contemporary folk music. The term originated in the 19th century. Traditional folk music has been defined in several ways: as music transmitted by mouth, as music of the lower classes, and as music with unknown composers....

 has always been an important part of the busking scene. Cafe, restaurant, bar and pub busking is a mainstay of this art form. Two of the more famous folk singers are Woody Guthrie
Woody Guthrie
Woodrow Wilson "Woody" Guthrie is best known as an American singer-songwriter and folk musician, whose musical legacy includes hundreds of political, traditional and children's songs, ballads and improvised works. He frequently performed with the slogan This Machine Kills Fascists displayed on his...

 and Joan Baez
Joan Baez
Joan Chandos Baez is an American folk singer, songwriter, musician and a prominent activist in the fields of human rights, peace and environmental justice....

. The delta blues
Delta blues
The Delta blues is one of the earliest styles of blues music. It originated in the Mississippi Delta, a region of the United States that stretches from Memphis, Tennessee in the north to Vicksburg, Mississippi in the south, Helena, Arkansas in the west to the Yazoo River on the east. The...

men were mostly itinerant musicians emanating from the Mississippi Delta region of the USA around the early 1940s and on. B.B. King is one famous example who came from these roots.

The counterculture
Counterculture
Counterculture is a sociological term used to describe the values and norms of behavior of a cultural group, or subculture, that run counter to those of the social mainstream of the day, the cultural equivalent of political opposition. Counterculture can also be described as a group whose behavior...

 of the hippies of the 1960s occasionally staged "be-ins", which resembled some present-day busker festivals. Bands and performers would gather at public places and perform for free, passing the hat to make money. The San Francisco Bay Area
San Francisco Bay Area
The San Francisco Bay Area, commonly known as the Bay Area, is a populated region that surrounds the San Francisco and San Pablo estuaries in Northern California. The region encompasses metropolitan areas of San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose, along with smaller urban and rural areas...

 was at the epicenter of this movement — be-ins were staged at Golden Gate Park
Golden Gate Park
Golden Gate Park, located in San Francisco, California, is a large urban park consisting of of public grounds. Configured as a rectangle, it is similar in shape but 20% larger than Central Park in New York, to which it is often compared. It is over three miles long east to west, and about half a...

 and San Jose
San Jose, California
San Jose is the third-largest city in California, the tenth-largest in the U.S., and the county seat of Santa Clara County which is located at the southern end of San Francisco Bay...

's Bee Stadium and other venues. Some of the bands that performed in this manner were Janis Joplin
Janis Joplin
Janis Lyn Joplin was an American singer, songwriter, painter, dancer and music arranger. She rose to prominence in the late 1960s as the lead singer of Big Brother and the Holding Company and later as a solo artist with her backing groups, The Kozmic Blues Band and The Full Tilt Boogie Band...

 with Big Brother and the Holding Company
Big Brother and the Holding Company
Big Brother and the Holding Company is an American rock band that formed in San Francisco in 1965 as part of the same psychedelic music scene that produced the Grateful Dead, Quicksilver Messenger Service and Jefferson Airplane. They are best known as the band that featured Janis Joplin as their...

, the Grateful Dead
Grateful Dead
The Grateful Dead was an American rock band formed in 1965 in the San Francisco Bay Area. The band was known for its unique and eclectic style, which fused elements of rock, folk, bluegrass, blues, reggae, country, improvisational jazz, psychedelia, and space rock, and for live performances of long...

, Jefferson Airplane
Jefferson Airplane
Jefferson Airplane was an American rock band formed in San Francisco in 1965. A pioneer of the psychedelic rock movement, Jefferson Airplane was the first band from the San Francisco scene to achieve mainstream commercial and critical success....

, Quicksilver Messenger Service
Quicksilver Messenger Service
Quicksilver Messenger Service is an American psychedelic rock band, formed in 1965 in San Francisco.-Introduction:Quicksilver Messenger Service gained wide popularity in the Bay Area and, through their recordings, with psychedelic rock enthusiasts around the globe and several of their albums ranked...

, Country Joe and the Fish
Country Joe and the Fish
Country Joe and the Fish was a rock band most widely known for musical protests against the Vietnam War, from 1966 to 1971, and also regarded as a seminal influence to psychedelic rock.-History:...

, Moby Grape
Moby Grape
Moby Grape is an American rock group from the 1960s, known for having all five members contribute to singing and songwriting and that collectively merged elements of folk music, blues, country, and jazz together with rock and psychedelic music...

 and Jimi Hendrix
Jimi Hendrix
James Marshall "Jimi" Hendrix was an American guitarist and singer-songwriter...

.

Christmas carol
Christmas carol
A Christmas carol is a carol whose lyrics are on the theme of Christmas or the winter season in general and which are traditionally sung in the period before Christmas.-History:...

ing can also be a form of busking, as wassailing
Wassailing
The tradition of Wassailing falls into two distinct categories: The House-Visiting wassail and the Orchard-Visiting wassail. House-Visiting wassail, very much similar to caroling, is the practice of people going door-to-door singing Christmas carols...

 included singing for alms, wassail
Wassail
The word Wassail refers to several related traditions; first and foremost wassailing is an ancient southern English tradition that is performed with the intention of ensuring a good crop of cider apples for the next year's harvest...

 or some other form of refreshment such as figgy pudding
Figgy pudding
Figgy pudding is a pudding resembling something like a white Christmas pudding containing figs. The pudding may be baked, steamed in the oven, boiled or fried.The history of figgy pudding dates back to 16th century England...

. In Ireland the traditional Wren Boys and in England Morris Dancing can be considered part of the busking tradition.

In India and Pakistan's Gujarati
Gujarati people
Gujarati people , or Gujaratis are an ethnic group that is traditionally Gujarati-speaking and can trace their ancestry to the state of Gujarat in western India...

 region Bhavai
Bhavai
Bhavai is a popular folk theatre form of Gujarat. Jasma Odan based on Gujarati folk tale, wriiten and directed by Shanta Gandhi and Mena Gujari produced by Deena Gandhi are some of most popular Bhavai musicals..-History:...

 is a form of street art where there are plays enacted in the village, the barot or the village singer also is part of the local entertainment scene.

In the first decade of the 21st century, some performers have begun "Cyber Busking". Artists post work or performances on the Internet for people to download or "stream" and if people like it they make a donation using PayPal
PayPal
PayPal is an American-based global e-commerce business allowing payments and money transfers to be made through the Internet. Online money transfers serve as electronic alternatives to paying with traditional paper methods, such as checks and money orders....

.

Forms


There are three basic forms of street performance.

"Circle shows" are shows that tend to gather a crowd around them. They usually have a distinct beginning and end. Usually these are done in conjunction with street theater, puppeteering, magicians, comedian
Comedian
A comedian or comic is a person who seeks to entertain an audience, primarily by making them laugh. This might be through jokes or amusing situations, or acting a fool, as in slapstick, or employing prop comedy...

s, acrobats
Acrobatics
Acrobatics is the performance of extraordinary feats of balance, agility and motor coordination. It can be found in many of the performing arts, as well as many sports...

, jugglers and sometimes musician
Musician
A musician is an artist who plays a musical instrument. It may or may not be the person's profession. Musicians can be classified by their roles in performing music and writing music.Also....* A person who makes music a profession....

s. Circle shows can be the most lucrative. Some time the crowds attracted can be huge. A good busker will control the crowd so the patrons do not obstruct foot traffic.
"Walk-by acts" are typically with the busker providing a musical or entertaining ambiance. There is no distinct beginning or end and the crowds do not particularly stop to watch. Sometimes an intended walk by act will spontaneously turn into a circle show.

"Café busking" is done mostly in restaurant
Restaurant
A restaurant is an establishment which prepares and serves food and drink to customers in return for money. Meals are generally served and eaten on premises, but many restaurants also offer take-out and food delivery services...

s, pub
Public house
A public house, informally known as a pub, is a drinking establishment fundamental to the culture of Britain, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. There are approximately 53,500 public houses in the United Kingdom. This number has been declining every year, so that nearly half of the smaller...

s, bar
Bar (establishment)
A bar is a business establishment that serves alcoholic drinks — beer, wine, liquor, and cocktails — for consumption on the premises.Bars provide stools or chairs that are placed at tables or counters for their patrons. Some bars have entertainment on a stage, such as a live band, comedians, go-go...

s and cafes
Coffeehouse
A coffeehouse or coffee shop is an establishment which primarily serves prepared coffee or other hot beverages. It shares some of the characteristics of a bar, and some of the characteristics of a restaurant, but it is different from a cafeteria. As the name suggests, coffeehouses focus on...

. Musicians can frequently be found using this venue with the performers doing a show in return for tips and gratuities offered. Joni Mitchell
Joni Mitchell
Joni Mitchell, CC is a Canadian musician, singer songwriter, and painter. Mitchell began singing in small nightclubs in her native Saskatchewan and Western Canada and then busking in the streets and dives of Toronto...

, Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan is an American singer-songwriter, musician, poet, film director and painter. He has been a major and profoundly influential figure in popular music and culture for five decades. Much of his most celebrated work dates from the 1960s when he was an informal chronicler and a seemingly...

 and Joan Baez
Joan Baez
Joan Chandos Baez is an American folk singer, songwriter, musician and a prominent activist in the fields of human rights, peace and environmental justice....

 all used this venue early on in their careers. Making a living on the piano bar
Piano bar
A piano bar consists of a piano or electronic keyboard played by a professional musician, located in a cocktail lounge, bar, hotel lobby, office building lobby, restaurant, or on a cruise ship. Usually the pianist receives a small salary plus tips in a jar or basket on or near the piano,...

 principle (i.e. for tips) is done in a range of genres, including jazz, rock, and even "light" Classical style. Diverse artists like Jimmy Durante
Jimmy Durante
James Francis "Jimmy" Durante was an American singer, pianist, comedian and actor. His distinctive clipped gravelly speech, comic language butchery, jazz-influenced songs, and large nose helped make him one of America's most familiar and popular personalities of the 1920s through the 1970s...

 and Andrea Bocelli
Andrea Bocelli
Andrea Bocelli, is an Italian tenor, multi-instrumentalist and classical crossover artist. Born with poor eyesight, he became blind at the age of twelve following a soccer accident....

 have used this venue. Perhaps one of the most famous of these is Billy Joel
Billy Joel
William Martin "Billy" Joel is an American musician and pianist, singer-songwriter, and classical composer. Since releasing his first hit song, "Piano Man", in 1973, Joel has become the sixth best-selling recording artist and the third best-selling solo artist in the United States, according to...

, who rose to fame from working in piano bars. His hit song "Piano Man"
Piano Man (song)
"Piano Man" was Billy Joel's first major hit and his signature song. "Piano Man" was released as a single in November 1st, 1973 and has been on several albums...

 was written about a six month stint he did in 1972 at the "Executive Room" piano bar in Los Angeles.
Most buskers will use their instrument cases or a special can or box to collect the tips. A bottler is a British term that describes the person with the job of collecting the money. A bottler may also be called the "hat man" or "pitch man". The term bottler came from a device old world performers used for collecting money. It was made from the top half of a glass bottle. It had a leather flap inserted in the bottle neck and a leather pouch attached. It was designed to allow coins in but not allow them to be removed easily without being noticed by the jingling of the coins against the glass. The first use of such contrivances was recorded by the famous Punch and Judy
Punch and Judy
Punch and Judy is a traditional, popular puppet show featuring the characters of Mr. Punch and his wife, Judy. The performance consists of a sequence of short scenes, each depicting an interaction between two characters, most typically the anarchic Punch and one other character...

 troupe of puppeteers in early Victorian times. Bottling itself can be an art form, and the difference between a good and a bad bottler can be crucial to the amount of money earned on a pitch. A good bottler is able to encourage audience members to give money. A bottler usually gets a cut of the money made on the pitch. Prior to the 20th century, it was common for buskers to use a trained monkey as a bottler. That practice has diminished due to animal control laws, but as tribute to the monkey's service there is a device known as monkey stick
Monkey stick
The mendoza, mendozer, monkey stick or lagerphone, is a traditional English percussion instrument, widely used in folk music. The origins of the name are not known but it is believed to stem from an association with one of the many Gypsy, Spanish and Italian buskers who were popular in London in...

 which buskers use to get attention. A monkey stick is a long stick with bottle caps or small cymbals attached such that they make an attention getting noise when shaken.

Pitches


The place where a performance occurs is called a "pitch". A good pitch can be the key to success as a busker. An act that might make money at one place and time may not work at all in another setting. Popular pitches tend to be public places with large volumes of pedestrian traffic, high visibility, low background noise and as few elements of interference as possible. Good locations may include tourist
Tourism
Tourism is travel for recreational, leisure or business purposes. The World Tourism Organization defines tourists as people "traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes".Tourism has become a...

 spots, popular parks, entertainment districts including lots of restaurants, cafes, bars and pubs and theaters, subways
Rapid transit
A rapid transit, underground, subway, elevated railway, metro or metropolitan railway system is an electric passenger railway in an urban area with a high capacity and frequency, and grade separation from other traffic. Rapid transit systems are typically located either in underground tunnels or on...

 and bus stops, outside the entrances to large concerts and sporting events, almost any plaza
Plaza
Plaza is a Spanish word related to "field" which describes an open urban public space, such as a city square. All through Spanish America, the plaza mayor of each center of administration held three closely related institutions: the cathedral, the cabildo or administrative center, which might be...

 or town square
Town square
A town square is an open public space commonly found in the heart of a traditional town used for community gatherings. Other names for town square are civic center, city square, urban square, market square, public square, and town green.Most town squares are hardscapes suitable for open markets,...

 as well as zócalo
Zócalo
The Zócalo is the main plaza or square in the heart of the historic center of Mexico City. The plaza used to be known simply as the "Main Square" or "Arms Square," and today its formal name is Plaza de la Constitución...

s in Latin America and piazza
Piazza
A piazza is a city square in Italy, Malta, along the Dalmatian coast and in surrounding regions. The term is roughly equivalent to the Spanish plaza...

s in other regions. Other places include shopping mall
Shopping mall
A shopping mall, shopping centre, shopping arcade, shopping precinct or simply mall is one or more buildings forming a complex of shops representing merchandisers, with interconnecting walkways enabling visitors to easily walk from unit to unit, along with a parking area — a modern, indoor version...

s, strip malls, and outside of supermarkets, although permission is usually required from management for these.

In her book, Underground Harmonies: Music and Politics in the Subways of New York, Susie J. Tanenbaum examined how the adage "Music hath charms to soothe the savage breast" plays out in regards to busking. Her sociological studies showed that in areas where buskers regularly perform, crime rates tended to go down, and that those with higher education tended to appreciate and support buskers more than those of lesser learning. Some cities are encouraging buskers because they can be a tonic to the stresses of shopping and commuting, and can be an influence which is entertaining and beneficial for all. Some cities give preference to "approved" buskers in certain areas and even publish schedules of performances.
In the United States there has been a rebirth of this art form as the new millennium has started. Buskers are found at many locations like Mallory Square in Key West
Key West
Key West is an island in the Straits of Florida on the North American continent at the southernmost tip of the Florida Keys. Key West is home to the southernmost point in the Continental United States; the island is about from Cuba....

, in New Orleans, in New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

 around Central Park
Central Park
Central Park is a public park in the center of Manhattan in New York City, United States. The park initially opened in 1857, on of city-owned land. In 1858, Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux won a design competition to improve and expand the park with a plan they entitled the Greensward Plan...

, Washington Square
Washington Square Park
Washington Square Park is one of the best-known of New York City's 1,900 public parks. At 9.75 acres , it is a landmark in the Manhattan neighborhood of Greenwich Village, as well as a meeting place and center for cultural activity...

, and the subway systems, in San Francisco, in Washington DC around the transit centers, in Los Angeles
Los Ángeles
Los Ángeles is the capital of the province of Biobío, in the commune of the same name, in Region VIII , in the center-south of Chile. It is located between the Laja and Biobío rivers. The population is 123,445 inhabitants...

 around Venice Beach, the Santa Monica
Santa Mônica
Santa Mônica is a town and municipality in the state of Paraná in the Southern Region of Brazil.-References:...

 Third Street Promenade
Third Street Promenade
The Third Street Promenade is a public entertainment venue in the downtown area of Santa Monica, California. It is considered a premier shopping and dining district on the Westside and draws crowds from all over Los Angeles County...

, and the Hollywood area, in Chicago
Chicago
Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the US, after New York City and Los Angeles...

 on Maxwell Street
Maxwell Street
Maxwell Street is an east-west street in Chicago, Illinois that intersects with Halsted Street just south of Roosevelt Road. It runs at 1330 South in the numbering system running from 500 West to 1126 West. The Maxwell Street neighborhood is considered part of the Near West Side and is one of the...

, in the Delmar Loop
Delmar Loop
The Delmar Loop is an entertainment, cultural and restaurant district in University City, Missouri and the ajoining western edge of St. Louis, Missouri. Most of its attractions are located in the streetcar suburb of University City, but the area is expanding eastward into the Skinker-Debaliviere...

 district of St. Louis, and many other locations throughout the US.
Busking is still quite common in Scotland, Ireland, and England with musicians and other street performers of varying talent levels.

Legislation



The first recorded instance of laws affecting buskers were in ancient Rome
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

 in 462 BC
462 BC
Year 462 BC was a year of the pre-Julian Roman calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Tricipitinus and Cicurinus...

. The Law of the Twelve Tables made it a crime to sing about or make parodies of the government or its officials in public places; the penalty was death. Louis the Pious
Louis the Pious
Louis the Pious , also called the Fair, and the Debonaire, was the King of Aquitaine from 781. He was also King of the Franks and co-Emperor with his father, Charlemagne, from 813...

 "excluded histriones and scurrae, which included all entertainers without noble protection, from the privilege of justice". In 1530 Henry VIII
Henry VIII of England
Henry VIII was King of England from 21 April 1509 until his death. He was Lord, and later King, of Ireland, as well as continuing the nominal claim by the English monarchs to the Kingdom of France...

 ordered the licensing of minstrels and players, fortune-tellers, pardoners and fencers, as well as beggars who could not work. If they did not obey they could be whipped on two consecutive days.

In the United States under Constitutional Law
Constitutional law
Constitutional law is the body of law which defines the relationship of different entities within a state, namely, the executive, the legislature and the judiciary....

 and most European common law
Common law
Common law is law developed by judges through decisions of courts and similar tribunals rather than through legislative statutes or executive branch action...

, the protection of artistic free speech extends to busking. In the USA and most places, the designated places for free speech behavior are the public
Public
In public relations and communication science, publics are groups of individuals, and the public is the totality of such groupings. This is a different concept to the sociological concept of the Öffentlichkeit or public sphere. The concept of a public has also been defined in political science,...

 parks, street
Street
A street is a paved public thoroughfare in a built environment. It is a public parcel of land adjoining buildings in an urban context, on which people may freely assemble, interact, and move about. A street can be as simple as a level patch of dirt, but is more often paved with a hard, durable...

s, sidewalk
Sidewalk
A sidewalk, or pavement, footpath, footway, and sometimes platform, is a path along the side of a road. A sidewalk may accommodate moderate changes in grade and is normally separated from the vehicular section by a curb...

s, thoroughfare
Thoroughfare
A thoroughfare is a place of transportation intended to connect one location to another. Highways, roads, and trails are examples of thoroughfares used by a variety of general traffic. On land a thoroughfare may refer to anything from a rough trail to multi-lane highway with grade separated...

s and town square
Town square
A town square is an open public space commonly found in the heart of a traditional town used for community gatherings. Other names for town square are civic center, city square, urban square, market square, public square, and town green.Most town squares are hardscapes suitable for open markets,...

s or plaza
Plaza
Plaza is a Spanish word related to "field" which describes an open urban public space, such as a city square. All through Spanish America, the plaza mayor of each center of administration held three closely related institutions: the cathedral, the cabildo or administrative center, which might be...

s. Under certain circumstances even private property may be open to buskers, particularly if it is open to the general public and busking does not interfere with its function and management allows it or other forms of free speech behaviors or has a history of doing so.

While there is no universal code of conduct
Code of Conduct
A code of conduct is a set of rules outlining the responsibilities of or proper practices for an individual, party or organization. Related concepts include ethical codes and honor codes....

 for buskers, there are common law practices which buskers must conform to. Most jurisdictions have corresponding statutory law
Statutory law
Statutory law or statute law is written law set down by a legislature or by a legislator .Statutes may originate with national, state legislatures or local municipalities...

. In Great Britain free speech and busking can be regulated. Some towns in the British Isles limit the licenses issued to bagpipers because of the volume and difficulty of the instrument. In Great Britain places requiring licenses for buskers may also require auditions of anyone applying for a busking license. Some venues that do not regulate busking may still ask performers to abide by voluntary rules. Some places require a special permit
License
The verb license or grant licence means to give permission. The noun license or licence refers to that permission as well as to the document recording that permission.A license may be granted by a party to another party as an element of an agreement...

 to use electronically amplified sound
Sound
Sound is a mechanical wave that is an oscillation of pressure transmitted through a solid, liquid, or gas, composed of frequencies within the range of hearing and of a level sufficiently strong to be heard, or the sensation stimulated in organs of hearing by such vibrations.-Propagation of...

 and may have limits on the volume
Volume
Volume is the quantity of three-dimensional space enclosed by some closed boundary, for example, the space that a substance or shape occupies or contains....

 of sound produced. It is common law that buskers or others should not impede pedestrian traffic flow, block or otherwise obstruct entrances or exits, or do things that endanger
Endangerment
In US law, endangerment comprises several types of crimes involving conduct that is wrongful and reckless or wanton, and likely to produce death or grievous bodily harm to another person....

 the public
Public
In public relations and communication science, publics are groups of individuals, and the public is the totality of such groupings. This is a different concept to the sociological concept of the Öffentlichkeit or public sphere. The concept of a public has also been defined in political science,...

. It is common law that any disturbing or noisy behaviors may not be conducted after certain hours in the night. These curfew limitations vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. It is common law that "performing blue" (i.e. using material that is sexually explicit or any vulgar or obscene remarks or gestures) is generally prohibited unless performing for an adults-only environment such as in a bar or pub.

In London, busking is prohibited in the entire borough of the City of London. The London Underground provides busking permits in tube stations, and many London boroughs allow busking by permit. The only borough in London permitting busking without a permit is Camden.

Buskers may find themselves targeted by thieves due to the very open and public nature of their craft. Buskers may have their earnings, instruments or props stolen. One particular technique that thieves use against buskers is to pretend to make a donation while actually taking money out instead, a practice known as "dipping" or "skimming". George Burns
George Burns
George Burns , born Nathan Birnbaum, was an American comedian, actor, and writer.He was one of the few entertainers whose career successfully spanned vaudeville, film, radio, television and movies, with and without his wife, Gracie Allen. His arched eyebrow and cigar smoke punctuation became...

 described his days as a youthful busker this way:

Notable performers



The American inventor and statesman Benjamin Franklin
Benjamin Franklin
Dr. Benjamin Franklin was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. A noted polymath, Franklin was a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, postmaster, scientist, musician, inventor, satirist, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat...

 was a street performer. He composed songs, poetry and prose about the current events and went out in public and performed them. He would then sell printed copies of them to the public. He was dissuaded from busking by his father who convinced him the stigmas that some people attach to busking were not worth it. It was this experience that helped form his beliefs in free speech, which he wrote about in his journals.

Paul McCartney
Paul McCartney
Sir James Paul McCartney, MBE, Hon RAM, FRCM is an English musician, singer-songwriter and composer. Formerly of The Beatles and Wings , McCartney is listed in Guinness World Records as the "most successful musician and composer in popular music history", with 60 gold discs and sales of 100...

 of The Beatles
The Beatles
The Beatles were an English rock band, active throughout the 1960s and one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular music. Formed in Liverpool, by 1962 the group consisted of John Lennon , Paul McCartney , George Harrison and Ringo Starr...

 donned a disguise
Disguise
A disguise can be anything which conceals or changes a person's physical appearance, including a wig, glasses, makeup, costume or other ways. Camouflage is one type of disguise for people, animals and objects...

 to be filmed busking for Give My Regards To Broad Street
Give My Regards to Broad Street
Give My Regards to Broad Street is the soundtrack album to the 1984 film of the same name. Unlike the film, the album was successful, achieving #1 in the UK chart and its lead single "No More Lonely Nights" was BAFTA and Golden Globe award nominated....

in 1984:
"They just made me up and dropped me off. [...] So I was standin' there plunkin' chords, doing this silly version of the song, and no one noticed it was me. No one wants to look a busker (street singer) in the eye, of course, 'cus then they get his life story. So they'd toss coins and I'd be going 'Yesterday, all my troubles - thank you, sir - seemed so far away.' [...] After we did it, I made sure the money was donated to the Seaman's Mission."


Bruce Springsteen
Bruce Springsteen
Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen , nicknamed "The Boss," is an American singer-songwriter who records and tours with the E Street Band...

 has been known to busk. There is a famous set of videos, recorded on 23 July 1988 in Copenhagen, where he plays a variety of his songs with a busker on the street.

Sting has also donned a disguise and gone out busking. He reportedly made £40. "He pulled a hat down over his eyes, but one woman said: 'It's Sting.' The man behind her said: 'You silly cow. It's not him. He's a multi-millionaire.'"

In a stunt organised by The Washington Post
The Washington Post
The Washington Post is Washington, D.C.'s largest newspaper and its oldest still-existing paper, founded in 1877. Located in the capital of the United States, The Post has a particular emphasis on national politics. D.C., Maryland, and Virginia editions are printed for daily circulation...

, the classical
Classical music
Classical music is the art music produced in, or rooted in, the traditions of Western liturgical and secular music, encompassing a broad period from roughly the 11th century to present times...

 violin
Violin
The violin is a string instrument, usually with four strings tuned in perfect fifths. It is the smallest, highest-pitched member of the violin family of string instruments, which includes the viola and cello....

ist Joshua Bell
Joshua Bell
Joshua David Bell is an American Grammy Award-winning violinist.-Childhood:Bell was born in Bloomington, Indiana, United States, the son of a psychologist and a therapist. Bell's father is the late Alan P...

 played as an incognito street busker at the L'Enfant Plaza
L'Enfant Plaza (Washington Metro)
L'Enfant Plaza is a Washington Metro station in the Southwest Federal Center neighborhood of Washington, D.C., United States. The station was opened on July 1, 1977, and is operated by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority...

 Metro station in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

 on 12 January 2007. Of the 1,097 people who passed by, only one recognized him and only a couple more were drawn to his music. For his nearly 45 minute performance, Bell collected $32.17 (not counting $20 from the passerby who recognized him). He did this using a Stradivarius
Stradivarius
The name Stradivarius is associated with violins built by members of the Stradivari family, particularly Antonio Stradivari. According to their reputation, the quality of their sound has defied attempts to explain or reproduce, though this belief is controversial...

 violin valued at around $2,000,000.

Bon Jovi
Bon Jovi
Bon Jovi is an American rock band from Sayreville, New Jersey. Formed in 1983, Bon Jovi consists of lead singer and namesake Jon Bon Jovi , guitarist Richie Sambora, keyboardist David Bryan, drummer Tico Torres, as well as current bassist Hugh McDonald...

 has been known to take to the streets from time to time. Among the most famous Bon Jovi busks were those at London's Covent Garden
Covent Garden
Covent Garden is a district in London on the eastern fringes of the West End, between St. Martin's Lane and Drury Lane. It is associated with the former fruit and vegetable market in the central square, now a popular shopping and tourist site, and the Royal Opera House, which is also known as...

 and Moscow's Red Square
Red Square
Red Square is a city square in Moscow, Russia. The square separates the Kremlin, the former royal citadel and currently the official residence of the President of Russia, from a historic merchant quarter known as Kitai-gorod...

.

Violent Femmes
Violent Femmes
Violent Femmes were an American alternative rock band from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, initially active between 1980 and 1987 and again from 1988 to 2009...

 were discovered by James Honeyman-Scott
James Honeyman-Scott
James Honeyman-Scott , commonly referred to as "Jimmy", was an English rock guitarist, songwriter and founding member of the band The Pretenders....

 (of The Pretenders
The Pretenders
The Pretenders are an English rock band formed in Hereford, England in March 1978. The original band consisted of initiator and main songwriter Chrissie Hynde , James Honeyman-Scott , Pete Farndon , and Martin Chambers...

) on August 23, 1981, when the band was busking on a street corner in front of the Oriental Theatre
Oriental Theatre
Oriental Theatre or Oriental Theater may refer to:*Ford Center for the Performing Arts Oriental Theatre, in Chicago, Illinois*Oriental Theater , listed on the NRHP in Denver, Colorado*Oriental Theatre...

, the Milwaukee venue that The Pretenders
The Pretenders
The Pretenders are an English rock band formed in Hereford, England in March 1978. The original band consisted of initiator and main songwriter Chrissie Hynde , James Honeyman-Scott , Pete Farndon , and Martin Chambers...

 would be playing later that night. Chrissie Hynde
Chrissie Hynde
Christine Ellen "Chrissie" Hynde is an US musician best known as the leader of the rock/new wave band the Pretenders. She is a singer, songwriter, and guitarist, and has been the only constant member of the band throughout its history.-Early life and career:Hynde is the daughter of a part-time...

 invited them to play a brief acoustic set after the opening act.

Singer-songwriter
Singer-songwriter
Singer-songwriters are musicians who write, compose and sing their own musical material including lyrics and melodies. As opposed to contemporary popular music singers who write their own songs, the term singer-songwriter describes a distinct form of artistry, closely associated with the...

 Peter Mulvey
Peter Mulvey
Peter Mulvey is an American folk singer-songwriter based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Since the early 1990s, he has developed a strong national following in the indie folk/rock scene through his relentless touring and critically acclaimed albums. Starting his musical career in Milwaukee while at...

 recorded an entire album down in the Boston Subway, where he was a regular busker. In most cases, songs were recorded in one or two takes.

Guy Laliberté
Guy Laliberté
Guy Laliberté, OC, CQ is a Canadian entrepreneur, philanthropist, poker player, space tourist and the current CEO of Cirque du Soleil...

 was a street performer when he founded the Cirque du Soleil
Cirque du Soleil
Cirque du Soleil , is a Canadian entertainment company, self-described as a "dramatic mix of circus arts and street entertainment." Based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and located in the inner-city area of Saint-Michel, it was founded in Baie-Saint-Paul in 1984 by two former street performers, Guy...

 theatrical company in 1984.

On 18 November 2008, singer Tom Jones
Tom Jones (singer)
Sir Thomas John Woodward, OBE , known by his stage name Tom Jones, is a Welsh singer.Since the mid 1960s, Jones has sung many styles of popular music – pop, rock, R&B, show tunes, country, dance, techno, soul and gospel – and sold over 100 million records...

 went outside London's Royal Festival Hall and busked for charity. He raised £500 for cancer research while doing a twenty minute set.

Hayley Westenra
Hayley Westenra
Hayley Dee Westenra is a New Zealand soprano, classical crossover artist, songwriter and UNICEF Ambassador. Her first internationally released album, Pure, reached No. 1 on the UK classical charts in 2003 and has sold more than two million copies worldwide...

 at one time busked on the streets of Christchurch, New Zealand.

John Butler
John Butler (musician)
John Charles Wiltshire-Butler or John Charles Butler is an Australian musician, songwriter, record label owner and producer...

, a well known Australian artist, has been known to busk and started his career busking.

KT Tunstall
KT Tunstall
Kate Victoria "KT" Tunstall is a Scottish singer-songwriter and guitarist from St Andrews, Scotland. She broke into the public eye with a 2004 live solo performance of her song "Black Horse and the Cherry Tree" on Later... with Jools Holland...

, a popular Scottish singer, has been recorded busking in Glasgow.

Shannon Hoon
Shannon Hoon
Richard Shannon Hoon was an American singer-songwriter and musician. He was the frontman and lead singer of the band Blind Melon until his death from a cocaine overdose in 1995.-Early life:...

, former singer for Blind Melon
Blind Melon
Blind Melon is an American rock band active from 1989 to 1999, and from 2006 onward.Best remembered for their 1993 single "No Rain", the group enjoyed critical and commercial success in the early 1990s with their neo-psychedelic take on alternative rock...

, was known to busk all over the U.S.

Heth and Jed
Heth and Jed
Heth and Jed is a New York City-based indie rock duo, composed of brothers Heth and Jed Weinstein, born in Los Angeles.Together they have recorded two albums, written a memoir, and presently make a living busking on and under the streets of New York...

, New York City-based indie-rock duo and authors of the memoir Buskers: The On-the-Streets, In-the-Trains, Off-the-Grid-Memoir of Two New York City Street Musicians.

Natalia Paruz
Natalia Paruz
Natalia 'Saw Lady' Paruz is a New York City-based musical saw and novelty instruments player and busker. She is the founder and director of the annual Musical Saw Festival in New York City. She also organized the musical saw festival in Israel...

 who can be seen in movies such as 'Dummy
Dummy
Dummy may refer to:*Military dummy:**dummy round—a cartridge that is inert, i.e. contains neither primer nor gunpowder**decoy—fake military equipment intended to deceive the enemy...

' and heard on many movie soundtracks has been playing the musical saw
Musical saw
A musical saw, also called a singing saw, is the application of a hand saw as a musical instrument. The sound creates an ethereal tone, very similar to the theremin...

 in the New York City subway since 1994.

Tracy Chapman
Tracy Chapman
Tracy Chapman is an American singer-songwriter, best known for her singles "Fast Car", "Talkin' 'bout a Revolution", "Baby Can I Hold You", "Give Me One Reason" and "Telling Stories". She is a multi-platinum and four-time Grammy Award-winning artist.-Biography:Tracy Chapman was born in Cleveland,...

 began her career busking in Harvard Square
Harvard Square
Harvard Square is a large triangular area in the center of Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, at the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue, Brattle Street, and John F. Kennedy Street. It is the historic center of Cambridge...

, Cambridge, MA.

Art Paul Schlosser
Art Paul Schlosser
Art Paul Schlosser is a street musician in Madison, Wisconsin, who plays humorous novelty songs.- Childhood :Art Paul Schlosser was born born in Chicago, January 4, 1960. He grew up listening to novelty music like Allen Sherman and Tiny Tim as well as funny songs by The Beatles and The Monkees...

 whose music has been played on Dr Demento and has recenty appeared on America's Got Talent
America's Got Talent
America's Got Talent is an American reality television series on the NBC television network, and part of the global British Got Talent franchise. It is a talent show that features singers, dancers, magicians, comedians, and other performers of all ages competing for the advertised top prize of...

 as Buddy Holy Cheesehead is a very popular busker in the Madison,Wisconsin area.

Newton Faulkner
Newton Faulkner
Sam Newton Battenberg Faulkner is an English singer-songwriter and musician from Reigate, Surrey. Known for his guitar playing, which involves rhythmically tapping and hitting his guitar's body, Faulkner came to prominence in 2007, with the release of his debut studio album, Hand Built by Robots...

 has been known to busk and video footage of him busking has been made available on YouTube
YouTube
YouTube is a video-sharing website, created by three former PayPal employees in February 2005, on which users can upload, view and share videos....

, including a full acoustic cover of Queen
Queen (band)
Queen are a British rock band formed in London in 1971, originally consisting of Freddie Mercury , Brian May , John Deacon , and Roger Taylor...

's "Bohemian Rhapsody
Bohemian Rhapsody
"Bohemian Rhapsody" is a song by the British rock band Queen. It was written by Freddie Mercury for the band's 1975 album A Night at the Opera...

".

Earl Oliver
Earl Oliver
Earl Oliver is an American writer, musician, variety and street entertainer, and graphic artist. An accomplished blues guitarist and singer in Northern California and the San Francisco Bay Area, popularly known as the Walkin' Blues Man, he hosted a popular Public-access television cable TV...

, known as the Walkin' Blues Man, performs five days a week in the summer months on the historic Skunk Train based in Fort Bragg, CA near Mendocino
Mendocino
Mendocino may mean:* Mendocino County, California, USA* Mendocino, California, a town in Mendocino County* Cape Mendocino in Humboldt County, California* Mendocino Brewing Company, a brewery and brewpub located in the county of the same name...

.

See also

  • Busking Day
    Busking Day
    Ferrara, Italy, hosts a gathering of buskers each August, with hundreds of thousands of attendees. Coffs Harbour, Australia, is home to one of Australia's largest busking celebrations each year in early October. Ireland's all Ireland busking festival has been held in Newcastle in August of each...

  • Circus skills
    Circus skills
    Circus skills are a group of pursuits that have been performed as entertainment in circus, sideshow, busking or variety/vaudeville/music hall shows. Most circus skills are still being performed today. Many are also practiced by non-performers as a hobby....

  • Music Under New York
    Music Under New York
    ' is one of the many visual and performing arts programs administered by the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority's Office that increases the attractiveness of transit facilities for customers...

  • Skomorokh
    Skomorokh
    The skomorokhs were medieval East Slavic harlequins, i.e. actors, who could also sing, dance, play musical instruments and compose most of the scores for their oral/musical and dramatic performances. The etymology of the word is not completely clear...

  • Street artist
    Street artist
    A street artist is someone who creates and/or sells their art or craft in public for the pleasure of passers-by.Some people use the term 'street artist' more broadly and also refer to people involved in busking, such as musicians who sing and/or play instruments, acrobats, jugglers, living statues,...

  • Street painting
    Street painting
    Street painting, also commonly known as pavement art, chalk art, and sidewalk art, is the performance art of rendering original and non-original artistic designs on pavement such as streets, sidewalks, and town squares with impermanent and semi-permanent materials such as chalk.-Origin:Street...

  • Street theatre
    Street theatre
    Street theatre is a form of theatrical performance and presentation in outdoor public spaces without a specific paying audience. These spaces can be anywhere, including shopping centres, car parks, recreational reserves and street corners. They are especially seen in outdoor spaces where there are...


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