What is Bach in the Subways?
There are four core elements to a Bach in the Subways performance:
- The music of J.S. Bach is performed anywhere, any time.
- The performance is open & accessible to all – a musical gift for anyone who wants to hear it.
- No admission fee is required, no money is accepted by the performers, and no other commercial transactions occur immediately before, during, or after the performance.
- No musician is ever charged to perform for Bach in the Subways.
Do I have to play in the subways to join Bach in the Subways?
Absolutely not. Although Bach in the Subways originated in the subways of New York City, some cities don’t have subways, and others maintain such strict rules that playing music there is impossible. The most important idea behind Bach in the Subways has always been to bring live Bach, and by extension classical music, to as many people as possible, especially those who would not normally hear it. Musicians who cannot access subways can perform wherever there are souls to hear the music – in malls, on the street, in churches, schools, coffee shops, airports, and more.
Can I choose when & where I want to play? What if I want to play in a duo or other ensemble?
Each and every Bach in the Subways performance is entirely the result of the initiative and passion of the musicians & organizers involved. We encourage performers to be creative in exploring and finding venues, and also in arranging interesting ensembles. Solos are always welcome too!
Begin now to explore venues for your performance, and email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need assistance. In the past it has helped enormously and we have been extremely pleased to provide official Bach in the Subways letters requesting permission to perform at preferred venues.
Can I accept money or donations?
No! Bach in the Subways has always been a shared gift of musical joy and we want to keep it that way. See our guidelines for more info.
Do I have to be a professional musician? Do I have to be a classical musician?
No & no. While many high caliber professional classical musicians are involved, what we’re doing is for everyone. If you can play Bach then you can perform for Bach in the Subways.
Can I promote my CD/website/orchestra/etc. while I perform for Bach in the Subways?
Please do! Musicians are invited to provide whatever promotional materials they wish during Bach in the Subways performances as long as nothing is offered for sale immediately before, during, or after each performance. See our guidelines for more info.
Should I record my Bach in the Subways performance?
Absolutely! We strongly encourage performers to record and post their Bach in the Subways videos and pictures online with the hashtag #BachInTheSubways[year]. Also email us at email@example.com if you’d like us to share them on the Bach in the Subways Facebook & Twitter pages.
Do I have to play Bach?
We urge all participating musicians to stick to the music of Johann Sebastian Bach.
How can I support and promote Bach in the Subways in my city and around the world?
Get others involved, let the press know what’s going on, distribute cards and flyers, and be creative – come up with your own unique way to join Bach in the Subways and bring more Bach to the world. There are lots of materials on our Resources page to help get you started. Also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to brainstorm, or if you think we can help.
Where can I find music?
Hundreds of free, public domain Bach scores and transcriptions for an enormous variety of solo instruments and ensembles can be found at the IMSLP/Petrucci Music Library.