Have we forgotten to do real music ?


I used to wonder why,

Someone from India for instance, is always triggered by the music of his region, precisely the music he has been brought up with, educated in.
An Indian gets pleasure from Indian music, and so is the same for people all over the world….different regions and cultures.

Music exists, but different for different people.

It so appears that Music for different regions exists through different rules. These rules sort of determine the style of the music….could be folk, jazz, rock etc. There is always a certain discipline to it.

Depending on the cultures, histories of the region and events all have contributed to the Music the way it is today.

Music has been changing from time to time.

If I want to sing the same old song. It is not going to be the same. Singing it today, gives it the colour of today.Todays influence, today’s understanding.

Our culture and upbringing has a tremendous impact over our mind and hence music.

My creative imagination always wanted to believe that, a man of real musical understanding should be undivided by influences of culture, by rules, instruments, discipline etc.

(It may sound childish …but sort of gives a feeling of great freedom….someone with complete freedom to be himself and not the “music style” that he represents …)

The idea of this kind of Musician comes from the session I had with my Guru (Pt.Manohar Chimote) many years ago…

Guruji had a concert out of town and I was travelling with him as a shagird. It was one of the best moments of my life because guruji was all available for me to attend to all my questions during the travel. No one else was there to interrupt …..No senior shagirds etc. He gave more time …trying to understand my questions and suggesting ways to improve on my music. I was about 18 years of age then.

All my silly questions …directly/indirectly came to one point,

The following is the most I could make out of my little understanding from that session,

He said,

We humans ….we always have a natural desire to keep doing some thing or the other…., this is also the case in music. The idea is to do some thing special…something new with your instrument. Your mind is always ready to do something new by all means.

It finds its way of permutations and combinations of certain notes, phrases and arranging together different patterns, to enhance the complexity, in turn the quality…..of your music.

However, Great musicians have always believed that ‘the most ordinary music is indeed the most extraordinary music’.

Ordinary – as in, not necessarily complex….but full of life…prayer, gratitude, feelings…soulful music. Music that makes you joyful or…get tears in your eyes…simply touches your heart.

But where does the music in you arise from?

Your knowledge, Your calculated mind memory, Your experience, Your ignorance, innocence, where? How does it arise?

Think ,think hard and….You will say, I don’t know.

There are a few facts in life, we go on claiming we know, but actually we don’t know.

He went on….

Some kid once asked “why are the trees green?” …….How will you answer this question?

The father answered,” they are green because they are green, son.”

What else can you say? What ever else you say will be foolish and will make no sense.

A student of science may say because of chlorophyll.

But then why is chlorophyll green…because of something X, Y, Z inside the chlorophyll. But that doesn’t make any difference. The ultimate remains a mystery……. Always will be. The point is,

Where does the music inside you come from…you don’t know. It is a mystery!

Moments when you are listening to great maestros Ustad Vilayat Khan,Ustad Amir Khan etc….there is a different beauty…Why?

Because their music reflects this mystery element.

Aah! Kya baat hai !! ….and you say all those things.

If you want to do music, let it be spontaneous…..he said,(I got my answer)

If you don’t know and with absolute confidence you say ‘I don’t know’. If this comes from the deepest of your core,you surrender to that “mystery” inside you ….. then music will start arising.

• When there is this mystery element, it makes your music full of ‘wonder’,gratitude,prayer, Surprise…all of them together.

He went on…

Shastriya Sangeet, Indian Classical Music is like living with the unknown, not knowing where exactly you are going….mysterious….. It should be a flow. This is also called “improvisation”. This flow – “improvisation”, gives a feeling of liberation……

(Note: In the west Jazz music is more of “improvised music style”.)

Not knowing what’s next…… he is singing, he becomes one with the sound and then music starts happening.

You fall in love with the mystery that surrounds you.

This LOVE for mystery is “THE Pure SOUND”. Of music.

He went on…said something that hit me hard, very enlightening,

“It is like love. Sometimes it comes, sometimes it doesn’t”…..he said.

It’s not within your power and capacity to drag it when you want. You are helpless; you cannot do anything about it, when it is not there.

May be you can pretend, and show that you are loving, but deep down you know that its not there. And now if you get accustomed to it… it becomes a habit… by and by you will forget what love/music is in the real sense. You may pretend all your life.

Have we forgotten to do real music?

“To most of us as artists…music remains a pretension.”


Author – Amit Diwadkar

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