22 Mar

I heard there was a secret chord

that David played and it pleased the Lord,

But you don’t really care for music do you.

It goes like this the fourth the fifth,

the minor fall and the major lift

The baffled king composing hallelujah

Here is Rufus Wainwright playing ‘Hallelujah’ in the movie ‘Shrek’.

Chords & Lyrics

I have grown up listening to carnatic music. Everytime i sit down with my books, ‘Aaa..AAAA…AAAHH….Sa Sa Re Re Ga Ga..’ will come booming from my neighbour’s window. I used to hate it. But, over the last few years, Ilayaraja,A.R.Rahman, Pink Floyd, Coldplay and Slingshot have redefined the way i respond to music.

I think the biggest farce in the history of music is the ‘Institution of Carnatic music’ which bred the oft repeated phrase ‘Sangeedha gnyanamae theriyadu’ or ‘You have no knowledge of music’ or other comparisons to a donkey sense of smell etc. The carnatic music fraternity is responsible for its own death, decay and destruction. The singers themselves were humble, but the critics and the others who started looking down on any other kind of music just ruined it. ‘Ahangaram’, they say.

Music is the most beautiful and selfless of all love. Imagine, farming at 52 degree C somewhere in Kenya or India, with a other farmers, humming your favourite folk song. There is beauty in all forms of music. Rock, Folk, Carnatic, Hip-Hopp, Jazz, Blues, Country, Metal…Carnatic music is different as it is rigorously structured and scientifc. If you have heard of Robert Schumann’s ‘Traumerei’ (Titan Soundtrack), it is an excellent demonstration of ‘Fibonacci series’. Carnatic music and Western Symphony, (My knowledge in this aspect is hearsay) are very theoretical.

Music is about how you feel. It is about your senses, the way they respond. It can be structured, but that is not the only way. Music is tribal and rudimentary at times. It is simple. It is good that you want to handout Nobel prize for Economics, but if those people are creating structures and theories which are things we do not need and will not work, then i guess we should ask them to shut the F*** up. The same goes to the guy who says ‘The ragas of carnatic music are so beautiful and to imagine the kind of music you listen to?’.

Carnatic music, is really beautiful. A foundation with the Ragas and Swaras will help you in picking up tunes while singing and playing. It needs to adapt. It needs to bend some of its rules to travel globally.

Why? Its our responsibility to spread the knowledge we possess. In exchange for other forms of music.

So what should you do? Go out there, learn an instrument or take up singing. It gives you totally new dimension. i remember when i was in college there were loads of them who had learnt an instrument at some point in their lives. Joseph with the Guitar, Daniel with the keyboard, Jhanu with the guitar and so on, but only a few still had the passion to follow it even as a hobby. I just have a gut- feeling this will count in the long-run. Then there the other who picked up the guitar or the drums to learn it. I didn’t put in the effort.

But, today, i know the CDEFGABC of music. These alphabets are definetly worth learning.


6 Responses to “Music…”

  1. hari March 23, 2009 at 6:17 am #

    seriously dude.. stuff that ive been wanting to write too from the bottom of my heart.. even ive not pursued my music enough, just not put in the effort.. though every now and then i keep fancying myself as playing the guitar or violin or flute or whatever.. and its my own fault.. reminds me of that conversation we had that day in the cafe (new years eve, remember).. and i was even just abt to blog on this too !

    abt wat u said abt carnatic music.. yea i know a lot of those hardcore carnatic lovers.. and they all seem to hate other forms of music.. cannot understand why it has to be so..

    i saw a concert recently.. western symphony.. i went expecting something totally western that wudnt suit my taste, but i came out totally mouth-wide-open.. awesome stuff man.. and it reminded me of how much i really miss by not being in touch with an instrument..

    • wetfingers March 25, 2009 at 7:06 pm #

      @ hari..Not to late. Start, its totally worth it.

  2. chaibiskoot March 24, 2009 at 3:10 pm #

    The pleasure that one gets on playing a musical instrument as you unwind after a hard day’s work is unparalleled.It is my observation that most folks from Chennai take up a musical instrument or some artform during their school days perhaps it is intrinsically built into the upbringing

    The following people should read this post to add a new perspective to the views shared on this blog

    1) Kaushik Kumar’s mother- a carnatic music teacher by profession.
    2) Kaushik Kumar – a musician not by choice or profession but a musician only to get attention .

    • wetfingers March 25, 2009 at 7:06 pm #

      @ kaushik is slingshot basse..don’t be jealous of his talent

  3. painting contractors in chennai November 25, 2011 at 8:55 am #

    The video is fentabulos!.quite good. i’ll keep in touch regularly. your post is appreciated

  4. Arvind December 20, 2011 at 8:28 pm #

    As a carnatic musician and a diehard fan of ilayaraja, bach, mozart, brahms, vivaldi, tchaikovsky and all the great western classical musicians, i would like to put forth a point. Not all carnatic musicians are averse to other ‘forms’ of music. True, I have also interacted with many of my friends who detest Heavy Metal. i for one like Metallica too!!

    I disagree with you in the line ‘carnatic music fraternity has been responsible for its own death’. With the development in technology and internet etc, the reach of music has become unimaginable. The ‘ahangaram’ attitude has actually been rooted from not high-headedness but rather from envy. The financial success of musicians from other genres of music, their popularity and fame has always been the talking point of many carnatic musicians who visit abroad. My personal experience. Many tend to think out loud….cha ippidi padran….ivanukku ivvlo kootam….(gawk….he sings like this and look at the amazing crowd…) This kind of a response from a carnatic musician stems from not becaus he does not respect the other music, but rather cuz he doesnt get such recognition in his home country.

    Carnatic music is more than theory. I having being classically trained, know the rigour in learning this form of music. It inculcates in one the ability to distinguish and appreciate music, and actually makes one able to hear the music in every form of music!! This also i say from personal experience. Having a strong foundation on the theory only helps a person in practice. But where does it need to adapt? The music doesnt have to. It is the musician who needs to, he is the one who wants the populartiy. carnatic music has always been about devotion to the almighty. With that being the crux of this music, global acceptance or popularity is not what it seeks. But then, fame and recognition is what the musician of today wants. For the musician’s nature one cannot blame the music!

    Arvind Madhav (Hardcore Indian Music Fan 🙂

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