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Sound

Sound

Music speaks – First there is silence, then there is sound. Then there is language, then there is a theme. The first thing that penetrates silence is sound. There are two types of sound. One that is musical and one that is noise. The first is called Nada and the second is called (Shabda) Noise. The Nada of the Tambura is all pervasive and soothing. That is the first layer in the fabric of Carnatic Music. SRUTI.

The sound waves from the Tambura is de regional and de religious. It has no words. But it conveys Peace, Calm and Tranquility. Isn’t that the end result of what Music is supposed to give? Now, if a musician has to penetrate this already tranquil Nada and create something more on that, he has to use two tools. That of Raga and Tala. One is Melody and the other is Rhythm. The nature of Melody conveys the context of the mood. Raga also means colour and content. The nature of Rhythm and the tempo conveys the pace and the pulse.

Then comes language which beautifully conveys a theme. The minute the language comes in, the piece of music is narrowed down to a particular region, situation and theme and in the case of Carnatic music, most often than not, to a particular deity. Language is used on Melody and Rhythm to fix it to a particular place/time and situation. Therefore, language is just a tool used in Carnatic music to fill in a content and context to a piece of music. But that is not the end in itself, it is only one of the means to achieve the ultimate end of tranquility or ecstasy that music is intended to create.

In any accepted and acclaimed art form, CREATIVITY is the heartbeat that keeps the art form alive. Creativity in language is called Poetry. Creativity in thought is called Philosophy. Creativity with fingers is called Artistry. Creativity in melodic and rhythmic combinations is called Artistry in music (Manodharma). This spontaneous imaginative outburst of musical ideas is what makes Music an art form. Any art form survives when it reflects the mind and thinking of the man of the current generation. That is when it becomes a living art form, a growing art form. When, one century from now, someone gets a recording of Carnatic music as it is now, they should be able to get an idea of how artistes thought, lived, perceived and created music. If the music system reflects only shadows of what people did in the past, some historian would perhaps write in his record that in this century people only re created songs of the past.

Thyagaraja composed themes depending on the social temperature of the world he lived in and so did Dikshitar and Shyama Shastri. Mozart composed themes pertaining to the surrounding he lived in. If Carnatic Music is to be accepted on a wider platform, it has to go beyond the religious flavour it offers now. It has to seek divinity in the Saptha Swara Devatas. It has to create spiritual upliftment through production of Nada that is de regional and de religious

There are three philosophy to Music . One is Bhakthi , Second is Spiritual and the Third is the Musical Mind, Bhakthi is one , in which one sees music as a celebration of the divine through lyrics. This consists of Bhajans, Kritis, Songs on various themes and so on…

Spirituality is the next step where in one feels the divinity and the energy, through the vibration of the sound created – This can be experienced mainly in Instrumental music.

But the highest plane will be the Musical mind, where one feels the sound of music and the source of the sound within and stay connected in that platform and there by feel the pulse of living as a constant experience of melody and rhythm.

Music from India is the reflection of this thought. It conveys the Indianism, it conveys the classicism, it conveys the philosophy of what India stands for . BHARATHA (BHAVA – RAGA – THALA).

It does TRUE Nadopasana. (Practise of the musical mind)


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