Song of Surrender

Monday, 20 May 2013

Blame the music, not the musician

By B.R. Kumar

The Editor has expressed explicit views on the current trends in music, especially Carnatic music. As unpredictable as the game of cricket, music is organic in nature and has no shelf life – when it is born, it starts perishing. It has no absoluteness, no objectivity; it is purely subjective and defies all descriptions and definitions. It has no definiteness. There are theories and theories about music, but all these theories are born out of music! And therefore, music is not bound by any steadfast theory.

What is music at this moment may be something else in the ensuing moments. Such is its evolution. Acceptability of music at a particular time, depends upon the conditioning of our own mind. What it was yesterday and what it will be tomorrow, is beyond human comprehension. Therefore let us savour music as it is. The “is-ness” is very important and unique in all respects. In your editorial you have mentioned “unsatisfactory vocalisation and undesirable vocal habits among many singers in the Carnatic music kutcheri circuit”. The blame should not be on the individual performing artist, but on music itself.

Our stalwarts have set a path without any boundaries and hence the travellers now in this path are free to break them according to their will and wisdom. Cleverness devoid of wisdom is extremely dangerous and destructive, but wisdom can survive without cleverness. We internally stand in opposition to what is and so we feel the pain of ever evolving musical patterns.

We listeners always follow the path of what we have heard so far. We do not know the form of music that prevailed several decades ago. It is a rolling stone that gathers no mass. Let us accept what is unacceptable. That is the greatest grace in this world. Only then can we realise the inherent shining glory of the musical patterns, which was, is and will be.

Music is a multi-coloured mansion. While enjoying it, let us not unravel its foundation. Let us effortlessly enjoy music and melt and merge in its limitless form.

Chithra Madhavan’s article on Chidambaram was interesting and informative. But Nandanar’s merger with Lord Siva took place in a shrine known as Tiruppoonkoor located about three kilometres away on the Vaitheeswaran Koil – Tiruppanandaal road, not at Chidambaram. It is here that Nandi moved aside for Nandanar to have a clear view of the Lord. It was here that Nandanar merged with the Lord. Nandanar was also known as Tirunalaipovar and his village Adanur is situated about five kilometres from Tiruppoonkoor. The famous composition Sivalokanathan Tiruchannidanam was rendered at this shrine.

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