Monday, May 26, 2008

Indian Cultural Tradition and the World

Indian Cultural Tradition and the World
With special reference to the interrelation
Between our music and the Sufism
Vedprakash Sharma
Research Scholar
Deptt. Of Music,
M. D. University,
Rohtak – 124001.

History of Indian culture and civilization begins from the Indus valley civilization. Although the period of it has been debated by the historians, yet most scholars agree that it surely was a pre-Vedic civilization.

Anyhow, we do not know much about the musical traditions of the time; therefore let us not go deep into it.

Our cultural heritage took shape during the Vedic period. Many parallel musical traditions flourished simultaneously. Our music had become one of the most developed ones during the era of Sangeet Ratnakar.

But not much cultural give and take occurred unless the spread of Islam in India. Many reasons can be given for this: lack of the transport and communication facilities, very little people to people contact and many more.

But Sufi tradition, one of the moderate Islamic philosophies, did the miracle. The Sufis successfully mingled with orthodox Indian masses. There was some thing common between the Sufi tradition and our cultural ethos which bound together. Sufi saints like Sheik Nizamuddin Chishti and the great Amir Khusro very well Indianized themselves. They were so liberal in their approach that most of the North Indians felt as Sufism was their own tradition. Thus two great traditions came together. This was not imposed or forced upon us. It was very natural and thus it led to many great achievements which we will discuss in the paper to be presented.

Origin of new musical instruments, devising of new musical forms like Qawwali, Khayaal etc, new dance forms, are some of them. The impact is so great that in the present era also, musicians are trying different ways and means to give a “Sufi” twist to their musical compositions. Be it the classical music or the popular one, traditional or non-traditional, all forms of music is somehow inspired with the common heritage of the Indian and the Sufi music intermingling. That is why, it is very important to go deep into it.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Sonu Nigam

I just downloaded AaiDilMutRoClassicallyMild.mp3 from “cooltoad”. After listening it, I can say that it is a pleasant effort on part of Sonu Nigam and his team. In the era of mind-blasting/ear-bursting stream of popular music, it gives a bit of relief as well as some hope for the future. The lyrics are too, different from that of the present line.
But when it comes to the classical music, it cannot be included in the category. Although the composition is excellent, but it is not based upon any of the given Ragas. Neither is it composed in one particular scale. The rhythm is also somewhat jazz-oriented. It is not based upon any Talas although we can call it “Kaharwa”. Classical music on western drums comes in the purview of Indian fusion or Jazz. Many musical bands are performing upon such kind of music. In fact, the discourse about the classical/nonclassical music is not very old. It gained momentum during the reformist’s movements in the world of music in the nineteenth and twentieth century as our musicians came out of the patronage of Durbars. Many westerners also wrote extensively on the topic and thus came the idea of classical/nonclassical music. Before that, we did not have such terms.
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