Music unites all
There is music in creation and the resplendent musical sounds in nature reveal the magical bond between all living beings. When we go back to the elements, we see nature's great acoustic system governed by the laws of nature, the songs of the birds and the whale, music propelled by wind, water, fire and earth and the harmony or disharmony between the elements. Musicians the world over, have been enamoured by nature trying to capture the natural world into music. In that sense music is a synthesis between the basic elements in our physical frame and the same elements manifested in the outer world. This gives music a universality that transcends narrow bounds of language, region, and culture.
World Music Day celebrated in over 120 countries ever since it began as a humble initiative in Paris on 21st June 1982 by the French Minister of culture Jack Lang has made strides in keeping with its 'the music everywhere and the concert nowhere' motto. Spreading to public spaces the 'Fete de la Musique' has become a unique initiative beyond compare where the love of music unites people who follow different genres of music from the classical to the not-so classical and from the retro to the modern. Young and the old, professionals and amateurs revel in the joy of music with friends, neighbours and strangers at events that mark 'World Music Day' showcasing their passion for music acknowledged as a 'divine art'.
"Without music life would be a mistake" – Friedrich Nietszche's quote just nails it. Most people associate music of every genre and age with their own emotions and incidents along the journey of life. That's why music is about nostalgia and memories that fill you with warmth and positive energy. Many songs learnt from school and rendered with passion remain a bond decades later. "We had a reunion at school after three decades thanks to someone finding a classmate on Facebook. Twenty of us met and recalled all the old English songs that we were taught in school and started singing like old times. Music binds both old friends and complete strangers together," says Asha C, a homemaker laying emphasis on the nostalgia that music evokes. Music is not just about individual emotions but reflects the angst of the times across the world. Patriotic songs, revolutionary music, defiant music, popular music and various other forms were a form of protest in various enslaved countries of the world and India under the British was no exception.
Anuradha Ravi, an NRI from New Jersey says she bonds with friends on World Music Day every year. "Our small circle of friends, who are from different States in India, usually gather at one place and sing patriotic songs in different languages. This makes us feel connected to our roots. We miss our parents and relatives back home and music is comforting," she says.
Songs for every season and reason have enriched world cultures and are a part of the rich heritage that evolved from basic notes and instruments to higher classical forms. For youth, music is all about innovation and lyrics that reflect their own moods and changing emotions. Fusion music that is an irritant to purists but one that inspires youth is an increasing trend in the Indian scenario with even many young and not so young classical singers taking to it with gusto. ''Many places where youngsters hang out in Hyderabad have music bands. We also have increasing open-mic events where a lot of young talented singers showcase their talents. Youth are heavily into music," says Dhiren, a young music enthusiast.
Rap or Rajasthani, Pop or Punjabi, vocal and instrumental music of different type have segments of loyal audiences who feel a connect that enriches their life. Sad, happy, defiant, or different, music has a way of reaching out. For serious practitioners' music is truly the language of the soul. Supriti Chakraborty, who teaches Hindustani classical music finds it to be the highest form of worship which can heal both the body and the mind. She cites the case of children at a school for special children where she teaches music. "A restless and bad-tempered student in my class showed altered behaviour after the teaching sessions. He started singing along with the group and became calm and friendly," she says. The rhythm, the beat and the melody of music builds bridges, binds hearts and adds the magical touch to the journey of life.