Interesting snippet on classical music in India ...

Mark Antony Owen
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Interesting snippet on classical music in India ...

Post by Mark Antony Owen » Wed May 10, 2006 4:54 pm

Amjad Ali Khan for thrust on music in schools

Sarod maestro Ustad Amjad Ali Khan wants to see schools across the world, especially in India, devote one period exclusively for discussions on culture, music and tradition so that the younger generation grows up respecting their rich heritage.

"I appeal to schools, especially in India, that one period should be set aside where children sit without their books and listen to their teachers talk about traditions, music and culture..

"... Where the children in turn talk about their feelings. About their parents and grandparents and get to realise the contributions parents make in bringing them up," Khan, who is here to perform at the Dewan Philharmonic Society, told a news agency.

It is for the first time that the sitar maestro will be performing in Malaysia. The tickets for the two-day concert have been sold out.

The maestro has given performances in Japan, China, Hong Kong and Singpaore besides the UK and US.

A teacher's duty is not only to teach English and Maths but to give time to children so that they grow up respecting traditions and values, he said.

"The seven musical notes, be it western or Indian, are connected to tuning our minds and should be taught to children. Music will help the growth of a child, they must learn and feel each musical note," the maestro, who is accompanied by his two sons Aaman and Ayaan on the tour, said.

Amjad Ali Khan noted that in the western world, music has always been in the system. "Children sing nursery rhymes when they are young, they dance... Music and dance was always given importance in schools. But in India importance has not been given to music among school children."

The Sarod virtuoso says music has come from cosmic powers and is "god created." Khan is optimistic that the tradition of classical music would live on in India.

"Especially if young people are playing classical music, it is the wish of god," Khan said, adding it was indeed a big challenge against 100 television channels when people came to listen to classical performances.

His sons too agree that classical music "was not dying out in India."

"Classical music was never for the masses, it has always had a niche audience. Earlier classical music concerts would be for 500 people now places like Carnegie Hall has a 2000 seating capacity. Of course we cannot impose on the listeners and an artiste needs to connect with the audience," Ayaan Ali said.

Asked if he liked to play at home or abroad, the maestro replied, "I like playing where music is respected and liked," adding there are some states in India which are totally involved in culture but "there are certain states that are not prepared to enjoy Indian classical music."
"Neti, neti."

Formerly known as 'shadowritten'.


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