The Rhythmic Revelation

“Music is moonlight in the gloomy night of life…” - Jean Paul Ritcher.
music is the art of the soul

Ever imagined a life without music? In an age where everything we see, hear and touch is justified by a scientific and rational explanation, music is still a mystery rather it is  indeed a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy. Truly it the universal language of mankind. Starting from the enthralling lullabies, the cheerful birthday songs and the nursery rhymes to the high school rocking music are all evanescent shades of memories yet intrinsic. The tintinnabulation of church bells, a sweet repeated trill of the frog, the lyrical raindrops, the rhythmical beating of the tambourine on festivals, the cawing of the crow rather disconsolately, the cooing of the dove and the tapping of the woodpecker which wakes you up from your siesta has mesmerized us and brought a zephyr of gusto in our rather monotonous life. Nature unfolds itself in the form of music- at times soothing to the ears while at others an unpleasant cacophony. In Ruskin Bond’s words –“ There are sounds that come from a distance, beautiful because they are far away, voices on the wind –‘ they walketh upon the wings of the wind’ …” Silence too has a music of its own – a sweet dark secret that rises from the depths of the ravine. Words are like apoplexies which paints our thoughts, on the simulacrum music is like the wine which fills up the cup of silence, imparting its mellifluous quality to our thoughts. It is often said that everything in the universe has a rhythm of its own and dances accordingly to its tunes. This rhythm miraculously imparts a soul to the universe, flight to our imagination, wings to our mind and in fact a life to everything. Every era, is accompanied by music of its time, almost like an impact that reflects a cultural reality always striving for aesthetics .Thus, it truly narrates what human beings have gone through and are still evolving to become.

piano                 classical-guitar-playing-acoustic-music

With the passage of time don’t you feel trapped somewhere in this world of music? Trapped by the bizarre noise which is termed as music in today’s time and thrust down our unwilling throats and ears. There is a limit of tolerance for the kind of music most of the youth of today is being exposed to. You there, yes you what are you listening to? With radios all over the city blaring the music of the plastic dolls dished out by Disney, boys who sound dangerously like girls(no offence), and an ocean of utter drivel hip-hop and all the stated type of music have become more of a trend than subjects of profound appreciation. I better leave Hindi music out of the argument as residing in India we have our fair share of that. Might not a cognoscenti in the Hindi classics,  we all possess some knowledge about it. Yet how many of you know the difference between the national song and the national anthem? However when the scene shifts to Western music, the situation is much grave. Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones are now just names you hear your parents recalling in a wave of nostalgia or are mere answers to a musical round of brainstorming questions. I rather not elucidate on the content of hip-hop songs for the sake of decency, but I guess that it is an unanimous factor that hearing someone singing more like whining over lost love sometimes make you feel like driving a nail through your skull. It is highly appreciable and should be eulogized  if one develops a taste for eastern and western classical music too, but that appeals to a more limited number of people. Old is definitely much more than gold when it comes to music by bands like The Doors, The Who ,Led Zeppelin, The Pogues and a plethora of other Rock groups and solo artists like John Denver, Eric Clapton, Paul Anka and the list is endless. Even  if this may not be one’s self interest still it is semantic and relates to euphony and thus in the quest of musical knowledge it imparts us with lyrics of the bygone years which evoke deep wisdom which we as humans can relate to. Some immortalized classical songs lyrics include:

“…Life is old there, older than the trees

Younger than the mountains, Growin’ like a breeze

Country Roads, Take me home,

To the place I belong….”      — John Denver, Country Roads


“Yesterday our troubles seemed so far away, I believe in yesterday..” The Beatles, Yesterday.

“ How many ears must one man have before he can hear people cry? And how many deaths will it take till we know that too many people have died?…” Bob Dylan, Blowin’ In The Wind..

Once you have heard the magic that the past has created ,more myriad options await. Don’t restrict yourself to a particular type of music as there is much to learn, to hear, to feel and to experience from different types of music. Also, in a city where the screeching of the bus, the unpleasant din of the autos, the whining of the beggars accompanied with the temptations tongued by the salesman, the cry of the ambulance stuck in the traffic snarl  is echoed back again and again by the pale dreary skyscrapers around ,one finds it difficult to discover music. Yet at times a voice shriller than all the ghoulish music asks one to break free from the claustrophobic carcass and follow back the country roads to discover the song which would differentiate between existence and mere living. Perhaps this is why poet Berthold Auerbach said –“ Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life”




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