Yesterday I was listening to a conversation between a mother and her teenage daughter at a bus stop, while I was waiting for a local bus. Mother said annoyingly, “Why are you so much adamant to learn Indian Classical Music? Don’t you know, it’s very difficult to learn? People have to exploit 8-10 hours a day for its Riyaaz. You need to get up daily at 3.30 AM for practice. Instead why don’t you go for some lighter form of art?” Obviously inexperienced daughter couldn’t answer anything to justify her desire to learn Indian Classical Music.
This made me thought deeply about misunderstandings regarding learning Indian Classical Music.
Only mentioning the word ‘Learning Indian Classical Music‘ makes eyebrows raise. But they don’t try to realize the simplest definition of the word ‘classical art form’. When we refer to a classical art, it means that time never conquers it. In simpler words it means that irrespective of time, people value it and it doesn’t disappear with the time.
- Also see : How Gangubai Hangal started her musical education.
What can be called Classical?
If you ask a question in England, “Hey John, what’s classical art?” He would surely point out to Shakespearean literature. If the same question is asked to an Indian, he would say “Man, whatever that is written, sung, composed in Sanskrit, is classical.”
Today also, Shakespearean and Sanskrit literatures have their great magic on our minds. They have developed with the time and are being respected as the centre of incessant studies. These are the reasons; they are called with due esteem as ‘classical works’.
It was the time of Vedas that created “Indian Classical Music” and subsequently it developed. Particularly, the third in the Vedas, “Samveda” has Indian Classical Music. Bharat Muni’s “Natya Shastra” written in the 11th century has narrative of classical music. Thereafter also many intellectuals have their great contributions, either practically or theoretically, for Indian Classical Music.
Please read below articles, you can find great inspiration from them.
- Dr. Prabha Atre’s struggle for learning Indian Classical Music.
- How Kesarbai select Dhondubai Kulkarni as a disciple.
Misunderstandings About Learning
Take any branch of education, be it BA, B. Com, B. Sc, LLB, BE, MBBS etc., they need strength of mind, hard work and dedication for success. Thus, like aforesaid streams of education, Classical Indian Music also needs constant practice and sincere study. Therefore, it’s very saddening that only Indian Classical Music was regarded as very difficult to learn.
The second mistaken belief about Indian Classical Music is that it could be learnt by only ‘cream of the crop’ people. But, numerous examples of great classical musicians from very poor – uneducated family background can discard this misconception easily. Proper Guidance also is a factor that governs your success in learning Indian Classical Music, just like any other form of learning.
The third confusion is that people mainly from classical musical families can learn classical music. Up to certain extent, it is possible, as a good guide becomes available very easily. However, natural talent and fortitude also make a vast difference, though you are not from any such privileged family.
Thus, nothing else, but a pupil’s innate aptitude with willpower and guru’s direction turns him into an appreciated classical musician.