In general, any system usually starts by noble people basing on very noble ideas and high expectations to make it much useful to the society. But, in our country, due to the very highly self centred politicians or irrational conservatives or indisciplinarians or outnumbered inefficients, later on, gradually deteriorates in standards over years to come but called ‘Sampradaya’ and followed by many people innocently and ignorantly. But, due to the contaminated scenario, even the handful disciplinarians and efficients are also keeping quiet without properly guiding the youth just to get the fame as ‘uncontroversial-persons’. That is what presently happening now in our country which very badly effects every citizen, every walk of life and every facet of them among which our music is not an exception.
While there are many other facets also falling under these modern trends only two, utilisation of microphones and kanakku in the music-concerts, have been taken for discussion till now. In principle, being a professional-musician and music-teacher I do not find any thing wrong in their utilisation in the music concerts unless they are misused like all other things.
In our country we are used to conduct thousands of music concerts but not in the halls built only for conducting music-concerts where the artists may not need a microphone at all and, at the same time, the audience also keep quiet. But, in our halls microphones are much needed to avoid crying but not singing to reach the audience sitting far away from the artist. But, while the microphone is truly meant to increase only the sensitivity of music of the performing artist but not the volume of the voice or the instrument, unfortunately, in the present conditions, in the absence of a reliable operator with a sense of music, every artist on the dais is used to quarrel with the other to have the maximum volume of his own. Even in regard to our artists, many of our old artists are not that sensitive to feel about their music which was always brought out along WITH Shruti only but not IN Shruti. But, now, we can feel better to find the next generation far better not only in Shruti sense but in rhythmical abilities also even though our irrational conservatives moan about it as a modern trend.
Of course, in one way we must thank the microphone allowing the audience to chat each other even in the midst of the concert which is not possible in a mike-less concert. To speak the truth, the truly charming music naturally makes the audience spell-bound and keeps them attentive avoiding any chat.
In the same manner, even in respect of kanakku which is nothing but mathematics, most of the musicians and audience are ever ready to very heavily harp on ‘Sarvalaghu’ which, in fact, have soothing effect only on the audience but not followed precisely by many of the performing artists. Many are not aware that most of the performing artists are rendering ‘Sama-gati’ but not ‘Sarva-laghu’ at all and the audience, in the absence of proper knowledge, are taking it for ‘Sarva-laghu’. Being the fact, though very bitter, the performer who has deft command over the odd-gatis can only manage with the Tani of an able Mridangist and all others very conveniently hand over the charge of rendering Tala to the Violin-accompanist (if he/she shows any disinclination to do this he/she will not get another chance to accompany the same person) while the Mridangist starts his Tani thus making the accompanist scape-goat for his/her own incompetence. As a professional-violin-accompanist I had experienced hundreds of such incidents. Singing kanakku requires very high level concentration and practice to get through it and any kind of lack of them very badly affects the concert and the singer alike. That is why only the musicians who are used to be alert always in kanakku support kanakku and all others openly hate it. Also, that is why most of the undisciplined musicians are used to sing or play only the Purvanga of any Varna in two degrees of speed and skip to do the same in respect of Uttaranga of it but prefer to run away with a single speed as it involves some mathematical theorems. Mostly the defect lies upon the music-teachers who cannot manage with mathematics but successfully contribute their might in increasing the number of impotent disciples in music.
Once, when I was invited to act as Judge for the selection of candidates for the scholar-ships given by the Central-government to the kids of 14 years of age, I, at the first instance, have asked each and every candidate to render the Alankaras both in Ata-tala and Triputa-tala direct in the 3rd degree of speed. More than 90 per cent of the candidates failed to do so and, naturally, I have failed them. Then came the uproar from their respective teachers (cheaters) that the Judge should not ask such difficult questions and I have suggested them to make a collective complaint to the higher authorities concerned not to invite me later as a Judge. They did so earnestly and I was not invited later. That is the ability of most of our music-teachers (cheaters).
Recently, even when I had to conduct a work-shop on Svarakalpana to 10 or 12 disciples of a reputed Sangeeta Vidwan and teacher, among which each and every one is either an A-grade Artist of All India Radio or a concert-artist or both, to my surprise, each and everybody successfully failed to repeat a very-basic-mathematical-exercise. That is the efficiency and reliability of most of our music-teachers (cheaters). I sincerely bow down to the true-music-teacher who follows the qualitative (but not quantitative) method of teaching music in shaping the aspirants knowledgeable and properly initiates the aspirants sing intricate mathematical Svarakalpana along with brief Ragalapana even before the completion of learning Varnas. Even though this qualitative method of teaching music also falls under the ‘modern trends’ the irrational conservatives may feel bad for their inability either to bring out more effective method in teaching than mine making the process of teaching ‘time-bound and result-oriented” or to condemn my methods.
Just like compelling our kids to learn the mathematical tables by their heart even without knowing the implications of them, unless our kids are properly trained and groomed to deal with the odd-gatis of our music, we cannot produce potents in music which is not possible to each and every music-teacher. That is why, until recently, all our great experts very conveniently avoided prescribing to render both the Purvanga and Uttaranga of a Varna @ 4, 6 & 8-units in any of the music-syllabi or for the scholar-ships or Radio-auditions or for the posts of music-teachers. But, recently, this has been included in some of the music-syllabi. Even if some irrational conservatives moan about this taking it as a modern trend, I very much doubt, whether this has been included in the schemes of examination and truthfully asked by the efficient examiners and adjudged by them. amsharma