It was not necessary for the river to flow “Surely to the Sea”, but still it did. It certainly did after Presley’s heartful expression to mean that “Some things are meant to be”.
Let’s keep aside the critical point of view regarding how globalisation and Indian music are not independent, and that the latter has been deeply affected by the former. Because it is easier to explain music when you are more of a listener and less of a critic.
Since India happens to be one of the most diversified countries in the world, we, Indians, have got a huge opportunity to utilise the several aspects of the country in the process of truly understanding the profundity of her music.
It is said that early men discovered the art of music by imitating singing birds. From there, various countries have got their own genre of music according to their geographical location, weather conditions, and lifestyle. Indian music has got its heritage in the Indian folk and classical saga. The country is privileged with her amazing geographical location which enhances the variety of weather conditions. This, in turn, has given rise to variety in the type of music in the different states.
The dry weather of Rajasthan ignites the high ranged voice of Rajasthani singers, that creates the signature mood for their folk songs. Apart from the location, the country happens to shelter twenty-two official languages which give birth to folk songs of various languages and styles. For instance, Garba and Doha for Gujarat, Sambalpuri for Odisha, Mahiya for Punjab and Baul, Bhatiyali for Bengal. All of them represent the features and tales of their own state.
Concentrating on the classical genre, the two major traditions followed here are North Indian classical or Hindustani music and South Indian classical or the Carnatic music. Originating during the Vedic age, this vast ocean of classical music defines harmony from its very first brick of construction.
Leaving this great world of music inside the country, the trend has been like overlooking the Indian genre and being biased for the western. English as a medium of language in most of the schools and colleges could act a little as a cause behind the same. But somewhere, the in-depth study of the country’s heritage is getting less priority in the stream-based higher studies.
A biography of Michael Jackson says that Joe Jackson used to tell his sons, “Eat pure and you’ll sing pure“. Being the kids of sixties, the Jackson brothers could probably take the advice and grow up to be essentially great musicians. But now, the craving for KFC and McDonalds plays a great role as a distraction for the ‘wanna-be’ singers. Why a distraction?
Come on! You know what pure food means. And all thanks to globalisation for welcoming the distractions in the country or else, which ‘cool’ teen listens to Rafi’s Chaudhvin Ka Chand Ho in the place of Sheeran’s Shape Of You?
Globalisation and Indian music are co-related; with the soft power of the globalised music strongly affecting the mass’ interest in the latter.
Taste of music could be different for different people. But the interest to exclusively explore the ‘Indian music’ is rare in the society. Songs of today, influenced by the world music and modern techniques, somehow fail to create an everlasting impact. The emotion of the song seems to be lost in the crowd of several ‘takes’, inside the enclosed studio, technical sound of instruments and the commercial mentality.
To be honest, it feels embarrassing to attend an Indian classical concert where a majority of the audience is from foreign countries. Sadly, Indian music is that immensely enriched mine that is still undiscovered and overlooked by the Indians themselves. If we stop drifting and copying western styles of music, it’s still not late to put this genre at the top of the world music.