We are truly social creatures now. Man’s dependence on others has reached exponential levels; also his connectedness. The time between one man’s thought and another’s benefit is drastically reduced. Also, time is no longer an absorbent or muffler that might diminish or soften harsh ideas or actions. This “real-time” action disables the possibility of meaningful action on individual level, drastically minimizing his area of influence. While it turns life into a queue or a traffic lane with little leeway for self-directed action (theirs not to question why, theirs but to do and die), greatest sufferers are those who dwell in the realm of creativity, imagination and ideas.
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I often wondered about the process involved in aesthetic experience. There are things that appeal to us naturally. If people we value appreciate the same thing we feel that our taste is commendable. Often such a taste goes against the preference of the masses. It was as student of literature that I developed an insight into the aesthetic process. Still, when it came to fine arts and that too music it became all too complex. A poem does not get fragmented when we talk about a particular image, but as we speak of a musical phrase we seem to undermine rest of the composition. More often than not, people find it difficult to pinpoint what musical part endears the whole composition to them. Further, to explain the combination of notes that would make a composition likeable is again a difficult thing. So, if we wish to tap aesthetic sensibility of children and nurture it along a desired direction what should we do?
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Names are like human beings, often helpful but at times deceptive. Ancient most Indian treatise records two kinds of non-percussive instruments – Veena and Venu. Wheras Venu or flute during its evolution changed little, Veena had a hundred avatars. In the twentieth century, when most of the Veena-s had vanished and remaining ones had carved an exclusive niche with unique names, there are still some instruments that despite some changes, have retained both the ancient essence as well as name. Rudra Veena and Vichitra Veena of the North, with slight modifications in design and embellishment are in vogue as Tanjauri Veena and Gottu Vadyam in South. However, the music system remains unchanged despite distinction in form. In India music like painting, theater and poetry has never been separate from ordinary routine of people. All knowledge is dedication of one’s talent, all talent a medium of sublimating one’s ego. Learning Veena is a constant flattening of one’s ego till gain of wisdom.
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In a world grappling with material, the concept of imperceptibility, invisibility and intangibility has slowly crept in. More and more activities, products and services are getting virtual. The materialization and later commercialization of music wiped out several traditions of musical practice. The nature of nation, society and family has been drastically overhauled with so-called empowerment of the “individual”. The price of such material empowerment has been paid by the individual in currency of emotional, intellectual and psychological balance. Fortunately, human life is governed by several factors. So while, technology and economic order pushes him in one direction, the local socio-cultural factors tend to retard the pull. There are some who ride the crest, while those in trough serve as anchors. It was decided by the supreme body that culture has an intangible side which needs concrete aid and support in order to maintain the essence of human nature – compassion, camaraderie and creativity. Indian music is best represented by the tradition of Veena-playing which involves performance, scholarship, innovation and crafting. For millenniums, it has retained continuity but the challenge of technology driven economy, which leaves little time to individual, is the toughest. It needs determination and concrete policy to keep Indian music in health.
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by Rajiv Trivedi
Consciousness, perception, reason, intelligence are concepts necessary to establish a relationship between man and the world. His senses help him in formulating such a relationship on basis of actions which involve classification; language is a tool developed for this purpose. This tool has limitations and thus representation of reality is neither precise nor permanent. It is not merely the inadequacy of language which gives birth to idea of intangibility; it predates language as essence of consciousness itself. It is that which vitalizes consciousness and propels one to know. On a practical plain, it represents that which is perceptible but defies quantification. One has to ultimately recourse to such terms as… Visit Omenad for full article.