20 February 2007

Music and technique! Are they different??

It was one of those early mornings when I would sit with my teacher and get going with the learning for hours and hours that followed. A day would typically start with the raga I would be in the process of learning at that time, followed by a few new compositions in different ragas, which my teacher would say, "We will get in depth once you start learning this raga later". And this was how, I ended up learning more than around 25 ragas, although I can claim expertise in just one or two!

The initial hour would be all about letting out the musical feel, all the intense feelings I would have when I played the raga. While a raga like Yaman evokes a feeling of satisfaction, peace and serenity, there could be a Shivranjani that would plunge you into depths of sadness, poignancy and sorrow. Many a times it I would stop playing sitar and let myself out singing!! And it was one such fine morning when my teacher pointed out, "Looks like your music is more advanced than your sitar technique!"

I was perplexed. I gave a confused look. That was perhaps the first time I was really getting to understand the hairline difference between these two aspects of music. Music is what you "feel" and technique is what you "express"! And when one starts "feeling" more than he is able to "express", the difference starts poking in. The musician starts feeling restless, eventually leading to a vocal expression of the feelings.

I then started digging into the reason behind this. And then it turned out to be my own experiences with music which were far more matured than those with a new instrument like sitar. And that was when I resolved myself into developing my technique of sitar to an extent where I could express my feelings to the maximum possible extent.

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