One is such a significant number. We always cherish our ‘firsts’ — our first birthday, first best friend, first time we meet our special someone, first holiday, first prized possession. And topping my list currently is me being thankful and glad for being a part of your lives and THE TEENAGER TODAY family, for a year now! One beautiful year in which I hope I have enriched your minds musically.
Talking of firsts, one of the happiest moments of my life was when my parents gave me a double surprise — my very own guitar and a tabla set on the same day! I still remember strumming the guitar incessantly and staying up late at night trying my hand at the tabla. I am essentially a vocalist, but playing these instruments is the joy of my life.
Instrumental music, i.e., Vadya Sangeet, has a very significant role in music. In Hindustani music, sangeet is defined as an amalgamation of vocal music, instrumental music and dance. Hence, instruments are one of the three important aspects of music. I am sure you will all agree that music is incomplete without the string, percussion, wind and other varieties of instruments. Indian Classical Music (ICM) has a long-accumulated heritage of over thousands of years. While the precise date of when these instruments were created cannot be stated, one can find innumerable references in ancient texts that date back to 5000 BC. Humans have always drawn inspiration from the surroundings, nature and situations. Necessity is the mother of all inventions, they say. The creation and development of music instruments must have followed a similar path. It is said that the primitive bow and arrow used by tribes to hunt, inspired the creation of string instruments that are played using a bow. Stone, wood, bamboo and animal hide were easily available to create more varieties of instruments, which later evolved into more refined designs as compared to the pre-historic versions. Harappa and Mohenjodaro are known to be the ancient civilizations of India. Discoveries of sculptures and pictures have references to different music instruments that were mainly used for religious gatherings and festivals.
Music in ancient India was not as it is today. It was practised only for devotional and religious purposes or on occasions of mass celebrations in the form of folk music. In the later centuries, singers and musicians were patronized by kings and Indian music was confined to the royal courts and gatherings. Thus, music was an indulgence and revered by the chosen few. While the Mughal Emperor Muhammad Shah (18th century) is said to have been one of the last emperors to have famous musicians perform in his court, the epicentre of music and art was Tanjore in South India.