The purpose of establishing SURANJANI MUSIC ACADEMY is to spread among everyone the Truth that Music plays a very important role in our lives. We are always not aware of this; but Music always remains in the background, ready to nourish us, enrich us and help us to live a better life, only if we turn sincerely towards it. It has been said that Man does not live by Bread alone. Intellectual and positive emotional stimulations are equally necessary. Music can provide them very easily for us if we only care to pay a little more attention to the magical and transformative powers of Music, especially Indian Music. We in India are fortunate that our Music builds a bridge between the Secular and the Religious. Music has always been inextricably entwined with Religion in India. Throughout the centuries the Culture of Music (Vocal Instrumental and Dance) was centered round Temples, patronised by Rulers of the land. This traditional and sacred Music had the sole purpose of worship of Temple Deities. But Music always had another side to it — Music cultured by the general masses of the country. The Temple Music was in the capable hands of the Brahmin Priests of different Temples throughout the land. They alone were responsible for maintaining the purity and propagation of this genre of Music through the ‘Guru-Shishya-Parampara’.
They practiced both the theoretical and practical aspects of Temple Music. This tradition was alive until the Muslim invasion of India. Muslim Rulers ascended the throne in Delhi. Due to this disturbance, the whole system fell into disarray, Music of Ancient India, also known as ‘Hindu Music’ was lost forever. Temples were destroyed; Royal patronage provided by Hindu Kings disappeared; only some vestiges remained in the Southern part of India. This Ancient Hindu Music lost purity in North India due to it’s inevitable mixing with Persian Music which the new Rules brought with them. This fusion ultimately gave birth to what is known today as Hindustani Classical Music. Some styles of local music were incorporated into this new music. The new rulers appreciated the practical aspect of Music but theoretical study was sadly neglected.
Carnatic system of Music remains outside our purview though it may be referred to if necessary.
We believe that this background shall give one a very basic idea about evolution of Music in India. Doubtless, this is a vast subject and we hope to delve deeper and deeper into it as we progress. Our special emphasis shall be on Vocal Music, but without some discussions on Dance and Instrumental Music, the picture can never be complete.
But being from Bengal, our first love is of course Rabindra Sangit; so we propose to undertake an in-depth study of Rabindra Sangit along with a detailed history of the Tagore family. We intend to bring out a book also. We shall try to keep the discussion bilingual though these topics are best expressed in Bengali. We desire to put out an English version for those who do not understand Bengali but are mesmerised by the beauty of Tagore Songs. It is a complete world of it’s own with unimaginable variety in lyrics, tunes, use of ragas & talas, style, philosophy and religiosity. It also has its own Gharana, replete with special characteristics, which distinguish it from other types of Music. Just like Classical Music, Music of Tagore can be learnt and understood only through rigorous training under teachers who are really proficient and knowledgeable. We shall try to make our own limited effort to impart lessons on various aspects of compositions of Rabindranath Tagore through this platform. In many ways Tagore songs can make us feel joyful and contented, inculcate higher thoughts in our minds, make us fearless and ready to take on the challenges that life throws at us on a daily basis, make us overall a better person.
Another important topic we want to discuss is the technique of Notation writing. Also, the ability to read at sight the notation of a song or melody can broaden the scope of a performing musician. The importance of Notation System cannot be over-emphasised. This system has a long history in India which shall be presented in brief.
Music Therapy is being used throughout the world in adjunct with medical treatment in an effort to improve and treat psychological maladies. A huge section of the population today is suffering from depression and other mental ailments. Our music has a rich potential which is now being slowly exploited through studies throughout the world. It is being observed that Raga Music has immense capacity to influence the human mind in a positive way, thereby improving the quality of life. Songs of Tagore can help us tremendously in our efforts to help people in crisis as they contain lyrics suitable for nearly every situation of life, accompanied by appropriate melodies. This combination never ceases to surprise and comfort us.
We shall try to find out how the natures of different Ragas affect the mind and the body. People suffering from different types of physical distress can also benefit from listening to relevant music with full attention.
Music in India is closely related to Religion. So some religious discussions would not be out of place. Discussion on music and religion when undertaken simultaneously may provide some aid to positive thinking, lateral and creative thinking. Indian Music can be used with advantage in the search of non-pharmacological ways to help us solve our problems.
Last but not the least, all Indians should feel proud about our rich heritage. Let us now surge towards a bright future.
You are invited to participate in this Journey.