Myth: Playing of Indian Classic music kills Corona virus in the surroundings.
Truth : Forget about killing, there is no evidence to suggest that Indian classical music has remotely disturbed the cellular composition of the virus.
A time may come when WHO delivers the above message to our cell phones. I would agree with it, in spite of being a part time devotee of Indian classical music.
However, haven’t we heard time and again that music has healing powers. Here I don’t agree. Let me tell you why.
People say reading is good for mind. But we forget that out of the billions of books available today, both online and off line, 99% are either propoganda material or outright lies. Sometimes propaganda materiel may masquerade as a masterpiece. Mediocre works make it to the best seller lists. This happens because vested interests have been pumping billions of dollars in marketing and awarding those who write stuff the way they want. Moreover, due to the ease of self publishing, there has seen exponential growth in poorly written books. The percentage of books that would enrich you mind, soul and language skills is getting reduced day by day. Thus, reading from a random choice books may in fact harm your mind.
Same is the case with music. On 31.12.2019 in Goa, three prospective young revelers of the EDM (Electronic Dance Music) Festival died while waiting in the queue to get into the venue. Even though it is not the music that kills people directly by its sound vibrations, deaths related to the festival is not uncommon through out the world. Somewhere the sound effects must be aggravating the ill effects of the hallucinating drugs that the attendees usually take.
EDM is an extreme form of western music. Of course the west too has its form of classical music. I talk of western music in this post because it will give us a better perspective to understand Indian Music. I am also not trying to prove that any type of music is better or worse than the other.
You will be surprised to know the connection of music with our geography. The climate of the west is cooler and their classical music is more contemplating and stimulant. Our climate is hot and our classical music is more meditative and calming. This relationship of music with geography was so well recognized by the exponents of Indian classical music that each raga of Indian classical music is closely associated with not only a particular season, but also a particular time of the day.
Basically music is a mood enhancer. The background music of even your cartoon serial is not just any kind of music. The makers hire expert musicians who understand the nuances of the musical notes to create the desired emotional effect. Watch a cartoon show or even a Charlie Chaplin movie alternately in sound and mute mode and note the difference.
Dusks are usually depressing times. You are tired. The sun light is fading away. You can even sense the lack of freshness in the air. To balance this you need music that is full of hope and cheerfulness.
Imagine this scene before the advent of electricity. The sun has set. Nocturnal insects have started making sounds to make their elusive presence felt. People have lit lamps on their doorways. The sounds of bells from a distant temple is wafting through the darkness. It is time to meditate. It is time to take care of one’s unknown fears. You need music that make you meditative. You need music that stops the restlessness of your mind. If it is a summer evening the music needs to be more soothing.
After a good night’s sleep you wake up to a new day filed with new hopes. Now you don’t need any depressing music to contrast with your mood. You need music that complements your mood and at the same time curbs your over enthusiasm.
It war time. This is not the time to experiment with the nuances of the classical music. You just need sounds. Deafening sounds to drown your fears and kill any worry about the future.
However, in such times too, after the warriors were done with the day’s battle, the north Indian kings of those times must have ordered for Raag Bhagyashree (Neelambari in case of south Indian Kings) to calm their restlessness minds and have a good night’s sleep so as to face the next day with refreshed energy.
Even though I have described myself as a self-styled hardcore fanatic of Indian classical music, neither am I a connoisseur, nor any kind of an exponent. I am as ignorant about the technicality of music as any one who has not studied music. But somehow I have been able to connect better with Indian classical music and to some extent with Indian folk music than other kinds of music. My practice of yoga and meditation may have something to do with this. But I am not sure.
Times are such that there is no escape from the C word. Take for example the YouTube. Even if you have been careful enough not to watch anything related to Corona for a couple of days, its algorithm assumes that you are a hard core fan of the virus by birth and it is hell bent on suggesting you the most gruesome C related video. In times like these, it was a pleasant surprise when YouTube, the other day, out of compassion suggested me the following video.
In case you want preliminary understanding of the technicalities of Indian classical music you can watch this series of videos. The presenter has an uncanny way of making laymen like me understand the nuances of music.
YouTube is full of videos of classical music claiming to cure specific diseases. Of course I will accept such healing claims only after WHO approves these. But the positive effects of right kind of music on our physical well-being cannot be denied for the simple reason that music is a mood enhancer and positive mood has the power to boost our immune system.
In times like now I would recommend Indian classical music over any other type of music because of their meditative and calming effect. Most of you must be following some sort of preventive measures in terms of food and physical activity. Maybe, you could include a dose of Indian classical music to your daily routine, at least during this period of lock-down.
At any cost be careful of what you allow your ears to listen for a prolonged period of time. Remember, if reading provides food for our thoughts, music fuels the intensity of our emotions.
PS : This is the third post of my April A to Z challenge 2020. My theme this year is Mera Gaon Mera Desh where in I explore facets of India and some places in India I have been closely associated with. All posts of the AtoZChallenge can be accessed here.