Sunday, December 09, 2007

The Eigth Note

There was an article in The Hindu based on an interview with Ustad Amjad Ali Khan. It has a reference to a discussion on science, technology and music. The Ustad goes on to say that “It [science] simply lacks the human touch. Despite the innovations and mechanisation, science has not been able to push the envelope and discover new musical note,” Very true, did you say? Big deal, nor has Philosophy for instance. Nor has Sociology.

For that matter, even music itself has not created a new note!!!

Let alone a new note, compared to the already existing ragas, hardly any new ragas have been created. You talk about that to a musician and he is likely to say, “A life time is not enough to explore the possibilities of a handful of Ragas. Where is the need for new ones?” Ditto notes. See the Ustad’s own opinion on the subject.

The point is that some people feel threatened by science or technology. They want to take pot shots at science and/or technology without any provocation. This seems to be such a case. Those taken unawares, do believe the Ustad’s statement, I am sure, without asking further questions. This is akin to a hunter shooting a sleeping tiger. Even in that despicable so-called-sport there is are traditions and conventions that govern what is honourable!

Make no mistake. I am a great lover of music – all music. If it makes any difference, I have even played the Tambura (Tanpura) for the Ustad, for his concert in the
Mysore Palace a couple of decades ago.


  1. Anonymous4:59 am

    Hey Anil,

    I'm afraid I have a bone to pick with you on this... the Ustad is only taking a "pot shot" at Science and Technology in a very narrow sense ie,from standpoint of creating (or not creating in this case) any thing new IN MUSIC..but you are making it look like he is "dissing" Science in I right or.. am I right???

  2. Dear Anonymous, I was only taking the opportunity provided by the Ustad to air my view/observation on the state of affairs in general.

    SO, you are right and you are right.

    What is dissing anyway? I am a bit of a dinosaur when it comes to these stuff. :--)