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Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Singing Superstar
Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Singing Superstar

Music - Highest Form of Worship

simplyskud Goldie
simplyskud
simplyskud

Joined: 16 December 2005
Posts: 1292

Posted: 14 March 2006 at 11:23pm | IP Logged

This thread is dedicated to every music lover. It contains articles and essays about scientists, poets, philosphers, writers, spiritual leaders, mathematicians and other luminaries who have had some tryst with music. For easy reference, I've linked the article to the proper page.

The updated line-up as of now :

Swami Vivekananda
Maa Saraswati
Albert Einstein
Leo Tolstoy
Pythagoras
Friedrich Nietzsche
Charlie Chaplin
Conversation of Tagore and H.G. Wells
Dr. Albert Schweitzer
Satyajit Ray - the master craftsman
Architecture as Music

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Here's the first one:

Swami Vivekananda

Smile Smile Smile

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Swami Vivekananda in a Beam of Musical Light 

by Prakash G. Burde
While researching for an article on Pandit Ramkrishnabua Vaze (1858-1943) — one of the foremost Hindustani vocalists belonging to the Gwalior Parampara, I stumbled upon a fascinating piece of historical information about Swami Vivekananda, which was either hither to unknown or simply ignored. I want to share this with the net surfers, particularly the readers of Kamat's Potpourri, as I consider the musical side of Swami Vivekananda (also known as Narendra Nath Dutt) in his short yet eventful life, very unique. For Swami Vivekananda, music "is the highest form of art and those who understand it, is the highest form of worship (for them)" (collected works V-125) Narendra Nath inherited love of music from his parents. While his father Vishwanath Dutt taught him rudiments of Dhrupad and Dhamar — the raga music of ancient India, while his mother Bhuvaneshwari Devi, taught him the music of lighter genre such as "Krishna-Leela" depicting the pranks of Krishna - the toddler. Swamiji's contemporaries, Swami Abhedanand and Shyamanand mention that Narendra Nath also had intense training from Beni Gupta, Ahmed Khan, and Chhote and Bade Dunni Khan. He also learnt to play the Pakhawaj, an ancient Indian drum held horizontally and played with fingers, while squatting on the floor. Before he turned twenty, Narendra Nath was an accomplished singer in Dhrupad and a much sought-after Pakhawaj player. He participated in several concerts in Kolkata, then known as Calcutta.


The Hindu Monk from India
The Hindu Monk from India
Painting of Swami Vivekananda from a calendar painting

It should not surprise many that Vivekananda besides being an excellent orator, was well versed in theatre as well. He acted as Abhedanand in Trilok Nath Sanyal's musical play "Nav-Vrindavan" and donned saffron robes. Perhaps it was ordained by providence as proved later that Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa, who witnessed this show was to be his mentor and saffron robes and asceticism became a way of life for Narendra Nath Dutt. There were two localities in Calcutta, which were truly famous as centers of east-west cultures. One was known as Duttapara where Narendra Nath Dutt lived; and a few furlongs away was Tagorepara, where Rabindra Nath Tagore lived. Many of Rabindra Nath's songs like "Gaganer Thale" in Raga Jaijaiwanti, a night melody, were musically set to tune by Narendra Nath, and his rendition of this composition made it sublime and ethereal. Rabindra Nath Tagore, himself a great composer, was later to become a precursor of the new "Rabindra Sangeet" – an amalgam of music of east and west and also of Carnatic music popular in Southern India. All this without naming Rabindra Sangeet as 'fusion music' which is ever so popular today! This new system of music created by Tagore is recognized by the All India Radio as light music. Ramkrishnabua Vaze (1858-1943) mentions about his visit to Swami Vivekananda's Bareilly Ashrama on his return trip from Nepal. Vaze was a guest of Swamiji and both of them indulged in vocal music every evening much to the delight of local connoisseurs. "... Swamiji would get up early in the morning, tune his two Tanpuras (Indian drones) and sing a morning melody Ahir Bhairav, specifically a Tansen Dhrupad composition, to wake up the Ashramites. The days I spent in the Ashram were simply unforgettable" Vaze remembers (Sangeet Kala Prakash II). Besides being one of the foremost spiritual teachers, Vivekananda made a profound and everlasting contribution to the revival of Hinduism devoted to the social development of the downtrodden. But at the same time it is regrettable to note that his other great gift, that of musicianship, was totally ignored by his followers. He wrote a book on Indian music "Sangeet Kalpataru" while he was barely twenty! While the first edition bore his name as the author, the later editions published by the same publisher Baishnav Charan Basak quietly dropped the author's name (Narendra Nath Dutt) perhaps under compulsion and changed the title to "Sachitra Vishwa Sangeet" edited by the publisher himself!



Edited by simplyskud - 24 March 2006 at 8:02am

vinayaktyagi Goldie
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Posted: 14 March 2006 at 11:25pm | IP Logged
Great article
Clap
Aap log aise articles kahaan se dhoond laate ho?
ms04 Senior Member
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Joined: 19 December 2005
Posts: 338

Posted: 14 March 2006 at 11:37pm | IP Logged
Wow....Thanks for the article, skud bhai.
I have read so much about swami vivekanand but never ever about his association with music. very good read...and great piece of info. thank you.
SolidSnake IF-Rockerz
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Posts: 6908

Posted: 15 March 2006 at 12:32am | IP Logged
It is really soul-stirring reading such articles. Wonderful. Clap
simplyskud Goldie
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Joined: 16 December 2005
Posts: 1292

Posted: 15 March 2006 at 12:34am | IP Logged

Thanks for the article, Abhi.

After Vivekananda's tryst with music, it's Einstein's turn.

Like I said earlier, music : the highest form of worship.

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A Genius Finds Inspiration in the Music of Another

By ARTHUR I. MILLER</>
Published: January 31, 2006

Last year, the 100th anniversary of E=mc2 inspired an outburst of symposiums, concerts, essays and merchandise featuring Albert Einstein. This year, the same treatment is being given to another genius, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, born on Jan. 27, 250 years ago.

 
 
HARMONY OF THE UNIVERSE Einstein, who learned to play the violin as a child and often turned to music in difficult times, was especially fond of the sonatas by Mozart.

 

There is more to the dovetailing of these anniversaries than one might think.

Einstein once said that while Beethoven created his music, Mozart's "was so pure that it seemed to have been ever-present in the universe, waiting to be discovered by the master." Einstein believed much the same of physics, that beyond observations and theory lay the music of the spheres — which, he wrote, revealed a "pre-established harmony" exhibiting stunning symmetries. The laws of nature, such as those of relativity theory, were waiting to be plucked out of the cosmos by someone with a sympathetic ear.

Thus it was less laborious calculation, but "pure thought" to which Einstein attributed his theories.

Einstein was fascinated by Mozart and sensed an affinity between their creative processes, as well as their histories.

As a boy Einstein did poorly in school. Music was an outlet for his emotions. At 5, he began violin lessons but soon found the drills so trying that he threw a chair at his teacher, who ran out of the house in tears. At 13, he discovered Mozart's sonatas.

The result was an almost mystical connection, said Hans Byland, a friend of Einstein's from high school. "When his violin began to sing," Mr. Byland told the biographer Carl Seelig, "the walls of the room seemed to recede — for the first time, Mozart in all his purity appeared before me, bathed in Hellenic beauty with its pure lines, roguishly playful, mightily sublime."

From 1902 to 1909, Einstein was working six days a week at a Swiss patent office and doing physics research — his "mischief" — in his spare time. But he was also nourished by music, particularly Mozart. It was at the core of his creative life.

And just as Mozart's antics shocked his contemporaries, Einstein pursued a notably Bohemian life in his youth. His studied indifference to dress and mane of dark hair, along with his love of music and philosophy, made him seem more poet than scientist.

He played the violin with passion and often performed at musical evenings. He enchanted audiences, particularly women, one of whom gushed that "he had the kind of male beauty that could cause havoc."

He also empathized with Mozart's ability to continue to compose magnificent music even in very difficult and impoverished conditions. In 1905, the year he discovered relativity, Einstein was living in a cramped apartment and dealing with a difficult marriage and money troubles.

That spring he wrote four papers that were destined to change the course of science and nations. His ideas on space and time grew in part from aesthetic discontent. It seemed to him that asymmetries in physics concealed essential beauties of nature; existing theories lacked the "architecture" and "inner unity" he found in the music of Bach and Mozart.

In his struggles with extremely complicated mathematics that led to the general theory of relativity of 1915, Einstein often turned for inspiration to the simple beauty of Mozart's music.

"Whenever he felt that he had come to the end of the road or into a difficult situation in his work, he would take refuge in music," recalled his older son, Hans Albert. "That would usually resolve all his difficulties."

In the end, Einstein felt that in his own field he had, like Mozart, succeeded in unraveling the complexity of the universe.

Scientists often describe general relativity as the most beautiful theory ever formulated. Einstein himself always emphasized the theory's beauty. "Hardly anyone who has truly understood it will be able to escape the charm of this theory," he once said.

The theory is essentially one man's view of how the universe ought to be. And amazingly, the universe turned out to be pretty much as Einstein imagined. Its daunting mathematics revealed spectacular and unexpected phenomena like black holes.

Though a Classical giant, Mozart helped lay groundwork for the Romantic with its less precise structures. Similarly, Einstein's theories of relativity completed the era of classical physics and paved the way for atomic physics and its ambiguities. Like Mozart's music, Einstein's work is a turning point.

At a 1979 concert for the centenary of Einstein's birth, the Juilliard Quartet recalled having played for Einstein at his home in Princeton, N.J. They had taken quartets by Beethoven and Bartok and two Mozart quintets, said the first violinist, Robert Mann, whose remarks were recorded by the scholar Harry Woolf.

After playing the Bartok, Mann turned to Einstein. "It would give us great joy," he said, "to make music with you." Einstein in 1952 no longer had a violin, but the musicians had taken an extra. Einstein chose Mozart's brooding Quintet in G minor.

"Dr. Einstein hardly referred to the notes on the musical score," Mr. Mann recalled, adding, "while his out-of-practice hands were fragile, his coordination, sense of pitch, and concentration were awesome."

He seemed to pluck Mozart's melodies out of the air.



Edited by simplyskud - 15 March 2006 at 12:40am
X-rebel IF-Dazzler
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Joined: 31 January 2006
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Posted: 15 March 2006 at 12:40am | IP Logged
Very good article. Thanks a million for it.
simplyskud Goldie
simplyskud
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Joined: 16 December 2005
Posts: 1292

Posted: 15 March 2006 at 1:07am | IP Logged
See like minds think alike !!!! Einstein and Abhi (two scientists - one a genius ... one's a budding one).

Smile

You know which book is my bible/Gita .... Douglas Hofstadter's "Godel, Escher and Bach". It's with me wherever I go, wherever I'm. Simply a fantastic book unifying everything under the sun.

Get hold of that if you haven't read it.

Wink

soulsoup IF-Dazzler
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Posted: 15 March 2006 at 2:06am | IP Logged
Clap
SkudBhai - Aise articles post karte rahoge - to mei sab chor ke parne lag jaunga - aur meri naukri geyi samjho!! OuchWink

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