'There's no need to call music differently'

sarod maestro

'There's no need to call music differently'

Anyone who loves Hindustani music and enjoys soaking into classical ragas will appreciate Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, the sixth generation sarod artiste.

The musician, who is a master of his art, interacted with Metrolife when he was in the City recently, for a performance.

“I’m not here often but I always look forward to performing here. This is the best place in South India, where there is a balance of North and South elements. Bangalore sees a confluence of cultures,” says Ustad Amjad. 

He says that he has performed umpteen times with other musicians in the Mysore Dasara Festival and in the City at Chowdaiah Memorial Hall.

Talking about music, Ustad Amjad says that he hates the bifurcation of the art into ‘Hindustani’ and ‘Carnatic’ music. 

“There’s no need to call music differently. Hindustan is India and everything here is Indian. I have often suggested that the styles should be called ‘Indian Classical Music of North’ and ‘Indian Classical Music of South’” says the musician.
 The artiste states that there are two types of music in the world. “One is pure sound and the other is based on language. The first one needs the person to be really sensitive to sounds, to understand and appreciate them, while the other is easily understood,” he says.

Ustad Amjad feels that language creates barriers. “I’m glad that I belong to a world of pure sound. This gives me lot of peace and harmony. In our family, my wife, Subhalakshmi, and sons, Amaan and Ayaan, believe that we have a common god and a common race. I feel sad that in the 21st century, people are killing and hurting each other on the grounds of religion,” says the artiste. 

“Though we have education now, this scary attitude continues, which means that there is something wrong with our education system. Teachers at schools treat students as clients; commercialisation has affected everything in our lives,” opines Ustad Amjad. He also feels that though the country is progressing in many folds, basics like safety of women still remains an unexplored concept. 

“I feel that the mother is the first guru of her child. I have made it clear to Amaan and Ayaan that at every performance of theirs, they should be introduced as the children of Subhalakshmi and Amjad Ali Khan,” says Ustad. He goes on to add, “I’m glad that I come from a space where words do not matter and only notes do. But I feel sad that I am from somewhere where we praise and are ready to die for ‘Bharat Mata’, but where women cannot walk safely on the road.”

He hopes that the new government will be able to ensure safety for all the women in the country. “Incidents like theDecember 16 gang rape should be immediately dealt with, with serious punishment given at the earliest. It is sad that the judiciary is still thinking about what kind of punishment to dole out mto the perpetrators,” he concludes. 

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