Keyboards sounding death knell for musical instruments: Sharma

The music maestro feels that the original sound of an instrument cannot be reproduced on a keyboard.

"It is a sorry state of affairs. We have got so many instruments with beautiful sound that are no longer being used. They are getting extinct. The natural sound of an instrument cannot be reproduced on keyboard and people have started complaining about it," Sharma told PTI.

The 72-year-old musician, who composed for V Shantaram's 1965 film 'Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baje' and alongwith Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia created music for Bollywood hits like 'Silsila', 'Faasle', 'Chandni', 'Lamhe' and 'Darr', says he tries to avoid film music now-a-days.

"There is so much exposure that it is difficult to avoid film music. It is everywhere but what happens? You hear a song, which is soon replaced by another hit. There was a time when a song used to become popular on its merit. Now the story is different, the marketing is different," says the artiste.

Santoor, a folk instrument from Kashmir, was made popular by Sharma, who started learning it at the age of 13.

Sharma is credited for creating the "structure, technique and style" of the instrument. His musical legacy is now available with music company Saregama India, which has launched an 18-CD pack comprising all his music recorded with it till date.

"I was surprised to know that they had such a huge collection of my work. It is for my fans and the students of Santoor, they can access it all. It is also a great reference point for me, I can see my approach towards music in different times through this," says Sharma.

The Padma Vibhushan awardee, who has been teaching Santoor for the past four decades, says the government, corporate houses and media should come forward to help classical music.

"We musicians are doing what we can do but some effort is missing from the government, the corporate houses and the media. More effort is needed for the traditional art form which is not being done. Everything should not be thought from commerce point of view," says Sharma.

Another thing about the present generation that troubles the artiste is their perception that classical music is boring.

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