Thursday, 31 October 2013

Pure Music

These days there are so many choices for music lovers to enjoy music. modern technology has made available the I Pod and other devices for personalized music.We also have so many music channels on TV and a number of competitions on TV in national & regional channels.We can also go to live shows to enjoy music.
However, over the years there has been a change in the way music is enjoyed.It is no longer enjoyed exclusively.Today, it is almost invariably  with the visuals- accompanying dance, lights, the works. So in a live show, you not only get to hear songs but also acting & dancing skills.The game of cricket has changed over the years.Most people want to see 20-20 matches mainly & one day matches next with less & less takers for test cricket.It has also meant that the rules are increasing loaded in favour of the batsmen,  who are seen as providing the entertainment.Bowlers therefore have less opportunities to show case their skills.It is common to see them being hit "all over the park"providing entertainment to the spectators.The aspirations and skills  of bowlers are sacrificed at the alter of entertainment. Similarly today ,we cannot think of pure music without distractions from make up, costumes, dancing , lighting & other props of entertainment.

In the music reality competitions,  the total focus is not on the music but also on  the background of the contestants- Rich/poor/middle class? ,  Male//female, pretty/handsome/plain looking?, physically fit/fat /thin/challenged?Language/region from which contestant hails?, age - young/old ?
When all these factors come in to play,even the judges can be influenced by the impact of senses other than ears alone. Recently a judge of a competition on Tamil  Vijay TV declared " I know that many people feel I have a soft corner for ........  but I don't care! I am supportive because of her music.The question is why should it reach a stage when people start thinking on these lines.Actually, the problem was not so much  the admiration of  this judge for a contestant  but her blatant discouragement of another contestant hailed & acknowledged  even by a legend who had participated as celebrity guest.

To my mind the focus should be only on pure music.I am looking forward to the day when the contestants are not  seen by the judges who will know them only by their contestant number.The audience at the studio, the judges and all of us sitting at home can only listen to their voices- we will not know whether they are black or white, whether they are from the city or rural area, whether they are young or old, whether they are physically challenged or fit as a fiddle or whether the contestants have an attitude in their gait.The only attitude that will be known will be the attitude in their voice. In fact I remember seeing a reality show some time back on blind dating.The person choosing ( female) does not get to see the participants (male) who have to create an impression by telling about themselves.The audience can see the participants and pass comments encouraging or discouraging  the hidden date to choose the person as partner.

Focusing only on the music could  mean that the number of episodes will have to be shortened   with no opportunities for the dancing & other performances.It could mean lower TRP ratings since it is said  that " today people get distracted easily & that to retain their attention just music won't do".But then we may just be underestimating the power of music After all, come December, the annual  classical carnatic music festivals in Chennai featuring eminent singers  continue to attract devoted listeners year after year.

 TV channels , it is hoped will take up the challenge of promoting pure music- just pure music, only for the ears!  

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