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How To Fill The Generation Gap For Folk Singing

The need of the hour is for music lovers to become supporters and bring out the traditional sounds and melodies, blend them with the sound that will only enhance the original and not destroy it.

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Indian culture is very rich and varied. This richness lies in the sounds, the songs and the music across the different states. The traditional instruments, many of which are handcrafted, present the flavour of the local folk in all its purity. The beauty of the sounds of these instruments, the sensitive nuances, the melodies and modulations are amazingly phenomenal.

Though we all are aware of this and realise this, but very few of us have the time or the attention to absorb and enjoy these traditional sounds. Folk music of each area, speaks of its cultural heritage. Unfortunately, fewer presentations and performances are pushing pure folk away from the current scenario. I do respect the fact that to be able to sustain anything, be it sound or a product, one needs to imbibe and fuse with the current. There is no harm in doing that, as long as the purity of the original sound does not get diluted.  Fusion has become the word of the day. Fusion music is what is, today, connecting the younger generation to traditional sounds. Bollywood too has started using a lot of Folk music.

What is missing in all of this is the finer nuances in the performance of the lesser-known instruments. Be it the amazing different rhythms of the Nagaras, whether played in Rajasthan, Gujarat or Assam, the melodies of the Algooza, the double flute, which is traditionally played by the shepherds, or even the khartaal, which everyone is so familiar with. The Ek taara, a single stringed instrument, can produce any melody, the Been can take you into a trance and the Dhol from Punjab, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Assam can sound totally different representing the legacy they come from. Even the popular instruments are not getting enough bandwidth to be able to display their real forms. Folk songs are being sung but not in their original melodies. Every fusion is diluting the original flavour.

To have a happy marriage between the traditional folk sounds and the current listeners and the audience, we need sounds and songs, which are presented in a manner that the originality is not lost and the contemporary blend is complimenting. This will expose the younger generation to the true sounds of their own country. If not handled with care, there is a risk of losing many instruments and songs, which are a part of our cultural heritage. They will all soon be lost and forgotten.

The need of the hour is for music lovers to become supporters and bring out the traditional sounds and melodies, blend them with the sound that will only enhance the original and not destroy it.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


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Nanni Singh

The author is Chief Executive , Showcase Events

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