Music that divided, yet united

I began reading Jas’s blog quite recently. I love the topics that she writes about, ranging from funny and everyday to serious and political matters. I love the way she puts her thoughts forth in simple and clear terms, in easily understandable posts. It has always been a pleasure to read her, and share ideas and thoughts with her.

Some time back, I asked Jas if she would like to do a guest post on my blog, and she gracefully agreed. I had a finished post sitting in my e-mail pretty soon – about a very interesting observation: how music can divide and yet unite. Thank you so much for this, Jas. πŸ™‚

Without holding the mike any longer, here’s presenting the guest post to you, guys and gals.

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Music has always rated high in my list of leisure sojourns. A pair of headphones and my mobile are enough to invigorate the dullest of my days. The world around me moves in slow jazz; the only thing I can hear at times is the guitar in the background rather than what my son is demanding with flailing arms. Music merges the boundaries – that’s what they say.

I am surprised, though, why I have never attended any concerts. Maybe it is the calm that comes with music that I like and not the huff and puff that one usually encounters at concerts. However, last Saturday was different.Β  While I was nursing my broken back (an old injury beckoned me), the rope of spoiling the weekend fun was strangling me slowly. Hubby was sitting close, reading the newspaper, when he casually mentioned the jazz festival at a stone’s throw from our house. The location in question is an amphitheatre inside a humungous mall, with ample space to sit, without any pushing and shoving. What’s more, it is beautifully surrounded by a sidewalk and is full of places for fine-dining as well as quick eating. I bounced back to life hearing that, but not without a painful shriek, thanks to the sudden jerk to my already bereaving back.

β€œLet’s go,” I said with shining eyes and pursed lips. After all, who gets to hear international jazz musicians just around the corner? Free entry and a place full of wonderful eating-out options were the key instigators, in case you thought that I am a curly-nosed jazz fanatic.

Hubby’s conked-out expression called for me to explain it further. β€œI will manage,” I reassuringly said, adding, “That’s better than eating your head and you suffering my bad jokes, right?” He liked the latter part, and we zoomed off to the mall in question.

Apart from the soulful music, I enjoyed the people watching at the concert venue. It was the perfect place to see so many varieties of people. The place was beaming, and it was not just youngsters who had dropped in to the amphitheatre to dance along. There was a whole generation of stiff upper lips and raised eyebrows who looked at your crying child as if you have committed a sin bringing him to an up-class musical do.Β  What I found most annoying was that the same bespectacled people, in their stiffly ironed and neatly folded clothes, who pretended that they understood jazz, were unable to give a thundering applause when the artists belted out one wonderful piece after the other. Their hands were glued to their armpits.Β  It was the youngsters, whom people mostly say don’t understand the ethics and sanctity of places, were the ones going all out with arms in the air, clapping and cheering to make the artists feel worth playing. Jazz – now, who says one needs to understand the type of music to appreciate it?

When the men on stage broke into an impromptu gig, the whole amphitheatre took notice and, perhaps, the passersby too. At that point, the lead pianist, who was actually the star of that evening, let the percussionist take all the limelight while just providing enough support with the right chords. The percussionist then handed the baton to the guitarist with thundering beats and then on to the vocalist – the atmosphere then had the synergy to transport you into a world free of dominions and umbrage. Applause and smiles broke out every which where.

I realised then that the air, the power, of music to lead you into a different world and the connection that you feel with the people around you, whether you know them or not. It does merge the boundaries – I know now why they say that.

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53 thoughts on “Music that divided, yet united

  1. Jas, wow I have no understanding of jazz but have been to musical concerts. And the atmosphere is charged and I love the whole feel of the place. Nice post! Looks like it is a season of Guest Posts for you ;-).

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  2. Loved this musical do πŸ™‚

    I have never attended any musical concert till date, but your rendezvous with Jazz makes me wish I get to attend one soon. I love how one with even an unpolished voice is lost in music.

    Beautiful post Jas and lovely of TGND to host her πŸ™‚

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  3. The conclusion is a tribute to music. It has the powers to erase physical, sociological and psychological boundaries. I liked the part when you blew the lid off the hypocrisy too. “Their hands were glued to their armpits.” Amazing description!

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  4. True. I’ve been to a few shows and as much as I Love the performances, I like to see the way people come there leaving behind all their inhibitions, just to enjoy themselves and attune to the music! πŸ™‚

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    1. Right Ashwini and it amazes me how easily and effortlessly people mix up in the surroundings that are in any other case would be alien. πŸ™‚ Thanks for dropping by Ashwini.

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  5. I like the energy of this post Jas.

    I understand about those stuffed shirts.. Why do they come at all for suche vents, if they cant go with the flow in the atmosphere?

    I wish I can attend one, and feel all those musical vibes.

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    1. Thanks GA πŸ™‚

      Well I don’t know why they come but they sure behave snobbishly which is so unlike the atmosphere.

      i wish every indian city has something like this. It is a rarity as of now.

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  6. I absolutely agree! Like what Amit said, anything that uplifts me works well for me. It could be hard rock that will jolt me out of sleep in the morning or something soothing when I return. Your post reminded me of the small cafes K and I frequent in places we travel where there are vocalists and guitarists (sometimes solo) and you have some amazing mix of spanish food, singaporean drink and mexican music. And we only have to look around to see that people from Newfoundland are enjoying it.

    Really enjoyed reading this Jas! And another plus for good food + music πŸ˜›

    TGND, thanks so much for having Jas here. Was really good to read her here as well πŸ™‚

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    1. Thanks Toffee πŸ™‚ That is the power of music… everyone swaying to the same beats without thinking even once what place, color, caste or nook of the world you belong to. Seriously a world free of dominions…

      And good food with music is a combination that is impossible to beat, right πŸ˜€

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  7. I have attended a few classical music concerts here and I find that I am able to appreciate it more now, than earlier. I wonder, if age has to do anything with the kind of music we enjoy and appreciate! I have no idea about Jazz, maybe you can write a small introduction to it in your blog?

    Destination Infinity

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    1. DI even I don’t have any idea about Jazz.. πŸ˜› That’s why I said “Jazz – now, who says one needs to understand the type of music to appreciate it?” So you can imagine how blindly I went for the concert with the sheer thought of listening to whatever comes my way…

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  8. In the past, I have been to a couple of jazz events, and how you explained the people, the limelight and ending of the Jazz music is exactly how I experienced it. Admittedly, I haven’t been recently – that is only because of time constraints. That said, reading you blog post here, brought back those memories.

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  9. I know what u are saying. I have only visited one music concert and that was Zakir Husaain. Though that sort of music is latin & french to me but the way he played…wow!!! Everyone in the hall was enthralled we all were on same page!!!! Music is really something else!

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    1. That must have been amazing Smita… It is a completely different world… I guess now i will keep pestering my hubby and robbing his pockets for tickets πŸ™‚

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  10. I have never attended a jazz concert, but thanks to the Brats, I listen to Rock and jazz and all the other kinds of music besides. I have attended Carnatic and Hindustani music concerts though, but the atmosphere is completely different from a jazz concert. Music indeed unites people of all ages, size and colour. Hope your back held out and you were able to join the jig too πŸ™‚

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  11. I am with you Jas on hearing music notes from the most mundane things in life. Everything plays a song in my mind, I guess that’s why I started posting a song in every post I write on my blog.

    I have attended some concerts though I must agree any form of music that soothes you and cheers you up from inside is great πŸ™‚

    Loved…loved…loved this post!!

    P.S.- Hope your back is fast recovering. Get well soon buddy!!

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  12. Amazing post jas!
    Now i am going to do two things:

    1. I’m going to ask you to recommend some fine jazz music to me. I am into classics and rock.
    2. I am going for the next concert i can lay my hands upon!!

    B-)

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  13. Oh yes Jas I found to be a lovely person myself.. and why not she has promised to feed me he he he he and food is very important he he he he..

    Music is soothing..and jazz I have enjoyed a few times although I can’t say I understand it.. my best friend .. god bless him.. introduced me to jazz.. .. I saw this show in Canada and believe me nothing can beat it.. the hair on my neck rose.. it was a different environment.. and as you said the impromptu.. acts wow wowow wowow..

    Glad you enjoyed jas..

    And TGND thank you for hosting jas..

    You guys are awesome..yayyyyyyyyy

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    1. ya so you find me lovely only because I have promised you makki ki roti and saag ? πŸ˜›

      It was a superb environment and I wouldn’t miss it next year as well..

      Thanks Bikram πŸ™‚

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  14. An honest confession here there was a stage where I hated classical music. ( To say that after having learnt it for like years is bad I know :/) But you know as a child I found it very boring but one day my teacher took me to a concert where there were some 50 musicians from all over India playing classical music. That concert changed the way I saw it… I fell in love with it so much that I dropped my plans of not learning it any more.

    Loved your post Jas…it actually made me feel I was there in the concert… and I also believe like you that the musicians surely deserve a thundering applause for every performance as I know how it feels standing on a stage in front of so many people πŸ˜€

    TGND – thank you so much for this guest post as it gave me a chance to land up on one more interesting blog πŸ™‚

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    1. You hated it? πŸ™‚ well I still get a little bored by it but when I see camaraderie between the performing artists, my focus shifts and things start looking up.

      Thanks PT πŸ™‚

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  15. There was a time when I could not understand anything but Bollywood music. But then I opened up to other forms but without going into details and cramming names of the artists. Anything soothing works fine for me.
    Your post reminded me of the times Geet and I spent in a mall in Manchester where the food court had a small stage and everytime we had lunch there, someone was playing a piano or singing a romantic song. There were people from so many countries sitting there but everyone was happy and enjoying themselves despite their boundaries.

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    1. That’s exactly what I felt Amit when I attended this open music festival. And I am glad we have something like this in India too, a little new for people, where people can come together and enjoy.

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  16. Loved the description, Jas! same reaction here regarding Jazz.. πŸ™‚ I love music too (cannot understand western or rock, though) and completely agree about boundaries being merged and feeling a sense of euphoria when you are in the midst of the music you enjoy. Hope your back is better.
    Thanks, TGND for the guest post!

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    1. Thanks so much Uma πŸ™‚
      Music just submerges you and for a while you forget all else and that is the biggest high for me.
      Yes the back is fine and I am sitting upright, not to mention the exercise regime that has now started πŸ™‚

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    1. Thanks to you TGND for letting me hijack your space and for such a wonderful welcome too πŸ™‚

      No I don’t understand jazz but combine music with great food, I am all ears πŸ˜€

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  17. oh what a wonderful vivid description…

    @Jas: you understand Jazz..thats really cool…I dont think I understand the concept of it too much…but loved loved loved what you wrote πŸ™‚

    @TGND: Thanks for hosting her πŸ™‚

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    1. Thanks R’s mom

      As I said I don’t understand jazz but bring me any kind of music and I will be found lost in it. πŸ™‚ But please bar Altaf Raja and Himesh Reshammiya πŸ˜›

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