I watched a tamil movie produced by Prakash Raj last night-- 'Mozhi'. It was a story of a young woman 'Archana' ,who was born deaf and dumb , who didn't appreciate speech,who did'nt understand music and who falls in love with a man of music, a keyboardist. Well, it was a neatly crafted movie with humor aplenty. If you haven't watched it yet, I might recommend it.( Warning: Dont expect some intelligent thinking or curious plots. Its not of that class. Just enjoy it!).The movie however resounds an important thought that i want to discuss about here. The idea of music as a language rather than just a form of sound delivery. The idea of music as a medium of instruction rather than a mode of entertainment.
Music has been the friend of man since time immemorial. It is still not very certain regarding the origin of music amongst human beings. Besides in my opininon such information might only serve as valuable piece of historical information and no more. Because unlike the art of writing or engineering , 'an-ear-for-music' cannot be taught and does not go down through generations. Its more instinctive than intellectual. Although the art of creating good music can be taught. Not the way to appreciate it. May be thats why even a small kid in Algeria can get turned on listening to M S Subbalaxmi, or an old man in Taiwan listening to David Gilmour.
No, I am not suggesting that 'an-ear-for-music' has nothing to do with the culture of individuals. It is very much the case that culture, profession and standing in the society define the level and the timbre of music somebody appreciates. However , I would first want to distinguish between people who can listen to music and enjoy it and the ones who can listen to music and feel its message and hence enjoy the feeling. These are two categories of individuals in the world. And I would be compelled to refer to the former as 'Music-Deaf' (Kindly distinguish these from the 'Tone-Deaf' )
I meet numerous Music Deaf people all around me everyday, who appreciate "Kabhi -Kabhi' because its catchy and easy to remember, who like A R Rahman because his tunes are 'different' from the rest, who like ' Metallica' because they are 'heavy' , who like 'Harry Belafonte' because he is 'funny' , who like Nirvana because Kurt Cobain was a 'true' rockster, who like Roger Waters because he goes well with Dope and who like Joe Satriani because his fingering is very fast and Bhimsen Joshi because he can hold his breath for long.
But many times (although rarely) I meet those who can see the 'Mozhi of Music' . They can see the image each tune conjures up in their minds. As if each song were telling them something about life. As if each section of a stanza in (irresepective of the language or the content of the lyrics) can mean something. The feeling is the same world over. Perhaps thats why we have chord notations like minor , major or diminished. Because when you play a major , world over anybody who has the 'an-ear-for-music' will feel a positive message, a diminished will create a feeling of sinister or a feeling of depraved sorrw etc.
Whales are supposed to be the only other mammal on earth, capable of singing. But humans cant understand their music. This brings me to a thought that Human-Music is probably the only true universal language of humans cutting across all lines of political , religious, racial and enconomic barriers. If we went world over , a man of music can easily speak to another, irrespective of cultural differences. Music creates a higher world order. Music is the solution !