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Music and "Keertan"


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Thank you the moderators for starting this sub-section.

Music is the organized movement of sounds and who has skill and knowledge of composing, conducting or performing music, is a musician. Composer is songwriter. Instrumentalist is the person who plays on any musical-instrument. Singer sings. So, composers, instrumentalists and singers, all are musicians.

If music is the organized movement of sounds, then "keertan" is worship of god with music. Music is a major component in Sikh-religious services and rituals. The Sikh-religious musician is called 'keertaniyaa'. It does not make any difference whether a 'keertaniyaa' is just playing on 'Tabla' or singing the gurbani.

It depends on a singer what he chooses to sing. He might choose a sad song or song about peace. He is free to sing a song of his own choice, or he would sing what the audience likes. He is not bound to sing songs of some particular songwriters or a specific book. But, a 'keertaniyaa' can sing only the gurbani, poetry of Bhai Gurdaas ji and Bhai Nand Laal ji. An ordinary singer just sings, but a 'keertaniyaa' worships and meditates. That is why a 'keertaniyaa' is always respectable in the Sikh society.

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