Jump to content

"Forbidden" or frowned-upon fruit of music?


Recommended Posts

If there are competing interests manifesting in the assistant consciousness, are Sikhs restricted in giving musical expression to one or to the other?

(For instance, ominous foreboding i.e. dread versus uplifting soulfulness).

Perhaps the ragis or budding musicians/musicologists can shine some light on this (darkness?).

Are there forbidden notes/melodies? Why?

Thanks

Link to comment
Share on other sites

None at all.

Thanks for that.

While I find your statement reassuring, there remains some doubt because I recall the story of the guy who recited Chandi di Var in inappropriate circumstances, and was taught a lesson by the ghosts of some shaheedi Singhs. Presumably, their spirits were called to the spot by the sound vibrations set up by Chandi di Var being vocalised incorrectly.

Given that the whole of existence is simply a lot of sound vibration, and that creation is being enacted by sound vibration, it stands to reason that equipped with potent strains of music, we are all responsible for planting good seeds in the right places. This applies particularly in these modern times, when many of us have access to devices that can loop a melody an infinite number of times (like a mantar), at a much higher level of amplitude than any acoustic musical instrument, accentuating particular frequencies in a way that would be impossible with a group of musicians with their strings and winds.

Especially as the singing and playing of raag Bilaaval in particular was expressly advocated by Satguru Nanak Dev ji. That would seem to suggest an attempt to absorb and reflect a specific frequency of sound vibration in a beneficial communal setting (the sangat) which would also multiply its power.

Therefore, I put it to you again: are there religious restrictions on the music that a Sikh is allowed to play and compose?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You have to remember that both the lyrical composition and the musical aspect are equally important in Gurbani Sangeet tradition. Nothing 'negative' can be generated from singing Gurbani, full stop. The vibrations from specific notes (Ragas) may convey types of mood ie. Viraag for certain Shabads.

Bro, don't think you have anything to worry about, stop watching the Exorcist, lol.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You have to remember that both the lyrical composition and the musical aspect are equally important in Gurbani Sangeet tradition. Nothing 'negative' can be generated from singing Gurbani, full stop. The vibrations from specific notes (Ragas) may convey types of mood ie. Viraag for certain Shabads.

Bro, don't think you have anything to worry about, stop watching the Exorcist, lol.

You know, what you're saying makes perfect sense.

Although, I have a lot of trouble making the distinction that most people do: between the songfulness of non-vocals and the instrumentality of the human voice. To me, the human voice, whether in song or not, is just another type of musical instrument - a sort of blown organ. I would extend that to non-kirtan musical situations, or even situations where no music at all of any sort is intended.

With my pen I can draft a poem, and with my voice I can vibrate it by reading out the words. A conscious person could in theory sense where the most powerful vibrations in the poem are, and exclude all the other words from the poem. The result will be in the universal language. Then (in theory) I can take these vibrations and process them further, giving them life. When these take on a life of their own, perhaps you could recall their power by distilling the vibrations into a bij (seed) sound. Amplify that frequency with whatever technology you have - whether Cubase or subwoofer or didgeridoo, and the result (in theory again) would be incredibly powerful.

I can see your perspective though. You've taken the (correct) premise that the world is similar to some kind of hallucination, and the "negative" sounds are not negative because they are sounds, and the sound current is the root source of all existence and life. So what you're saying is that while a trained nose would respond with revulsion to skunk and its owner would be repelled by it, the skunk itself is harmless, hence the repellent quality is illusory.

Brilliant insight. Thanks Kaur.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Although, I have a lot of trouble making the distinction that most people do: between the songfulness of non-vocals and the instrumentality of the human voice. To me, the human voice, whether in song or not, is just another type of musical instrument - a sort of blown organ.

Absolutely. I find that stringed instruments convey the same amount of 'songfulness' as the human voice. The deciding factor as to whether the feeling is conveyed depends on the spirituality of the person singing or playing I guess. Sarangi is a Saaz which resembles the human voice most closely, so it's a brilliant instrument to sing with, especially in Shastriya (classical) Sangeet. Similarly, the spirituality and ecstasy heard from the flute (Hari Parsad Chaurasia's stuff) can sometimes make vocals fall short.

Although, I would say Bro, that versatility and fluidity (in terms of changing Ragas, swars, moods, emotion according to the different meanings of the Gurbani when singing 'parmaan') is found most in the human voice.

I guess music can be a blessing and a curse. The distinction is made by the lyrical composition, but we can't restrict that only to Gurbani. Certain qawaalis sung in the praise of Allah are spiritually uplifting, Baba Nand Singh Ji used to listen to Sufi qwaals with the same 'Bairaag' when they praised Allah as when they listened to Sant Sujan Singh Ji's amazing vocals.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...