Monday, August 03, 2009

Random thoughts on Music

This post lists few of my recent observations/thoughts related to music.

Found this old harmonium abandoned near a park in T.Nagar, Chennai. Felt bad for its sorry state. Playing an electric keyboard is not as much fun as playing a harmonium. Playing a harmonium with one hand (left hand) pumping air while the other (right hand) striking the reeds is a nice feeling. (Though left arm starts aching soon, if played continuously) But these are the days of electronic keyboard-no one likes the earlier bulky, heavy, mechanical and wooden harmonium. Owner of this harmonium who has disrespectfully discarded his musical instrument might have probably bought a new swanky keyboard. an old discarded harmonium I only wish he/she could have treated this harmonium with little more care and respect-may be repair and gift it to someone?

How much does a Piano cost?

The other day I was at THE YAMAHA SQUARE in Nungambakkam. (It is a showroom of Yamaha musical instruments, reportedly owned by Drummer Sivamani) The cheapest Piano there was costing close to 5 lakhs. I had no idea Pianos cost that much. A person who is in acquaintance with musical instruments told me there’re Pianos costing as much as 2 crores (available in same store)-Incidentally the price difference is due to quality of wood used which impacts quality of sound. Hmm… (Hotel Wallwood Garden in Coonoor had a person playing Piano to entertain guests-I’m just wondering what components of Buffet cost (Rs 500+taxes) is towards recovering money spent on Piano)

Basics of Western Music
I did study little bit of western music recently at a music school called Unwind Centre. Just managed to clear level 1. Got a good understanding of how western music is different from Carnatic music. (in brief Western music is polyphonic and has detailed notations to describe the usage of both hands, multiple notes at once, sustain, rest and so on. Carnatic music, which I had learnt informally during school days but now almost forgotten, is monophonic)

CDs soon to become history?

In other observation, the new Honda City 2009 doesn’t have a CD player. Is this an indication that CDs as a storage medium have become obsolete? Not so long ago many of us painstakingly converted our collections in the form of Audio cassettes into CDs. Now CD players are almost history. Well, our generation might not even have seen a gramophone. 4 years ago when I was travelling in bus for 1 hour one way many people had portable CD player and walkman to entertain themselves. Ipod hadn’t made its invasion yet then. Now CDs are also getting obsolete. What next?

Below is a file photo of a gramophone clicked en-route to Agra last year.
His Master's Voice Gramophones For 2 more photos click here
What else? Let the music play. If you've created some music you can share it on

Update: A comment received by a reader (Sundar) via mail:

Reminded of the words of the great Tamil Poet Subramanya Bharathi:-
“Nalladhor Veenai seyde; adhai nalam keda puzhuthiyil erivadhundo!”
(after making a beautiful Veena, will someone spoil it and throw in garbage?)"

Related: Book review: Raga Chintamani * Ban on Live music in Bengaluru * Swingers Dance show * Bagyada Balegara and Banigondu elle ellide (lyrics and translation) * Review: Unwind School of Music *


Mridula said...

I am tone deaf! And yet felt sad for the harmonium.

Mohan said...

A couple of weeks back we were at Bangalore central to purchase a Yamaha guitar... Ask me not the price about the piano in limelight which attracted my attention, I just couldn't believe what I was hearing :)

Quality decides the price in case of musical instruments atlest!

Sandesh said...

Never knew you had practised Karnataka shaastreeya sangeeta. Let alone western music...

Shrinidhi Hande said...

I'd learnt Shastriya sangeetha little bit during school days...don't know much, except for few somgs...

How much was it? Also, not just quality. Not many people buy them or it is not something that gets sold everyday, so they need to keep a very high margin to recover operating expenses.

me too..

Laurie said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Madhu Rao said...

It is sad to see a source of melody be relegated to a garbage bin.

Smarry said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Shrinidhi Hande said...

yes. very sad.
How's Indimag doing?

Madhu Rao said...

It's doing good Shri. Thanks for asking :-)

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Ok, Good to know.