Fete de la Musique at Shridhar University Pilani Rajasthan

Rahat Fateh Ali Khan at the launch of his albu...

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By Prof. B R Natarajan

Pilani, Rajasthan, June 24, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio) Many countries across the globe observed June 21 as the World Music Day. The legacy originated in France with Fete de la Musique, a music festival that began in 1982 due to the initiatives by Jack Lang, the French Minister of Culture. However, it is said that the American musician Joel Cohen had put the idea in 1976 itself. Incidentally this year June 21 also happens to be the Summer Solstice for the Northern Hemisphere resulting in longest day and shortest night thus adding mood to merry making.

Music can bond us irrespective of who we are, what we are and where we are. It’s a source of entertainment as well as platform to put across past, present and future messages. Music is a factor that binds the world together irrespective of the cultural diversities and is the platform to unite for a cause like lead artists joining hands to sing "We are the World" for raising funds. India being a land of diversity with varied cultures, traditions and art forms, every region has its own unique musical form. As much as the western world has a variety such as Country, Metal, Rock, Punk, Disco, Funk, Pop, Reggae etc, India has a whole spectrum including Hindustani, Carnatic, Bhangra, Bhajans, Ghazals, Qawwalis, Indi-Pop, Folk, Tribal, Film Songs, Remixes, Fusion and what not. For Indians music is divine and several Indian gods are always depicted with their accompanying musical instrument like Shiva with Damaru, Saraswati with Veena, Krishna with Flute, Vishnu with Conch etc.

Way to Transform Shridhar University Pilani Rajasthan observed World Music Day on June 21, 2011 in the administrative block conference hall. The proceedings were anchored by Prof BR Natarajan Pro Vice Chancellor who addressed the students and faculty on the importance of the day, its origin and emphasized that music alone was the way to transform mind, body and soul simultaneously. After the audience listened to Vedic chanting from Yajur Veda Samhita, Prof Natarajan pointed out that it  will not be an exaggeration if it is said that Vedas are indeed considered as the progenitor of all  music on earth. It was an eye opener when Prof Natarajan pointed out that the Frost School of Music.  University of Miami was the first in USA to offer a BS and MS in Music Engineering.

It is indeed a matter of pride that Shridhar University Pilani right in its very first year has attracted students not only from Rajasthan but also from various states of India which include West Bengal,  Assam, Jharkhand, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Maharashtra and Uttarakhand.

The highlight of the Music Day celebrations included a telecon address by Harish Sivaramakrishnan a key member of the AGAM the contemporary rock band from Bengaluru which is one the winners of the Band Hunt Reality Show "oohlalala" judged by none other than music maestro Oscar – Grammy award winner A.R Rahman. Agam team members are indeed techies in lead companies in Bangalore by day and rockers by night. Their music encapsulates the boundless, vibrant emotions of the human psyche as well as explores, depicts and contemplates these countless aspirations and sentiments of the inner self. Their music truly combines the myriad hues of melodic scales and intricate rhythm structures offered by carnatic music with the aesthetic principles and tonal elegance from western world. Harish urged the students to identify their passions and explore the same way in which he and his band members did at BITS Pilani during their student years.

Rahul Milton staff from the university who is a regular in captivating the audience in various functions sang Aman Ki Asha from Shankar Mahadevan – Rahat Fateh Ali Khan album. The entire audience joined Rahul to sing Pal Pal Dil Ke Paas Tum Rehti Ho song from the 1973 released film Blackmail sung by Kishore Kumar which is still popular in India today.

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