Classical Indian Music, with its composite of raga, tala, rasa, and time elements, is thus the unique product of time and tradition of a sensitive people and their yearning for something more personal, more intrinsically human than the external world in which they live. Music and its refinements from this perspective is but one of the many attempts in mankind’s endeavour to achieve self-realization and satisfaction through a subjective exposition of that elusive concept of the human experience.
As Aldous Huxley astutely said in this connection, “After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music”. So it is, even to this day that we find ourselves distraught or depressed, and seek consolation, peace and harmony we turn to music. We discover the universal elixir, the most powerful aphrodisiac known to mankind, sprouting in the seeds of music. An enthralling and exhilarating experience.
The two systems of music, Western and Eastern have arisen independently and have been developed over different times and places in history. Each has existed and been used to fulfil the specific needs of its exponents and audience. While many practicing Western musicians perfect their execution of music that is composed and perfected in form before their performances, Indian music relies on its musicians to simultaneously, create, expound and to the best of their ability, their own irrationality within the context of various musical constraints.
Regardless of the path taken to achieve the goals of music, the efforts of artists and musicians must be admired. These inspired and enlightened souls from the East or West, strive to ideals of perfection and new means of expression creating new highs, soothing aching hearts, uplifting humanity and giving new meaning to the mundane.
We can be sure that the art and science of music will continue to forge ahead, etching out new frontiers in the realm of physical and spiritual expression, and we will all be better for it as its beneficiaries.