Sense of Sound: Assignment 1

I mean, the genuine roots of culture is folk music.

-John Lydon

John Lydon very accurately states the importance of traditional music the quote above. Traditional music has been an integral part of India’s rich culture for so many years now. This music has undergone various changes over the years and has come to point where it is valued by some and also abused by some.

Traditional music was a very important factor in defining societies. This happened because every region in India made their own kind of music which was mainly because of the different instruments they used in these different parts. These instruments were different because all the instruments were made from natural things that were available in these regions. Thus, explaining why the music was different in every region.

Traditional music was also always used in times of celebrations and festivities, thus playing an important role in defining the culture of different regions. Over time, this music has now evolved into something completely different. This change began in Goa when colonialism began and Westernisation prevailed over India.

Simultaneously, a completely different genre of music was building up in the Goan communities. This was due to multiple things happening simultaneously such as technological advancement, westernization, the hippie movement. The hippie movement started in the United States and these hippies migrated to Goa which influenced the music in Goa. This genre came up to be known as Goan Trance. This wasn’t only a change in music that took place but was part of a bigger movement.

Goan Trance brought about several changes in the society. Hippies rejected established institutions and rules. They believed that the dominant culture was already corrupt and there was a need to break free from these rules. This was where it all started. Trance became more and more popular and so did the ideas of the hippies spread further. This brought about a shift in the mindset of the younger generations and nowadays, sometimes these ideas are misinterpreted and thus misused. This misinterpretation is very evident when it comes to the usage of drugs. Drug usage and intoxication in trance concerts, now seems like a necessity to some. This is where we go wrong.

International artists have now been performing at concerts in India for quite a long time. It started off because people wanted to see these artists perform live in front of them. This created a very different feel in listening to the music naturally because of the ambience and surroundings. Therefore, people went to these concerts to ‘listen’ to music. I remember when I had once gone for a Bryan Adams concert. The crowd was ‘sober’ and yet energetic. This is one concert I found extremely entertaining and a major part of this was because of the ambience.

However, when I went for Zedd’s performance soon after in Bombay, I really did not seem to enjoy the concert as much as I enjoyed the previous. I had all my friends around me falling on each other, the entire venue smelling only of weed and people just losing their minds over getting more drinks. This wasn’t even close to what I had expected of this concert. More than enjoying the music, I had to make sure that a couple of my friends dont end up brawling with some other drunk guys. This is what every EDM concert is now headed to. The first thought that people get when they hear about a gig is ‘let’s get drunk’ or ‘let’s get doped’. Is this what music is really about?

The issue with this is that, since EDM has evolved and developed into such a large genre, it has started affecting all the other genres too. So nowadays, people assume that every concert is meant  for the same purpose — to get intoxicated. Certainly, there were concerts that were meant to have intoxicated people to enjoy the music and ambience, but the problem occurs when people apply the same concept to every concert. I believe that this is where we flawed and thus are truly missing  out on the experience that music is meant to provide us.

To conclude, I believe that this trend is still in change and eventually people will truly understand the experience that they are missing out. Music has a certain quality and expression that cannot be replaced by any kind of intoxication, and when people do realise this, this trend will once again begin to change. Finally I would end by quoting:

“Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without.”

― Confucius, The Book of Rites

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