Posted by: ajmithra21 | September 5, 2012

Feathered Musicians or Feathered Sound Engineers?

Good singers are very particular not just about the concert hall and its acoustics
but, they also are extremely sensitive in choosing
a good audio system that can enhance the quality of their singing..
Professional singers can be very choosy about their concert
since, that doesn’t happen every other day,
and singing is their bread and butter..
Birds have to sing to survive.
If they don’t learn singing right from their chick days,
they may end up starving.
Since, mother birds feed those chicks that are vociferous..
Singing for survival doesn’t end there..
The male birds, in particular need to practice for hours
to sing complicated song patterns to impress upon its mate.
For, the female thinks that the male which sings the most complicated songs,
have more responsibility in taking care of the family…
If that is the case, the males really needs to hone its singing skills.
Every morning he chooses a particular place ,
where he thinks that his songs can travel far and wide
to impress upon an eligible mate…
He does not just go and sit anywhere and everywhere to sing..
He is so choosy about the place from where he delivers his concert..
He needs to have a good ear to choose the place.
Since the acoustic of the area should be able to take his song to another level..
Birds like Sunbirds, Oriental magpie robins and Koels
that sing on higher frequencies choose the highest perch on a tree…
Birds like Stone chat, Tree pie and Common Iora
that sing on slightly lower frequency choose the mid range of the trees..
And Birds like Mynahs, crows and babblers
that sing on the lower frequencies choose anywhere below the midrange….
So, when you hear a bird song, don’t just hear it,
try and learn about acoustic too..
The properties or qualities of a tree , shrub or a canopy
that determines how sound is transmitted in it

Have a great day…

Posted by: ajmithra21 | April 25, 2012

Nominated For Versatile Blog Award..

Sister Lee of Lee’s Birdwatching Adventures  nominated me for this award. Thank you so much. I am trying hard and will keep trying to be versatile in everything i post in this blog. Thank you very much for all the support that the visitors have been giving.. Please stop by and share your comments..

I am to display the award in my sidebar:

Versatile Blogger
And then follow the Rules below.

Share 7 random things about myself:

Was a drug addict
God pulled me out of that pit to stand as His testimony                                         A musician who loves to hear&compose music using natural wildlife sounds                Bird sounds changed my life so much that I’m called a zoo musicologist  Learning so much about God through nature as a whole..                                       Love to share the Gospel through nature                                                                                         I love blogging..

Nominate 15 bloggers for the award. There are many great ones out there. Here is my list in no particular order.
1.   An eye opener to the Bible through the eyes of a bird watcher..
2. Christian Nature – See the glory of God’s nature
3. Birds ‘n Such – About bird watching, gardening and natural world.
4. Birds of the Air – Shots N’ Thoughts – Images by a Christian Photographer
5. Christian Naturalist – Enjoying Nature and the One Who Made It
6. Hangin’ Out With God and  Sandra Conner … By the Book, both by Sandra
7. Shares their travels on wheels
8. Morningjoy’s Weblog – Thoughts and photos to share with you
9. Nature In Us – Lover of God, nature, wildlife, birds, gardening, photography, simple living, etc.
10. The Birding Bunch – Amateur ornithologists with a Christian worldview
11. Two Birders To Go – Birder, photographer and occasional cynic.
12. Rumpy Dog – A dog with a unique perspective on human life.
13. Postcards for Colorado – the joy of seeing, capturing, and sharing the images of our daily surroundings
14. ForestForward – The Northeast’s Wildlife Photoblog.
15. PhotoBotos – Promise One Amazing Photo Everyday

The 6 Versatile Blogger Award rules are:

1. Nominate 15 bloggers for the award
2. In the same post, add the award
3. Thank the blogger that nominated you, and give the link back to their blog
4. Share 7 random things about yourself
5. Include the rules in the post
6. Inform every blogger that you nominated of their nomination by leaving a comment on their blog

Posted by: ajmithra21 | March 5, 2012

Amiable Amphibians…

Most of us do not know that frogs are our friends. If not for frogs, the insect kingdom hovering around our agricultural lands would have grazed down our food resources. Well, this disaster may soon happen , if we do not conserve our friendly frogs. Researchers say that, we may have to face a severe food shortage if the number of frogs dwindle. We  have lost lots of frog species so far, and the future looks bleak for many frog species. If we do not take serious and sincere steps, our future generation may not have a future with regards to frogs.. Here is a song sung by MCC Campus Matriculation School, Tambaram, Chennai on frog conservation which they sang on 19h February 2012 , the leap day at a frog conservation program conducted by the zoo out reach at the Aringar Anna Zoological Park, Chennai.. This is the school where i work as a music teacher.

Posted by: ajmithra21 | May 20, 2011

Music , the language of birds…

The appreciation of language depends upon the usage of music in a particular language.. The more musical the language, the more pleasant it is.. A receptionist’s handling of language cannot make her a successful lecturer and a lecturer’s handling of language cannot make the lecturer become a successful receptionist. The proportion of music differs between a receptionist and a lecturer..

There are two ways of asking your friend not to come to your house.. One is, ” Don’t come to my house” and the other one is, “I’m sorry.. I’m busy right now.. Can we meet later?”.. They both can bring different reactions when handled by different people…

Try reading the following sentence by stressing different words each time..”I came to your house yesterday”.. They would sound different from being polite to being rude.. The proportion of tonal quality, which means that the proportion of music makes the difference… In short, music plays a vital role in the appreciation of language..Most people feel that, music precedes language..

But, when it comes to birds, they have music itself as their language..Be it poetry or music, If given a chance, i can prove through audio files that poets and musicians, without their knowledge have taken inspiration from the song patterns of different song birds and reproduced them in their works…

Hence i always feel that bird songs are not just songs, but it is the language of the survived used for their survival.. If male birds doesn’t know how to sing, they would surely end up staying a bachelor all through their lives.. Without a mate, there would be no reproduction and without reproduction the world would end up in chaos as birds are not just birds but act as major seed sowers, scavengers, pest controllers and above all they act as indicators of our environmental standard….When the bird population decreases, we should know that our environmental pollution has increased.. Hence, bird songs are not just songs, its the language which expresses our survival…

Posted by: ajmithra21 | May 17, 2011


It is hard to survive without paper. From bus ticket to flight ticket, from birth certificate to death certificate, from bills to court orders, from towels to toilet tissues. We see paper everywhere and in almost everything, paper is involved directly or indirectly. What if Paper was not invented? We would still be using palm scripts.. But, now we are on the verge of losing paper once and for all.

We use paper but did we ever think of how much we use or misuse them? When it comes to deforestation, we never think twice to point fingers at over population and industrialization. But, the truth is, the student community are the real culprits. This statement may sound harsh and rude, because, truth always hurts.

An imagination, if a student uses 10 A4 sheets each day, he would be using about 2000 sheets in one academic year. That is 200 working days multiplied by 10 A4 sheets. Which means each student will end up using about 30,000 A4 sheets in his/her life time as a student from first grade till graduation from college. One ream of paper is equal to 500 A4 sheets. So each student uses about 60 reams of paper in fifteen years from grade one to under graduation. One tree produces 16.67 reams of paper. This means, each student end up consuming roughly four trees during years of being a student.

It takes roughly 24 trees and 57,000 gallons of water to produce one ton paper. Every year, imagine about 5million students pass out from college in USA (well, it should be many more times in India and China), the consumption of paper by these out going students would end up losing about 20million trees. Now, when you calculate not only the amount of trees used to make paper for students but also the consumption of water used to produce paper, the loss is immeasurable. It may run to about a million trees, in the sense a big forest almost 10,000 acre big and billions of gallons of water, as big as a lake. Remember, each tree species is a home for about 10 to 30 dependant wildlife species and each ten year old tree stores up to 50,000 gallons of water. The presence of lots of trees is capable of raising the ground water level. That shows why we are the ground water level is going down each day. It does not end with water and trees alone, what about oil, chemicals like chlorine and fuel used in manufacturing paper? And the amount of trees used to manufacture pencil, rubber and toilet tissues. As we calculate on these lines, the result would be alarming.

But, the million dollar question is, did we ever try to comprehend the loss of forest due to the usage of paper by the student community? Or did we at least open their eyes to see the reality? Did we ever teach them how important it is to minimize the use of paper? It is not the student who should be blamed, but it is the teaching community which should put up their hands to take responsibility. When and how are we going to replace all these lost resources?

Even now it is not too late, each district can create a forest in the next five years if only the forest and education department could sit and plan together by appointing a day on which every student would plant a tree in a particular place ear marked by the forest department for a forest to be created. If this goes on a yearly basis, we can regain almost fifty percent of the lost forest in five years. But, “who is going to bell the cat?” A difficult question to be answered…

Save trees to Save our future…

Posted by: ajmithra21 | February 20, 2011

My future is your future…

Hey Man,
You’re so selfish…..
You know why i call you so?
You crush me to make paper,
In the name of knowledge, you print on them
And write exams on them to have a great future…

You always strive hard for your future,
But, did you ever think of our future,
when you just scribble a few lines
and throw those papers into dustbins?

Don’t ever waste paper,
If you still do,
You may loos your future….

Yours always,
(We don’t just give food and shadow,
we give a better future too)

Posted by: ajmithra21 | February 20, 2011

My last letter…

My Last Letter
Hello Human-beings,

With great pain, I, THE CROW, whom you call the scavenger, write this letter on behalf of the Avian community.

To build a home for you and your family, have you ever thought of how many birds are rendered homeless when you bring down a tree? Have you ever thought of why there are cyclones and flood? What you sow you reap, is what you teach your children…

Yes , true, hundreds of bird families are rendered homeless , when you cut down a single tree and that’s why nature ransacks thousands of families homeless, through natural calamities.. But, still you don’t seem to realize your blunder… Even though you erase forests in the name of building cities, we still survive the winter. You know why? That’s because we move along with nature and not against it.

You teach your younger generation to swim against the tide. That’s why you are facing chaos.. Walk with nature and you will learn how easy it is to survive..

You live together separately in one big house and stay indoors with blankets and brandy to keep you warm. Is it because you are lazy? But, we cuddle together all night in a single nest and fly far and wide to keep us warm to survive the winter…

Do you how many trees do you burn in the name of civilization and polluting the environment with your so-called technology. But, still we survive the winter, because we know to preserve what you pollute…

Before I end, I humbly request you all to let us live the way our forefathers live, else Mother nature will punish you..
Dreaming of a greener, cleaner earth,
THE CROW – the scavenger
(On behalf of avian friends)

Posted by: ajmithra21 | September 18, 2010

Panthera Tigris – The Big Cat..

Tigers are often seen as predators. But, how many of us know that it is also a protector?
Human race is the prime predator of these Big cats, but do we know that they are the Prime Protectors of our planet’s Bio-diversity?
Do we know that they play a key role in maintaining a healthy Eco-system?
If not for them we would have lost many endangered species.
Though they are the life line for forest habitats but sadly their lives are in line with extinction..
What are we going to do to stop this?

Who told you that Tigers are the only animals who do not have a predator?
If only Tigers could speak, they would surely say that the human race is their sole predator..
What a shame?
Protectors turning into predators?
Your children and grandchildren may not see Panthera Tigris – The Protector of forests, if we don’t stop grazing their habitats now..

We don’t need to protect Tigers, because, they not only know how to protect themselves but also our Eco-system.. All that we’ve got to do is just stop protecting its predators from trespassing its territories…

Lets stop pretending to be concerned and start moving in the right direction..Let us have some principle based policies instead of  politics based policies..
If Politicians don’t act now, they may loose foreign exchange through tourism
If Doctors don’t act now, they may not have medicinal vegetation..
If teachers don’t act now, they may have to show tiger as a legend..
If students don’t act now, they may have to look for tigers in a museum..
If Forests officials don’t act now, they may have to work over time (Remember a single tiger can protect 100sq km of forest. Can a well trained officer do the same? )
If Engineers don’t act now, they may not have natural resources..
If Police doesn’t act now, they may turn the forest inclined community into crime based community… After all, forest has been their livelihood..

Let the whole community act now or never..

Posted by: ajmithra21 | September 17, 2010

Music ‘n Academics

“Sing unto the Lord a new song” says the Bible

“Music is the shortest route to seek God” says Saint Thiagaraja, one of the musical trinity.

“Music is THAPAS” says the Hindu scriptures, which means music is meditation.

Music is a part of our day to day life. Our life starts and ends with music. From a lullaby to mourning songs, Nelambari to Muhari. Just as there are seven days in a week and twelve months in a year, music has 12 tones including the 7 whole tones in an octave. The rhythmic movements of vehicles and machinery and the melodic structure of mobile phones and motors spell out the character of music.

In India music is religion. One cannot imagine a day without music. Just name the occasion and you have a song exclusively for that, be it birth or death, work or play, marriage or festivals, music is heard everywhere.

Now machines have replaced men. Gone are the days, when man used to sing at work. If you sing at work now, it could cost you your job! But men who carry heavy loads still sing and shout to rhythm. Their singing eases the strain and makes work enjoyable. There are still some remote areas, where people sing while working in their fields. Sailors sing while rowing their boats, fishermen sing while fishing. May be that was why there was more unity among the people of yesteryears.

Let’s go on a journey into the world of academics where the influence of music is predominant and inevitable. The more the music in school, the more versatile the child is.

Music starts from speaking LANGUAGE As man started to communicate his emotions and feelings through language, he would have started to sing as well. That could be the reason why we all start to learn a language through rhymes in the kindergarten. After all music is in itself a universal language. It was the music and not the lyrics of eminent singers like Micheael Jackson, Ilayaraja and A. R. Rahman which created an impact all over the world. This proves that music is a universal language, with the least number of alphabets yet having a maximum impact on the human race. Music can either give restful sleep or sleepless nights. It can soothe your soul or break your heart sometimes. It paints a smile and brings immense joy to both the performer and the listener.

Music makes a language more expressive. Language comprehension results in better understanding of subjects. Songs and music was fun in Kindergarten but was not continued in other classes. Shall we say that the young minds of the student community has been deprived of the joy of learning through music? It is a pity that the value of music in the field of education is seldom understood by society.

Greek word ‘logos’ means not only word but also sound. The Bible says” “In the beginning was the word,. And the word was with God and the Word was God. (I mean God’s voice).

Hindu mythology also says “Natham-Brahmam”.

Natham means sound, Brahmam means God. It is for this reason, that man used musical sounds to punctuate sound (language).

Music and Mathematics are interconnected. Infact Mathematics is a branch of music though it may sound absurd. A deeper study will conclude that music is the Mother of Mathematics.

Epics of 4th century B.C. Ilangovadigal’s Silapathigaram and Bharatha’s Natya satra gives a detailed description of Mathematics in music. While dealing with the 22 microtones of Indian music. Even King David’s Psalm 119 of the Bible has 22 subdivisions with 8 verses in each. In Indian music an octave consists of 22 microtones which are divided among the seven whole tones in the octave, the seven whole tones being Sa, Ri, Ga, Ma, Pa, Dha, Ni. That is 22/7 = Pi

In Mathematics Pi relates to a circle. Music is also a circle, as the cycle of whole tones are separated in different frequencies. The formula used in Indian music to find the frequency of a given note or a microtone is derived from the formula which uses fractions.


Poona     X    Pram ana    X    Newna    X    Pram ana

256/245  X   81/80       X    26/25      X      81/80

This formula is being used since 4th century B.C. in the world of music, while Mathematics started using fractions invented by a Swiss mathematician only from 13 AD. When Pythagoras travelled in India, he happened to hear a raga raga (scale) called Devakanthari. This raga Devakanthari inspired Pythagoras to write the famous Pythagoras theorem using the frequency of the notes used by this raga.

The frequency of the Pythagorean scale (Raga) is as follows:

Sa      Ir       G a       Ma   Pa     Dha         Ni

1      9/8       81/65   4/3   3/2     27/16    243/128

This proves that Mathematics in a branch of music.

The famous ‘Srichakra’ a geometrical figure of triangles and semicircles, displayed in orthodox Hindu homes for prosperity, is still being drawn without the aid of mathematical tools but by free hand method. 102

slokas  set to the tune of 98 different ragas (4 ragas are repeated) is sung while drawing this ‘Srichakra’. Attracted by this method of drawing ‘Srichakra’, two French scientists fed the Shrichakra into the computer and tried to copy it, but without success. But, after thorough research they fed the tunes of those 102 slokas into the computer. To their great surprise, they found that the computer was able to draw the ‘Srichakra’. It may sound Quixotic yet it’s true!

This again proves that mathematics is a branch of music. Is it any wonder that the great teachers, Aristotle and Socrates, decided to teach music first before the students were taught the other subjects? How about following those great teachers for a change and make Maths more musical?

Even while learning Physics one cannot escape without learning ‘MUSICAL SOUND’. Physics deals with the three or four characteristics of musical sound – Loudness, Pitch, Quality and Timbre. It also deals with the transverse vibration of strings of all stringed instruments, and also the vibration of air columns in pipes and its overtones. In organ pipes, which are closed at one end, the different notes played have their frequencies in Physics the ratio of 1:3:5 ….. It also deals with the nodes and antinodes of open pipes like nadaswaram which has both ends open and how it plays different notes with frequency in the ratio of 1:2:3.

The Diatonic musical scale of western classical music has 8 keys and 7 intervals. In Physics the relative frequency of the diatonic musical scale is derived as follows

Sa          Ri      Ga     Ma      Pa       Dha          Ni            Sa

Relative        24         27     30       32      36       40          45             48


Intervals      27 = 9 30 =10 32 = 16 36 = 9 40 = 10 45 = 9 48 = 16

24    8    27   9    30    15  32    8  36     9    40    8  45    15

Major      Minor    Semi      Major    Minor     Major     Semi

tone       tone      tone      tone      tone       tone       tone

Noble Laureate Sir. C.V. Raman, a noted physicist made scientific discoveries through mirudangam – a percussion instrument, which has a place of pride in any Carnatic classical concert. A concert is incomplete without the mirudangam solo. Though Sir C. V. Raman had proved that according to the laws of Physics, the structure of the instrument should not produce musical tones. He was fascinated by the instrument and went onto make more such discoveries through the mirudangam.

Before moving further it would be better to know the structure of the mirudangam which is quite interesting. A mirudangam is made using a single block of wood either jackwood or redwood. In some cases the core of the coconut or palm trees are also used.

The right head which is smaller than the left is made of three concentric layers of skin. The innermost layer is not visible, the outer is called the “Meettu Thol” and the inner is called the “Chappu Thol”. The inner ring is made of sheep skin and the outer of calf skin. The centre of the right head has a permanent spot of black paste.

This black spot called the ‘Soru’ is a mixture of boiled rice, manganese and iron filings. From this black spot comes the special tone of the “mirudangam”, which is tuned to the tonic.

The left head called “thoppi” is made of two layers, the inner one is made of sheep skin and the outer one is made of buffalo skin. These two heads are stretched with the help of a leather cord which runs over the sides of the wooden body. Before playing, a thick paste of wheat and water is applied to the center of this head. This is done to lower or raise the pitch to produce a bass sound in the left head.

For one of his discoveries on this instrument Sir. C.V. Raman invited the great master Palghat Mani Iyer to the Raman Institute of Sciences, Bangalore. Sir. C.V. Raman conducted the experiment in a specially designed camera-fitted lab with perfect accoustics. While the mirudangam was played, the scientist studied the waves made on the surface of the water kept in a bowl near the instrument. This led the physicist to conclude that though the mirudangam should not produce musical sounds according to laws of physics, it has the unique feature of the harmonics produced while the instrument was played. The mystery of the mirudangam still shrouds the instrument.

In one of the temples of Tamil Nadu, is a pillar with a hole drilled though it. When blown from one end of the hole, the sound of a conch is produced and blown from the other end it produces the sound of a horn.

According to the laws of Physics two different tones of Quality and Timbre cannot be produced when blown from different ends of the same hole.

In short there is more to Physics in music than to music in Physics.

Science of elements and their laws of combination and change is defined as Chemistry. When two or more metals are fused together it gives an alloy. Likewise in music, when two or more notes are played together simultaneously it gives a chord (which means harmony), the essence of Western Music.

Music can generate heat as well as produce rain. Tansen a great musician was asked by King Akbar to serve him as a court musician. Soon Tansen’s fame spread far and wide. People who were jealous of him plotted against him and suggested to the Emperor that he should command Tansen to sing Deepak raga.

Deepak raga was one of the most difficult ragas to sing. When this raga is perfectly rendered it would generate much heat that not only lamps would be set to light but the singer himself would also burn to ashes.

Though Tansen pleaded that he would be set ablaze if he sung Deepak Raga, the emperor was not willing to listen. He asked Tansen to prove that he is the greatest singer of the land.

Though Tansen knew that singing Deepak raga was dangerous, he also knew that Megh Raga can bring down rain to save him from the fire. As he thought of how he could sing both the ragas simultaneously, he got an idea. “Why don’t I ask Rupa (a disciple  of Tansen’s master-Haridoss) to sing Megh raga for me?”, he thought.

So, with the permission of his master Tansen trained Rupa for 15 days as that was the time duration given by Akbar for preparation. Rupa perfected Megh Raga at the end of those 15 days.

On the day of his performance, Tansen began to sing Deepak Raga in front of a packed court room filled with people from far and near. As he sang, the atmosphere got warmer and warmer, leaves and flowers started to dry, birds flew away as they could not bear the heat, the lamps in the court lit up. As people started to flee from the court in fear, the rose which Akbar used to carry often in his hand dropped dead. Tansen was so absorbed in his singing, that he was not able to feel the heat in his body. His body was hot and feverish. As soon as Rupa saw Tansen in that condition, she was unable to start singing Megh Raga. Though she fumbled initially, she slowly started to sing Megh Raga. As she started to sing with confidence, the sky became darker with black clouds and rain began to pour. Soon everything returned to normal

The emperor though pleased was shocked at the thought of loosing a genius to the fire created by the singer’s own song.

This instance is one of many such instances which proves that music cancreate chemical mystery.

This mystery not only surrounds Chemistry but also Biology.

The biological pendulum oscillates to a specific rhythm, which may differ from species to species-whether it be  plants, birds or animals.

Every species from insects to elephants have their own musical scale of two or more notes. For example, the hum of a mosquito which has a unique scale of three notes in the chromatic order ( B C C#) invariably set to Rupaka Thala which is the ¾ time signature of western music. Even  though the croaking of a frog does not have a melody but its rhythmic structure is predominant.

Matanga (9th -10th Century AD) the earliest Indian writer to define raga says that, “Raga is that kind of sound composition consisting of melodic movements which has the effect of colouring the hearts of men.”

The neurons in our brain are hardwired for music-from the cradle to the grave, the more we use ‘em, the less we lose ‘em. –Robert Zatorre.

Without music, millions of brain nerves would become inactive, malnourished and underdeveloped. Music acts as a specialized fuel to fire millions of brain nerves. As the brain burns the musical fuel, it creates a sense of deep inner satisfaction and inner joy.

Recent studies of choir singers show higher level of this reaction immediately after their performance.

The normal pulse rate of a man is about 72 beats. When man listens to  music which has a pulse rate well above his normal pulse rate, research has proved that the listener’s pulse rate also shoots up or comes down according to the pulse rate of the music listened to.

Music has a profound influence on blood circulation through its pitch, intensity and timbre. It can also raise the pressure of blood which reaches the medulla oblongata and is relayed to the auditory nerve.

Music can increase metabolism, thus influencing muscular energy. Example:

songs sung while carrying heavy loads. Music also accelerates respiration. The volume also can have an influence on pulse and blood pressure.

Once while travelling in a cab, our driver was enjoying the soft melodious music and whistling the tune while driving. After a while I could feel our car mounting in speed. I wondered as to how the mood of the driver shifted. It was then that I realized that a fast paced number was played on the car radio. This shows how music can bring a biological change in emotion, pulse and pressure.

Research done at Annamalai University has proved that cows give more milk when they hear music constantly and plants yield more fruits when music is played regularly.

Ms. Ruth Bright, author of “Music in Genetic Care” writes that our earliest memories of music consciously or unconsciously are often a lullaby and our memories of responses to rhythmical stimuli may well be traced to prenatal life, where the whole existence of the foetus is dominated by the mother’s heart beat.

People of the past have used music considerably to heal the sick, as they were aware of the biological changes which happen in the human body in response to music.

In the Bible I Samuel 16:32 says “whenever the evil spirit was upon Saul, David took a harp and played with his hand, so Saul was refreshed and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him”

Arabs say that shepherds’ music thrives their flock of sheep.

Pythagoras used music to help his disciples to sleep and awake. He even calmed a drunken man through music.

Pluto thought that music was important for psychotherapy and education. Aristotle thought that music functions on emotional senses.

Even Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, used music to cure human diseases.

In Egypt music was used to ease the pain of women in labour. The same is followed currently in a few French hospitals. Ibn Sing, a famous Arabic writer has written in detail on this subject.

Dr. Brunell has mentioned a manuscript named ‘Raga Chikistsa’ which deals with various ragas that can be used for the cure of various ailments.

Music is basically a sound which generates a particular vibration which moves through the medium of ether present in the atmosphere and effects the biological system of the human body. Sound can effect a cure, emotionally, physically, socially and intellectually too. So let music fill the air and let every single cell in our body vibrate to the tune of music.

Music is as old as History itself. It dates back to the beginning of the earth. The earliest musician as recorded in Genesis the first book of the Bible chapter 4 verse 21 “…he was Jubal; he was the father of all who play the lute and flute”.

Music has seen empires rise and fall. Historians even used the standard of music as a bench mark to determine the standard of civilization.

Music is civilization. It has developed through the weather of time and has become more complex and scientific.

Indian Music has its origin in the ‘Vedas’, which is considered the most sacred book, consisting of about thousand hymns. Though all the four Vedas- Rig Veda, Yajur Veda, Sama Veda and Adharvana Veda were passed down by oral tradition, it is amazing to note that both the ritual and the text remain unchanged since its inception, which dates back between 5,000 to 1,000 BC till today.

Vocal recitations during sacrifices are mentioned in the Yajur Veda which is mainly of sacrificial formulae. During this time the chants had evolved to two main tones with two accents forming the first concept of the “Tetra Chord”, using four notes.

Notation of a Tetra Chord of a chant

The foundation of Indian Music was laid down by ‘Sama Veda’, The origin of Indian classical music has its roots in this Veda. It was during this time that the other three notes of the first full scale of seven notes was added to the original tetra chord.

The Western classical music has its origin from the Gregorian Chants and developed further into full scales after the understanding of the importance of consonants. The sharp notes were then added to the original seven whole notes of the full scale, after finding the consonants. This was during the 13th century.

The 16th Century AD saw the musical genius in Beethoven, Mozart and Bach was built the nuances of Western classical music, as did Saint Thiagarya,

Muthuswami Dekshidhar and Shyama Sastri on Indian classical music and Thirunavukarasar, Appar, Thirugnana Sambandhar on Ancient Tamil Music.

As years passed, different styles of music evolved from the original classical music. But each style has retained its own colour and complexities according to the taste and civilization of that particular period. These different styles of music can help us identify the periods of its inception and usage.

Geography has been classified into five different regions in the Tamil epics. They are Kurinji (regions of mountains) Mullai – (Forests) Marudham- (fields) Neithal – (Sea) and Paalai – (desert) and its surroundings. This is a universal fact.

Each of the above said region has its own unique vegetation, This is reflected in its musical instruments and its music. The instruments used in a particular region is made from material easily available in that particular region. It may be wood, weeds, skin or metal. An in-depth study into the same has proven this.

KURINJI– the region of mountains and its surroundings has a thick vegetation of bamboo, pine trees and willows. That may be the reason for flutes being used more commonly in these regions. The shrill high musical notes produced by the flute gives a pleasing effect which suggests the topography of the region with lots of greenery, twittering of birds, gushing of  streams and the gentle wind.

China, a mountainous country, uses the flute quite often in its music. The notes F G A C D is predominant in its music. The Mohana Raga of South Indian Classical Music (raga means scale) uses the same intervals of notes used by its Chinese counter part.

Mullai – the region of forest and its surroundings has dense forests and wild animals. Thus the musical instruments used here has a ‘noisy’ timbre. Percussion instruments play a dominant role and the singing is in raspy or rough timbres, unlike in other regions.

Initially percussion was used to scare away wild animals from the area where people lived, slowly the percussion instruments took centre stage in the music of these regions.

The remarkable aspect of African music is its rhythm’ and its polyrhythmic complexities. Pitch polyphony also exists in the form of parallel intervals generally of thirds, fourths and fifths, overlapping choral and solo-choral response with occasional simultaneous independent melodies.

The same kind of or may be more complex rhythmic structures can be seen among the tribes who live in the thick hilly forests of Tamilnadu. The Baduga, Thoduva and Thodas use compound time signatures such as the 7/8 and the 5/8 in its music. Even without musical grounding , these tribes still handle these complex rhythm with ease.

Marudham is the area which consists of fields and its surroundings. Here the music is part of the day to day life of the people. These people use music for every occasion from birth to death.

This is the mainland of musical study and expertise as people from all walks of life from the king to the pauper live here. People here have developed the habit of living with music. So the air is filled with music no matter what the season. They sing songs for each and every type of work they do, from ploughing, sowing and harvesting to carrying heavy loads and teasing their counter parts or even while playing games as told in Silapadhikaram a 4th century BC musical treatise.

Neithal region is filled with boats and travellers and fishermen. The region comprises mainly of the sea and its adjoining areas.

Vocal music is mostly used with choral response from the others as the leader sings solo melody. The Choral response would be more rhythmic in the syllables Hoi Hoi ya  or Dhaiyarae Dhaiyara Dhaiya as it is sung overlapping the basic melody of the one sung by the leader.

The music of Japan, an island nation, use the tetra tonic scale of Hindholam Raga which uses the intervals as seen in A C D F G A, Here the fourth and the fifth of a melodic minor scale is not used. This scale creates the mood of the sea-side.

Paalai- consist of desert and its surrounding areas. Most of the music in these areas are based on the melodic minor of the western scale Keeravani Raga of the Indian scale. The instruments used here are mostly bowed and plucked string instruments which has a sort of muted tone of Youdh – a lute-like Arabian Instrument, whose strings are plucked with the back of the eagle’s feather. The bowed instrument also gives out a nasal like sound, picturising the solitude of the desert, where man is often alone or in small groups striving hard for survival.

This study shows that each region has developed its own style of music based on the mode created by the particular region. The musical instruments used in

these areas produce unique tone and timbre corresponding to the material used in the making of the instrument.

Even if the Santoor – a 100 stringed box like instrument made out of the pine tree of Kashmir is used in the hills. If the same instrument is played in the desert, it will still give the impression that the listener and the performer is in the hills at the moment of listening. This is the magic of music. This goes on to show that geography and music cannot be separated.

God created mankind to praise and worship Him through music and singing. The Bible also says so in Isaiah 43:21” the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise” God loved music so much that He dwells within our praises. He has even taught a song to Moses and asked him to teach that song to the Israelites. (Deuteronomy 31: 19 to 30 – the BIBLE).

Though, initially music was used to reach God’s heart, the attitude of man towards music has now changed considerably. Instead of worshipping the One to be worshipped, people have started to worship the worship. The hymns and worship songs sung in churches are now being used as fund-raisers. The Indian classical concerts are also conducted periodically on the same commercial wave length.

People have started to listen to classical based Spiritual songs the way they listen to film songs and secular albums. Spiritual songs are rendered to help listeners reach God through active participation and not for the sheer pleasure of listening.

Even performers and worship leaders use music to touch the hearts of the people instead of God, the one and only One to be reached through music. Good music comes from the heart. Spiritual music is good, because it helps us reach God. There is a saying’, Tell me your friend I will tell your character,” I would say tell me the music you listen to, I will tell you your character. Good music develops good attitude, a good mind and in turn a good life with clean habits.

Jesus once said, ‘If you don’t call me these stones will call’

For ages, stones have been used to produce musical notes. The seven stone pillars which give the tones of the seven notes of a particular raga is one of the temples of Tamilnadu and the stone pillar which gives the sound of a conch and a horn from either ends of a hole on it and the Nagasuwaram, (a wind instrument) made from one piece of stone are some of the examples of stones calling out to God though the music they produce.

God orchestrates the whole universe, from the solar system to the tiniest of bacteria to a set rhythm. The flapping of the wings of an insect to the, migratory cycle of birds, to the blooming of a wild flower and to the mating of an elephant all these are set to a specific rhythm. The time interval may differ from 1/1000 of a second taken by an insect to flap its wings or a 4 year cycle which a specific species of butterfly follow for migration.

Most of the animals and birds sing to attract its mate. Imagine what would happen if they don’t sing. The whole ecological balance will go in disarray when the rhythm is not in time, because there would be no dating without music.

No dating- No reproduction.

This ecological disharmony may spell doom to the earth and mankind.

Let the whole world sing and play music for the glory of God, because music is from God. Let us use it for God.

Just as music is divine so is knowledge and wisdom. They all come from God. Why don’t we use music to bring back joy to the student community who are being deprived from the joy of learning in the field of academics?

Posted by: ajmithra21 | September 16, 2010

Save earth?

To preserve means to keep or save from injury or destruction; to guard or defend from evil, harm, danger, etc; to protect.. The human race is trying to preserve nature by which, we indirectly seem to acknowledge the fact that we have caused injury and are trying hard to protect nature.. Well, the fact is that, nature can protect by itself; it doesn’t need human race to protect … All that we need to do is just leave nature alone and not disturb it anymore…

Where are we going to plant trees by the way or when are we going to stop planting the right trees at the wrong place or the wrong trees at the right place?

Well, that is what we have been doing for quite some time raising slogans like “GO GREEN”, “GREEN REVOLUTION”, “SAVE EARTH” and so on..

Planting trees and creating avenues may save nature is what we think, but, the irony is that, there are chances of those planted trees being cut down after a few decades on the pretext of broadening a road or making room for another building to room an office or an industry…

God created wildlife to protect and provide us. But sadly, greed has taken over or grazed over our protective and providential fence and exposed us to natural calamities which are inevitable due to loss of natural resources and wildlife. Blaming over-population for the loss of nature maybe a reason, but, it is not the sole reason as the so called bureaucrats project it to be. We cannot still keep blaming the poor for the loss of trees. The elites are to be blamed, the industries are to be blamed and each one of us are to be blamed.

Notorious are we, in pointing fingers on others. The truth is that, directly or indirectly, each one of us have punctured the ozone layer and now harping over global warming. Did we not bring home plastic carry bags when we always can carry a cloth bag while shopping? Don’t we over use our refrigerators and air conditioners? Don’t we use repellents and fertilizers?

We fail to understand that we need to press forward in science and technology to keep in par with the developing nations but not at the cost of digging graves and making coffins for our natural resources and wildlife.. For every industry built, we don’t just create lucrative job opportunities for the younger generation but also strip them of their natural wealth, wildlife and ozone protection. For every industry established a forest is lost. For every forest lost, a whole set of wildlife is lost. When wild life is lost, the food chain is lost. When food is lost, survival of human race is lost.

We need Industries and growth but not at the cost of sacrificing forest and wildlife… Science and technology should grow but not over nature’s grave.. Business houses feel proud in painting their environment green.. It’s fine… They prune and aesthetically shape their gardens. They wouldn’t do it if only they realize that their gardens can neither bring butterflies, bees or birds… Leave nature the way it ought to be and not the way you want it to be…

Nature doesn’t hurry yet everything is accomplished” – Lao Tzu

Be it food, clothing, shelter, education or travel, we all are in a hurry to accomplish and to acquire,, We literally race against time.. In the process we are not just speeding up the destruction of the earth but, making a coffin for our future generation too…

There is an old Chinese saying which goes like this,” Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”

If we do not act now, remember the days are not far off, when we will neither have a fish to feed a man nor water to teach him to fish…

“A wise old owl sat on an oak; the more he saw the less he spoke; the less he spoke the more he heard; why aren’t we like that wise old bird?” -Edward Hersey Richards

“Keep a green tree in your heart and perhaps a singing bird will come”
– Chinese proverb

“A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song”

Lets keep a green tree in our heart, before we green this planet…

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