the fine line in music: recognizing and relating to uplifting music.
Music surely can be used as entertainment, but it has much more potential than just entertainment. This is only possible through the right kind of music... simply because sound and the right sound combination and presentation have an instrinsic power. In Hindi, there are two words called manoranjan and manobhanjan. The first term means entertainment and the second means literally 'destroyer of the mind' but in this context it would mean 'something which takes you beyond the mind.'
TO AN INDIAN, MUSIC IS NOT AN AMUSEMENT OR ONLY ENTERTAINMENT. IT IS SOMETHING MORE THAN THAT: IT ANSWERS THE DEEPEST DEMANDS OF HIS SOUL. I. A. Khan
Most of the music and the lyrical content entertains people on a mental level, so more or less it keeps people on the same level in which they already are. But the right choice of music and the lyrical content is able to lift the listener and take him beyond the emotional world and give him/her the taste of the higher. The music of manobhanjan can do that, but it depends a lot on the appropriate choice of lyrics if any and the right combination of the sounds or musical elements. For this reason, the music that i create has an utmost priority towards this intention and direction, to uplift the listener to a higher state, if an opening is already there.
People are already in physical and emotional stress, and if the music entertains those same concepts (of excitment, aggression, complaint, pain, suffering, loss) then music is missing out one of its higher potentials. One needs to uplift that state to something higher and there is music that can do that. Some examples would be the poetry rich in wisdom coming from the wise ones... for example, songs from Kabir, Meera, Nanak, mantras or sufi songs, or any song which conveys a higher energy both in content and composition. Surely there are other sources of this kind in other cultures and traditions.
THE OBJECT OF INDIAN MUSIC IS THE TRAINING OF THE MIND AND THE SOUL, FOR MUSIC IS THE BEST WAY OF CONCENTRATION. H. I. Khan
At a normal state of consciousness, a person has two choices: either to fall lower or to rise. Normally, it is easier to fall than to rise higher, but if there was a provision of the right music of the quality of manobhanjan, then it can help people to come out of their usual state of emotional distress or struggle. Of course, it also requires the recognition from the receptory side - the recognition of what is good in nature.
It is sad that most of the so called entertainment music is keeping people where they are or taking them lower than their normal state of being. The techno music is one such example. Such music keeps people in the lower chakras and activate the energy in those chakras. This music creates Tamas. To activate the higher chakras and lift one's energy to the higher chakras, Sattvic music is needed. It can have the fire (Rajas) but leading towards Sattva... which can leave a person in the state of bliss and silence. Here, bliss has to be understood correctly, it is not excitement but rather a very silent joyful celebrative energy or feeling within.
Music like kirtan, qawwali, bhajans, songs of enlightened saints, mantras, indian classical/folk music are some of the styles of music that i would categorize as manobhanjan. From very early childhood, i was so lucky to have been exposed to such music from India and in India, and so those influences always reflect in the music that i like to make in my CDs, concerts, workshops and lessons.
There is nothing wrong with entertainment, but it would be beneficial if we also use the music in its higher potential, to create better energy within, which will certainly reflected without as well.
IF ONE CAN FOCUS ONE'S HEART ON MUSIC, IT IS JUST LIKE WARMING SOMETHING THAT WAS FROZEN. THE HEART RETURNS TO ITS NATURAL CONDITION AND THE RHYTHM REGULATES THE BEATING OF THE HEART, WHICH HELPS TO RESTORE HEALTH OF THE BODY, MIND AND SOUL AND BRING THEM TO THEIR PROPER TUNING. THE JOY OF LIFE DEPENDS UPON THE PERFECT TUNING OF MIND AND BODY. (I. A. Khan)