Raga is the spirit of classical music

TNN | May 11, 2014

Raga is the spirit of classical music

He is a self-taught artiste who has spent all his musical journey advocating the importance of ragas in Carnatic music. Kudamaloor Janardhanan, one of the renowned flautists in the Carnatic music tradition from Kerala, has campaigned hard for the cause he believes in. The flautist explains to CT why he considers Ragas as the spirit of Indian Classical music.

“Ragas are like languages- you can pen short stories, poems, novel or any form of literary work by using it as the medium. But the language is the primary tool. For instance, every one loves the Aalapana Vathapi Ganapathimbecause it is in Hamsadhwani raga and the tune is enticing. It would have been well received even if it was in some other raga, but I am not very sure if would have left the same impression as it has on the listeners. Ragas are very important to set the tune of the music.”

Janardhanan is some one who has never shied away from experimentation. It’s no surprise that the musician is upset with the way music is perceived today. “It has become a sheer source of entertainment and no one is really bothered about the content. Today, we are performing what was performed 300 years ago. After a century, musicians will be still performing the same material. There needs to be innovation.”

As the conversation veers toward the future of his instrument, flute, the musician, says, “Flute existed even before Lord Krishna was depicted as someone who played the instrument. This means the instrument will not face any adverse effect. My only concern is that those who aspire to learn the instrument should have utmost passion for the same and give it a classical touch.”

Desi Cinemaa