Coke Studio is here. Let’s understand why music and theatre are important and what makes music so vital for Pakistan.
Scientific and philosophical explanations both fail to describe what music is. It is at best a series of aesthetic notes and sounds that combine to produce waves and rushes in our ears that are pleasing to feel and listen to for our minds.
It is performance art, an art form so unique that no amount of words encapsulate its true essence simply because it is beyond all we know and understand. It is art, after all, it has to be this complex yet so deceivingly simple looking.
What is Music? A child asked a man.
It is all there is to life, the man replied.
What is life? The child asked.
An endless play that goes on with or without you, the man said.
Music can be explained in terms of the qualities we as human beings have been able to decipher, qualities and attributes like tunes, patterns, rhythm, volume, vocal quality, beats, lyrics, build-up, drops and ragas. But, something will still make the explanation of the musical piece incomplete, because music is different for everyone.
The Importance of Music and Theatre in Pakistan
It is open to interpretation, but, more so, it stirs different things in different minds, because each mind is complex and different. The complication makes music a different experience for all listeners.
Raag Bharvi on Sagarveena as an example.
Different Genres make us feel different emotions. The relationship of emotions with music is why most people listen to it or need an addiction fix. The art is very easy to get hooked on to because it trains our brain to enjoy it more and feel more, as our tastes grow and become more and more developed.
The effects on music on our mood are dramatic when closely inspected. It communicates with us, and with others, it helps us express ourselves by consuming it, by sharing it and by understanding it.
Nature of Music
Most dictionary’s define music as performance art that can be created through the use of the human body or instruments. This is as vague and as broken as it gets. Because music has more character than what this statement promises.
Music’s ability to make us feel things and speak to us is very much like that of theatre. The good one makes us think, feel and make changes to us, it moves us, and the bad one irritates us, leaves us disappointed, because it failed to meet our needs or our taste.
Theatre and Music Globally
What is theatre? The answer depends on who you are asking to. Producers of big Broadway shows would say it is a money-making art tool. Lovers of theatre will tell you it is beautiful and performers will tell you it is therapy.
The theatre is absurd. It is for the freaks and outcasts some say; music has also been a bridge between very weird people like Johann Sebastian Bach, Freddie Mercury, Solomun and Abida Parveen.
The power and expression it gives to musicians is a phenomenon, something theatre does for its performers who are pure too.
The fluidity of music and theatre, their ability to connect, their openness to interpretation and their help in expressing who we are by performing them and by consuming them is what makes them so similar, and yet different. They are not interchangeable, one can not be used in another’s place, but they are similar.