Music is always a perceived phenomena. The familiarity of a sound goes a long way in experiencing the same . For instance , when we converse in a language that we are comfortable with , it is so much easier than trying to communicate through a language that is alien to us . Similarly when it comes to music, there is always an excitement among us when we listen to a familiar melodic line or a song than listening to an unknown and unfamiliar melodic line or a song . This is the direct example of how knowledge impacts the listening experience . In this context, songs with lyrics have a distinct edge over the musical melodic sound of pure musical notes, since they not only carry words as an easy recall value but the meaning , the philosophy or the narrative behind the words . This brings about a multi layered impact on the listening audience .Hence the charm of lyrics in the songs and the knowledge behind it helps in enjoying and digesting a musical performance . But there is an important question to be asked here - the joy of experiencing music in this context , is it of the lyrics , the meaning and philosophy behind the lyrics or is it the music and the experience of the sound underneath the lyrics.
In most cases it the lyrics and the multi dimensional experience that comes with the reflection of the lyrics . It could be the philosophy , it could be the mere meaning of the lyric, or the memory recall trigged by the musical sound , so in most cases the joy of listening to music is not of the pure sound of music per say but that of many connected and other external components that use music as a tool to convey something . So, the knowledge of something other than music is at work in such circumstances .
Is it or is it not the right way to enjoy music ?
By knowing the lyrics , the name of the composer, the philosophy , the raga, the tala etc , this only enhances the listening experience isn’t !!
Well let us examine the other possibility !
Knowledge alway hampers the experience. It brings the limitless possibilities in to a limited framework.
If I listen to music , take for example a Kambodi raga alapana or a ~Todi raga Alapana, or any musical melody , for that matter without knowing the name of the raga or the system it comes from, name of the song, the name of the composer , the language of the lyrics, etc ,.Just pure music per say performed by a master artiste, the experience I feel, is most exciting and complete because that experience is something that is so personal to me , not related to anything but me and my being . It is not limited by the knowledge of this raga or that raga, or the suggestions of the lyrics as to what the composer is trying to convey, or by the context of the tala. It is just a pure limitless , free experience , that gives me the choice of digesting it the way I want . The experience could be Visual or Aural. I can form my own visuals of what ever as I hear and perceive the sound or I can get in to a totally formless state of mind of deep oneness with the sound which can be truly meditative . I could see different colours or I could experience multiple forms of ecstasy. A form of perception that is not bound by any external references but purely a celebration of my conscious, subconscious and unconscious reflection. Imagine the joy that one can experience in such a dimension.
In a way that musical experience brings one to a state of experiencing oneself . When I say experiencing oneself, it is about one being able to perceive one’s awareness consciously , unconsciously or Subconsciously .
It is like this - Music is Divine
Music is the original and natural reflection of Godliness
Music is the purest form of expression and so is
God the purest form of impression
If you can describe God so you can Music
If you cannot describe God so you cannot Music
Music is beyond the barrier of region, language , culture , religion and hence
Limitless and so is God
God resides in every being and so does Music reflect in every being
God is the highest art and hence the highest form of worship and so is
Music the highest form of art and hence the highest form of worship -
Music is a super phenomenal experience and so is God super a phenomenal experience.
God cannot be bound or perceived through Knowledge and So is Music.
Both are experience beyond the tangible and beyond comprehension of acquired assets.
The choice is ours. To enjoy music as knowledge or music as an experience . That is the beauty of our dharma. We are responsible for our choice and actions and not anybody else.