“Indian Classical Instrumental Music” except for its deep musical appeal has no language of its own and no lyrical or poetic exterior. Such however is its sound effect and soothing melodic attraction that even those who have had no initiation in Indian Classical Instrumental Music are drawn to it and charmed by it. The reason is quite simple. The quality of note production and use of graces have a profound sense of aesthetic fulfillment giving great peace to the human mind. We have in our own ways experienced these feelings and have derived great sense of fulfillment. Traditional Indian Instrumental Classical music induces a sense of peace and universal brotherhood. As with individuals so with groups, societies and nations. Indian Classical Instrumental Music must therefore be seen as an integrating and uniting force not only at the national level but also in the international field. In this disturbed world of today we have to make a relentless search of all possible methods which may help to promote greater understanding and exchange of arts and ideas. We are certain that in this noble work, our classical instrumental music has a very significant contribution to make.
Universality of music is a basic point which helps to foster international amity and goodwill. It has universal appeal and there are historical instances that suggest that musical performances have helped to build bridges of understanding and cultural integration among countries and civilizations. The emergence of North Indian classical instrumental music is a living illustration of what integration and assimilation of middle-eastern and ancient Indian culture could achieve. Traditional Indian Instrumental music has another great advance in the sense that it can freely cross the barriers of territorial and political boundaries between different countries. Like paining or poetry, music therefore, helps to build up international understanding and goodwill and is, therefore, a unique factor in building up social consciousness not only at the national level but also at the international level.
Since classical Indian instrumental music has a universal charm and appeal it is but natural that the great social reformers and patriots and revolutionaries should have made use of music to awaken social consciousness for the advancement and well being of mankind. Indian Classical Instrumental music has definitely acted as a tool in creating and molding social awareness. We have various kinds of music, such as abstract melodic music, war music, devotional music. These forms of music have an undeniable effect in sharpening social awareness. Orchestral music- in which there is a veritable ensemble of all varieties of instruments, key instruments-creates a totality of music and a combination of harmonious melodies so much so that it resembles an integral mosaic of melody and harmony which reflect not only the diversity of international art and culture but also its basic unity.
Classical Instrumental music has been very intimately connected with the development of dance forms whether individual or group dance. The two forms of art have along the centuries complemented and supplemented one another and served as a very forceful background to various human situations involving wide variety of feelings such as love, hatred, dedication and love more nature.
Community music whether in the form of instrumental ensemble or choral music on the human voice also indicates cultural affinity and psychological balancing of diverse individuals and groups. The use of large variety of musical instruments helps to express their complex and deeper urges. It has to be remembered that the technical importance and refinement of musical instruments all over the world have made it possible to create sounds, nuances and effects which are extremely subtle and delicate and are definitely beyond the capacity of the human voice to emulate or reproduce. Experiments have been made to musically portray human activity engaged in developmental work or in industry or even in space activity through the use of instrumental musical effects and special compositions.
The human mind revels in individual brilliance which is provided by abstract music or raga music. As against this, men also have their deep collective instincts and these are musically reflected in harmonious music. The concept of harmonization which fundamental to western instrumental music involves the concept of using various octaves and scales of notes to produce third or fourth melodies resulting from the interaction of various instruments producing notes at the same time on different scales. Orchestral or band music have awakened even martial instincts of man. Thus it is that we have band music played to the accompaniment of vigorous marching by the army or concerted movements of jet aircraft or the splashing of waters through the movements of warships, submarines and arsenals.
Indian Classical Instrumental music has been very closely connected with the developments of various art forms. Classical Instrumental music has played an important role in molding and sharpening collective thinking on various social issues. There are instances where attacks have been successfully mounted on various social evils, which have plagued the society, through the presentation of these art forms. In fact this effort has gone a step further and imperceptibly these art forms like drama and folk plays aided by instrumental music have not only symbolized the condemnation of social evils but also lighted up the possibilities of social reform and change in future. The issues which have thus been taken up relate to communal harmony, international understanding, the anti dowry consciousness and many such issues which concern our changing society.
In its unceasing effort to mould social consciousness, the Classical Indian instrumental music has fortunately received the assistance of science in a big way. We have today available sophisticated hearing aid, public address systems, the radio, television, the audio-visual gadgets, records, cds through which almost all forms of traditional instrumental music can now be projected in the manner desired not only to involve listeners or viewers but also to larger groups including the common masses from one point of the world to the other. Can it be denied now that instrumental classical music does not only mould social awareness, but also builds strong bridges of understanding between civilisation and civilisation, between countries and countries and between continents and continents? It has, therefore, now been accepted almost as an international practice that various countries should have continuous cultural exchange not only in the matter of literature, but also arts and cultural traditions of different countries.
Indian Instrumental music has thus been a great force in forging both national and international unity. Classical Indian Instrumental music is basically creative in nature and has already acquired an international and universal character. Instrumental classical music has now taken both the performers and listeners nearer to the Supreme Creator, besides influencing social awareness and molding popular taste.