Thursday, February 12, 2009

Where is the Goan music gone?

We grew uviolinp with music all around us. We were given to understand that we are naturally born with it. It was something presumable in the Goan blood. If your dad wasn't a musician your uncle had to be one. Your aunt had to know solfeggio and your grand uncle could negotiate anything on the violin. This was nearly the situation in most homes of Goa.

At Church feasts, we had the brass band, at ladainhas ( litany) we had the violins, at the Saibinn it was there again, at birthdays, during christmas and new year it was never missed. Music and song was indeed a part of our everyday life.

If the Mando, the dekhni and later the delights of Lorna wband of Goaere not played, there used to be sing-alongs among members of the family and everyone reveled in the musicals. The "kandllam onvllam" on radio were the eager music for Goan housewives as also Goan restaurants which never failed to play the music.

However things have changed over the years. The music seems to have drained out from the Goan walk of life. The coming of the "saibinn" is celebrated in the form of song only. There is no music. The "ladainhas" have no sound of the violin and the violinists themselves have become a rare species. the brass band plays. Seldom at funerals and at feasts. But they are the last few chips of the old block with the youngsters unwilling finding those instruments huge and gawky and would rather get themselves inside a conventional Goan band .

Music is sadlbrass bandy no longer looked upon as a must-do in Goan homes. Newer economic interests have directed our motives in pursuit of excellence for our children. And if it wasnt for the Goan wedding bands who again have economic sense to continue, our Goan music would have been dead prematurely.

Of course there is the occasional news of some talented young Goans who surface in newspapers armed with a degree in violin and other instruments which are a small reflection of the actual talent they possess. But other than that trickle there is nothing more to cheer about the music of Goa.

Goan wedding bands and choirs in churches are the last few remnants of a musical lineage that is slowly dying. We sincerely need to wake up and infuse in us a new desire, a new enthusiasm, a new vigour to bring us back to the music of yore, that Goa was always famous for. We need to re-discover ourselves. But will we?

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