Aged people are always on the traditional side. But the younger generation in general tends to break rules. They are in constant search of alternate ways. To do something new is what they persistently nurture in their mind. This has undoubtedly a good effect on the society. The young people are left with lots of imagination, and also the society is benefited from those newer perspectives. But too much of separation from tradition means swaying from origin. That is called perversion and is most undesirable.
One has to know the rules in order to break it. It is noticeable that a section of self styled music lovers have started experimenting on Rabindra Sangeet. Lyrics being altered, tunes converted, shattering the original meter along with the rhythm… they say they are modernizing Rabindra Sangeet. Once the great music director, Sri Salil Chowdhury had started experimenting with Rabindra Sangeet. After numerous attempts he had rubbished his idea. According to him a tune for the songs better than the original were just impractical. But the performers not only have their experiments done, but also they bring those spoiled songs to the market. To me all these ‘modernizing’ works should stop immediately as it only helps them to make some quick money.
Another important question is whether at all Rabindra Sangeet needs a face-lift. If the songs are really backdated why people stick to them, they can write their own verses and do whatever they feel like! That is the easiest way to put up a strong competition against the Old Man, and I am sure that one would be very comfortably placed in the market too.
It Is always a better option to learn a song technically as well as philosophically before one might be able to present the verse as if personal feelings. The background of the song may be very important for an influential presentation. May be some historical or mythological information needed to be browsed. It may also require acquiring a little conception on Sanskrit language. Even musical arrangements in Carnatic and Western systems along with the basic system of Hindustani Classical system would be needed. Some of songs have Punjabi, Gujarati even Marathi backgrounds. They are to be treated accordingly. Well, Rabindranath himself was a tradition breaker; he declared that in different conversations. But he did never agree that his followers should take the same route while singing Rabindra Sangeet.
Yet I personally believe that there is ample scope for experimentation with Rabindra Sangeet. One has to have a fine taste for musical delicacy in order to cherish that. There is no scope for gimmick whatsoever. Any attempt for a crude renovation of the songs would not help anyone as far as our tradition is concerned.
One of my friends has some posts on similar topics. Click here to read ...