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Manuel Marino Music Composer

orchestra playing their pieceMany people are apprehensive about classical music, be it Western or Indian. Although it may be challenging to understand, it is possible to learn to appreciate Hindustani classical music.

The first step is acceptance. Acknowledge that at present, you may not be able to fully appreciate something remarkable due to various reasons such as hesitance or perception. Imagine being at a concert, feeling out of place as the person next to you seems knowledgeable and is enthusiastically responding to the performance. Don’t worry. Offer a polite smile and try to enjoy the performance.

People often say they can’t connect with Hindustani classical music. Your journey starts there. Listen to non-remixed film songs or Hindi or regional language songs in your native tongue. Classical songs are often based on classical music. Listen to compositions by Naushad, Laxmikant-Pyarelaal, Jagjit Singh, O.P. Nayyar, Kalyanji-Anandji, or if you prefer more contemporary music, try Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, A.R. Rahman, Uttam Singh, or Aadesh Shrivastava.

Simultaneously, start listening to short classical instrumental pieces. For example, if you hear a song featuring a flute, listen to a classical flute piece for 5-10 minutes. You can find these on YouTube. Try to find similarities between the pieces. If you discover a connection between a song you’re casually humming and Indian classical music, you’ve made progress.

Now that you’re connected and excited, explore further. Alongside instrumental pieces, start listening to ghazals, thumris, and so on. Begin to appreciate longer instrumental pieces. At this stage, you’ll likely be comparing music and seeking similarities or connections. Keep it up.

When you notice repetition in your exploration, attend a concert—a classical music concert, where you once felt out of place. There, you’ll continue your comparison game For Game Design - Andrea Angiolino was born the 27th of April, 1966 in Rome, the city where he still lives. He published many boardgames and books about games, besides developing games for every media. His works appeared in more than a dozen of languages including Korean, Czech and Maltese. He is a game journalist on national magazines, newspapers,… while listening to the live performance. However, there will come a moment when you hear a tune or phrase that compels you to stop your exploration game and just listen. Embrace the melody and follow the progression, tracing the pattern. Trust that you will enjoy it. You may not know the raga being performed or the notation, but you’ll appreciate the music. Now you can also express your admiration with “oohs” and “aahs,” having discovered something new and appealing.

Live performances are crucial for appreciating Indian classical music. While digital platforms are available, experiencing a live performance yields the best results. Attend as many concerts as you can to deepen your appreciation.

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