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Why is Rahman's Grammy win Special?

February 2, 2010 3:40:00 PM IST
Enkayaar, Bollywood Trade News Network
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A R Rahman is the fourth Indian, who has won the Grammy awards, his predecessor being Pandit Ravi Shankar (twice), Ustad Zaakir Hussain Rakha, Pandit and Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt But Rahman's feat is indeed different from his predecessors as it is for the first time that film given in music by an Indian music director has been considered worthy enough to be awarded Grammy.

Grammy awards, as a matter of convention are given for individual excellence in music and it has happened after a long time that music given for a film has won the award at Grammy, as it has happened with SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE. Last time a film had swapped the Grammy awards was with THE SOUND OF MUSIC. For this sheer fact the award won by Rahman needs to be savored, highlighted and is a matter for which every Indian or for that matter everybody who is associated with Indian film music should feel proud about.

It is acknowledgement about the outreach of Indian music and signals its arrival on international platform in a big way. Before advent of Rahman on the international platform through his unique style of music, where mukhda, antara do not find any distinct but all of them merge into each other, the kind of Indian music making waves at the international levels and coming into contention was that characterized by emphasis on Indian sounds. The emphasis on Indian sounds was to maintain the distinctness of the nodes, but Rahman made the concept stand on its own head as he relied on the western instruments, fusing them with the Indian sounds to create his own unique sound, which has literally mesmerized the world of music aficionados.

Rahman has taken the Indian music to a new platform and it is for the others to follow upon it. One distinct feature of Indian music that provides it the edge as compared to the western music is the difference in the number of nodes. While the western music comprises 5 nodes, 2 nodes characterize Indian music. The additional 2 nodes provide the opportunity to the Indian music creators to strive for additional sounds. Rahman has indeed shown that he is the wizard as far as production of different kinds of sounds in the composition of music is concerned, and it is this experimentation with the sound which has emerged as his hallmark and helped him stamp his authority at the Grammy awards as well.

To borrow the title from Rashmi Bansal's book, STAY YOUNG STAY FOOLISH, Rahman's music spreads the spirit of youth among all the music fans and also provides them an opportunity to continue to flirt with being foolish so that the new scales of performances can be aspired for.

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