THE SOUND OF MUSIC
(Explanation, Meaning of difficult words)
Evelyn Glennie Listens to Sound without Hearing It
Author – Deborah Cowley
BEFORE YOU READ
God has not given her the ability to listen. But God has given her something special. Whatever we listen, she can feel. She can feel more deeply and correctly that any of us can. This is the reason she can express through music so nicely.
Please read the following description of a person who had fought against a physical disability. She achieved success in her life.
|Rush hour||Time of heavy rush|
|Jostled||Pushed each other especially in a crowd|
This was the time when rush used to be more at the underground railway station. People were pushing each other in the crowd. A little girl appeared less than seventeen. She was nervous yet excited to feel vibrations of the coming train.
|Daunting||Afraid, Worried, Difficult|
|Scottish||Belonging to Scotland|
|Aspiring||Hopeful, Hoping to become something|
|Deaf||One who cannot hear|
It would be her first day at the Royal Academy of Music in London. This institute is highly reputed. Any teenager would have been quite worried on the first day at this institute. She belonged to a family of farmers from Scotland. But this person who was hopeful of becoming a musician faced a bigger challenge. She was almost completely deaf.
|Gradual||A slow process|
Name of her mother was Isabel Glennie. Evelyn had lost the ability of listening gradually. While Evelyn was playing a piano, her mother had noticed something wrong. Mother called out name of Evelyn but she did not move at all. Her mother suddenly understood that her daughter did not hear her name being called out.
|Quite a while||For a small duration of time, Sometime|
For some time, Evelyn was successful in hiding her deafness from her friends and teachers. By the time she became 11, she started getting less marks in her exam. The principal of her school advised her parents to consult a specialist doctor.
|Hearing aid||A devise to help in hearing|
The doctor found that hearing of Evelyn was damaged to a great extent due to gradual damage of a nerve of the ear. Doctor advised them that a hearing aid should be fitted in the ears of Evelyn. She should be sent to a school where only deaf children studied. Evelyn recalls that suddenly everything started looking sad.
|Give up||Accept defeat, Stop making efforts|
|Xylophone||A musical instrument|
Evelyn was not ready to accept defeat so easily. She had the determination to lead life of a normal person. She wanted to follow her interest in music. One day she saw that a girl was playing xylophone. She decided that she would also learn to play xylophone.
|Discouraged||Demoralize, Opposite of encouraged|
|Potential||Ability, Prospects, Possibility|
|Percussion instrument||An instrument played by hitting with hand or a stick|
|Percussionist||Person playing percussion musical instruments|
|Tuning||Setting of a musical instrument|
|Notes||A single sound at a particular level|
|Sense it||Feel it|
Most of the teachers did not encourage her. But percussionist Rob Forbes understood that she had an ability. He tuned two large drums to different notes. He advised Evelyn not to listen to these through ears. He advised her to feel their sound through some other means.
Evelyn told that she suddenly realised that she could feel beats of the higher drum in her body above her waist. She could feel beats or sound of the lower drum in her body below her waist. Forbes repeated these exercises many number of times. Very soon Evelyn found that she was able to feel certain notes of music in different part of her body.
I understood and learnt to feel sounds and vibrations of music through my mind and my body. The remaining work was purely a matter of determination and hard work.
|Never looked back||Became successful, Progressed further|
After that she became successful. She travelled throughout United Kingdom with a orchestra of young people. By the time she became 16, she had decided to pursue music in her life.
|Auditioned||Gave a trial|
She gave a trial for admission into Royal Academy of Music. She scored one of the highest marks ever scored by anyone in the past. Gradually she stopped giving performance in orchestra. She started giving performance as a single artist. By the end of her three year study at the Academy, she had won most of the top awards.
|Heroic||Being a hero, Being a great achiever|
|Most sought-after||Most admired, Most popular|
In spite of being such a good musician, Evelyn never considered herself a big achiever. She was modest even during her success. She used to tell that if one worked hard and knew about one’s goals, one could reach there. And she reached at the top of her profession. She was the most popular musician in the world who could play many instruments. She had a very busy travel schedule across the globe.
|Bushy beard||Thick beard, Big beard|
It is so fascinating to note that Evelyn performed and did his routine works so easily. It did not appear that she was making lot of efforts. We talked to her for about two hours. She understood every word that we spoke. She said that understanding speech of people having thick beard was quite troublesome for her.
|Flawlessly||Without any mistake|
|Scottish lilt||Accent of Scotland|
She had trouble understanding voice of people with big beard because she could not watch their lip movement. She found reading their eyes also difficult. She used to speak with accent of Scotland. She explained that her voice was clear because she could hear till the age of eleven. But this reason does not explain how she could learn French and German. Author is trying to appreciate her efforts even after she became deaf.
|As for music||Regarding music|
|Pours in||Enters in|
|Fingertips||Ends of fingers|
I can listen to the music through every part of my body. It vibrates my body, my cheekbones and also my hair. When she plays the xylophone, she can feel the sound of music through tips of her fingers.
|Leaning against||Resting, Taking support of|
By taking support of drums, she can feel vibrations through her body. While playing drums, she sits on a wooden platform without wearing shoes. So vibrations of drums and music enter into her body through her bare feet.
|Not surprisingly||Expectedly, Happens as expected|
|Delighted||Became very happy|
|Soloist||One who performs alone|
As expected audiences were very happy to listen to her performances. In 1991, she was awarded the reputed award of the Soloist of the Year. This was awarded by Royal Philharmonic Society.
|Master||Great, Highly skilled, Leading|
|Far more||More my great amount or degree|
The great percussionist James Blades says that God has taken away the ability of hearing from her. But God has given her some special powers. What we hear, she can feel much more clearly and powerfully. This is the reason her musical compositions are so beautiful.
|Workaholic||One who works a lot|
|Enormous||Huge, Very large|
Evelyn accepted that she is a person who like to work a lot. I need to work harder than any other classical musicians. But the benefits of working hard are huge.
|Apart from||In addition to|
|Shining inspiration||Great motivator|
In addition to her normal musical shows, she does many shows in prisons and hospitals without charging any fees. She gives lot of preference to teaching young musicians. Ann Richlin is a member of Beethoven Fund for Deaf Children. He has said that Evelyn is a great motivator to deaf children. They have started believing that they can achieve anything.
|Very moving||Very impressive|
Evelyn Glennie has already achieved more than people of double her age achieve. Because of her efforts, percussion instruments have become important part of an orchestra. She has established that these instruments can be played very impressively.
|Handicapped||Physically disabled, Physically challanged|
|Not the least||Especially, Particularly, Moreover|
She is a great motivator to those who are physically challenged. They look at her say that if she can do it, they can also do it. Moreover, her music has given lot of happiness to millions of people.
The Shehnai of Bismillah Khan
|Banned||Stopped, Prohibited, Barred|
|Unpleasant||Not liked, Uncomfortable, Hateful, Ugly|
|Generic name||Name given to a group|
|Reeded||Musical instrument played by blowing air|
Emperor Aurangzeb was a ruler in India. He had ordered that a musical instrument Pungi was not to be played in his royal palace. This was done because he did not like its sharp sound. Later the group of all musical instruments played by blowing air into it was called Pungi.
|Tonal quality||Quality of sound|
Nobody had imagined that one day Pungi would be renewed into another form. A barber of a family of musicians had the permission to go into the royal palace. He decided to improve the quality of sound of Pungi.
|Stem||Thin branch of a tree|
|Soft||Of low volume, Not shrill|
He selected a long stem of a tree that was hollow. It was longer and broader than the pipe of Pungi. He made seven holes in the pipe. Then he played it by blowing air into it. He closed and opened holes of the pipe with his fingers while blowing air. The sound produced was low, musical and pleasant.
|Royalty||Members of royal family|
He played the instrument for the members of the royal family. Everyone liked it. The instrument was quite different from Pungi. So people wanted to give a new name to it. This was first played in front of the Shah meaning the king. It was first played by a nai meaning barber. So it was named ‘shehnai’.
|Auspicious||Lucky, Good omen,|
The sound of shehnai is regarded as a good omen. Therefore it is played in temples. It is essentially played during wedding in North India.
|Traditional||According to customs|
|Till recently||Till short time ago|
During old times, shehnai was included in the customary group of nine musical instruments played in courts of kings. Till short time ago, it was played only in temples and during weddings. Ustad Bismillah Khan brought this instrument upto the level of classical music.
|Gilli danda||A folk sport|
When Bismillah Khan was five year old, he used live in the kingdom of Domraon in Bihar. He used to play ‘gilli-danda’ near a pond in his village. He used to go to the nearby temple to sing ‘Chaita’ in Bhojpuri language. After end of ‘Chaita’ the king used to give him a laddu of 1.25 kg weight. He considered it as reward for singing in the temple.
|Has travelled far||Has grown a lot|
This used to happen about 80 years ago. The small boy of that time later grew as a person and as a musician. He was awarded the highest award a civilian can earn in India – Bharat Ratna.
|shehnainawaz||A person who plays shehnai|
|Paternal||Relative of father|
|Ancestors||People of earlier generation, Forefather|
He was born on 21 March, 1916. He belongs to a famous family of musicians of Bihar. His grand father Rasool Bux Khan used to play shehnai in the court of king of Bhojpur. His father Paigambar Bux, and other relatives of his father were also good shehnai players.
|Took to music||Started learning music|
|Maternal uncle||Brother of mother|
|Fascinated||Highly impressed, Strongly interested|
Bismillaha Khan started learning music when he was a child. When he was of three years age, his mother had taken him to his uncle’s house. His uncle used to live in Benaras ( It is now called Varanasi). Bismillah Khan very interestingly watched his uncle playing shehnai.
|Employed||In the job|
|Captivated||Fascinated, Engrossed, Absorbed|
Very soon Bismillah started going to Vishnu temple with his uncle Ali Bux. His uncle had the job of playing shehnai at the temple. Ali Bux used to play shehnai for many hours at the temple. Bismillaha used to listen to it with full attention for many hours till the end.
|Getting lessons||Getting taught|
|For years to come||For many years of future|
|Haunts||Visiting place, Place frequently visited|
Gradually Bismillah started receiving education for playing shehnai. He used to practice during the full day. For many years the young boy used to frequently go to the temples of Balaji and Mangala Maiya on the banks of Ganga. These were his favourite visiting places. He used to practice there alone.
|Invent||Discover, Find something new|
The water flowing in the river Ganga was a motivation for him to improve himself. He started playing many new raagas on shehnai. Earlier it was thought that these could not be played on shehnai.
|Patted the back||Appreciated, Lightly struck the back with hand|
|You shall make it||You shall be successful|
When Bismillaha was 14, he went with his uncle to participate at the Allahabad Music Conference. After his performance, Ustad Faiyaz Khan came to Bismillah, he appreciated the performance of Bismillah. Ustad Faiyaz advised Bismillah to work hard and blessed him that he would be successful.
|Big break||Big opportunity|
All India Radio opened its branch in Lucknow in 1938. It was a big opportunity for Bismillah. Very soon he started performing very often on radio.
|Poured his heart||Exhibited lot of efforts and enthusiasm|
India gained freedom on 15th Aug 1947. Bismillah was the first person to play shenai to welcome this event. He exhibited lot of efforts and enthusiasm while playing Raag Kafi from Red Fort. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru was also one of the audiences. Later Nehru gave his famous speech ‘Tryst with Destiny’ from Red Fort.
|Maestro||Highly skillful, Genius, Expert|
Bismillah Khan has given many performances in India and abroad which are always remembered. For his first visit outside India, he had gone to Afghanistan. The King Zahir Shah was so impressed by the genius of Bismillah that he gave him many valuable Persian carpets and other mementos.
The King of Afghanistan was not only one who was impressed by shehnai played by Bismillah. Film director Vijay Bhatt listened to Bismillah at a festival. He was very impressed. He made a movie by the name of ‘Gunj Uthi Shehnai’.
|Nationwide||Throughout the nation|
The film was successful. Bismillah Khan gave music to one of the songs of the film – ‘Dil ka khilona …’. This song became very popular throughout the country.
|Despite||In spite of|
|Celluloid world||Film industry|
|Come to terms||Accept condition or situation|
In spite of this grand success, journey of Bismillah Khan in the film music was for only two films. One film was Vijay Bhatt’s Gunj Uthi Shehnai and the other was Vikram Srinivas’s Kannada film, Sanadhi Apanna. Bismillah Khan could not accept the glitter and unnatural world of film industry.
|Thick and fast||Quickly and in large numbers|
Very soon Bismillah Khan started getting large number of awards. He was the first Indian to perform at the reputed Lincoln Centre Hall in USA.
|Exposition||A large exhibition|
He participated in several exhibitions, fairs and concerts like Montreal, Cannes and Osaka. He was very famous at international level. An auditorium in Tehran (a city in Iran) was named after him.
He was awarded prestigious national awards like Padmashri, the Padma Bhushan and the Padma Vibhushan.
|Coveted||Of very high order, Greatly desired by many|
In 2001, he was given the highest award for civilian – Bharat Ratna. With shine in his eyes and the award on his chest, with rare happiness he said that now all would advise their children to learn music. Music is the tradition of India. Even people of West are coming to India to learn music.
|Fondly||Lovingly, With affection|
With affection, Bismillah Khan is called Kahnsaab. Although he has visited many places in the world, he likes Benaras and Dumraon most. For him these are the most beautiful towns of the world.
Once, a student his requested him to come to USA and become head of a shehnai teaching school. The student promised that he will make the atmosphere of Benaras there. He will copy the temples of Benars in that institute. Khansaab asked him if would be able to bring River Ganga also.
|Yearning||Strong desire, Craving, Urge|
|Mattha||A place of worship|
Later he said that because of this reason, whenever I am in foreign country, I get the strong desire to go back to Hindustan. This is remembered by many. He further said that when he is in Mumbai, he thinks of holy Ganga. And when he is in Benaras he thinks of ‘mattha’ of Dumraon.
Shekhar Gupta had asked him a question. After partition did you and your family think of shifting to Pakistan.
|God forbid||God please forgive me|
Bismillaha Khan had replied that he would never leave Benaras. I went to Pakistan only once. I crossed the border only to say to the world that I have been to Pakistan. I remained in Pakistan area for about one hour. From there, I said ‘namaskar’ to people of Pakistan and ‘salaam alaikum’ to people of India. I came back to India. He laughed a lot.
(Readers’ Digest, October 2005)
|Rich||Having lot of variety, Strong|
|Heritage||Tradition, History, Custom|
His life is a perfect example of strong cultural traditions of India. With any additional efforts or objections, the Indian culture accepts and allows a pious Muslim to play shehnia at Kashi Vishwanath temple.
|Prolonged||Of long duration|
Ustad Bismillah Khan died on 21st Aug 2006. At that time he was ninety. He was ill for a long time. He was given state honour during his funeral. The Indian Government had declared one day national mourning.
Author – SUBRAMANIA BHARATI
[translated from the Tamil by A.K. Ramanujan]
|Scatter||Throw here and there, Spread|
|Wind, come softly.||Personification|
|Don’t break the shutters of the windows.||Repetition|
|Don’t throw down the books on the shelf.||Alliteration|
|Don’t throw down the books on the shelf.||Repetition|
|look what you did — you threw them||Repetition|
The poet is requesting wind to blow gently. He asks wind not to break shutters of windows and not to spread papers. He requests not to throw books that are kept on the shelf. But all are thrown by the force of wind. So poet complains to wind that why it has thrown everything on the ground.
The poet has equated wind with difficulties or adversities of life. We always pray that difficulties should not disturb our life. Our assets should remain intact. Our physical ability should remain intact. But sometimes adversities may cause some damage.
|Poking fun||Making fun of|
|Weaklings||Weak people or things|
|You tore the pages of the books.||Repetition|
|You’re very clever||Personification|
The poet complains that wind has torn pages of the books. Wind has again brought rains. Wind is very clever in making fun of weak things.
When adversities cause damage, we get into the mode of complaining. We start blaming others. We could even go to the extent of begging not to trouble weak people.
|Rafter||Main support of a sloping roof|
|Winnows||Blows, To separate grain from chaff through wind|
|crumbling is used many times||Repetition|
|Wind god winnows||Personification|
Weak houses are breaking, week doors are breaking, weak rafters are breaking, weak wood, weak bodies, weak lives and weak hearts are breaking. The wind is so strong that it can separate chaff from the grain.
In these lines poets has repeatedly used the word ‘crumbling’ for the purpose of emphasis.
But the adversities seldom listen to our requests. They would come into our life. They would disturb or damage anything that is weak. Be it our house, our belongings, our health or our wealth. Therefore we need to be strong in every aspect of life.
|Steadfast||Firm, Strong, Determined|
|He won’t do what you tell him.||Alliteration|
|He won’t do what you tell him.||Personification|
The wind will not obey your orders. So let us build strong homes. Let us close our doors firmly so the wind cannot open it. Let us make our body strong. Let us be strong mentally. If we do these things, wind will be our friend. Meaning wind will not be able to cause any damage to us.
The adversities will not listen to our pleadings or requests. So let we ourselves become stronger. Let our house be stronger. We should be stronger physically and mentally. When we become strong, adversities cannot cause any damage to us. Then they start behaving in a friendly manner to us. Meaning that these will not be able to affect us anymore.
|Blows out||Extinguishes, Put to an end|
|Roar and flourish||Increase|
|He makes strong fires roar and flourish.||Personification|
|His friendship is good.||Personification|
|We praise him every day.||Personification|
If the fire is weak, wind will extinguishes it. If the fire is strong, it becomes stronger by wind. If one is strong, wind would be his friend. Then we would praise the wind every day.
A weak person gets negatively affected by adversities in life. It makes him weak. However a strong person derives advantage from prevailing conditions to make himself stronger. Therefore it is said that friendship with a strong person is advantageous. We would then praise such people when we ourselves are strong.
Siddhi · July 3, 2021 at 10:31 am
explanation is excellent but I would appreciate if you add the whole English syllabus of class 9th