I was in India over Christmas and was struck by different cultural approaches to the ‘Musician in Society’ theme. The last picture is just for fun, but there was a real contrast between the imported European forms as represented in the girls brass band and the experience of being in the canoe at dusk with Thomas and the oarsmen who enthralled us with traditional rowing songs. Here was a close connection with music as a natural, normal community activity. We responded (by invitation!) with some Scottish boat songs but none of the other nationalities represented in our group of c.10 felt comfortable doing that. Can’t help feeling we’ve lost something important in western society in our attitudes to music making.
Kerala girls band, Kochi
Thomas, Alappuzha, Kerala