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The Secret of Music in the Taj Mahal's Pool

The Secret of Music in the Taj Mahal's Pool

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Published by Marco Lobascio
A short story about a young child's endeavor in the discovery of the secrets of harmony in music
A short story about a young child's endeavor in the discovery of the secrets of harmony in music

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Published by: Marco Lobascio on Oct 06, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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By Marco Cesare Lobascio
Dedicated to my friend Arianna and her musical endeavors…
A long time ago there was a young boy named Prakash.He was born in a small village in India,Close to the magnificent Taj Mahal temple.Although Prakash was very smart and inquisitive,He could not be properly educated,Because he was from a poor family.His dream was to become a musician,A Sitar or a Tabla "Pandit",Which means: "Maestro" or: “Master” in India.He would have loved to study at the Temple,Where the Guru held their lessons, Teaching philosophy and the arts, To more fortunate young students.Artists and philosophers in IndiaWhere revered as holy priests,Because they manifested with their talent The beauty and wisdom of GodInto this material world.But the Guru were very jealousOf their secret knowledge of classical music, That was transmitted orally from father to son,And occasionally to a few gifted membersOf some aristocratic family.It was unthinkable for the poor boy To fulfill his dream,But his will to learn was so strong, That he spent many hoursEavesdropping behind the temple's columns,Or pretending to sweep and clean the marble floors,Close to where the Guru was practicingAnd teaching his lessons to his pupils. This way the boy got familiarWith the basics of India's classical music,As he mastered how to play beautiful arabesques
 Tapping and pounding on the Tabla drums.He became so good on the drumsHe was able to improvise and create new patternsAnd entertain his friends for hours. Then he learned the fundamental scalesOf the compositions called Raga,Each one of them expressing a different moodFor a total of sixty families of Ragas.Prakash practiced day and night on a scrappy sitarHe was able to buy at the local marketIn exchange for a hundred hours of gardening work.One day he felt to be as good a playerAs the best of the pupils at the Temple That were often scolded and chastised by the GuruFor their lack of motivation or practice. The boy put on his best dress,And went to the temple to ask the Guru To take him as a servant,And let him sit humbly at his lessons,In the back of the room,Not to disturb in any wayHis dutiful pupils. The Guru did not even let Prakash play To demonstrate his dedication and skill,And sent him away with anger.Desperate and resolute,Prakash waited outside of the Palace,And when the Guru exit the gates with his carriageHe threw himself under the wheels. There was much commotion as a big crowd gathered To see what had happened ... The Guru came out from the stopped carriageAnd saw the boy bleeding but not critically wounded."If I am not able to become a Pandit musician like you"Said the boy with eyes full of tears,"I might as well die under these horses". The Guru took the boy with himself,And taught to him, as if he was his own son,All of the secrets he knew about his art,Prakash became one of the most important artists
Of the Indian Classical Music tradition.One day when the Guru was very old,And felt death approaching,He asked Prakash to help himOn what might have beenHis last walk at the side of the pool of the Temple,Lined in white marble and perfectly rectangular The Guru said:"This pool contains the most important secret of music, The secret of Harmony and of Melody. These secrets are for all to be seenOn the surface of the water,If one knows what to look for.Music is a pattern of vibrations of the airSimilar to the water waves in the pond.If I throw a piece of bread in the water, The fish fighting for food will make a messy pattern,Similar to a noisy classroom when the teacher is away. That is not Music.But if I throw a small pebble in the pond.Or I dip up and down my finger in the water The resulting wave is a beautiful circular expanding shape. That is similar to a Note on a Sitar.A Note is a pure and simple vibrationFrom a musical instrumentSuch as a string in a SitarOr the air column in a flute,Carried by the air all the way to our ears.Now if we throw two pebbles in the water,Or we dip two fingers, The resulting wave is still beautiful,Albeit more complex.If we throw a few more pebblesWe may make it more and more “interesting”,Until it becomes too complex,And similar to the rioting fish.When we use more than two sounds at a time,We are making “Chords”.

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Amaroq de Quebrazas added this note
Inspiring, want to get out my electric guitar and blast a tune. Arianna will love this!
Marco Lobascio liked this

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