Transformation was requirement of time: Bangash brothers on rabab to sarod

Mumbai, Feb 24 (IANS) Sarod players Amaan Ali Bangash and Ayaan Ali Bangash say the transformation of Rabab — a folk instrument originating in Afghanistan — to sarod was organic and a requirement of time.

The siblings here on Thursday night launched their new album “Journey: Rabab to Sarod” that features their father and sarod maestro Amjad Ali Khan. The album was launched by Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan.

Talking about the concept of the album and emphasising on the difference between the two instruments Rabab and Sarod, Ayaan told IANS: “While the element (sound) of Rabab is more folkish, the transformation was the requirement of time. Guts strings were replaced by steel strings that we use in sarod. And gradually the instrument took its present shape.”

“I think it is very important for the young generation to know the history, the journey of every instrument. The whole idea behind the album is that,” he added.

Digital sound many times overpowers the nuances of organic sound of the classical instrument, and when asked about how challenging it is musically to stay relevant with time, Amaan said that “the music nuances shouldn’t get lost in between especially while collaborating with other instruments the originality needs to be maintained”.

“So when playing in a band or collaborating with other instruments, it would be wise to avoid the combination of an acoustic with digital. Sometimes, music is like ongoing railway track that doesn’t have to merge all the time,” Amaan said.

Seconding his thought, Ayaan said: “Though we believe in modern presentation of our traditional music for new generation, the originality of the sound needs to be maintained with dignity and grace.

“There is no rulebook as to how classical music should be presented. Therefore, without humiliating the essence of classical music, you certainly can package it in a contemporary manner. Having said that, in order to be contemporary, you don’t have to write an obituary of tradition.”

–IANS

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