Millennium Post

Don't learn classical music if you want a career: Khan

Sarod maestro Amjad Ali Khan has a word of caution for aspiring musicians, "Don't learn classical music if you want a career."

"If you want to make a career then don't learn classical music... Become an engineer, scientist or a bank manager.

Classical music is a lifelong service, commitment and dedication to understand music," Khan told PTI.

The musician was here to perform at a charity concert held by Indian Cancer Society.

Khan said only a few who can "entirely dedicate their lives to music and their masters" manage to find the light in the "dark tunnel that is music".

"For music, you have to entirely dedicate yourself to the Gods and your teacher. Classical music is like entering a dark tunnel with this hope that some light will reach you someday.

"A few of us find that light, while thousands of others are still stumbling around in the darkness," Khan said.

Pointing at the increasingly commercialised prospects of music, he said that people were learning music only "to make an album or to be on television".

"These days you see people who learn music to make an album, to appear on reality shows or to perform on stage. You don't find many people who are learning music to actually understand music," the Padma Vibhushan awardee said.

While Khan disapproves of the commercialisation of music, he also feels that the "future of classical music is secure" in the hands of "talented" young aspiring musicians like his sons Amman and Ayaan and their contemporaries.

"There are some very young talented musicians in this generation. Amaan, Ayaan and their contemporary musicians are very talented and they are quite established. So, I feel the future of classical music is secure," he said.

The Sarod player also noted that while legacy played its part in a musician's life, it was largely his or her dedication and hard work that pays off.

"It is not necessary that only a newcomer with a legacy can find his or her place in this field. Legacy helps, but not always.

"I have taught Amaan and Ayaan classical music and Sarod, because music is my wealth, it is my property, bank balance, treasure and everything that I have. Now it's up to their own hard work, commitment, dedication and discipline," he said.
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