Passion Without Riyaz is no Passion for Music

Some say they have great passion for Music. They may either have passion for listening to music or for doing it religiously as though their being depended on pursuing music. I would like to say a few things about the latter.

It is well known that there is no greater passion than passion for Music. It is almost like the divine passion that Meerabai had for her Krishna. One may be born with it (with music in the family) or may develop it as one grows, but in either case one has to relentlessly pursue doing it. Let’s say you think you have a passion for mountain climbing. Sitting in air-conditioned hall, fondly ruminanting about it will not take you anywhere. You must go out in the hot sun and do the physical activity of climbing the mountain with the inevitable bruises,the cuts and all. They are all part and parcel of what you have bargained for in this endeavour. You must climb the mountain not that the world will see you climbing, but because you have it in you to climb to the top and experience the pristine beauty from the there. Whether others see you climbing it or not is unimportant. What matters is the satisfaction that you have about the vision from top of the mountain.

Passion for Music is to be translated into constant Riyaz. Passion for Music without Riyaz is no Passion, it is only a WISHFUL DESIRE. There can be no holiday for not doing Riyaz. Can there be a holiday for Breathing? Riyaz, like breathing, has to be a continuous process, if you want to be a sadhaka. One can cite any number of excuses for not doing Riyaz. Unavailability of time, or lack of time-space, ideal circumstances etc, etc,. Unless the vocal cords fail to cooperate, or one is really unwell, a musician cannot afford to take a break. Riyaz in music is not a mindless exercise. What you have already learnt has to be polished and polished, to be of the highest order – it has to be high grade gold. 24 carats, not less should be your attempt.

To think you already know a particular raga very well, so you don’t have to practice it is to become arrogant and complacent and complacency in music is getting stuck with little or no growth. Without Riyaz you will not visualise newer possibilities opening up in the raga. Without it you have stopped being creative in the framework of the gharana. With Riyaz, you will begin to see newer spaces in the raga and you will begin to explore it further. This is growth of the highest order. It is only through Riyaz that you will discover new pastures in music.

Were the masters of the yore fools to be doing constant Riyaz, mechanically repeating what they already knew? What do you think they were doing in their everyday Riyaz? They were discovering newer spaces of ragas through it and would be happy if they were right, like the mountain climber seeing a panoramic view on top of the mountain.
Unfortunately, in music, there is no substitute for practice/Riyaz.