This article belongs to Sweet Grace column.

The  Noise   of    Music


Have you ever tried your throat at singing? Any kind of songs – light, film tunes, classical etc?


Even while contemplating on this thought, Vincent appeared before me  and said,  "Hey, you have  a melodious voice; you can  give out songs par excellence to mesmerize any listener."  I was astonished at the coincidence . . . .


Now, a word about Vincent . . . we have been friends for as long as three decades right from school days.  Nowadays he drops in at my house only occasionally and on each call he would come out with some winner.  Most of the time, I don't take him seriously at all because he is gifted with a good sense of humor.  You never know when he is serious and when he is pulling fast ones on you. But this time, I felt that he could be right.  After all I am a member of the church choir and the choir master has never ticked me off for bleating or screeching. I also recalled that during school days I had taken part in all the singing competitions collecting the third position every time and so was never entitled to a prize. But, not winning doesn't mean I am a bad singer.


So, this time I did take Vincent quite seriously.   He must have arrived at his conclusion based on my past reputation.  Time to rejuvenate the talent, I felt, and made up my mind to apply for the post of a Play back singer. [For information of Western readers of this article:  In Indian films, the characters never sing any songs; they only give lip movements while the song itself is sung by some experts and recorded earlier.  This is so in all Indian films without exception.  And Indian films are known for their music. So, play back singers are in great demand]



However,  before I appeared in any Music director's studio, I wanted to test my voice  by myself - alone.  I selected a popular number and hummed it a couple of times inside my room.  Humming is not good enough. Any song must be sung with full vigor and voice.


According to Vincent, I had dozens of  high profile guitars in my throat! 


For my 'self audition test' I chose a lonely road just behind my house.  I looked around for any eavesdropper . . . .  There was not a soul anywhere in sight. "Good!" I informed myself and switched on the guitars at full volume.  My God, I loved the tune; it was glorious to my ears.  Music filled the morning air with tremendous acceptance.  At this point of time, I certainly wished that there were some real life audience members to applaud my rendition. I even heard myself saying, "Jay, you are selected boy." 


"Vincent is a great judge," I concluded.


Then suddenly, a brand new car stopped almost near my feet.  It was a Hyundai deluxe model.  The young driver got out, opened the bonnet and started examining some parts.


I craned my neck and asked, "Anything wrong, brother?"


 "I don't know.  This is a new vehicle, just three days old.  How come there is some terrible noise?  Where has it come from?"  Without even lifting his head to see my face, the youngster started tapping at various places to locate the origin of that sound. 


 "Did you say, NOISE?" I asked him for clarification.


 "Yes, Sir.  Terrible noise, I must say.  Unbearable, you see?"


Gearing myself up with an artificial cheer, I told him, "Not to worry, young man. This is a first class car.  I am an automobile engineer, so I should know.  But the trouble is this car at a speed of 27.55 kmph resonates with the cool breeze of the open air and generates a moderate audio frequency whistle of reasonable amplitude at 4 KHz.  The moment you cross the 27.55 mark, the noise will cease…" 


The  youngster looked up, completely baffled  and knitted his forehead.  "What did you say?" he asked.


"Well, don't be depressed, my dear fellow.  Avoid that 27.55 mark and your car will make no noise."   I stressed the word 'noise'


He got into the driver's seat, switched on the engine and revved it up at what he thought would be around 30 kmph mark.  There indeed was no noise, whatever."


"Thank you, Sir" he complimented me.


I waved him a good day and turned back home resolving to take Vincent to task for pulling my leg!