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No point in classifying music, says Ilayaraja

NEW DELHI: Musician Ilayaraja does not believe in classifying music into folk, classical or western streams as many people do and says it all depends on the way people hear it.

The 62-year-old musician, an alumnus of London's Trinity College of Music, says it is ridiculous to classify music into different streams as music everywhere is based on seven notes (sapta swaram).

``My perception is that there is no distinction in music as many people perceive. The difference lies in the way you hear the music,'' Ilayaraja said at a function organised by the Kerala Information Centre and various Kerala associations here on Friday.

``Your understanding of music depends on your capacity to perceive it,'' said the musician, who has scored music for over 750 films and performed in more than 20,000 concerts.

``Music is as vast as the sky, the oceans, the universe,'' the musician, who was the first Indian to compose a symphony, said adding, ``I am only an ant who could drink a cup (of music).''

Likening music to an ``elegant flight of a fowl, gentle flowing of a stream, the spread of a fragrance, a cool breeze,'' Ilayaraja said ``when you apply your mind, you lose the charm of music.''

``Music should come from the heart. It should happen. That should be automatic and if you labour on creating music, it will not have soul,'' he said.

Earlier in the day, Ilayaraja presented an audio recording of his symphony to President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. — PTI

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