NCERT Solutions for class 9th English Chapter 2 The Sound of Music



I. Answer these questions in a few words or a couple of sentences each.

  1. How old was Evelyn when she went to the Royal Academy of Music?
  2. When was her deafness first noticed? When was it confirmed?


  1. Evelyn was not even seventeen when she went to the Royal Academy of Music.
  2. Her deafness was noticed when she was eight years old. It was confirmed by the time she was eleven.

II. Answer each of these questions in a short paragraph (30–40 words).

  1. Who helped her to continue with music? What did he do and say?
  2. Name the various places and causes for which Evelyn performs.

Ans. 1. Ron Forbes helped her to continue with music. He spotted her potential and said, “Don’t listen through your ears, try to sense it some other way.” He began by turning two large drums into different notes.

2. Evelyn performed free concerts in prisons and hospitals. She made music her life and performed many regular concerts.

III. Answer the question in two or three paragraphs (100— 150 words).

1. How does Evelyn hear music?

Ans. Evelyn became deaf by the time she was eleven. But she did not give up. She was determined to lead a normal life and pursue her interest in music. Ron Forbes the percussionist spotted her potential. He asked her not to listen through ears but try to sense it some other way. She realized she could feel the higher drum from the waist up and the lower one from the waist down. Forbes repeated the exercise and soon Evelyn discovered that she could sense certain notes in different parts of her body. She learnt to open her body and mind to sounds and vibrations. She herself explained. “It pours in through every part of my body. It tingles in the skin, my cheekbones and even in my hair.” When she played the xylophone, she could sense the sound passing up the stick into her fingertips. By learning against the drums, she could feel the resonances flowing into her body. She used to remove her shoes so that the vibrations pass through her bare feet and up her legs.



I. Tick the right answer:

  1. The (shehnai, pungi) was a ‘reeded noisemaker’.
  2. (Bismillah Khan, A barber, Ali Bux) transformed the pungi into a shehnai.
  3. Bismillah Khan’s paternal ancestors were (barbers, professional musicians).
  4. Bismillah Khan learnt to play the shehnai from (Ali Bux, Paigambar Bux. Ustad Faiyaaz Khan).
  5. Bismillah Khan’s first trip abroad was to (Afghanistan, U.S.A., Canada).

Ans. 1. Pungi 2. Ali Bux 3. Professional musicians 4. Ali Bux 5. Afghanistan.

II. Find the words in the text which show Ustad Bismillah Khan’s feelings about the items listed below. Then mark a tick (3) in the correct column. Discuss your answers in class

Ans. 1. Positive 2. Negative 3. Negative 4. Neutral 5. Positive 6. Positive 7. Negative.

III. Answer these questions in 30–40 words.

  1. Why did Aurangzeb ban the playing of the pungi?
  2. How is a shehnai different from a pungi?
  3. Where was the shehnai played traditionally? How did Bismillah Khan change this?
  4. When and how did Bismillah Khan get his big break?
  5. Where did Bismillah Khan play the shehnai on 15 August 1947? Why was the event historic?
  6. Why did Bismillah Khan refuse to start a shehnai school in the U.S.A.?
  7. Find at least two instances in the text which tell you that Bismillah Khan loves India and Benaras.

Ans. 1. Aurangzeb banned the playing of the pungi because it had a shrill unpleasant sound.

2. A shehnai is a pipe with a natural hollow that is longer and broader than a pungi. It has seven holes in the body of the pipe.

3. The shehnai was played traditionally in the Vishnu temple of Varanasi. His maternal uncle used to play this instrument. He invented ragas that were earlier considered to be beyond the range of the shehnai.

4. Bismillah Khan got his big break with the opening of the All India Radio in Lucknow in 1938.

5. Bismillah Khan played the shehnai on 15 August 1947 at Red Fort. He was the first Indian to greet the nation with his musical instrument. He poured his heart out into Raag Kafito an audience which included Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru.

6. He refused to start a shehnai school in the USA because the nation did not have the holy river Ganga. It was not possible to transport Ganga from India to the USA. That was why whenever he was in a foreign country, he kept yearning to see Hindustan. Bismillah Khan loves India and Banaras from the bottom of his heart. He says that he misses the holy Ganga and India when he goes abroad. While in Mumbai, he thinks of only Benaras and the holy river.


I. Look at these sentences

  • Evelyn was determined to live a normal life.
  • Evelyn managed to conceal her growing deafness from friends and teachers.

The italicised parts answer the questions: ‘‘What was Evelyn determined to do?’’ and ‘‘What did Evelyn manage to do?’’ They begin with a to-verb (to live, to conceal).

Complete the following sentences. Beginning with a to-verb, try to answer the questions in brackets.

1. The school sports team hopes_____ (What does it hope to do?)

2. We all want_____ (What do we all want to do?)

3. They advised the hearing-impaired child’s mother ____(What did they advise her to do?)

4. The authorities permitted us to____ (What did the authorities permit us to do?)

5. A musician decided to_____ (What did the musician decide to do?)

Ans. 1. to win 2. to succeed 3. to take her to a specialist 4. play 5. play a new Raaga

II. From the text on Bismillah Khan, find the words and phrases that match these definitions and write them down. The number of the paragraph where you will find the words/phrases has been given for you in brackets.

  1. the home of royal people (1) __.
  2. the state of being alone (5) _.
  3. a part which is absolutely necessary (2) _.
  4. to do something not done before (5) . 5.without much effort (13) .
  5. quickly and in large quantities (9) _ and _.

Ans. 1. royal residence 2. solitude 3. an indispensable component 4. improvise 5. effortlessly 6. thick; fast.

III. Tick the right answer.

  1. When something is revived, it (remains dead/lives again).
  2. When a government bans something, it wants it (stopped/started).
  3. When something is considered auspicious (welcome it/ avoid it).
  4. When we take to something, we find it (boring/ interesting).
  5. When you appreciate something, you (find it good and useful/find it of no use).
  6. When you replicate something, you do it (for the first time/for the second time).
  7. When we come to terms with something, it is (still upsetting/no longer upsetting).

Ans. 1. lives again 2. stopped 3. welcome it 4. interesting 5. find it good and useful 6. for the second time 7. no longer upsetting

IV. Dictionary work

  • The sound of the shehnai is auspicious.
  • The auspicious sound of the shehnai is usually heard at marriages.

The adjective auspicious can occur after the verb be as in the first sentence, or before a noun as in the second. But there are some adjectives which can be used after the verb be and not before a noun. For example:

• Ustad Faiyaz Khan was overjoyed. We cannot say: *the overjoyed man.

Look at these entries from the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (2005)

Consult your dictionary and complete the following table. The first one has been done for you.


  1. My sister seemed impressed with his work.
  2. She is afraid of her father.
  3. I’m not really the outdoor type.
  4. He lives in the parental home.
  5. The District Library has countless reference books.
  6. Your present is priceless.


Que I. Imagine the famous singer Kishori Amonkar is going to visit your school. You have been asked to introduce her to the audience before her performance. How would you introduce her?

Here is some information about Kishori Amonkar you can find on the internet. Read the passage and make notes of the main points about:

  • her parentage
  • the school of music she belongs to
  • her achievements
  • her inspiration
  • awards

Padma Bhushan Kishori Amonkar, widely considered the finest female vocalist of her generation, was born in 1931, daughter of another great artist, Smt Mogubai Kurdikar. In her early years she absorbed the approach and repertoire of her distinguished mother’s teacher Ustad Alladiya Khan. As her own style developed, however, she moved away from Alladiya Khan’s ‘Jaipur-Atrauli gharana’ style in some respects, and as a mature artist her approach is usually regarded as an individual, if not unique, variant of the Jaipur model.

Kishori Amonkar is a thinker, besotted by what she calls the mysterious world of her raagas. She dissects them with the precision of a perfectionist, almost like a scientist, until the most subtle of shades and emotions emerge and reemerge.

She is very much inspired by the teachings of the ancient Vedic sages, written at a time when vocal music was highly devotional in character. This soul-searching quality of her music, coupled with a very intellectual approach to raaga performance has gained her quite a following in India and has helped to revive the study of khayal.

Significant awards bestowed on this artist include the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (1985), the Padma Bhushan (1987), and the highly coveted Sangeet Samradhini Award (considered one of the most prestigious awards in Indian Classical Music) in 1997.

Ans. Do yourself.

II. Use your notes on Kishori Amonkar to introduce her to an imaginary audience. You may use one of the following phrases to introduce a guest:

I am honoured to introduce…/I feel privileged to introduce…/‘We welcome you’…

Ans. It’s my proud privilege that I have been honoured to introdue you to the famous singer Kishori Amonkar, the finest female vocalist of her generation. She was born in 1931 to the great artist Smt. Mogubai Kurdika. She is a thinker who dissects the raagas with the precision of a perfectionist to so that the raagas can be inspirational for the common masses. She is greatly inspired by the teachings of the ancient vedic sages. She was conferred upon the significant awards viz., the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (1985), the Padma Bhushan (1987) and the highly coveted Sangeet Samradhini Award in 1997.


“If you work hard and know where you’re going, you’ll get there,” says Evelyn Glennie.

You have now read about two musicians, Evelyn Glennie and Ustad Bismillah Khan. Do you think that they both worked hard? Where did they want to ‘go’?

Que : Answer these questions in two paragraphs, one on each of the two musicians.

Ans. Yes, they both worked hard. It is a fact that dedication and determination help one in attaining one’s long-cherished goals. Evelyn Glennie was profoundly deaf. She was not ready to give up. She was determined to lead a normal life and pursue her interest in music. She worked hard and got the Royal Philharmonic Society’s prestigious soloist of the year Award in 1991. She accomplished more than most people twice her age.

Ustad Bismillah Khan belongs to a well known family of musicians from Bihar. He took to music early in life. He gave many memorable performances in India and abroad. He practised hard and reached his destination in 2001. When he was awarded India’s highest civilian award, the Bharat Ratna, National Awards like the Padma Shri, the Padma Bhushan, and the Padma Vibhushan were also conferred on him. His life has been a perfect example of the rich, cultural heritage of India, one that effortlessly accepts that a devout Muslim like him can very naturally play the shehnai every morning at the Kashi Vishwanath temple.

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