The Sound of Music Class 9 Notes English Chapter 2


I. Evelyn Glennie Listens to Sound without Hearing It

This chapter is about a Scottish girl named Evelyn. She was very fond of music. She wanted to make it her life. But she became deaf at the age of eleven. Her loss of hearing had been gradual. Her mother remembers noticing something was wrong with the girl. Evelyn was waiting to play the piano. When her name was announced, she did not move. It was an alarm to her mother and she took her to a specialist. Evelyn had been concealing her deafness from her friends and teachers. After diagnosis, it was found that her hearing had been severely damaged.

For Evelyn, everything suddenly turned black. However, she was determined to lead a normal life and pursue her interest in music. Suddenly she realised that she could feel the higher drum from the waist up and the lower one from the waist down. Her music teacher Forbes repeated the exercise, and soon Evelyn discovered that she could sense certain notes in different parts of her body. She had learned to open her mind and body to sounds and vibrations. After that, she never looked back. The rest was sheer determination and hard work.

After some time, she went to London and joined the Royal Academy of Music there. She scored one of the highest marks in the history of the academy. Gradually she left the orchestra and started giving solo performances. It was a wonder to see a deaf girl playing the musical instruments so flawlessly and effortlessly. It was a heroic achievement. Not surprisingly, Evelyn delighted her audiences. She won many awards including the Philharmonic Society’s prestigious Soloist of the Year Award. Apart from the regular concerts Evelyn performs for the deaf children also. She is a shining inspiration for deaf children. Evelyn Glennie has already accomplished more fame than others achieve in the double of her age.

II. The Shehnai of Bismillah Khan

This lesson tells us about the development of Shehnai. Emperor Aurangzeb banned the playing of a musical instrument called pungi in the royal residence as it had a shrill unpleasant sound. Pungi became the generic name for all instruments and making loud noise. The credit for bringing this instrument onto the classical stage goes to Ustad Bismillah Khan. When he was five years old, Bismillah Khan played gilli-danda near a pond in Dumraon in Bihar. Bismillah was born on 21 March 1916. He belongs to a well-known family of musicians from Bihar. His grandfather, Rasool Bux Khan, was the shehnai-nawaz of the Bhojpur king’s court. His father, Paigambar Bux, and other paternal ancestors were also great shehnai players.

The young boy took to music early in life. When he was three years old, his mother took him to her brother’s house. There, he saw his maternal uncle practicing on shehnai. He felt attracted to Shehnai. Soon Bismillah started accompanying his uncle Ali Bux, to the Vishnu temple of Benaras. Bux was employed to play the shehnai at the temple. Ali Bux would play the shehnai and Bismillah would sit captivated for hours. At the age of 14, Bismillah accompanied his uncle to the Allahabad Music Conference. Everybody praised his performance. He worked very hard and became a well-known Shehnai player. He got a chance to play Shehnai at All India Radio Lucknow in 1938.

Bismillah Khan gave many memorable performances in India as well as abroad. Film director Vijay Bhatt was so impressed after hearing Bismillah play at a festival that he named a film after the instrument called ‘Gunj Uthi Shehnai’. The film was a hit. One of Bismillah Khan’s compositions, “Dil ka khilona hai toot gaya” became a hit song. In 2001, Ustad Bismillah Khan was awarded India’s highest civilian award, the Bharat Ratna. Ustad Bismillah Khan’s life is a perfect example of the rich cultural heritage of India. He was a devout Muslim but he used to play the shehnai every morning at the Kashi Vishwanath temple.

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