Firstly, we wish to guard you against the view that things foreign, and cheap/vulgar music have invaded us; and that specially the young have fallen for it.

We are a multi-cultural entity, and a mature one. It would be oversimplification or wishful thinking if we were to conclude that we have been prey to something that has been thrust on us.

In this Conference, we wish to see this phenomenon in perspective. We must realize that if some exotic art forms and local variations have made inroads into our listening pleasure, it is with our implicit concurrence only. It is both prudent and safe to assume that there are pockets of vacuum in our cultural mould that have sucked in these variations. Apparently, we have failed to utilize our own grand legacies in this field to meet the unfulfilled aspirations of people.

Secondly, we must dispel the notion that serious classical music is a stiff-necked fare suited only for a select few knowledgeable.

On the one hand, we are dealing with changing times and values. On the other hand, we have un-exploited leads spelt out by the great Indian minds of yore. In simple words, the treasure-house of music literature handed down to us in about two millenniums has not only anticipated cultural changes but also provided us with ideas to meet changing needs and challenging art forms.

But the varieties prescribed were (and are) valid for a set of values in a re-strained, non-exhibitionist society that is our pride. The Indian image is based on such a cultural conglomerate.

Certainly, civilization and industrialization have added colour to the old ideas by features like sound amplification, fidelity in sound, and the like. However, what did not find place were casual and bizarre dresses as also a loosening of moral value during a concert. These, and the declining music hall etiquettes may suit an atmosphere of light entertainment and gay abandon, but not one where the power of music is used for changing into refined moods. Subject to the above, we do have dignified alternatives to even 'pop' music.

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