Best Stories The Sound of Music Part -I Summary & Read: Part I
Best Stories The Sound of Music Part -I, Evelyn Glennie Listens to Sound without Hearing It “God may have taken her hearing but he has given her back something extraordinary. What we hear, she feels far more deeply than any of us. That is why she expresses music so beautifully.”Read the following story of a man who struggled with a physical disability and made his life a success.
Best Stories The Sound of Music Part -I :
I) RUSH hour crowds jostle for position on the underground train platform. A slight girl, looking younger than her seventeen years, was nervous yet excited as she felt the vibrations of the approaching train. It was her first day at the prestigious Royal Academy of Music in London and daunting enough for any teenager fresh from a Scottish farm. But this aspiring musician faced a bigger challenge than most: she was profoundly deaf.
II) Evelyn Glennie’s loss of hearing had been gradual. Her mother remembers noticing something was wrong when the eight-year-old Evelyn was waiting to play the piano. “They called her name and she didn’t move. I suddenly realised she hadn’t heard,” says Isabel Glennie.
For quite a while Evelyn managed to conceal her growing deafness from friends and teachers. But by the time she was eleven her marks had deteriorated and her headmistress urged her parents to take her to a specialist. It was then discovered that her hearing was severely impaired as a result of gradual nerve damage.
They were advised that she should be fitted with hearing aids and sent to a school for the deaf.
“Everything suddenly looked black,” says Evelyn.
III) But Evelyn was not going to give up. She was determined to lead a normal life and pursue her interest in music. One day she noticed a girl playing the xylophone and decided that she wanted to play it too. Most of the teachers discouraged her but percussionist Ron Forbes spotted her potential. He began by turning two large drums into different notes.
“Don’t listen through your ears,” he would say, “try to sense it some other way.” Says Evelyn, “Suddenly I realised I 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.
“I had learnt to open my mind and body to sounds and vibrations.” The rest was sheer determination and hard work.
Best Stories The Sound of Music Part -I
IV) She never looked back from that point onwards. She toured the United Kingdom with a youth orchestra and by the time she was sixteen, she had decided to make music her life. She auditioned for the Royal Academy of Music and scored one of the highest marks in the history of the academy.
She gradually moved from orchestral work to solo performances. At the end of her three-year course, she had captured most of the top awards.
V) And for all this, Evelyn won’t accept any hint of heroic achievement. “If you work hard and know where you are going, you’ll get there.” And she got right to the top, the world’s most sought-after multi-percussionist with a mastery of some thousand instruments, and a hectic international schedule.
VI) It is intriguing to watch Evelyn function so effortlessly without hearing. In our two-hour discussion, she never missed a word. “Men with bushy beards give me trouble,” she laughed. “It is
not just watching the lips, it’s the whole face, especially the eyes.” She speaks flawlessly with a Scottish lilt. “My speech is clear because I could hear till I was eleven,” she says. But that doesn’t explain how she managed to learn French and
master basic Japanese.
VII) As for music, she explains, “It pours in through every part of my body. It tingles in the skin, my cheekbones and even in my hair.” When she plays the xylophone, she can sense the sound passing up the stick into her fingertips.
By leaning against the drums, she can feel the resonances flowing into her body. On a wooden platform, she removes her shoes so that the vibrations pass through her bare feet and up her legs.
VII) Not surprisingly, Evelyn delights her audiences. In 1991 she was presented with the Royal Philharmonic Society’s prestigious Soloist of the Year Award. Says master percussionist James Blades, “God may have taken her hearing but he has given her back something extraordinary.
What we hear, she feels far more deeply than any of us. That is why she expresses music so beautifully.
IX) Evelyn confesses that she is something of a workaholic. “I’ve just got to work … often harder than classical musicians. But the rewards are enormous.” Apart from the regular concerts, Evelyn also gives free concerts in prisons and hospitals.
She also gives high priority to classes for young musicians. Ann Richlin of the Beethoven Fund for Deaf Children says, “She is a shining inspiration for deaf children. They see that there is nowhere that they cannot go.”
X) Evelyn Glennie has already accomplished more than most people twice her age. She has brought percussion to the front of the orchestra and demonstrated that it can be very moving. She has given inspiration to those who are handicapped, people who look to her and say, ‘If she can do it, I can.’ And, not least, she has given enormous pleasure to millions.
Best Stories The Sound of Music Part -I Thinking about the Text:
1. Answer these questions in a few words or a couple of sentences each.
I) How old was Evelyn when she went to the Royal Academy of Music?
Ans: Evelyn was not even seventeen when she went to the Royal Academy of Music.
II) When was her deafness first noticed? When was it confirmed?
Ans: Her deafness was noticed when she was eight-year-old. It was confirmed by the time she was eleven.
2. Answer each of these questions in a short paragraph (30-40 words).
i) Who helped her to continue with music? What did he do and say?
Ans: 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.
ii) Name the various places and causes for which Evelvn performs.
Ans: Evelyn performed free concerts in prisons and hospitals. She made music her life and performed many regular concerts.
3. Answer the question in two or three paragraphs (100-150 words).
i) 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, a percussionist spotted her potential. He asked her not to listen through their 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 on the xylophone, she could sense the sound passing up the stick into her fingertips.
By leaning against the drums, she could feel the resonances flowing into her body. On the wooden floor, she used to remove her shoes so that the vibrations may pass through her bare feet and up her legs.
(Best Stories The Sound of Music Part -I ) Thinking about the Text :
1) Tick in the right answer.
- The (shehnai, pungi) was a ‘reeded noisemaker.’
- (Bismillah Khan, A barber, Ali Bux) transformed the pungi into a shehnai.
- Bismillah Khan’s paternal ancestors were (barbers, professional musi-cians).
- Bismillah Khan leamt to play the shehnai from (Ali Bux, Paigambar Bux, Ustad Faiyaaz Khan).
- Bismillah Khan’s first trip abroad was to (Afghanistan, U.S.A., Canada).
- A barber
- Professional musicians
- Ali bux
2 ) Answer these questions in 30-40 words.
I) Why did Aurangzeb ban the playing of the pungi?
Ans: Aurangzeb banned the playing of the pungi because it had a shrill and unpleasant sound.
II) How is a shehnai different from a pungi?
Ans: A shehnai is a pipe with a natural hollow that is longer and broader than a pungi. It has seven holes on the body of the pipe.
III) Where was the shehnai played traditionally? How did Bismillah Khan change this?
Ans: The shehnai was played traditionally in the temple at the royal courts and on the occasion of weddings. The credit must go to Bismillah Khan to take this instrument onto the classical stage.
IV) When and how did Bismillah Khan get his big break?
Ans: Bismillah Khan got his big break with the opening of the All India Radio in Lucknow in 1938.
V) Where did Bismillah Khan play the shehnai on 15 August 1947? Why was the event historic?
Ans: Bismillah Khan played the shehnai on 15 August 1947 at the Red Fort. He was the first Indian to greet the nation with his musical instrument. This event was historic because We got independence on that day. He poured his heart out in the presence of a large number of people including Pt. Jawahar Lai Nehru.
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