Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Watching Music

So... back in January I was in Agra to support the (cancelled) Presidential visit. While there, we did some "Ice Breaker" games, one of which involved choosing (by walking to one side of the room or the other) which of two options you prefer. When the question "Would you rather never watch TV again or never listen to music again?" came up, one of the Locally Engage Staff with me leaned over and said, "I don't understand the question, how can you listen to music without TV?" I chuckled with him and didn't really think much of it. However, several months later, I was again faced with this cultural difference. Another local mentioned that he'd purchased an iPad so his wife could "watch music"! This made me realize that, in India, music and film aren't seperate. All (or nearly all) music is created with a "music video" or as part of a movie soundtrack. So the idea that a song could be created just as audio... doesn't really make sense. Don't get me wrong, people here listen to music with headphones and no visual all the time, and they've clearly had traditional music from before the time of television. That being said, the two are so closely coupled that I've been asked what would be a good song to download, by an American, "such as Arnold Swartznegger, Silvester Stalone, or Michael Jackson."

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