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  • Pachmarhi Hills come alive to sound of AEC’s music

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    CariappaMusicWingKF11jul2017

    by Nandu Andhare,

    The Cariappa Music Wing at Army Education Corp (AEC) Pachmarhi provides sheer delight, especially to one who loves and savours music, be it Western or Indian. Instrumental music emanating from the shining Brass saxophones, trumpets, clarinets, followed by the heart-beating drumming by the trainee drummers is something revering.

    The scribes visiting the Cariappa Music Wing took a melody out of the hills in their hearts. The visit was arranged by Defence PRO Wg Cdr Samir Gangakhedkar.

    Amid scenic beauty of Pachmarhi hills, the musicians were busy preparing for the farewell programme of the Station Commander.

    The sight was totally mesmerising. Seated in a semicircle under a 240-year-old huge Banyan tree, about 35 musicians, comprising of buglers, trumpeters, saxophonists, vocalists, drummers, repianists, flutiests and guitarists were waiting in anticipation. After the guests took their seats, the veil of suspense was lifted and out flew lilting tunes in perfect synchrony and harmony, enveloping the entire densely-wooded region with heavenly music.

    It was Field Marshal KM Cariappa’s idea to introduce music in military to instill patriotic feeling among personnel and help in bringing in uniformity, imbibing one-nation feeling. It was also his idea to shift the erstwhile location of the Military Music Wing at Belgaum to Pachmarhi.

    The Music wing offers three-year course in Martial Music to potential bandmasters. The school has experienced faculty from civil and military to train the new entrants in various instruments and even vocal. Hindustani classical music is also taught to the soldiers, who learn to play tabla, dholak, harmonium, jaltarang and various ragas based on which are some of the very popular Martial tunes and regimental songs, which when played with harmony can bring goose-bumps. Chests of soldiers and officers swell with pride when the band plays the signature song of the regiment. They may not have professional voices, but the voice of the vocalist exhibits raw patriotism, zeal and the strong will power to complete the task on hand fearlessly.

    The Music wing has a Shantiniketan Band Stand, enveloped under a 240-year-old Banyan tree, where the band practises in complete harmony with nature. Besides there are the Beethoven, Mozart, Tansen and Swami Haridas Training sheds. The Cariappa Music Wing of the AEC is on the lines of theworld famous Kimberly Hall of the UK, where trainees ranging from a Sepoy to Subhedar can pursue a course. Musicians from all the three wings of defence services are trained at the Cariappa Music Wing.

    It has a huge, impressive and up-to-date music library along with a section that displays an assortment of musical instruments, percussion items, with photographs of ceremonial presentations. The library has a good collection of Desh Ke Gaane, Tunes of Valsar, History of Music, Biography, Music Dictionary, Martial Music of Indian Army, Martial Bands and Music of the Indian Army. The Music school teaches Jazz, Pipe and Brass Band. Military music taught at the school is at par with international standards.

    For the visiting scribes, the musicians played the famous ‘Donau Wallen Waves of Danube Waltz’ which was simply haunting. This was followed by ‘Silver Sobre’, ‘Mack and Mack’, ‘Raga Bhupali’ on Jaltarang, and Vibraphon and Xylophone ‘In a Persian Market’. Devotional songs like ‘Deh Shiva’, an entity of Guru Gobind Singh, was also played much to the delight of the visitors.

    Another impressive part of the visit was the Protools Software or recording available at the state-of-the-art recording studio of the music school, where vocal recordings are made separately and then mixed with the rhythm of instrumentalists.

    The AEC Military Music Wing has also got its name in the prestigious Guinness Book of World Records for having performed at Vijay Chowk Delhi in which 4,459 musicians played under One Band Master during the Asiad games.

    As one left the arena of the lilting music, one could see, bandmasters practicing with their mace, wand, drummers letting loose a volley of beats while practicing ‘Beating of the Retreat’.

    Bagpipers were practicing patriotic songs, trumpeters letting off the haunting bugle call of the Last Post. At various points, the sound echoed down the Satpura hills of Pachmarhi.

    source: http://www.thehitavada.com / The Hitavada / Home / by Nandu Andhare / July 06th, 2017

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