The Sound of Music

The Sound of Music

Part I


  1. Profoundly: Deeply
  2. Conceal: Hide
  3. Pursue: follow
  4. Sought-after: much needed
  5. Confesses: own up to something
  6. The sound of Music

Q1. When her deafness was first noticed? When it was first confirmed?

Ans: Her deafness was first notice by her mother when Evelyn was eight years old. She was once waiting to play piano when her name was called, she did not move that was when her mother realised that she had not heard anything. Her deafness was confirmed when she was of 11. Her marks had deteriorated and her headmistresses had urged her parents to take her to a specialist. It was then discovered that gradual nerve damage had severely impaired her hearing.

Q2. Who helped her to continue with music? What did he do and say?

Ans: Percussionist Ron Forbes was the first person to notice Evelyn’s potential. He began by tuning two large drums to different notes. He asked Evelyn not to listen through her ears but to try and sense the sound in some other manner. Suddenly Evelyn realised that she could feel the higher drum from her waist up and lower drum from her waist down. Forbes repeated the exercise and Evelyn realised that she could sense certain notes in different parts of her body.

Q3. Name the various places and cause for which Evelyn performs.

Ans: Evelyn always delighted her audiences. She had toured the United Kingdom with a youth orchestra. She had a very hectic International Schedule. Apart from the regular concerts, she gave concerts in prison and hospitals. She gave high priority to classes for young musicians because of which she was a shining inspiration for the deaf children.

Q4. How does Evelyn hear music?

Ans: Evelyn hears music by sensing the notes in different parts of her body. When Rob Forbes tuned 2 drums and asked her to sense the sound without using her ears. She realised that she could feel the higher drum from the waist up and lower drum from her waist down. When she play 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 a wooden platform, she removed her shoes so that vibrations could pass through her bare feet. She herself said that music poured in through every part of her body. It tinged in her skin, her cheek bone and even in her hair.

The Sound of Music

Part II


  1. Revived: restart
  2. Captivated: attract
  3. Apprentice: trainee
  4. Haunts: regular meeting places
  5. Solitude: loneliness
  6. Replicating: copy
  7. Yearning: desperate

Q1. Why did Aurangazeb ban the playing of the pungi?

Ans: Emperor Aurangazeb banned the playing of the pungi in the royal residence for it had a shrill and unpleasant sound. It became the generic name for needed noise maker.

Q2. How is the shehnai different from a pungi?

Ans: Shehnai is a pipe with a natural hollow stem that is longer and broader than the pungi. It has seven holes on its body. When it is played the closing and opening of some of the holes produces soft and melodious sound.

Q3. Where was the shehnai played traditionally? How did Bismillah Khan change this?

Ans: Traditionally, the shehnai was part of traditional Ensemble of a instruments found at royal court. It was used only in temples and weddings. However Ustad Bismillah Khan brought in the change by bringing on to the classical stage.

Q4. When and how did Bismillah Khan get his big break?

Ans: Bismillah Khan had accompanied his uncle to the Allahbad Music Conference at the age of 14. At the end of his recital Ustad Faiyaz Khan patted his back on told him to work hard and he shall make it big in life. He got his first Big Break with the opening of All India Radio in Lucknow. He soon became often heard shehnai player on Radio.

Q5. Where did Bismillah Khan play the Shehnai School on 15 August 1947? Why was the event historic?

Ans: On 15th August 1947, Bismillah Khan played the shehnai from the Red Fort. It was a historic day as India gained Independence on that day. He became the first Indian to great the nation with his shehnai. His audience included illustrious names such as Jawaharlal Nehru.

Q6. Why did Bismillah Khan refuse to start a shehnai school in the U.S.A?

Ans: Bismillah Khan refused to start a shehnai school in the U.S.A, because he could not leave India. His student, who had asked him to head the Shehnai School, promised that he would recreate the atmosphere of Banaras by replicating the temples in the city. However, he wanted to know if his student obviously could not. He himself said that, whenever he is in foreign country, he kept yearning to see Hindustan.

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