I must admit I had heard of Hazrat Inayat Khan a long time ago and been a little sceptical of his works as they were mostly popular amongst the 'supermarket spirituality' brigade. You know, the kind who have a copy of Gibrans "The prophet" under their arms and Moroccan incense burning at home.
I was surprised when reading this book however, to find that it is an insightful study into the spiritual meaning of music. Anyone who plays a musical instrument regardless of if they are religious or not will know how the sounds and rhythm of the music can move both them and those who listen, they will know how different sounds can have different effects, how a song can move a person to tears of sadness or joy while another can move one to anger.
This book details the effects on both the heart and soul of music and how music as understood my more 'ancient' peoples was a sacred thing. How music is used by Sufis in their rituals and the meaning behind it. Religious conservatives have always tried to ban music especially from religious rituals while failing to understand the powerful effects that music has on the heart and soul and how music is just as if not more powerful than the word.
A wonderful book that should be read by any musician and/or follower of religion.
on 10 May 2011
All i can say is this book is amazing! It contains not only a deep insight into music and its affects on the human body & soul, but Hazrat Inayat Khan speaks about life, the hidden music in it, that we fail to hear, from our heart beating, to the trees being blown by the breeze. It is a very deep book, i am still trying to understand many parts of the book which leave me thinking for hours. but from what i did understand i loved it, he mentions quotes from many religious scriptures too, such as the bible, the hindu scriptures, the Quran.. and teaching stories which hold very deep messages. I recommend this book to any person, religious/ non religious, musical / non musical. I love the last three chapters on poetry.
and i leave you with one of my favourite passages of the book
"Whether it be poetry, art or music it must suggest life. It can only suggest life if it comes from the deepest impulse of the soul, if it does not do that it is dead.
What is it that awakens the soul to this rhythm that brings about poetry? It is something that touches in the poet, that predisposition called Love.
All that is good and beautiful and worth attaining is centred in that one spark hidden in the heart of man. When the heart speaks of its joy, its sorrow, all of it is interesting and appealing. The heart does not lie, it always tells the truth. By Love it becomes sincere, and it is through a sincere heart that true love manifests."