RBSE Solutions for Class 9 English Chapter 2 The Sound of Music

Chapter 2 The Sound of Music


Thinking about the Text

I. Answer these questions in a few words or a couple of sentences each.

Question 1. How old was Evelyn when she went to the Royal Academy of Music?

Answer: Evelyn was sixteen years old when she went to the Royal Academy of Music.

Question 2. When was her deafness first noticed? When was it confirmed?

Answer: Her deafness was first noticed when she was just eight years old. It was confirmed by the time she was eleven.

II. Answer each of these questions in a short paragraph (30–40 words).

Question 1. Who helped her to continue with music? What did he do and say?

Answer: Ron Forbes who was a percussionist, helped her to continue with music. He asked Evelyn not to listen through ears but to try to sense it some other way.

Question 2. Name the various places and causes for which Evelyn performs.

Answer: Apart from the regular concerts, Evelyn performs in prisons and hospitals. She also takes classes for young musicians.

III. Answer the question in two or three paragraphs (100–150 words).

Question 1. How does Evelyn hear music?

Answer: Evelyn hears music through different parts of her body. Ron Forbes asked her to try to sense the music some other way instead of ears. He started by tuning two big drums to varied notes.

Evelyn realized that she could feel the higher drum from her waist up and the lower drum from her waist down. Forbes kept repeating the same exercise and then Evelyn realized that she can sense certain notes in different parts of her body.

She says that when she plays the xylophone, she could feel the music passing up the stick into her fingertips. When she leans against the drums, she could sense the resonances flowing into her body. When she performs on a wooden platform, she removes her footwear so that the vibrations pass through her bare feet and up her legs.

Part II

The Shehnai of Bismillah Khan

I. Tick the right answer.

1. The (shehnai, pungi ) was a ‘reeded noisemaker.’

2. (Bismillah Khan, A barber, Ali Bux) transformed the pungi into a shehnai.

3. Bismillah Khan’s paternal ancestors were (barbers, professional musicians).

4. Bismillah Khan learnt to play the shehnai from (Ali Bux, Paigambar Bux, Ustad Faiyaaz Khan).

5. Bismillah Khan’s first trip abroad was to (Afghanistan, U.S.A., Canada).

Answer:

1. The pungi was a ‘reeded noisemaker.’

2. A barber transformed the pungi into a shehnai.

3. Bismillah Khan’s paternal ancestors were professional musicians.

4. Bismillah Khan learnt to play the shehnai from Ali Bux.

5. Bismillah Khan’s first trip abroad was to Afghanistan.

II. Find the words in the text which show Ustad Bismillah Khan’s feelings about the items listed below. Then mark a tick in the correct column. Discuss your answers in class.

Bismillah Khan’s feelings aboutPositiveNegativeNeutral
1. teaching children music
2. the film world
3. migrating to the U.S.A.
4. playing at temples
5. getting the Bharat Ratna
6. the banks of the Ganga
7. leaving Benaras and Dumraon

Answer:

Bismillah Khan’s feelings aboutPositiveNegativeNeutral
1. teaching children music
2. the film world
3. migrating to the U.S.A.
4. playing at temples
5. getting the Bharat Ratna
6. the banks of the Ganga
7. leaving Benaras and Dumraon

III. Answer these questions in 30–40 words.

Question 1. Why did Aurangzeb ban the playing of the pungi?

Answer: Aurangzeb banned the playing of the pungi because of the shrill unpleasant sound of the instrument.

Question 2. How is a shehnai different from a pungi?

Answer: A shehnai’s stem is hollow, longer and broader than that of a pungi. Shehnai has holes in its body.

Question 3. Where was the shehnai played traditionally? How did Bismillah Khan change this?

Answer: Traditionally, shehnai was a part of the naubat or traditional ensemble of nine instruments found at royal courts. It was played in temples and at marriages.

Bismillah Khan took it onto the classical stage.

Question 4. When and how did Bismillah Khan get his big break?

Answer: Bismillah Khan got his big break with the opening of All India Radio in Lucknow in 1938. He became an often-heard shehnai player on radio.

Question 5. Where did Bismillah Khan play the shehnai on 15 August 1947? Why was the event historic?

Answer: Bismillah Khan played the shehnai from the Red Fort on 15th August 1947. He was the first Indian to greet the nation with his Shehnai. The event was historic because that is the day when India got independence. Bismillah Khan played Raag Kafi to an audience that included Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru.

Question 6. Why did Bismillah Khan refuse to start a shehnai school in the U.S.A.?

Answer: Bismillah Khan refused to start a shehnai school in the U.S.A because he did not want to leave his country. He felt an unbreakable bond with his towns- Dumraon and Benaras, and with River Ganga.

Question 7. Find at least two instances in the text which tell you that Bismillah Khan loves India and Benaras.

Answer: Two instances in the text which tell us that Bismillah Khan loves India and Benaras are:

  • He says that whenever he is in a foreign country, he keeps yearning to see Hindustan.
  • He also says that when he is in Mumbai, he thinks of only Benaras and the holy Ganga.

Thinking about Language

I. Look at these sentences.

• Evelyn was determined to live a normal life.

• Evelyn managed to conceal her growing deafness from friends and teachers.

The italicised parts answer the questions: “What was Evelyn determined to do?” and “What did Evelyn manage to do?” They begin with a to-verb (to live, to conceal).

Complete the following sentences.

Beginning with a to-verb, try to answer the questions in brackets.

1. The school sports team hopes (What does it hope to do?)

2. We all want (What do we all want to do?)

3. They advised the hearing-impaired child’s mother (What did they advise her to do?)

4. The authorities permitted us to (What did the authorities permit us to do?)

5. A musician decided to (What did the musician decide to do?)

Answer:

1. The school sports team hopes to win the competition.

2. We all want to succeed in our lives.

3. They advised the hearing-impaired child’s mother to take care of the child.

4. The authorities permitted us to perform the dance in the stadium.

5. A musician decided to play the music in front of the audience.

II. From the text on Bismillah Khan, find the words and phrases that match these definitions and write them down. The number of the paragraph where you will find the words/phrases has been given for you in brackets.

1. the home of royal people (1) ________

2. the state of being alone (5) ________

3. a part which is absolutely necessary (2) ________

4. to do something not done before (5) ________

5. without much effort (13) ________

6. quickly and in large quantities (9) ________ and ________

Answer:

1. the home of royal people (1) royal residence

2. the state of being alone (5) solitude

3. a part which is absolutely necessary (2) indispensable

4. to do something not done before (5) invent

5. without much effort (13) effortlessly

6. quickly and in large quantities (9) thick and fast

III. Tick the right answer.

1. When something is revived, it (remains dead/lives again).

2. When a government bans something, it wants it (stopped/started).

3. When something is considered auspicious, (welcome it/avoid it).

4. When we take to something, we find it (boring/interesting).

5. When you appreciate something, you (find it good and useful/find it of no use).

6. When you replicate something, you do it (for the first time/for the second time).

7. When we come to terms with something, it is (still upsetting/no longer upsetting).

Answer:

1. When something is revived, it lives again.

2. When a government bans something, it wants it stopped.

3. When something is considered auspicious, welcome it.

4. When we take to something, we find it interesting.

5. When you appreciate something, you find it good and useful.

6. When you replicate something, you do it for the second time.

7. When we come to terms with something, it is no longer upsetting.

IV. Dictionary work

• The sound of the shehnai is auspicious.

• The auspicious sound of the shehnai is usually heard at marriages.

The adjective auspicious can occur after the verb be as in the first sentence, or before a noun as in the second. But there are some adjectives which can be used after the verb be and not before a noun. For example:

• Ustad Faiyaz Khan was overjoyed.

We cannot say: *the overjoyed man.

Consult your dictionary and complete the following table. The first one has been done for you.

adjectiveOnly before nounNot before nounBoth before and after the verb ‘be’
Indispensable
Impressed
Afraid
Outdoor
Paternal
Countless
Priceless

Answer:

adjectiveOnly before nounNot before nounBoth before and after the verb ‘be’
Indispensable
Impressed
Afraid
Outdoor
Paternal
Countless
Priceless

Indispensable: Electronic gadgets have become indispensable to modern life.

Impressed: He was impressed by his friend’s speech.

Afraid: Raghav is afraid of dark.

Outdoor: Outdoor games are necessary for keeping yourself healthy.

Paternal: My paternal uncle lives in Mumbai.

Countless: There are countless stars in the sky.

Priceless: Children’s smiles are priceless.

Speaking

I. Imagine the famous singer Kishori Amonkar is going to visit your school. You have been asked to introduce her to the audience before her performance. How would you introduce her?

Answer: Do it yourself.

II. Use your notes on Kishori Amonkar to introduce her to an imaginary audience.

You may use one of the following phrases to introduce a guest:

I am honoured to introduce…/I feel privileged to introduce…/We welcome you…

Answer: I am honoured to introduce you to the finest female vocalist of her generation, Kishori Amonkar. She is a Padma Bhushan awardee who was born in 1931 to another great artist Smt. Mogubai Kurdikar. She is a singer besotted by the mysterious world of the raagas. She dissects them until the most subtle of shades emerge and re-emerge. She is highly inspired by the teachings of the Vedic sages. She has been bestowed with several significant awards – Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (1985), the Padma Bhushan (1987), and one of the most prestigious awards in Indian Classical Music- Sangeet Samradhini Award (1997).

Writing

I. “If you work hard and know where you’re going, you’ll get there,” says Evelyn Glennie.

You have now read about two musicians, Evelyn Glennie and Ustad Bismillah Khan. Do you think that they both worked hard? Where did they want to ‘go’?

Answer these questions in two paragraphs, one on each of the two musicians.

Answer:

Yes, they both worked extremely hard. They wanted to pursue music as their career and achieve heights.

Evelyn Glennie is an inspiration to everyone. She grew profoundly deaf by the time she was eleven years old. But, she did not let the disability to listen become a hurdle in pursuing her career in music. She auditioned in Royal Academy of Music in London when she was not even seventeen years old and scored one of the highest marks in the history of the academy. In a field like music that’s entirely linked to listening, she began to sense music through different parts of her body. She brought percussion to the front of the orchestra. She was awarded with the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Soloist of the Year Award in the year 1991. She inspires people with her life and optimism.

Ustad Bismillah Khan belonged to a family of professional musicians. Shehnai was being used in temples and at marriages, but the credit of bringing the shehnai onto the classical stage goes to Ustad Bismillah Khan. He took to music in early years of his life. At the age of three, he was quite fascinated watching his uncles playing the shehnai. On the day of independence of India, he was the first Indian to greet the nation with his shehnai. He was strongly bonded to Benaras and the holy Ganga. He was awarded India’s highest civilian award- Bharat Ratna.

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