“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.
Yes, they both worked hard. It is a fact that dedication and determination help one in attaining one’s long-cherished goals. Evelyn Glennie was profoundly deaf. She was not ready to give up. She was determined to lead a normal life and pursue her interest in music. She worked hard and got the Royal Philharmonic Society’s prestigious Soloist of the Year Award in 1991. She accomplished more than most people twice her age.
Ustad Bismillah Khan belongs to a well-known family of musicians from Bihar. He took to music early in life. He gave many memorable performances in India and abroad. He practiced hard and reached his destination in 2001 when he was awarded India’s highest civilian award, the Bharat Ratna. The other National Awards like the Padmashri, the Padma Bhushan, and the Padma Vibhushan were also conferred on him. His life has been a perfect example of the rich, cultural heritage of India.
Extract Based Questions (3 marks each)
Read the passage given below and answer the questions that follow.
Her mother remembers noticing something was wrong when the eight-year-old Evelyn was waiting to play the piano. “They called her name and she didn’t move. I suddenly realized she hadn’t heard,” says Isabel Glennie. For quite a while Evelyn managed to conceal her growing deafness from friends and teachers. But by the time she was eleven her marks had deteriorated and her headmistress urged her parents to take her to a specialist.
- What made Isabel suspect Evelyn’s hearing ability?
- Why did Evelyn’s headmistress advised her parents to consult a specialist?
- Find the word/phrase in the passage which means the same as “to hide”.(SA-1, DDE-2014) (Board Term 1,2012, ELI-016)
- Isabel had a doubt about Evelyn’s hearing ability when she did not move when her name was called to play on the piano.
- Evelyn’s headmistress advised her parents to consult a specialist when her marks deteriorated.
As for music, she explains “it pours in through every part of my body. It tingles in the skin, my cheekbones and even in my hair”. When she plays the xylophone, she can sense the sound passing up the stick into her fingertips. By leaning against the drums, she can feel the resonances flowing into her body. On a wooden platform, she removes her shoes so that the vibrations pass through her bare feet and up her legs.
- How does Evelyn hear the sound of xylophone?
- Why does she remove her shoes on a wooden platform during her performance?
- Find a word from the passage that means “‘take off”. (Board Term 1,2012, ELI-015)
- Evelyn hears the sound of xylophone through her fingertips.
- She removes her shoes on a wooden platform during her performance so that she can feel the vibrations of the music through her feet to legs.
She never looked back from that point onwards. She toured the United Kingdom with a youth orchestra and by the time she was sixteen, she had decided to make music her life. She auditioned for the Royal Academy of Music and scored one of the highest marks in the history of the academy. She gradually moved from orchestral work to solo performances.
- What did Evelyn decide when she was sixteen years old?
- How did Evelyn get right to the top?
- Which word in the passage means the same as “gave a short performance so that the director
could decide whether she was good enough” (Board Term 1,2012, ELI-021)
- When Evelyn was sixteen years old, she decided to make music her life.
- Evelyn got to the top by hard work, motivation, and determination.
For quite a while, Evelyn managed to conceal her growing deafness from friends and teachers. But by the time she was eleven, her marks had deteriorated and her headmistress urged her parents to take her to a specialist. It was then discovered that her hearing was severely impaired as a result of gradual nerve damage. They were advised that she should be fitted with hearing aids and sent to a school of the deaf.
- Why did the headmistress urge her parents to take her to the specialists?
- At what age were symptoms of deafness noticed in Evelyn?
- Trace the word that means “damaged”. (Board Term 1,2012, ELI-022)
- Evelyn’s school’s headmistress urged her parents to take her to a specialist because she had a hearing problem.
- At the age of eleven, the symptoms of deafness were noticed in Evelyn.
Rush hour crowds jostle for position on the underground train platform. A slight girl, looking younger than her seventeen years, was nervous yet excited as she felt the vibrations of the approaching train. It was her first day at the prestigious Royal Academy of Music in London and daunting enough for any teenager fresh from a Scottish farm.
- Who is the ‘girl’ in the above lines?
- Where was she going?
- Find the word from the extract that means “frightening”. (Board Term 1,2012, ELI-026)
- Evelyn Glennie.
- She was going to the prestigious Royal Academy of Music in London.
Short Answer Type Questions (2 marks each)
(About 30-40 words each)
When was Evelyn’s deafness first noticed? When was it confirmed? (SA-1,2014)
Isabel had a doubt about Evelyn’s hearing ability when she did not move when her name was called to play on the piano. At the age of 11, it was confirmed when she was taken to a specialist.
When and how did Evelyn loose her power of hearing? (Board Term 1,2012, ELI-014)
Evelyn lost her power of hearing due to gradual nerve damage. At the age of 8, it was noticed and then at the age of 11, it was confirmed that Evelyn had lost her hearing ability.
Why was Evelyn nervous while going to The Royal Academy of Music?(Board Term 1,2012, ELI-018)
Evelyn was nervous while going to the Royal Academy of Music as she was just 16 years old and was fresh from the Scottish farms, to add to her nervousness.
How did Evelyn’s deafness come to light? (Board Term 1,2012, ELI-019)
When did Evelyn’s mother notice that something was wrong with her hearing?(Board Term 1,2012, ELI-041)
At the age of 8 when her name was announced to play on piano, she did not respond. At the age of 11, her marks deteriorated. The headmistress urged her parents to take her to a specialist and her hearing impairment was discovered.
Who helped Evelyn to continue with music? What did he do and say?(Board Term 1,2012, ELI-024)
When Evelyn wanted to pursue her career in music, everyone discouraged her. It was a Percussionist Ron Forbes who helped and encouraged her to listen to the music and feel the music through her body.
How did Evelyn hear music despite being deaf? (Board Term 1,2012, ELI-030)
Evelyn could sense music through her body. While playing on the xylophone, she could sense music through her fingertips and would learn against drums to sense. On the wooden floors, she used to remove her shoes and sense music through her feet moving of the legs.
What is Evelyn’s secret of success and what message does she give to achievers?(Board Term 1,2012, ELI-040)
Evelyn’s secret of success was strong determination and hard work. The message that she gives to the achievers is that work hard and get what you want.
How has Evelyn Glennie inspired handicapped people? (Board Term 1,2012, ELI-043)
When the handicapped people used to see Evelyn Glennie, they used to say, “If she can do it, I can”, And so, she resulted in inspiring them.
Write down Evelyn’s message for the people. (Board Term 1,2012, ELI-043)
Evelyn’s message to the people is that—Strong determination and hard work with sincerity/honesty leads to success. Aim for your goal and try to reach your goal with full determination and concentration.
Long Answer Type Questions (4 marks each)
(About 80-100 words each)
How did Evelyn Glennie fight with her physical disability? (Board Term 1,2012, ELI-014)
Evelyn Glennie was a very brave girl. She learnt to open her body and mind to the sounds and vibrations. She used to feel as if music was flowing through her body. So she joined an orchestra and later the Royal Academy of Music. She did not want to be deprived of the joy of music that made her happy. She later even gave solo performances on stage in many countries and became famous.
In spite of her towering success, Evelyn Glennie does not accept any hint of heroic achievement. Explain. (Board Term 1,2012, ELI-017)
Evelyn Glennie had a hearing loss and was discouraged by most of the teachers but she did not give up. Ron Forbes guided her to listen through her body, not ears. Eventually, Evelyn learnt to open her body and mind to sound and vibrations. She scored the highest marks in the history of The Royal Academy of Music. She also captured many top awards and brought percussion to the front of the orchestra. She has given pleasure to millions and in spite of this towering success she does,
not accept any hint of heroic achievement and is a very simple person.
Evelyn’s determination to overcome her disability has made her a source of inspiration for deaf children. Comment. (Board Term 1,2012, ELI-029)
When Evelyn became deaf, she was determined to lead a normal life. She was encouraged by her percussion teacher. She learned to sense music through different parts of the body and opened her mind and body to vibrations. She could feel higher drums from the waist up and xylophone music through her fingertips. She used to remove her shoes on the wooden floors. She was the master of a thousand instruments and most sought after as a multi-percussionist.
How is Evelyn Glennie helping others with her popularity and skill?(Board Term 1,2012, ELI-034)
Inspite of Evelyn’s deafness she joined the prestigious Royal Academy of Music and won the “Soloist of the Year” award. Evelyn used to practice for hours learning languages such as Japanese and French. She earned a lot but was kind at heart. She used to give free performances in prisons and hospitals and also proved a personal example of tireless hard work and firm determination.
How did Evelyn succeed in pursuing her interest in music ? (Board Term 1,2012, ELI-042)
Evelyn decided not to give up. It was Ron Forbes who recognized her potential and supported her. He advised her not to listen through her ears but to open her body and mind to the vibrations. She mastered the art of interpreting different vibrations of sound on her body to different notes. She could feel the higher drum from the waist up and the lower one from the waist down. After the practice, she could sense music in different parts of her body. And by this, Evelyn succeeded in pursuing her interest in music.
Value-Based Question (4 marks)
“A problem is only as big as we make it.” This thought has been very beautifully brought out in the lesson. Discuss.
Evelyn Glennie is profoundly deaf and cannot hear a word. Thus, she overcame this difficulty and learnt to listen to music from her body. She not only scored the highest marks in the history of the Royal Academy of Music but also became a renowned musician. She is an idol for a lot of people and a source of inspiration for them. Her story tells us that no problem is so great that it cannot be overcome.
Bismillah Khan Summary
•This chapter throws light on the origin of Shehnai and the life of the all-time great Shehnai Vadak – Bismillah Khan. The winner of Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian award of India, his dedication to music, and his love for India.
•”Pungi” a musical instrument, was banned by Emperor Aurangzeb, because of its shrill and unpleasant sound. In fact, it was regarded more as a noisemaker rather than a musical instrument. It was modified and perfected by a barber who belonged to a family of professional musicians. He played it in the chamber of the king. Its sound was so appreciated by the emperor that it was made a part of Naubat. Since it was played for the first time in Shah’s chamber by a Nai, it came to be known as Shehnai.
•Traditionally, it was played in the temples and on every auspicious domestic occasion also. Its sound was regarded as auspicious. But it was treated as an incomplete musical instrument, not capable of creating independent pages. But Bismillah Khan broke this myth.
•Bismillah belongs to the Benares Gharana. He was born in 1916 at Dumraon, in Bihar. As a 5-year-old, he used to visit the Bihariji Temple and sing Bhojpuri “Chaitya” there. For his melodious singing, he used to earn a big Laddu from the local Bhojpuri King. At the age of 6, he moved to Benares. There under the guidance and training of his maternal uncle, Ali Bux, he started picking up the finer nuances of shehnai. He used to spend most of his time practicing on the banks of the River Ganges. The themes of his music were deeply affected by the sounds of flowing water of the Ganga.
•He got the best performer award at The All India Music Conference in Allahabad in 1930. In 2001, he won 3 awards’ the Padma Bhushan, Padmashree, and Padma Vibhushan. He was invited to play the shehnai from the ramparts of the Red Fort in 1947, becoming the first to greet the independent India. He won many international awards also. He became the first Indian to perform at the title Lincoln Central Hall, in USA. An auditorium in Tehran was named after him-Tahar Mosiquee Ustaad Bismillah Khan.
•Bismillah was very fond of Benares and Dumraon. He declined an offer from one of his students to settle in the USA, as he was not willing to stay away for long from Benaras and its holy river Ganga. He ventured into the film world also. He gave his music in 2 movies. His composition “Dil ka khillonahai ” for the movie “Goonj Uthi Shehnai”, was a chartbuster. But he could not associate himself with the artificial glamour of die film world. For him, music was his soul, his life.
Extract Based Questions (3 marks each)
Read the passage given below and answer the questions that follow.
The young boy took to music early in life. At the age of three when his mother took him to his maternal uncle’s house in Benares (now Varanasi); Bismillah was fascinated watching his uncles practice the shehnai. Soon Bismillah started accompanying his uncle, Ali Bux, to the Vishnu temple of Benares where Ali Bux was employed to play the Shehnai. Ali Bux would play the shehnai and Bismillah would sit captivated for hours on end.
- Where did the young boy spend his life at the age of three ?.
- What fascinated the young boy?
- Who was Ali Bux and where was he employed?
(Board Tenn, Sept, 1,2013,9KK73AP) (Board Term 1,2012, EL.1-025)
- At the age of three, the young boy spent his life at his maternal uncle’s house in Benares.
- Shehnai and the practice of shehnai by his uncles fascinated the little boy.
- Ali Bux was Bismillah Khan’s maternal uncle. He was employed at the Vishnu Temple of Benares.
Awards and recognition came thick and fast. Bismillah Khan became the first Indian to be invited to perform at the prestigious Lincoln Centre Hall in the United States of America. He also took part in the World Exposition in Montreal, in the Cannes Art Festival and in the Osaka Trade Fair. So well known did he become internationally that an auditorium in Tehran was named after him. Tahar Mosiquee Ustaad Bismillah Khan.
- What special recognition did Bismillah Khan achieve?
- Bismillah Khan promoted Shehnai to international level. How?
- The word in the passage means “prominent”. (Board Term 1,2012, ELI-017)
- The special recognition that Bismillah Khan achieved was to be the first Indian to perform at
Lincoln Central Hall.
- Bismillah Khan promoted Shehnai to international levels by participating in the World Exposition, Cannes Art Festival, and Osaka Trade Fair.
When India gained independence On 15th August, 1947, Bismillah Khan became the first Indian to greet the nation with his* Shehnai. He poured his heart out into Raag Kafi from the Red Fort to an audience that included Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, who later gave his famous “Tryst with Destiny” speech.
- How did Bismillah Khan greet the nation? ’
- Who delivered the speech “Tryst with Destiny”?
- Find a word from the passage that means “gathering of persons for the purpose of hearing a speaker”. (Board Term 1,2012, EL 1-023)
- Bismillah Khan greeted the nation by playing Raag Kafi on his Shehnai.
- Jawaharlal Nehru.
His first trip abroad was to Afghanistan where King Zahir Shah was so taken in by the maestro that he gifted him priceless Persian carpets and other souvenirs.
- Bismillah Khan’s first trip abroad was to which country?
- What did Zahir Shah present to Bismillah Khan?
- Find a word from the passage which has the same meaning as “momenta”(Board Term 1,2012, ELI-034)
- Bismillah Khan’s first trip abroad was to Afghanistan.
- Zahir Shah presented Bismillah Khan with priceless Persian carpets and souvenirs.
When India gained independence on August 15,1947, Bismillah Khan became the first Indian to greet the nation with his shehnai. He poured his heart out into Raag Kafi from Red – Fort to an audience that included Mahatma Gandhi and Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru.
- When did India gain Independence?
- Which Raag did Bismillah Khan play from Red Fort?
- What do the words “poured his heart out” here refer to? (Board Term 1,2012, ELI-040)
- India gained independence on 15th August, 1947.
- Bismillah Khan played the Raag Kafi from the Red Fort.
- Played from the depth of his heart