In this post I am going to discuss about use of music in Children’s literature which is especially Marathi Literature or some translated / original English Literature which I have read or heard about.
In case of children, listening of music starts when they are just some months old. Their parents, other family members sings ‘time to go to bed songs’ for them and by hearing them children sleeps peacefully. It is their first encounter with music.
When the children becomes some months old, parents told them the basic level’s children’s stories which do not have much meaning, but the words or similar words in those stories gets repeated again and again creating a rhythm. Children likes to catch that rhythm and later starts to seek meaning of those words. The Marathi song “Adgule Madgle, Sonyache Kadgule” is a good example of that.
When the children becomes approximately two years old at that time the Marathi story of Sparrow and crow is told to them. In that story the crow whose house is broken in rain, tries to enter into the sparrow’s house and for that he requests the sparrow to open the door and each time sparrow gives him different reasons related to her babies. In that story the lines of conversation have their own rhythm.
Then the children goes to some preschool nurseries. There the story of the mouse whose cap is taken by the king is told to them, where they get acquainted to the musical instruments like drum and it’s noise when the words “Dhum Dhum Dhumak” are used to describe the noise of the drum. While hearing the story of Krishna they get informed about flute. When they hear the story of the Magical flute player who plays his flute and takes away all the mice in city, which gets attracted to the music of his flute, they learn the magic of music.
After this comes the phase when children learn the English songs like ‘Twinkle Twinkle little star,’ ‘Mary had a little lamb,’ ‘Baa Baa Black Sheep’ or Marathi songs like ‘Sasa re Sasa,’ ‘Asava Sundar Chocolatacha Bangala,’ ‘Bholanath Bholanath,’ ‘Nach re Mora’ etc. While learning these songs they get acquainted with different aspects of music. At this time they also get introduced to different musical instruments and they try to play some musical instruments, themselves. Also they take part in playing drama or in dances, thus becoming more familiar with music.
When the children becomes more old they read the mythical stories about the Singer ‘Tansen’. The stories telling how it rained after Tansen sung the song in Raaga ‘MeghMalhar’ or how the traditional lamps burnt automatically after Tansen sung the song in Raaga ‘DeepRaag’. The other mythical story tells them, ‘how the deers from Jungle got attracted to the song sung by Tansen’s Guru and came near him, became aware only after the Guru puts his mala into the neck of one of the deer which runs in the jungle with other deers.’ These stories make them curious enough to hear more about classical music.
At the same time there are other fairy tales which tells the story of demons who sleeps tightly after someone sings the song for them or plays an instrument for them. The Greek story of Orpheus and Eurydice tells them about the power of his music. At this stage they read more stories about Krishna and his magical flute and it's effect on cows and humans. They also read other Indian mythological stories about Tandav of Shiva and his dance as NatRaj. Thus in various ways children’s literature teaches them efficiently about different aspects of music.