((This post has been written primarily in Indian Context. ))
Westerners often wonder what this hoopla of vocal music, around our West and South Asian culture, is. Basically this is nothing but an art developed out of the need for wooing one’s spouse before nocturnal adventures. The whole story is very simple, and has been repeated in different forms in different cultures. Actually in earlier days, males’ mind used to be so egocentric that they did not have any idea of the concept of wooing women. In fact it was infra-dignity for a male to woo a female because female were regarded to be only an appliance or a servant to do household drudgery. It was the era of only one concept: strong or weak. Procreation was a mechanical process depending upon wish of only male side which amounted to doing rape. In Mahabharta the leading lady Draupadi had to marry five brothers at a time, which used to visit her in rotation, each for one night, for copulation. It is different thing that Draupadi was not annoyed at all.
Gradually the wisdom behind the creation of women started to dawn at the conscience of seers, that they were meant for something more than what they were being subjected to. Bharat Muni was such as a seer. He is regarded to be chief exponent of art of dance. It is said that India owes its name BharatVarsha to his name. Though it is not etymology as such, but it is said that Bharat word can be decomposed in three parts-Bha for Bhava , Ra for Raga and Ta for Tala. These are three prime wings of the art of female dance, used as it is to this date in various dance forms of South India (who are the real native Indians) like BharatNatyam, Kathak-kali etc. This is because firstly they thought in term of musical entertainment for males by female. Of course this was the realm of partial prostitution called Mujra (a Urdu word for art of female dance) which reached to its height during Sultan period ( or Islamic empire) spanning 1000 AD to 1600/1800 AD. Arabian culture and Urdu language mingled with local tradition of dance & vocal music to introduce a new form of aesthetics It assumed a universal and timeless criteria of artistic value. There started to develop the science of vocal music followed by its different artistic forms. But defiant women started to readily accept this not only as a full time profession to fulfill their all sorts of temporal needs without being subjected to any form of male chauvinism, but for fulfillment of female beauty and embellishment too.
Then gradually another concept started to evolve that women are not only instrument of household chores, procreation, sex or entertainment but they are meant for providing morale support or divine grace as well in pursuance of temporal needs. There changed the entire world.
There developed the concept of the relevance of foreplay before sex. The vocal music started to become household thing. Now this tradition is so well entrenched that 70 percent of the female day & night dream around being a singer for nothing in return. This thing started to seep though the vein of their children as well. Initially Indian instrumental music was regarded to be only noise kind of thing by the western world. But one of Indian scientists Dr C.V.Raman( a noble laureate in Physics in around 1930) proved it mathematically that Indian music and musical instruments( like Beena/Sitar, Harmonium, Tabla etc) too has a scientific base, and can be subjected to the rules of Classical mechanics for mathematical analysis. But of course now western instruments have changed the world in Indian musical milieu too, though beginners have to still go by the native things.
Finally this all culminated into Cinema, which in its raw form was started by Lumiere brother of France around 100 years ago before independence.It was just a slide show. (If I am not wrong, the the first Indian walkie was Alam Aara and first Indian Talkie was Raja Hrishchandra in around 1920). All of a sudden around independence (1940) there started the inflow of proven people in this respect, proven not only in the sense of being master of the art of music but as sort of reincarnation to fulfill the desire of previous births. Of late one of such leading ladies was accorded honor of being ‘Gem of India’, the highest honor of India. Unfortunately male stalwarts expired before any such concept or realizations developed.
Since 1950 the movie world was started to be flooded with musical duet as a symbol of foreplay before sexual activities.(In lighter vein, a joke , which was being circulated around after the onset of TV revolution, i.e.Cable TV, in around 2000, is worth relating. After TV revolution children were exposed to cinema almost by birth. One such child developed a notion that a baby is born after the couple sing a song or duet. Incidentally in some of the movie a baby was born before any such song sequence. The child queried his mother “Mummy, how was the baby born . They are yet to sing a song!”.).
But still ‘foreplay message’ did not reach to the masses until a well known Star Philosopher Rajneesh ( after having served as professor of philosophy) took over the task of dismantling the time-old religious barriers around sex. He through his discourses in seventies,.started to highlight the relevance of foreplay in sex, In addition to his famous book “Sambhog se Samadhi kee aor (From intercourse to Super consciousness) he wrote so many books to untie the knot of conservatism around sex, and to highlight the various aspect of sex which is determined by birth but may lead to Tantric achievements if pursued carefully. But thrust point of his discourses always remained the need for getting over the social taboos around sex . In his discourses he used to remind people as to why India, in spite of all of her philosophical achievements, did not procreate any scientist worth the name, like Einstein, in last 1000 years.
(of course he might not be aware of the scientist like Satyen Bose- a pioneer of Particle Physics and peer of Einstein. The fundamental particle called Higg’s Boson, also called God particle, or for that matter any other Boson, owes its name in honor of Satyen Bose. He is known for primarily Bose-Einstein Statistics which deals with the state of sub atomic
This is because we Indians in the name of marital affairs have been simply committing rape for the last thousands of years. Through asceticism we can achieve divine knowledge but not material progress. Further he went so ecstatic about his popularity that he decided to open a gala Center at Oregon,USA to propagate his philosophy. He became almost a nuisance over there. After sometime President Reagan ordered for his expulsion.Once one of his female followers, and trusted lady lieutenant, known as ‘Mother Sheela’, was asked by a journalist to express her opinion about the philosophy of Rajneesh. The lady quipped ‘To hell with his philosophy. I was basically infatuated by him.”.
Gradually Cinema thing also went extremist or frenzied in term of the presentation of musical extravaganzas to the extent that this no longer remained any philosophy, but something like being a fearsome phantasm. causing inflammation. This is because it is an unorganized sector over which nobody has any control. Only porno things were being taken care of, which too, of late, is slackening. In the last 2 decades Cinema presented such an image around our culture that it appears that we have nothing else to do other than jumping around the tree, like being monkeys, for wooing women.
IN the final analysis it has to be agreed that all such arts are born out of sublimation of salvation instinct, and any extremism or unfulfilled part in that regard may lead to criminalities.