Question: When you make a poem into a song, does the melody come as spontaneously as when you paint?

Sri Chinmoy: I don't call them poems; they are songs, only I don't compose the tune at that time. Then, when I set the tune, sometimes I get the tune before I actually place my fingers on the harmonium. It is absolutely fixed from the beginning to the end. Sometimes a tune comes spontaneously. At that time, my mind will be able to see the first half, but the mind does not know what the ending will be. Sometimes, after I have completed the song, I feel that one key has disappointed me. While I am singing the first line, it is very soulful. Then, when I complete the song and play it again, I can't believe that I composed it. It is offensive to my ears. I feel sorry, and I try to fix it. I try and try, but most of the time I fail.

When I am walking along the street or sitting in my room, I may get a beautiful tune, but when I sit with my notebook in front of my harmonium, at that time I don't get that tune. Sometimes it takes me time. When inspiration is not there I don't get the proper key. It is a real struggle. It is absolutely torture. The human mind is being tortured by the human greed in me. I have to finish. Where is aspiration? It is all desire. But it does not happen quite often. On very, very rare occasions this happens. Usually there is real inspiration; otherwise, I could not have done so many songs. Since I left for Australia, I have written 372 songs. Now, I am setting tunes to them. So about four hundred songs I have got this year already [April 1976]. That is why I am confident enough to say that this year I will be able to compose one thousand songs.

Sri Chinmoy, God the Supreme Musician.First published by Agni Press in 1976.

This is the 168th book that Sri Chinmoy has written since he came to the West, in 1964.

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by Sri Chinmoy
From the book God the Supreme Musician, made available to share under a Creative Commons license

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