14 August 2019
With the mind set to highlight the artistic flavors from Myanmar Literature to Mahagita (which is the Myanmar traditional music) the preaching, teaching and performances of Mahagita event was held at Art’s Hall of Yangon University. The event was led by Sayarma Daw Shwe Kuu Nann Nwe Nwe, which was supported by Myanmar Literature/Language Department of Yangon University as a pre-100 years old memorial of the University. Our reporter David Tanner got the details of the event.
In Myanmar, music segments are combined into patterns, and then into verses, making it a multi-level hierarchical system. Various levels are manipulated to create a song. Harmony in Mahagita (the Burmese body of music) is known as twe-lone, which is similar to a chord in western music. For example, C is combined with F or G, with that being said let’s hear out from one of the living legends in Mahar Ghita professional composer Sayarma Shwe Kuu Nan Nwe Nwe for her insight about this event, "My name is Shwe Kuu Nan Nwe Nwe, Shwe Kuu is the place where I was born. Nan means that I am from one of the ethnic groups of Myanmar which is Shan Ni. My real name is Nwe Nwe, which all together makes my artist name as Shwe Kuu Nan Nwe Nwe. The purpose of today event held at Arts Hall is that, as Yangon University will be 100 years old very soon, plus with the invitation from the Myanmar Language Department, I have prepared to highlight the Myanmar's traditional music in Myanmar languages and courses that we have taught in our schools and universities. I will be preaching about the perks of how Myanmar traditional music works and how it is so special for us and everyone in Myanmar to know or at least experience it through not only preaching from me but also through performances from the students of National University of Arts and Culture, State Highschool of accompanied by Myanmar traditional musical instruments which are Kyey, Kyoe, Thayae, Lay and Lett Khote."
Let’s also hear about how Myanmar language has an impact on Myanmar traditional music as well as the classic arts and crafts of Myanmar, let’s find out, "All the music from the past has been documented just by Myanmar language, not with English, well pf course not, not with Pali language nor other languages just with Myanmar language. So, when we learn music and other art works, we have learnt with Myanmar language. We can't learn with Pali language because it’s too difficult. That is why, we are always grateful about Myanmar language and how it helps us in doing arts and learning arts and music. That is why we also held this event to show how thankful we are for the mother tongue we have learnt."
Let’s also hear out for the things that she wants to remind about to the youths, "I just want to remind the Myanmar Language that Myanmar language is our language, our country is Myanmar. That is why Myanmar language should be the first priority for all of the people who live in this country. Also for students who are now in the Myanmar language department should also love what they are learning and I also wish and hope that they might get a lot of knowledges of the language, not only in the form of literature but also in the way of how it interconnected with arts and how it is very important for the country. Lastly, i wish the students might got a mindset of thankfulness for how the Yangon University and Myanmar language department has played a role in their life and how they should give back to the country in a way that they can."
I have also interviewed some of the students who has performed in the event as well.
“My name is Ma May Thazin, I am so grateful to be part of this kind of event, because, only this kind of event can maintain the traditional music of Myanmar to not fade away. As a youth, I also think that we should also take good care of our traditional Myanmar music to not fade away anytime soon. That is why this kind of event is one of the best events for to do those, and I am very grateful for it. So, we have been chosen because, there was a competition in which was held at National University of Arts and Culture, and our group won the first place with the Myanmar traditional music name, "Theingar Shwe Yaung". We will be performing this song in this event as a group and both of us will be singing while other members play the instruments."
“My name is Ko Sithu, me and all of my friends are very grateful to represent as National University of Arts and Culture's students and perform here. And also, as she said this maybe one of the memorable moments of my life in which we can be part of taking care our Myanmar traditional music in the way that we can.”