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Music & Intelligence

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Music & Intelligence
There has been some scientific research in recent times to find out the relationship between music and intelligence. Even though it seems fairly obvious that music has an effect on the brain cells themselves and that listening some forms of music, especially western and Indian classical can increase intelligence, science, as always has been trying to seek a proof of this phenomenon.

University of California, Irvine, 36 people took standardized intelligence tests after three 10 minute periods of Mozart. Those who listened to Mozart’s Sonata for Two Pianos (K448) scored an average 119 – eight points higher than those who listened to a relaxation tape and nine points higher than those who listened to silence. Mozart’s music is quite complex and very patterned said neurobiologist Frances H Rauscher, the study’s lead author. Rauscher said the complex music may “prime” the brain for mathematics or other analytical work because it triggers the same brain activity. “We predict that music lacking complexity or which is repetitive may interfere with rather than enhance abstract reasoning,” the researchers said in the journal Nature. UPI, Deseret News Oct 14 1993 Entire study documented in Nature Vol. 365 14 October 1993.

To know more about Mozart effect, please see: http://www.indiana.edu/~intell/mozarteffect2.html

One might recall how classical Music appears to be tedious, boring or may also give one a headache. I have especially noticed how people just cant stand listening to Bach – it just gets too much to take for them.

Why does this happen? First reason might be because one is not used to listening to it; therefore, there is no identification with it as such. Secondly, this might be because the mind needs to be very attentive and swift to follow music – the sounds, the notes, the complexity of the musical architecture – and when one is listening without paying attention there is bound to be a conflict, resistance of some kind. Thirdly, probably because one is accustomed to treat music as something separate, outside of oneself.

According to Steven Gillman, a Brain researcher, Listening to, and participating in music creates new neural pathways in your brain that stimulate creativity. Studies have shown that music actually trains the brain for higher forms of thinking. Music stimulates the mind, encourages creativity and helps to lay a foundation for learning that leads to higher intelligence and aptitude.

GJ Whitrow’s quote on Einstein: “He often told me that one of the most important things in his life was music. Whenever he felt that he had come to the end of the road or into a difficult situation in his work he would take refuge in music and that would usually resolve all his difficulties.”

“It occurred to me by intuition, and music was the driving force behind that intuition. My discovery was the rest of musical perception.” – Albert Einstein on his Theory of Relativity.

In recent years much discussion has surrounded the role of music in child development. Following is an article on the role of music in child development: http://www.portfolio.mvm.ed.ac.uk/studentwebs/session2/group41/develop.htm

According to Plato: “...music is a more potent instrument than any other for education…” now scientists know why. Music , they believe, trains the brain for higher forms of thinking. After eight months of musical training, 3 year olds were expert puzzle masters, scoring 80% higher than their playmates did in spatial intelligence-the ability to visualize the world accurately. This skill later translates into mathematical/conceptual and engineering skills.

Preschoolers who studied piano performed 34% better in spatial and temporal reasoning ability than preschoolers who spent the same amount of time learning to use computers. (Rauscher & Shaw. As reported in Neurological Research, February 1997)

The very best engineers and technical designers in the Silicon Valley industry are, nearly without exception, practicing musicians. (Grant Venerable, The Center for the Arts in the Basic Curricum, New York, 1989) For the unborn child, classical music, played at a rhythm of 60 beats per minute, equivalent to that of a resting human heart, provides an environment conducive to creative and intellectual development. (Dr.Thomas Veert, The Secret Life of the Unborn Child)

Researchers believe that certain types of musical actually creates new neural pathways in the brain. That means that the brain can function in a different filed than that of memory alone. After listening to classical music, adults can do certain spatial tasks more quickly, such as putting together a jigsaw puzzle. Why does this happen? The classical music pathways in our brain are similar to the pathways we use for spatial reasoning. When we listen to classical music, the spatial pathways are turned on and ready to be used.

The music most people call classical – works by composers such as Bach, Beethoven, or Mozart – is different from other kinds of music as it has a more complex musical structure. Researchers think the complexity of classical music is what primes the brain to solve spatial problems more quickly. So listening to classical music may have different effects on the brain than listening to other types of music.

Contributed by – Ashutosh Ghildiyal is a salaried professional based in Mumbai, India. He was born in Lucknow in 1984, where he completed his schooling. He completed his graduate studies in New Delhi and his post-graduate education in Mumbai. He is the author of To Think or Not to Think and Other stories (Book), various blogs and short stories. Email: ashutoshghildiyal@hotmail.com

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List of Tabla Players & Musicians

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Music Articles – Tabla Players

Tabla is a very important Indian Percussion instrument. It is not only an ideal accompaniment instrument, but also a beautiful solo instrument.

Here is a list of some of the well known Tabla Maestros – Tabla players and musicians – 

  •     Ustad Alla Rakha
  •     Zakir Hussain
  •     Trilok Gurtu
  •     Kishan Maharaj
  •     Afaq Hussain Khan
  •     Tanmoy Bose
  •     Enayet Hossain
  •     Hindol Majumdar
  •     Shubhankar Banerjee
  •     Shamsuddin Khan
  •     Amir Hussain Khan
  •     Sharda Sahai
  •     Qader Baksh
  •     Sandip Banerjee
  •     Abhijit Banerjee
  •     Latif Ahmed Khan
  •     Keramatullah Khan
  •     Habibuddin Khan
  •     Shaukat Ali Khan
  •     Altaf Hussain Tafo Khan
  •     Tapas Yagnik
  •     Akram Khan
  •     Shankar Ghosh
  •     Arvind Mulgoankar
  •     Bikram Ghosh
  •     Bashir Khan Karachiwale
  •     Wajid Hussain Khan

Have you attended a performance by any Tabla Player?

Do you play the Tabla or are learning to play the Tabla?

Share your tips with us!  contact@musicalescapades.com

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Timings (Prahar) of Indian Classical Ragas

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Timings (Prahar) of Indian Classical Ragas

Indian Classical Ragas

Indian Classical Raagas – Timings of a Raga

Music Articles – Ragas / Raagas – Indian Classical Music

Timings has an important role to play in Indian Classical Music

What is special about Hindustani Raagas is that there is a fixed time (’Samay’) for singing as well as playing each raag. It is believed that any raag will sound more attractive and melodious when it is played during that fixed time.

Moreover, there are different raagas for different seasons too!

Songs which are based on raagas are not only sung and played during specific seasons, but also during the specific hours / parts (’prahar’) of the day and night. (Days and nights have been divided into different parts and Indian Classical Ragas are played /practiced during this time).

For eg., Raag Malhar is sung during the Rainy Season and Raag Bahaar is sung during spring. These raagas when played during these specific seasons have the power of rejuvenating the spirits and creating an atmosphere of absolute bliss.

It is even believed that Great Classical Indian artists like Tansen were able to change the course of nature through their powerful performances and heat warming alaaps.

Call it wishful thinking if you like but it is believed that ragas have the latent power to alter the course of nature, summon rains, and even start a fire.

Contributed by – Team of Music Enthusiasts at www.musicalescapades.com
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Mood & Nature of Indian Classical Ragas

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Hindustani Classical Raagas

Indian Classical Ragas

Every raag is based on a particular mood / feel (’ras’) and when played or sung, it has the power to induce the same feelings in the listener.

Here is a list of Raagas – Nature & Timing

1. Raag Bilawal

Nature of the Raga – ‘Shant’ – Serene, Quiet, Peaceful

Timing – Early hours of the morning

2. Raag Bhairav

Nature of the Raga – ‘Shant’ – Serene, Quiet, Peaceful

Timing – Morning

3. Raag Bhairavi

Nature of the Raga – ‘Gambhir’ – Serious

Timing – Evening

4. Raag Bhupali

Nature of the Raga – ‘Shant’ – Serene, Quiet, Peaceful

Timing – Early hours of the night

5. Raag Vihag

Nature of the Raga – ‘Karun’ – Sad, Compassionate

Timing – Second half of the night

6. Raag Desh

Nature of the Raga – ‘Karun’ – Sad, Compassionate

Timing – Second half of the night

7. Raag Bhim Palasi

Nature of the Raga – ‘Shant’ – Serene, Quiet, Peaceful

Timing – Third half of the day

8. Raag Peelu

Nature of the Raga – ‘Karun’ – Sad, Compassionate

Timing – Third half of the day

9. Raag Tilak Kamud

Nature of the Raga – ‘Chanchal’

Timing – Second half of the night

10. Raag Bageshri

Nature of the Raga – ‘Gambhir’ – Serious

Timing – Afternoon

11. Raag Purvi

Nature of the Raga – ‘Gambhir’ – Serious

Timing – Evening

12. Raag Vrindavani Sarang

Nature of the Raga – ‘Chanchal’

Timing – Afternoon

Want to add to this list? Spotted an error?

Write in to us at – contact@musicalescapades.com

Contributed by – Team of Music Enthusiasts at www.musicalescapades.com

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Want to contribute an Article to musicalescapades.com?

  •     Do you know how to play a raag on your guitar / keyboard / violin?
  •     Do you sing classical songs which are based on ragas? If yes, write in to us with your experiences and tips

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Role Of Radio

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Role Of Radio – Tool For Advertising & Communications, India

Music Articles – Radio – Tools of Advertising

Gone are the days when the Indian Radio Industry was limited to the state broadcaster – All India Radio. Today, Radio has truly matured as a medium of communication and is growing in every way possible. Improvements in technology, competition and an increased reach of the Radio are all factors responsible for the growth of the Radio Industry.

Factors Contributing to the Growth of the Radio Industry in India

With an increase in the number of FM Radio stations, the choice in music is large and varied. Flipping from one station to another in search for that latest song has become second nature to all of us!

From Himesh Reshammiya’s foot tapping music to the catchy numbers like Kajra Re, Sajna Ji, Doorie, Ya Ali, from old melodies of Kishore Kumar, Lata Mangeshkar, Mohd. Rafi to folk and instrumental music – where else can you have access to such great choices in music.

There is a rise in the number of people who own cars in India. Car music systems are making it easy to listen to the radio even while on the go. What’s more, while traveling in a blue line bus in Delhi, you care exposed to the radio.

Add to this those perky and likeable Radio Jockeys (RJs) who add to the whole listening experience and strike a chords with the radio listener – youngsters, working professionals, house wives etc.

Some of the popular FM radio stations include –
Radio City 91.1 FM, Radio Mirchi 98.3 FM, Red FM 93.5, Big 92.7 FM, Fever 104 FM.

Going by the way Radio is being used extensively as a medium of communication and advertising, the future promises nothing but bigger opportunities and greater growth prospects for this already massive industry. Jobs & Career Opportunities in the Radio Industry, India

Contributed by – Radhika, Music Enthusiast at www.musicalescapades.com

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  •     Do you know how to play a raag on your guitar / keyboard / violin?
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A Short Discourse on Music

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A Short Discourse on Music   

Music – everybody listens to music these days. Is there anything surprising in that? If we look backwards in time, we will see that it was not always so. Music then was music – not the good music-bad music, rock music-classical music, this music and that music. Music can only be music – neither good nor bad – whatever else there is, is non-music. Music in the past was not merely a form of entertainment but something more.

Moreover, only the few used to listen to music, as was the case with all art. There were few pretences in this regard and it was not a means of achieving fame or success.

It was life for some, means of worship for some, and for some it was a means of great expression, beyond words and images. The tones, the sounds employed, the instruments were all a very personal medium for the musician to reach into himself and go beyond it,” I said to my friend Jitendra, one day after listening to Bach.

It had been a year since I started taking music seriously and found great pleasure in doing so. Earlier, all I used to listen to was some Hindi film music and some of the latest, most popular English and Hindi pop music. It was always a means of entertainment for me, a means of passing time, a means of having some activity in the background while doing something else so that I didn’t get bored. I had never actually paid attention to it before.

Jitendra said, “Like all other arts, music has declined in the last 30 or so years. Music has now become associated with images, ideas and for entertainment, partying and all the rest. Most so-called music these days is nothing but empty sounds, put together by a lot of people, using all kinds of artificial means to manipulate the sounds to achieve one end – popularity. That is what popular music is. Moreover, a division has been created, probably on the basis of outward form – between classical and popular music. But if one listens, actually listens, what one hears is only music. If one simply listens, without comparing what one hears to his or her idea of music, only then one can see what music is.”

I was new to Mumbai and Jitendra was my only friend here, so usually on weekends and whenever I had a day off, I went to his place to stay over. He was an old friend of mine, from the time when I was in Delhi. We used to stay together at a paying guest hostel. Our rooms were close by and we often used to spend time together.

I said, “In India, only classical forms of music have survived, probably because it has been not popular and most of its exponents have not succumbed to the motives of personal ambition or fame. In the West, the same is the case with classical music, though there the quality depends upon the interpretation of the performer or the conductor. In popular music, several good attempts were made, in rock, punk, and jazz in the years before the 80s. Since then, there has been a gradual decline in popular music.

In India, Bollywood music, except in a few cases, has been melodramatic, sensational and mediocre. The decades of the 60s and 70s were especially productive for music in many ways – there was a regeneration, a breaking from the traditional forms, but soon afterwards, it collapsed again.”

I had been finding myself becoming more and more intimate with music lately. I saw the beauty, the importance of music as a part of human existence. At first, I used to resist anything new, since it was not already known to me. I used to remain content with what was familiar since it gave me a certain degree of comfort. Now I was realizing how small my world was and how vast were the unexplored territories. Music was what helped me realize this more than anything else. I started listening to it openly, afresh, with no expectations whatsoever and found that by listening without an idea, I could listen so well. Music was teaching me how to listen.

“One can’t define what music is – any attempt to define music physically does not suffice. One has to hear, with clear senses, untainted by expectation or comparison to see the beauty of music,” he said, as if reading my thoughts. “Music is always out of time. If you are actually, attentively listening, there will be no sense of time. It is this quality of music that has made so many of the great composers exalt it as a divine virtue. Music has an effect on the body and the mind – not as two distinct effects but as one total effect. It affects the senses in various ways, and when one is in harmony with the music, then it ceases to be something separate, something outside of oneself – you become the music. Music is harmony and music is beauty. Music has the quality of expressing the inexpressible. One can’t approach music with one’s own peculiar likes or dislikes and tastes, which are all a part of one’s own conditioning. Music is something both extraordinarily complex and simple at the same time. We are not used to listening to anything except our own thoughts, therefore we can’t sense the beauty of music. Because we are always trying to do things according to our own peculiar tastes and likes and dislikes that we have built up, we become deaf to all other sounds. But when we drop all that and simply listen, then sound becomes a most wonderful thing – the complexity of it, the depth, the clearness, the penetration, the opening of many doors it leads towards, is inexpressible and beyond words.”

How well he could put it all into words! The things that I had faintly realized and which were not so clear to me became clear as light on hearing him.

The above extract has been taken from the short story, Music and Intelligence, featured in the book – To Think or Not to Think and Other Stories, by Ashutosh Ghildiyal

Contributed by – Ashutosh Ghildiyal is a salaried professional based in Mumbai, India. He was born in Lucknow in 1984, where he completed his schooling. He completed his graduate studies in New Delhi and his post-graduate education in Mumbai. He is the author of To Think or Not to Think and Other stories (Book), various blogs and short stories. Email: ashutoshghildiyal@hotmail.com
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Want to contribute an Article to musicalescapades.com?

  •     Do you know how to play a raag on your guitar / keyboard / violin?
  •     Do you sing classical songs which are based on ragas? If yes, write in to us with your experiences and tips

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What is a Jugalbandi Performance?

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What is a Jugalbandi?

Meaning of ‘Jugalbandhi’

The term Jugalbandi is popularly used in Indian Classical Music to mean a fusion or a beautiful mix.

During a jugalbandhi performance,

  • it is generally seen that two different artists / musicians play two different instruments while performing together. Such a duet performance is able to combine the best of both musical worlds. Jugalbandi can combine performances on sitar and sarod, flute and tabla etc.

 

  • Another form of Jugalbandi includes a fusion of singing and playing an instrument. In such a jugalbandi, the vocalist and the instrumentalist perform together.

However, jugalbandi only takes place between two equally talented performers who are at par with each other and this can be noticed when they play together.

Have you witnessed a Jugalbandi performance? Tell us about it at contact@musicalescapades.com
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Want to contribute an Article to musicalescapades.com?

  •     Do you know how to play a raag on your guitar / keyboard / violin?
  •     Do you sing classical songs which are based on ragas? If yes, write in to us with your experiences and tips

Email us Article Title, Article Content, Your Name, email id and brief profile to contact@musicalescapades.com

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Music Therapy & The Power of Music

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The Power of Music – Music Therapy

Music has played a vital role in the lives of human beings from time immemorial. There is an almost unexplainable bond between humans and music and this is evident from the fact that music occupies a place in our daily lives from morning till night.

Music & You
When we are happy, we celebrate by listening to our favourite kind of music. When we are sad, we like to reflect in the company of slow and soft music. Such is the power of music!

From listening to a cassette of your favourite Bhajan first thing in the morning to tuning into a variety of FM Radio Stations during breakfast or while driving to office, we even carry music with us on our cell phones, car radio, CD Players and I pods. During lunch, many offices play upbeat music to fight mid afternoon / post lunch lethargy.

Evening offers some time to rest and relax when most individuals like to watch TV or even shake a leg at a disco.

Night time calls for some soothing, soft music that helps to rest and unwind before finally turning in for the day.

The various forms and genres of music can take up the role of a mood enhancer that has the power to uplift the moods of people.\

Music Therapy
No wonder, it is a recognised fact that music has therapeutic qualities which can be used to influence and bring about positive changes in human behavior. Such a structured, organised and goal oriented use of music is termed as Music Therapy.

Uses of Music Therapy – Music Therapists
Some of us turn to music to remove boredom and entertain ourselves while others listen to music to celebrate, elevate moods and to fight sadness. Each of us use and benefit from the therapeutic qualities of music without even realizing it! Certain songs, tunes, melodies and beats are associated with a time gone by and on listening to the same, it can take us back several years!

Music Therapists are trained professionals who know  how to use the powers latent in music to bring about a positive change in a child, adolescent and even in adults in the form of improved communication skills, emotional development, enhanced attention span and better social functioning.

Today, Music Therapy has found a place in psychological healing for people and children who have physical and developmental disabilities, learning disorders, brain injuries and even Autism.

Situations of acute depression, schizophrenia, panic and anxiety disorders etc can be treated through Music Therapy.

Some Important Music Therapy Associations include :

  •     American Music Therapy Association
  •     British Association for Music Therapy
  •     Australian Music Therapy Association Inc
  •     Canadian Association for Music Therapy etc.

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Want to contribute an Article to musicalescapades.com?

  •     Do you know how to play a raag on your guitar / keyboard / violin?
  •     Do you sing classical songs which are based on ragas? If yes, write in to us with your experiences and tips

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What is an Opera?

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Opera Singers & Famous Composers

An Opera is a form of theatre in which the drama and story is conveyed by singing rather than speaking. Usually consisting of 3-4 acts, an opera is predominantly composed of singing (solo as well as chorus voices), music played by an orchestra, supporting costumes, stage design, lighting effects and dramatic acts etc.

The Opera emerged as a form of Western Classical Music way back in the 16th century in Italy and slowly spread to other parts of the world.

Opera Singers What sets apart an opera from other musical performances is its theatrical style in which the actors sing their parts. Each act in an opera is composed of different sequences and the actors tell the story by singing.

“Whenever I go to an opera, I leave my sense and reason at the door with my half guinea, and deliver myself up to my eyes and my ears”. Lord Chesterfield, 1694 – 1773

Classification of Opera Singers is done on the basis of their voice quality, agility, power and timbre of their voices.

Lead female singers are termed as Soprano, Mezzo Soprano and Contralto while the Male singers are classified as Baritone, Tenor, Bass and Bass Baritone.

Their is no denying the fact that to sing in an opera, you should have discipline, focus, determination, training and a powerful voice. Add to this acting skills, stage presence and diction.

Some Famous Opera Singers include –
Senesino, Farinelli, Anna Renzi, Faustina Bordoni, Francesca Cussoni and Joseph Legros.

Famous Composers include –
Mozart, Beethoven, Verdi Guiseppe, Puccini Giacomo and Clausio Monteverdi.

Mozart will always be regarded as one of the most renowned operea composers of all times. His compositions are loved and cherished till date for their simplicity and excellence. Some of Mozart’s well known compositions and comic operas include The Magic Flute, Don Giovanni, The Marriage of Figaro and Cosi Fan Tutte.
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Want to contribute an Article to musicalescapades.com?

Do you know how to play a raag on your guitar / keyboard / violin?
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The Thrills of Attending a Live Music Concert

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The Thrills of Attending a Live Music Concert

Music lovers and music enthusiasts all over the world desperately await the opportunity for attending live music concerts all year round.

We decided to find out what is it about live music and music concerts that is so appealing to music fans-

1) A Chance To Get Close and Personal: Music concerts offer a great platform to real music fans-a unique opportunity to get close and personal with their favorite music artists, singers, instrumentalists and bands.

2) Real Time Experience of Watching and Listening to their favorite band / Artist: Up until now, you have only heard their music and seen their music videos. Now you have the unique opportunity to see and feel their music in real time!!

Loads of music fans feel an uncontrollable sense of happiness, thrill and excitement seeing their favorite artists perform live-It is a dream come true!!

3) Experience of a Lifetime: If you have attended a live music show or concert anytime in your life, you will surely agree that such events are the experience of a lifetime that will stay with you forever.

Once the stage is set, the spotlights are turned on and the performing singer/band take their place, the fans begin to absorb and take in every second of the performance, swaying with the music and singing along with their Idol!!

Music Concerts are also a great way to beat summer time blues and rejuvenate oneself. Concerts and live music shows can be organised for all genres of music-pop, rock, classical, you name it. Instrumental performances are also a great experience.

So what are you waiting for? Keep your eyes and ears open to find out the next music concert, live music show and other musical events being organised in your city!! Trust us – you don’t want to miss it.

Contributed by – Radhika, Music Enthusiast at www.musicalescapades.com

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Want to contribute an Article to musicalescapades.com?

  •     Do you know how to play a raag on your guitar / keyboard / violin?
  •     Do you sing classical songs which are based on ragas? If yes, write in to us with your experiences and tips

Email us  Article Title, Article Content, Your Name, email id and brief profile to contact@musicalescapades.com

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