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Buddhist song book launched

By OH ING YEEN, The Star (Malaysia), Thursday, September 4, 2008

Let’s sing together: Saranankara, Chong Su Lim (in brown shirt, on Saranankara’s right), singers for the CD included in the song book and the children of Maha Karuna Buddhist Society Sunday School singing the songs in the song book.

THE first ever Malaysian-produced Buddhist song book, which comes with music notation for piano as well as lyrics and guitar chords, has been published.

Produced by Buddhist music enthusiasts from Setenang Buddhist Society, Dharma Tunes Volume 1 is aimed at promoting and popularising Buddhist music that is inspired by Buddha’s teachings, and making Buddhist singing part of the culture of every Buddhist community.

Dharma Tunes editor-in-chief Chong Su Lim said that it took nine months for the team to come up with the book.

“Prior to this publication, published materials for Buddhist songs did not contain music notation, making it very difficult to learn the songs. We hope that the song book will be used by Buddhist societies everywhere, especially in Buddhist Sunday Schools,” he said.

He said that 1,000 free copies of the song book, which were sponsored, would be distributed to Buddhist organisations and Sunday schools.

“By distributing them to Sunday schools, we will make it possible for the children to learn Buddha’s teachings through the songs.

“We are planning to make the book available at book stores in six months’ time,” he said.

He added that in addition to Buddhist organisations in the Klang Valley, the books would also be distributed to those in Penang, South Malaysia and even Singapore.

“This is an opportunity for me, as a disabled individual, to give back to society instead of being on the receiving end,” he said.

Lifting her voice in song: Chia Su Lyn of the Buddhist musical group i.Gemz serenading the audience with 'Metta Metta', one of the songs in the song book.

As the book is Volume 1, Buddhist music enthusiasts can look forward for more volumes to come.

Launching the book on Sunday, Chief Ven. B. Sri Saranankara Nayaka Maha Thera reminisced about the Buddhist hymns he used to sing when he was a child.

“We are able to get the children’s interest through hymns. It is a complete package with music notes,” he said.

At the launch, Maha Karuna Buddhist Society Sunday School students and Buddhist musical group i.Gemz performed songs from the song book. i.Gemz provided the vocals for the audio CD that comes with the song book.

The 112-page Dharma Tunes Volume 1 features 33 Buddhist songs, from timeless classics to the latest compositions.

The book is divided into two sections: Section 1 is for singers and guitarists, while Section 2 contains piano and keyboard notes.

The book also comes with an audio CD that contains five previously unrecorded songs from the book, in sung and minus-one versions for easy sing-along.

Other features include ways to start a singing group and a list of Core Buddhist Teachings.

The book was launched on Aug 31 in commemoration of the second anniversary of the passing of the Venerable Dr K Sri Dhammananda.

For more information, visit http://sulimation.webs.com/dharmatunes.html.

source: http://thestar.com.my/metro/story.asp?file=/2008/9/4/central/1926838

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Namo Tassa Bhagavato Arahato Sammāsambuddhassa.
Buddha sāsana.m cira.m ti.t.thatu.