Mumbai: Gone are the days, when traditional Hindustani Classical and Carnatic music were restricted only to cassettes and records for storage. Now, for all classical music fans, an app has been launched, which provides access to more than 8000 recordings of about 400 stalwarts from the genre.
The app introduced by Saregama India Ltd, makes classical music available to everyone via smartphone. The app also enables users to access profiles of compositions virtually to know more about the artist. Launched on Tuesday, the app has been named as ‘Saregama Classical’. It is available on both iOS and Anroid platforms.
In the Carnatic category, the app features musical works of more than 70 classcial musicians including eminent names such as Dr M Balamuralikrishna, MS Subbulakshmi, DK Jayaraman, Semmangudi Srivivasa Iyer, MS Gopalkrishnan, Lalgudi Jayaraman, Bombay Jayashree, and Madurai Mani Iyer.
Similarly, the Hindstani Classical music section of the app rejuvenates melodies of four generations of musicians. From the era of Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, Ustad Abdul Karim Khan, Zohra Bai, Pandit DV Paluskar to Pandit Ravi Shankar, Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, Ustad Bismillah Khan and Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, the app hoards commendable work from young musicians like Ustad Rashid Khan and Ronu Majumdar as well.
The app also lets user to download their favourite composition on mobile phone. They can also listen them offline with any data connection in the offline mode. It is free for a 7 day trail, after which music lovers have to take a subscription which is available on monthly and annual basis.
Apart from traditional genre, the app has a plethora of fusion music compositions. It also boosts 50 specially designed radio stations to facilitate variety to the user.
September 2, 2017: In the opening of the 10-day Festival of India, an exhibition on the life of Mahatma Gandhi and an enthralling performance of Carnatic music by renowned Indian musicians in Brasilia, that was attended by senior Brazilian government officials, ambassadors, media, culture lovers and friends of India.
The event, on August 31, was held at the University of Brasilia (UnB).
The Festival of India is being organised in Brasilia, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro by the Indian Ministry of Culture and the Embassy of India in Brazil to celebrate the completion of 70 years of India’s independence, an Indian Embassy press release said.
The exhibition on the life of Mahatma Gandhi was inaugurated by Ambassador of India in Brazil Sunil Lal. The bilingual exhibition in English and Portuguese familiarized the Brazilian visitors with fascinating aspects of the Mahatma’s life and his decisive role in India’s independence. This was followed by the soulful performance of Indian Carnatic music by Anuroop Sugathan on the violin, Govindarajan and Palakal who were the vocalists and Viswanathan on the Mridangam.
In an evening marked by patriotic fervour and invocation of the divine, the Brazilian audience were treated to renditions of Vande Mataram and devotional and classical Carnatic numbers, reaching the crescendo with a rendition of the Indian National Anthem.
The group of musicians are to perform in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.
The Brazilian friends of India would be treated to another stellar evening of a Kathak performance by an 11-member group led by Nandini Singh in Brasilia on Friday. This would be followed by Kathak performances in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. The widely appreciated exhibition on Mahatma Gandhi would also be on display in São Paulo.
The final leg of the festival would celebrate Indian literature with renowned Indian poets Siva Reddy Kolli, Shauq Mohammed Shafi Lone and Monalisa Jena sharing gems of Indian literature in Telugu, Kashmiri and Odia languages, with their translations, to introduce the Brazilian audience to the fascinating world of Indian poetry, in all the three cities. (IANS)
New Delhi, July 18, 2017: Ragas are one of the most prominent musical heritages of India but one always falls short of expressions for explaining this terminology. An eminent musicologist has now described ragas as a “formless form”.
Deepak S. Raja, a sitar and surbahar exponent (Etawah Gharana) who has studied musicology under the guidance of eminent scholars elaborated that a Raga is formless because it represents only a possibility of an aesthetically coherent and emotionally satisfying manifestation. And it is also a form in itself because it has distinct and recognisable contours.
Exploring a musician’s relationship with his art and how this relationship is shaped by the phenomenon of the raga, Raja spoke in detail while discussing the topic, “Perspective on Raga-ness” at the Kumar Gandharva Memorial Lecture Series organised by the Raza Foundation here on Sunday.
Raja, who is also the author of “The Raga-ness of Ragas: Ragas Beyond the Grammar” drew upon several aspects like defining ragas as a linguistic statement, its relationship with cultural memory and the notion of a raga as a transcendental entity to present a collage of perspectives that simplified the context of ragas.
He maintained that the communicative efficiency of a raga, which is a rule-based system of sounds, is often attributed to the receptivity of the listener as much as the competence of the performer. However, despite music’s universal resonance, experts in linguistics have not granted the status of a language to music.
The reason for this, Raja felt, is because “the acceptance of music – any music – as a language rests largely on the proposition that music does not support the notion of ‘lexical meaning’.”
But in the present context of raga-ness, this objection can be questioned, he argued.
“Each raga qualifies almost entirely as a linguistic statement, and is understood by the members of the raga music community — just as a statement in any spoken language is understood by its ‘native’ ethnic-linguistic community,” he claimed.
Another aspect he touched upon was how magically a raga transforms itself into melodious compositions when performed by artists and how each time it manages to elicit a different response from the audience. “It draws on the cultural memory. The association of the sound patterns of a raga with their meaning reside in the collective unconscious, just as the association of words in a spoken or written language reside in the memory of the culture in which the language has evolved,” he added.
In Hindustani and Western art music, music theorists share a divergent view when it comes to giving the status of the ‘commanding form’ to ragas and compositions (bandish). According to Raja, the proposition that which of the two plays a pivotal role in constructing a melody will always be debatable.
“In Western art music, American philosopher of art, Prof. Susanne Langer, accords the status of the commanding form to the composition because it is the composition which determines the entire process of invention and elaboration. Whereas Prof. Susheel Saxena argues that, in Hindustani music, the raga rightfully occupies this status,” he reiterated.
Connecting all these perspectives together, Raja focused on the contributions of Hindustani proponent Kumar Gandharva, who was known not only for his unique voice but his refusal to be bound by the tradition of any gharana.
“He took Hindustani music closer to its origins in the song. He did so by circumventing the raga as the commanding form of performance; he freed his music from the formal aloofness of the major gharanas, all of which were the products of the colonial-feudal-elitist era,” added the much acclaimed musicologist.
“He freed himself even from the notion of raga-ness in his bhajans, which remain in wide circulation even today. Also, in all his music, there is a calculated carelessness, which has often been attributed to his involvement with folk music,” he noted.
This is why, Raja said, the notion of raga-ness cannot be meaningfully discussed without reference to the contribution of Kumar Gandharva. “Because of his comprehensive rebellion against the values that dominated Hindustani music at that time, he could have been dismissed as an insignificant maverick. But it was impossible to deny his musicianship, and the impact he made with his uncanny access to the soul of ragas. His music was not easy to understand. But he influenced the aesthetic values of successive generations”.
The Raza Foundation’s “Kumar Gandharva Memorial Lecture” is a running series, held at the India Habitat Centre in the Capital. The talk by Raja was the fourth in the series.
Over the past four years, the popular forum has witnessed conversations with eminent personalities and expert practitioners drawn from the world of ideas, literature, visual arts, performing arts, among other disciplines and traditions. (IANS)
With the concert, Qureshi aims to give drummers a platform and endeavours to bring the talent from across the country under one roof
He also believes that the presence of such a diverse platform reflects the diversity of musicians and the forms of music the country boasts of
Ustad Allah Rakha Qureshi, famously known as Allah Rakha was a legendary tabla maestro
In a bid to commemorate the 97th birth anniversary of Ustad Allah Rakha Khansaheb, his son, and disciple, Fazal Qureshi, is all set to organize a percussion concert ‘Drums of India – The Journey Continues’ at Annabhau Sathe Auditorium, in Pune on July 13 from 7 pm.
With the concert, Qureshi aims to give drummers a platform and endeavours to bring the talent from across the country under one roof.
Talking about the event, he said, “The idea is to bind the drum style of India through rhythm.”
What makes this concert stand out is its unique concept. ‘Drums of India’ will feature all the genres of music from classical to folk, and from Carnatic music to jazz. It has also welcomed various forms of fusion, which will be presented together with percussion instruments.
Talking about the show Qureshi pointed out, “This will also be an opportunity for the younger generation of musicians to carry forward the legacy. Of them, many are those who are continuing their musical tradition like the dholki player Vijay Chavan who is the son of renowned singer Sulochana Chavan. So in a way, he’s carrying forward his own heritage and culture.”
He also believes that the presence of such a diverse platform reflects the diversity of musicians and the forms of music the country boasts of.
Speaking to The Indian Express, he reiterated, “Musicians from all around the country are coming together, some of their instruments may have whatsoever no connection with each other, like the khadtal and the mridangam, but will still come together as one, just like India.”
Qureshi has been organizing such events from the last six years in Mumbai, Delhi and Ahmedabad. While it is the first time he is geared up to organize the concert in Pune, he hopes to put together these shows in other parts of the country as well.
Ustad Allah Rakha Qureshi, famously known as Allah Rakha was a legendary tabla maestro, who frequently accompanied sitar player Ravi Shankar for most of the shows.
-prepared by Bulbul Sarma, a staff-writer at NewsGram.