Understanding India’s roots of Western classical

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By Frederick Noronha

P1120174Western Classical music first came to India as a extension of the colonial encounter, but over time it has become “an essential part of Indian culture”, says scholar Sebanti Chatterjee who has recently done her M.Phil on the subject.

Chatterjee’s study is a comparative study of the practices of Western Classical Music across three areas — Mumbai, Kolkata and Goa.

But while Western Classical has stayed a “marginalised presence” in India, musical elements of this genre “get comfortable absorbed in other musical styles — both in the realm of indigenous and Western music”, comments the scholar.

With the curiosity of the scholar and the soft-spokenness of a research student, the young lady plans to shortly take on her Ph.D. in this rather unusual field – Western music in India.

Tracing its history, she notes the importance to understand the Western Classical music scenario in late eighteenth century Anglo-Indian society. The 1760s and 1770s saw rise of all male musical clubs with limited access granted to the ladies, such as Catch club. In the 1780s there was a lucrative business of supplying Anglo Indians with music and instruments. Continue reading “Understanding India’s roots of Western classical”

Nandinho … the rough cut

Thanks to my priest-musician friend Joaquim Loiola Pereira, I got a copy of of Saudades do Nandinho just this evening. Have been tuned into it for the last hundred minutes or so… and did it bring back memories! The Sixties were a strange time in Goa. My folks had returned home (from Brazil) just then. But they soon realised that “their home” they had returned to, was a confusing and fast-changing place. Jobs were scarce. Electricity was still to reach the villages, including ours! Bizarre things (since these were then, still, largely uncomprehensible) were happening on the political front. It … Continue reading Nandinho … the rough cut

Sitars, scanners … and sounds

My comp’s desktop is a mess currently. So many tools open, trying to do so many jobs… at the same time… but there’s a reason for it…. There’s the Xsane scanning software opened. Two browsers (Firefox and Flock aka The Social Browser. The latter is something that makes blogging a very easy task). There’s Sound Juicer, the music-playing software of my GNU/Linux Ubuntu distro. And the usual other things… Evolution for email, a Nautilus file-browser, another Wikipedia page, a dozen or so bookmarked to read via Whizz RSS the intersting Inter-Press Service stories coming in from the region I still … Continue reading Sitars, scanners … and sounds