Sumana Ramanan, the music columnist for the Mumbai Mirror thought music critics were a dying breed, and I was something of an anomaly in the business-dominated city of Bombay. I am not sure it was a dinosaur she was talking to. But, I am grateful that she found my two decades in musicology, and the release of my fourth book news-worthy.
Wednesday, September 23, 2015
In the hope that work like mine is not subject to accelerated obsolescence, I am submitting it again for the consideration of those who may have missed it earlier.
Khayal Vocalism: Continuity within Change (Slide Presentation)
(c) Deepak S Raja 2015
Friday, September 18, 2015
It was around this time in 1995 that Lyle Wachovsky of India Archive Music Ltd., New York, commissioned me to write commentaries on the CDs he was producing of Hindustani music. Till then, I was a musician (among other things). Since then, I have been a musicologist (among other things).
A brief flashback on my two decades in musicology.
Deepak Raja: Two Decades in Musicology
(c) Deepak S. Raja 2015
Wednesday, September 16, 2015
The decline of Dhrupad had begun with the disintegration of the Mughal Empire. By the time of India’s independence, Dhrupad was often described as “a museum piece”. The revival, such as is evident, was fuelled by the following Dhrupad acquired in Europe, starting from the mid-1960s.
By the end of the 20th century, Dhrupad vocalism could boast of a small group of musicians who were credible at home, but were dependent overwhelmingly on the Western market for their livelihood. Never before has a genre of art-music been pronounced dead in India, experienced so shaky a revival with home audiences, and become popular enough with alien audiences to become so largely dependent on them. This makes Dhrupad one of the cultural enigmas of cultural anthropology.
The Indian Musicological Society decided to take a look at Dhrupad, and asked me to edit a contemporary survey of Dhrupad for its Journal. Of the various interviews I conducted as part of the study, the one with Prof. Ashok Ranade in August,1998, was eminently rewarding. I present here the recordings of that interview in two parts.
Monday, September 14, 2015
My fourth book on Hindustani music comes off the press in the next 48 hours. The publisher says we need to print a direct mail brochure. I ask him how many copies we should print, to whom we direct the mailing, and whether anyone reads print brochures any longer. He doesn't know the answer. I don't either. Perhaps nobody does. So, he asked me if there was an alternative. I told him I will give it a shot. And, this is what came out of it. Check it out.
The Raga-ness of Raga-s. A Video brochure