Video | “There is more than one form of being a devadasi”: The complex world of India’s devadasis – Interview with filmmaker (Lady) Beeban Kidron

Interview with filmmaker Beeban Kidron, plus exclusive clips from her new film. Sex, Death and the Gods explores the complex world of India’s devadasi, girls devoted to a goddess and then sold for sex at puberty | Lindsay Poulton and Joanna Moorhead, theguardian.com, 21 January 2011 >> Documentary maker Beeban Kidron (4:49): “They [the devadasis themselves] […]

There really is no such thing as a ‘learner’ raga

Image © The Hindu Gouri Dange, The Hindu, 11 May 2019 | Read the full article here >>Every kind of music has a protocol for ‘beginners’ or ‘learners’. Students must practise paltay, alankaras, scales, études, tonalisation exercises, depending on the kind of music they pursue.  […] However, here’s the rub: for many learners, these ‘early’ […]

On the tanpura / tambura – Martin Spaink

Martin Spaink (Amsterdam) has earned a name for himself as a leading tanpura expert. Read more on the finer points of tanpura playing, stringing, tuning, maintenance, restoration and playing techniques: fine-tuning of a tanpura Debate on “Meta Tuning Of Tanpura” https://soundcloud.com/user-578221889 e-mail: martinspaink@yahoo.com

The tambura’s role in perfect alignment to pitch: “The most beautiful way to discover music” – T.M. Krishna

To sing just with the tanpura has been revealing: TM Krishna M Suganth | TNN | Nov 27, 2014 | To read the full article, click here >> They had collaborated earlier for Margazhi Raagam, which was a first-of-its-kind Carnatic concert film and now, singer TM Krishna and filmmaker Jayendra have come together for One, […]

Bhava enables the transmission of experience of thoughts and emotions – Narayana Vishwanath

 CHENNAI: We are aware that the ultimate aim of every composer and musician is to achieve the coalescence, the essential factors of classical music namely bhava, raga and tala. We know bhava literally means, expression, the expression of existence. In a composition, bhava encompasses the aspects rasa, raga and laya and for a musical composition  […]

A storm of songs: India and the idea of the bhakti movement

by John Stratton Hawley Interview in The Hindu (January 10, 2016): “A Storm of Songs examines how devotional songs such as padams mingled with the abhangs, how the Dalit narrative and Sufi music found an outlet in creating the network called the Bhakti movement. In a conversation, he maps the mystical journey which knits India.” http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/bhakti-challenges-communal-religion/article8086253.ece “In this comprehensive […]

Nagasvaram (nadaswaram): The “auspicious” wind instrument without which no festive occasion is ever complete

Photo © The Hindu Aparna Karthikeyan, The Hindu, April 11, 2015 | To read the full story and view more photographs, click here >> It takes many days to make a block of wood sing. And it takes exceptionally talented craftsmen to do it. The four families who still make the nadaswaram by hand in Narasingapettai (a village near Kumbakonam, […]

“Useful chapter on voice training” – A History of Singing

Ludwig Pesch, The Illustrated Companion to South Indian Classical Music (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1999) is a lengthy introduction to Carnatic music, with a useful chapter on voice training. John Potter and Neil Sorrell, A History of Singing. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2012. (Sources and references, p. 310) isbn 9780521817059 Find a copy of The Illustrated Companion […]

Appreciating the beauty and importance of the nagasvaram: “Carnatic music grew because of the nagaswaram” – S. Rajam

The Hindu, December 27, 2013 | Read the full article with photos here >> TRIBUTE To the genius T.N. Rajarathinam Pillai, whose nagaswaram melodies are timeless. RUPA GOPAL In this part, I quote from my recording with S. RAJAM on TNR, done in early 2007. Excerpts: “Carnatic music grew because of the nagaswaram. Our art originated in […]

“Only a tambura can bring in a tranquil aura”: Musicians comment on the convenience and compromise of digital tanpura

Ranjani Govind, The Hindu, Bangalore, April 26, 2011 The four strings of the tambura that provide sruthi or the basic swara (pitch) for musicians are considered the life force for any melodic exercise. Fixed in jack wood to enhance the naada, yesteryear musicians were stuck to this pitch provider because there were no alternatives. […] While […]