Discussion Forum

Discussion On: Empty halls.....lack of audience.....lack of opportunities..., what can we do to promote Indian Classical Music??

Message by Bhavna [sahaibhavna@gmail.com]
I definitely agree with the views of all you knowledgeable people in addition would like to highlight one area which I personally feel should be given more attention. Having learned classical music almost all my life I often land up in situations where most of my friends feel they are unable to relate to the classical music primarily because they have not heard of the cotemporary artists and the work of the maestros is rarely available on the internet. I might sound amateurish when I say this but the image of classical music needs a makeover. Young generation holds a misconception that classical music is serious and prolonged version of music meant for the people who have a lot of patience and time in hand, resulting the concerts are mostly attended by senior citizens. Instead regular and prompt concerts should be held with modern advertising appealing to masses for participation. Short term workshops and mass participation should be encouraged. Once we are able to create a feeling of identity we would not have to worry about unsold tickets or empty seats. Classical music is the soul of every form of music and this fact needs to be communicated to the masses, not because we have to prove a point but because the next generation would play a key role to determine the fate of this great art form

Message by laurence bastit [laurencebastit@hotmail.com]
Dhrupad society organises a samaroh, 9,10 and 11 september at India International Centre New delhi, 6.30pm. All are invited. First day, 9th sept screening of a film on dhrupad followed by panel discussion. All topics and worries that I read here and share will be tckled in a constructive way. This is an appeal, come and participate so that you are a mover for the change. Send me request for more info at &ltlaurencebastit@hotmail.com>, shall send all details of samaroh. entry is free

Message by Shree Ganesh Iyer [sarangentertainment@gmail.com]
I agree with Rishabh ji and want to know if u all have heard of Ustad Mushtaque Hussain Khansaheb(1st recipoent of Padmabhushan), Ustad Nissar Hussain Khansaheb (guru to Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khansaheb and Ustad Rashid Khan, and Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khansaheb...By not giving names of legends you are away not doing justice to Indian Music and you you are taking away the hard work that they have done to achieve...

Message by UNSW student studying Indian music [p15_2@hotmail.com]
Oh forgot to say as well...would electronic Indian instruments promote Indian classical music? Thanks

Message by rana19451 [alaap2010@gmail.com]
A non-commercial site www.alaap-agragharana.com has published some very rare alaaps and khayals of a highly emotive style ,sung by an unknown singer who never sang in public and died in 1982 . The songs have received wonderful reactions from listeners , like : • This is the most amazing treasure I have heard on the net. My appreciation is beyond words. • The songs brought tears to my eyes . What more can I say ! • Fantastic . This is like going back to the sources . Ad fontem. • I have never heard anything so soulful and touching . • This is pure passion at work ,unconcerned with the compulsions of performing on stage . Perhaps most importantly , many have felt that the singer was conversing with God . The site is completely non-commercial and allows free download of all the songs. It has absolutely no commercial intentions . The only aim is to propagate the rare style and earn posthumous recognition for this remarkable singer . We request all lovers of Hindustani classical to kindly visit the site and ,if they find the songs to be special ,kindly post their views on the guest book . We trust you will not be disappointed

Message by Arohi [saroshar@yahoo.com]
In the greatest musicians of 20 C, the eminent names of ustad faiyaz khan and ustad karim khan are conspicous by their absence.

Message by Naresh [t.naresh@comcast.net]
I wanted to share the extra-ordinary bhansuri renderings of Akshay Naresh. Akshay is 21 years old and learnt his flute in US. He is very talented and a gifted flute player. Please use the link below to listen and do share with all music lovers http://www.youtube.com/user/akshaynaresh/videos

Message by Shivam Chandel [shvmchandel@gmail.com]
7 tips how to improve singing voice - Consider about breathing - Focus on posture - Relax - Know where to put your tongue and soft palate - Watch what you eat - Don’t strain - Warm up before singing Taking care of your interest , check out: http://www.wiziq.com/course/14962-hindustani-classical-music-voice-training-for-beginners ..........For practicing singing , you need to have a powerful voice . The course containsstep by step vocal exercises to make your voice powerful. Hope this helps

Message by Suyash Gupta [suyash@hindustaniclassical.com]
A recent concert which I attended worried me, very much. Good artists, popular venue and the headcount, less than 50. And these are the same faces who meet me everywhere in all other concerts, mostly senior citizens. Younger generation is missing. This morning I was discussing with a senior musician as to what role all of us, as classical music lovers, could play?? This led me to start a thread on this discussion on HC. While we on our part, will do whatever we can, please post your suggestions or any constructive thought which could be helpful and perhaps make some difference, some where...

Message by Shobha Shekhar [ssshekhar@rogers.com]
Parents who have children learning a form of music must get together form an association of classical musicians, which will include their own children. organise fundraisers by calling a big name in the music industry.. even if he/she is a commercial musician, use this funds to organise classical concerts of guru/shishyar combination, may be include western/indian classical format to generate interst. according to me music has no boundaries, we must make it appeasing to the old and new generation, this may help. I live in Canada and will be very happy to provide any assistance in this area.

Message by omsbaby [omsbaby@gmail.com]
I must say that the shows of Pandit Habib Khan are always full he combines music so beautifully that vocalist and instrumentalists alike find something that gives their heart pleasure. In addition classical music in the west has the heart for the music. Indians and non Indians alike want what they have left so far behind.

Message by Sydhwaney [sydhwaney@gmail.com]
Badly publicised events have badly occupied seats. Poor graphics, old fashioned approach to advertising In other words active marketing of programmes To the Young! secondly Parents are still the greatest ambassadors of classical music to their children...thirdly holding lecture demos prior to the event to develop knowledge, posting audio visual clips on the net etc give a good taste of the music fourthly and very importantly create a market where people are `used to` coming to a concert.. same venue, same month, different artists..holding classical and fusion events in the same venue perhaps not the same day. It is still difficult for upcoming musicians to get a full hall of audience. They need to get someone to market them - the best way even today is the movies.. unfortunately.. there is no harm in singing a few songs in the films to get yourself known..MSS, Unni Krishnan, Bala Murali.. there are lots of artists who have done this.. TV in India is a big force too.. Artists have to Reach Out to their Audience through, radio, tv, newspapers, articles, word of mouth, CD launches and dont forget the power of the INTERNET.. All this needs money ..So we need good reliable sponsors ! In the end it boils down to Economics!

Message by Aina [abeer.nagi@gmail.com]
I was not a fan of Classical music, but I have gradually developed such taste for it that I don`t listen to anything else. I am a western Guitar player and a singer myself. I learn to appreciate Hindustani classical after I was given exposure to this music. I never knew masters such as Mehdi Hassan, Bade Gulam Ali, Vilayat Ali khan sahab, make such fabulous music which takes you into another world. My Answer to this is only to create a taste for it in the market and present it to the main stream. Just like how Salwar Kameez & Chooridars are back into fashion this can make a come back too, after all int inour genes and blood!

Message by Kumar Mukherjee [bhaijaanjaanbhai@gmail.com]
The last message by Aina is worthwhile and so are some of the others....the problem is that the people dealing with the marketing have no idea about their job !! They are not marketing the genre of music but the individual who has created a niche for himself doing this music,as a result,people only identify with the artist and not the style of music for which they have toiled for years!THE PEOPLE WHO DEAL WITH POPULARISING THIS MUSIC NEED TO BE EDUCATED MOST,SO THAT THE DIFFERENTIATE WHAT IS GOOD AND WHAT IS NOT!There are no parameters to decide,I agree but the lay audience are being fed a good dael of crap in the name of classical music !

Message by Preeti [pkanu@gmail.com]
Why a lack of opportunities? Part is the usual (yawn) excuse of economics and funding difficulties. More importantly,though, have you noticed, for example, a more endemic problem - that in the concert listings on this website, you will not find one telephone number,email postal or web address for the organizer? It could be because is not a formal organization presenting the performance. But mostly it is because the organizers DO NOT WANT transparency. They do not want artists requesting performances from them. Often these organizers are poorly educated in the music, overwhelmed by lack of financial support or apathetic about encouraging the audience to come to hear great musicianship unless the financial bottom line can be managed &quotsuccessfully". The phrase &quotto curry favor" is familiar to the world and is a human trait in general, but curry is a specialty in India. It is of no surprise to me that many artists feel the only way to get a concert unless is to push themselves into an alliance of sorts with someone in a power position in an organization. This delightful non-musical affair will take place only after a Sherlock Holmes-like effort is made to find out who that organizer is. Profound musicianship and the continuance of quality in this tradition very often takes a backseat to decsions to present an artists based on phony networking and laziness of effort. Many times this is a personality game. Do I like that artist as a person, does he/she flatter me appropriately, can he/she do something for me at some time? You will not find a serious list of contacts for organizations or presenters. Casual word of mouth and gossipy innuendo fill the air instead of serious and knowldegeable discussion. I think the audience also has begun to pick up the atmosphere which is less and less about a relish of music and encouragement of high caliber artistry and instead is full of pettiness and power play. We need auditions behind curtains lie they do in Germany, where the educated older musicians choose peformers based on real criteria.

Message by Jayson [jaysonrowleymusic@yahoo.com]
I live in Southern California and I have seen this happen. Two music venues, the Music Circle in Pasadena, and The Ektaa Center in Irvine stage shows and I`m always amazed at how few people are there. I attended an Aashish Khan/Swapan Chaudri recital and the place was just about 1/2 full! These are the masters! Lakshmi Shankar was even in the audience. For the record, I`m a white guy and enjoy learning and playing sitar and tabla. I stumbled upon classical Indian music years ago via Vishwa Mohan Bhatt and am so thankful for it. I meet Indian families in my line of work (sales) and talk to the parents about classical artists. They are always amazed that I have knowledge about the music and artists. The parents know all the artists, but their teenage children have never heard of any of them! I had to explain to one 13-year-old kid what tabla is! As an outsider to Indian culture, it seems to me that the older generations must make more of an effort to pass the music down to their children and teach them about the technicalities of the raga. Sadly, in an age of texting, 3 minute songs, youtube, and twitter (where people sum up their day in 10 words) young people aren`t likely to have the patience to sit through the alap portion, let alone an entire raga. It is difficult to think of a way to help classical music fit into the fast-paced modern culture. I hope that the popularity increases because there is nothing as wonderful and peaceful as attending a well performed classical Indian concert. I feel sorry for those who have never experienced one.

Message by Cera [dohafee@yahoo.ca]
Like a few people have said, it`s not that the younger generation aren`t interested in Classical music, believe me there are many young people who LOVE Classical music. I recently went to the Opera, and the house was packed, and yes, there were tons of young people in attendance. The same is true of Indian Classical music. There are many other factors involved in why there is poor attendance at concerts. First and foremost, the biggest problem is a lack of promotion of the event, if people don`t know about it, they can`t come, simple! However, having been a Kathak student for many years, and being very dedicated not just to my riyaaz, but to the school as a whole, I do understand promotion of events is not as easy as we might think. There is a lot of work, effort and cost (being the biggest factor) that goes in to promoting the event. People these days lead very busy lives, they can`t remember their birthdays, let alone a music concert, so a large part of promotion is constantly reminding them of the upcoming concert, email being the best and biggest means, phoning family and friends, flyers, annoucements at other events, etc. promoters have to literally be in one`s face. The other factor is getting the younger generation involved and interested in Classical music, and the best way to do this is coming down to their level, using their ways of connecting to the world. Please note, I am not saying we have to compromise the music to get down to their level, not at all, in fact, it`s the best music that will get them out. But rather I mean, reaching out to them through the best methods, which today is the Internet, using social networking sites like Facebook, Twritter, MySpace etc. Having cool and exciting websites on Classical music, that will attract them and keep them coming back for more. After all (and no offence meant here), a large part of the attraction to popular music, is the way it`s channelled into their lives. Other issues that come up in discussions that I have with people in general (not just youngsters), is the myth that Indian Classical music is for &quotspecial people" - it goes something like this - &quotOh, I would love to go, but I am so ignorant of this artform", or the other one is - &quotI am not worthy of &quothigh art", and don`t you have to be a connoisseur of this kind of music to enjoy it?&quot. And here lovers of the artform have to jump and dispel these myths! No, it`s not elitist and no, one does not have to be a raga expert (don`t worry there is no quiz at the end of the performance) to enjoy a concert. I usually tell them, it`s all about listening and how one responds to the what is happening on stage, that circular connection between audience and artist. This is what we should be promoting. Oh yes, that the fact that we can interact with the performances with &quotWah! kya bhat hai" etc. I sincerely believe (and I am not alone) that Indian Classical music will NOT die out, it`s impossible for that to happen, it`s just too deep-rooted in tradition. It has it`s place in society, and is here to stay. We as lovers of the art, have to find ways and means of bringing it back into people`s lives. We also have to promote the fact, that live music is the best form of listening. Watching snippets on Youtube is fabulous, but there is nothing like the real deal. I can go on and on about this, but I will get very dull and boring.

Message by Rish [rishabh.jhunjhunwala@gmail.com]
This is tangential to the discussion topic, but then I notice that this is true of some other posts as well - I`m just curious to know if Kesarbai, Mallikarjun Mansur and Kishori Amonkar were judged unfit for the poll on the greatest vocalist of the 20th century.

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