SRA Music Circle Presentation (June 2004)
Music Circle members were invited to an evening of pleasurable listening on Sunday 27th
June 2004. The programme began with a vocal music recital by Ruchira Kale, a disciple of
Pt Ulhas Kashalkar. She began with a vilambit teentala kheyal in raga Shuddh Kalyan
Eri maai piya, which she ably developed. Moving on to drut teentaal, she sang
a bandish composed by the late Pt. Nivrutti Bua Sarnaik, Neend na aavat.
Ruchira sang in the Gwalior gharana style and the clarity and variations in her taans
reminded listeners of her illustrious guru. Gopal Mishra and Rupashree Bhattacharya
accompanied her on the tabla and harmonium respectively.
followed by a sitar recital by Debaprasad Chakraborty. A student of the late Shri Ajoy
Sinha Roy, Debaprasad belongs to the famed Senia Maihar Gharana. Playing raga Mian ki
Malhar, he amply demonstrated his sensitivity while unfolding the komal gandhar and the
two nishads of the raga in his alap, jod and jhala. His virtuosity reached greater heights
during his vilambit gat in dhamar taal, in which he flawlessly executed several tihaais.
He then played a drut gat in teentala. Samar Saha gave him excellent tabla support.
concluding item that evening was a vocal recital by Amit Mukerjee, Executive Director, ITC
SRA, who trained under Shankar Majumdar, disciple of the late Ustad Amir Khan. Singing
raga Megh, he began with a vilambit kheyal in jhoomra taal and went on to present a tarana
in teentaal composed by the late Ustad Amir Khan. The resonance in his voice and the
knowledgeable development of the raga were a treat for the listeners. He concluded his
recital with a teentaal bandish in raga Gaud Malhar Aayi badra kari kari.
Ananda Gopal Bandopadhyay provided tabla support while Jyoti Goho played the harmonium.
Rhythm Workshop (June 2004)
cycles (taal), tempo (laya) and metre (chhanda) have always been an integral part of
Indian classical music and in recent years the tabla has gained popularity amongst the
young and old. Renowned tabla exponent Shankar Ghosh conducted a two-day workshop at ITC
Sangeet Research Academy on June 4th and 8th. Concentrating on variations in rhythm, he
demonstrated aar (3/2 matras), kuaar (5/4 matras) and biaar (7/4 matras) and ensured that
the students practice these variations using the seven notes.
He also discussed numerous tihaais including lapetang, bedam and
damdaar While aiming to explain the mathematics behind taal, he said that in order to gain
confidence, students needed to appreciate the importance of the anumatras or microbeats of
any taal. Reiterating the importance of understanding taal, he explained a simple formula
by which tihaais could be easily calculated.
Those who attended the workshop will undoubtedly be better equipped at
introducing rhythmic variations into their singing styles.
February 2004 : ITC-SRA unfolds global vision for
propagating Indian classical music abroad
The ITC Sangeet
Research Academy (ITC-SRA is now, during its Silver Jubilee
celebrations, beginning to transform itself into a global
institution propagating the riches of Indian Classical Music.
The Executive Director of ITC-SRA, Mr Amit Mukerjee, has
announced ITC-SRA’s plans to introduce vocal Hindustani Classical
Music to Western cultural institutes. The West has historically been
much more familiar with instrumental music. Perhaps as a result of
that familiarity, today Western audiences are extremely keen to
listen to, and discerningly appreciate Indian Classical Music.
To quench this deep Western thirst for Indian Classical Music,
ITC-SRA is planning to take its Gurus to conduct workshops and
seminars, and hold lecture-demonstrations in the top musical
institutions in Europe. The ITC Sangeet Research Academy will also
facilitate cross-cultural exchange programmes with these institutes,
between scholars of Western music and scholars of Indian Classical
The Academy has already organised seminars and workshops on
Indian Classical Music in Tubingen University, a renowned centre of
Indology and musicology, Stuttgart University and Rotterdam
Conservatory, among others.
As a part of ITC-SRA’s mission to go beyond vocal Hindustani
Classical Music, the Academy introduced training in Sarode and Sitar
two years ago. This has already started yielding very rewarding
results. The Academy has now also formulated plans to revive the
dying art of playing the ‘Sarangi’. There are very few ‘Sarangi’
exponents today. The Academy will identify young ‘Sarangi’ aspirants
and teach them the fine art.
ITC-SRA is also keen to expose its students and scholars to
modern technology. The technical and the musical quality of a
recital improve dramatically if musicians are well versed with the
intricacies of modern sound engineering technology. The Academy’s
students are being exposed to the software of sound engineering
through hours of hands-on exposure to ITC-SRA’s in-house digital
ITC-SRA also plans to sharpen its focus on research into the rich
traditions of Indian Classical Music. ITC and ITC-SRA have also
undertaken a major project to fully digitise and carefully preserve
the precious recordings of Hindustani Classical Music recitals
housed in ITC-SRA's archives. The aim is to enable musicians,
musicologists, scholars and connoisseurs of Indian Classical Music
around the world readily access India’s musical heritage.
In 1990, under a grant from the Ford Foundation, USA, ITC-SRA
bagged a prestigious assignment to collect and collate musical data
from the living and learned musicians of different gharanas. The
successful completion of this project has created, in ITC-SRA, a
priceless repertoire of documented knowledge on Hindustani Classical
Music. There are detailed interviews with 41 great musicians
belonging to different gharanas. More than 5000 musical compositions
have been put down in black and white. There are also nearly 1000
hours of precious musical recordings. The Academy has now taken up
the second phase of the project, which entails editing and notating
As a part of the Silver Jubilee celebrations, ITC-SRA plans to
hold ITC Mini Sangeet Sammelans in Lucknow, Kanpur, Jodhpur,
Dombivilli and Karad. ITC Mini Sangeet Sammelans have already been
held in Raipur, Digboi and Agartala. A special Holi Sammelan is also
being organised in Kolkata. Two more major ITC Sangeet Sammelans, to
be held in Mumbai and Hyderabad, are also on the cards, to celebrate
ITC-SRA’s 25th anniversary.
Ford Foundation Gharana Project
Under the Ford Foundation Gharana project, the famous Dhrupad
singers, the Gundecha Brothers of Bhopal and Ustad Aslam Khan Niyazi
of Mumbai were invited to record compositions (bandishes) of their
respective gharanas. While the Gundecha Brothers recorded twenty-two
bandishes, Ustad Aslam Khan recorded as many as one hundred and
seventy one compositions in the khayal style.
Gurus at the Academy
ITC SRA guru, Girija Devi of the Banaras Gharana has rejoined the
Academy from November 1, 2003 after a short stint as Visiting
Professor at Banaras Hindu University.
Sadolikar, an exponent of the Jaipur-Atrauli gharana has joined the
Academy as a visiting guru from November 18, 2003.