CSP invites applications for Research into ‘International collaborations in Indian music’

CSP 19 December, 2019

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The world outside has always been drawn to the call of Indian music, with its deep roots in Indian spiritual traditions. Hindustani music led the way with Pandit Ravi Shankar taking it to foreign shores pioneering the concept of World music. Cross-cultural collaborations with Western musicians has led to the advancement and spread of Indian Raga music to music cultures more accustomed to harmony.

The second wave was of the movement of Laya or Tala – Indian percussion appealing to world drummers for its pedagogic value, allowing musicians to hold the beat in their heads in their own genres. Tabla maestro Zakir Hussain’s Planet Drum under the Global Drum Project won him a Grammy for the Best World Music Album, bringing India to the red carpet with style.

Music collaborations are now aplenty in Carnatic music too, led as it was in the early 70s by the the Trio of L Subramaniam, L Shankar and L Vaidyanathan, all master geniuses on the violin, making it their own. Indians started adapting other foreign instruments to Indian music – with Kadri Gopalnath on the Saxaphone and U Srinivas on the mandolin, further drawing audiences to Indian music. Chitravina N Ravikiran’s Melharmony has brought two great traditions – Indian Raga music and Western Classical Music together in engaging ways.

Film music in India has also seen pioneering work in digitalisation of music, the rise of high quality music productions, orchestras, symphonies and western tunes in Indian films and Indian ones in Hollywood films. Sonu Nigam’s collaboration with Britney Spears, A R Rehman’s many collaborations are some of the much recounted stories.

Center for Soft Power invites research into the different nuances of these collaborations, the push and the pull, the stories of masters who have wowed audiences abroad and in India, and what the future holds for the musical form itself.

Interested research students and scholars may send the statement of interest to namaste@centerforsoftpower.org. Remuneration will be discussed and finalized with the selected Scholar.

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