The rise of the female Indian classical musician

Until the early part of the century, virtually all Indian female vocalists were from the courtesan tradition, and thus, held a less esteemed position in society (Neuman, 1980). Despite being just as gifted and talented as their male counterparts, they were never considered part of ‘respectable society,’ and never regarded with the same reverence or…

The sound of divinity

Music is said to be the language of the divine. Why is the azan so musical? Why do we sing hymns in church? Why are religious services accompanied by music? How does music alter our moods, amplify our feelings and give meaning to our existence? The answer is it’s the very life force of the…

Romanticism to impressionism: art to music

The early 19th century was dominated in Europe by the Romantics. Romanticism, sown by contemporary writers, poets and philosophers, gave rise to an aesthete that exalted emotion and nature and their representations in art forms. The Industrial Revolution, Napoleonic wars, the American Civil War and overall disenchantment with the status of society propelled the rise…

Broadside ballads and ‘street’ literature

Although the broadsides were incredibly popular – as was most street literature – there has been relatively little research into them and dialect/regional poetry, which both Leslie Shepard and Brian Hollingworth mention and correct in their works. The broadsides would be pasted up on pub walls and inside the cabins of ships for easy dissemination…

Adapting to new environments: ‘Folk’ performances as contemporary practices

‘Folk’ performances in this sense can be said to have become short showcases or souvenirs of what might be deemed as its longer ritual ‘authentic’ version. However, the question of authenticity in the case of ‘folk’ genres is replete with the issues of larger cultural politics as well as the agency of the performer. The…

The Mozart of Madras

He escorted mHe escorted me backstage where I followed him down a narrow corridor to the makeshift green rooms. He finally stopped in front of a door, turned to me and asked me to wait. He disappeared into the room as the door closed behind him. The intimidating name card stared back as it slowly…

Bob Dylan, poet-singer, Nobel laureate

It begins with the Swedish Academy’s announcement of the award to Dylan. Everyone is surprised, none more than Dylan himself. He goes into hiding, not taking any calls or responding to messages. Nor does he communicate anything to the wider world. He remains totally incommunicado for days on end. The Academicians break into a sweat:…

Armeen Musa : Carrying the legacy forward

In a candid interview with Jamini, Armeen tells us about her love for music, takes us through her foundational years, and shares the unique personal revolution that has shaped her journey with music. As far as Armeen Musa can recall, she remembers waking up to the sound of her mother’s riyaaz, hearing her whisper soft…

Origin

‘Origin’ hovers between the corporeal and meta-physical. Protick’s use of light as a protagonist, is combined with deliberate monochromatic arrangements. It is a suspended reality, where we are in a concurrent state of wake and sleep. In this reality, time is perpetually slowed; and for the first time we are not just looking, but seeing.…

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