Sunday, March 28, 2010

Watch old Doordarshan Serials online

Sunday, March 14, 2010
by abhishek kumar

Doordarshan is the public television broadcaster of India and a division of Prasar Bharati, which is a Government of India enterprise. Still in this world of huge competition among differnet TV, Doordarshan is one of the largest broadcasting organizations in the world in terms of the infrastructure of studios and transmitters. In India, Doordarshan is the number one TV channel. Now a days it is not so popular in urban areas but its old serials are still some of hot search items on internet. Everyday I got mails from my readers that how to watch blah blah blah old doordarshan serial online.

A quick recap of old Doordarshan Serials (via Wikipedia)

The 80s was the era of Doordarshan when it became integral part of living room of middle class in India with popular shows like Hum Log (1984), Buniyaad (1986-87) and comedy shows like Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi (1984). The first ever daily soap Hum Log, Buniyaad and Nukkad and mythological dramas like Ramayan (1987-88) and Mahabharat (1989-90), Shaktimaan, India's First Superhero, attracted millions of Indians to Doordarshan. There were some historical serials like Bharat Ek Khoj, The Sword of Tipu Sultan and The Great Maratha, which also appealed a large section of viewers.

Some of the popular Doordarshan shows, serials and programs were ::

Hindi film songs based programs like Chitrahaar, Rangoli, Ek Se Badkar Ek and Superhit Muqabla.
Crime thrillers - Jasoos Karamchand (starring Pankaj Kapoor), Super six, Barrister Roy (starring Kanwaljeet), Byomkesh Bakshi (starring Rajit Kapoor), Reporter (Shekhar Suman's first apperance on TV), Tehkikaat and Suraag (starring Sudesh Berry).
Shows targeted at children include Fairy tale Theatre, Dada Dadi ki Kahaniyan, Vikram Betaal, Sigma, Stone Boy, Malgudi Days, Tenali Rama, Potli Baba Ki, Superhuman Samurai Cyber Squad, Knight Rider, Street Hawk and a horror serial Kile ka Rahasya (1989).
Other popular shows include Oshin a Japanese drama series, Trishna, Mr. Yogi, Neem Ka Ped, Circus, Fauji (launching Shahrukh Khan),Rani Laxhmibai,Dastan-E-Hatim Tai, Alif Laila, Gul Gulshan Gulfam, Udaan, Rajani, Talaash, Phir Wohi Talash, Katha Saagar, Nupur, Mirza Ghalib, Wagle ki Duniya, Phulvanti, Sangharsh, Lifeline, Kashish (launching Malvika Tiwari), Srimaan Srimati, Tu tu mein mein, Junoon, Ajnabi (starring Danny Denzongpa), Zabaan Sambhal Ke, Dekh Bhai Dekh, Sansaar, Swabhimaan, Chanakya, Shanti (launching Mandira Bedi), Sea Hawks (starring R. Madhavan), Surabhi, Tana Bana, Mujrim Hazir (launching Navni Parihar), Jaspal Bhatti's Flop Show, Alif Laila, Meri Awaaz Suno, Captain Vyom, and Chandrakanta.
Doordarshan also telecast English cartoons at 12.00 noon during summer vacations in a programme named "Fun Time" which showed cartoons like Spider-Man, Giant Robot (Johnny Soko and his flying robot), Gayab Aaya, Guchhae, He-Man, The Jungle Book, Talespin & Duck Tales also the comic plays of Charlie Chaplin, Laurel & Hardy and Didi's Comedy Show.
You can see the complete list of Doordarshan serials here.

Now a big question comes, how to watch these old TV shows and serials online?

Some of serials are available on YouTube like Mahabharat, Shriman Shrimati, Byomkesh Bakshi, Yeh Jo hai Zindagi, Vikram Betaal, Flop Show, Dekh Bhai Dekh, Fauji, Talaash, thanks to rajshri channel and several other anonymous users.

These are some of the Doordarshan TV shows and serials which are available on internet.

For Mahabharat, visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwnDC3_fVgM

For Shriman Shrimati, visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDld3hDhG7g

For Ramayan, visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3mc6liE_9Q

For Jungle Book, visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OU95tdRuInw

For Byomkesh Bakshi, visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yleUyg6m1jU

For Fauji, visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xBUryt4BpMY

For Vikram aur Betaal, visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKStSy1bnjc

For Bharat Ek Khoj, visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9dd6bc1xPfI

For Flop Show, visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LBmylILrutE

For Dekh Bhai Dekh, visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U5k7k_O3ziA

ForTaalash, visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f8nDBrAdml0

For Paying Guest, visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6F_LQtbukrg

For Kachchi Dhoop, visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-vqgWnyJHUU

For Captain House, visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KDEvr3MBszc

For Uppanyas, visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aojo5_SasWY

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Indian Classical Music and the Gharana Tradition

This article looks into various aspects of the Gharana tradition. The tradition of Gharanas has been an integral part of Indian classical music. All learned musicians talk of Gharana and its valuable contribution to the Indian music. Most of the artists of Indian music are convergent upon the point that the Gharana tradition is the best institution when it comes to the teaching of music. In this article, we would go a bit deeper into the various features, characteristics, opinions etc about this very important institution of Indian classical music.


 

Meaning and definition of Gharana


 

Gharana is an Urdu word which has been adapted in Hindi language too. It basically means: family, members of a family, several generations of a family etc. in the field of arts as well as the academics, the English synonym for this word seems to be "school". For example, there are many schools which interpret history in different manner. For them we can call different school of historical interpretation. Likewise, there are different styles of painting. For instance, "the Venetian school of painting". Therefore, colloquially, we can connect Gharana with different styles of arts. We are aware of the facts that not one single style can persist when it comes to the performing arts. Different styles are developed according to the tastes of the artists as well as the audiences. Sometimes, these styles represent the regional aspirations too. There is a famous saying in the Northern India, "as many tongues, so the tastes! As many heads, so the interests." This saying can further be stated as "as many musicians, so the styles of performance". Indian music is very flexible. It differs from region to region, from artist to artist and from place to place. The regional influences, the individual influences, the linguistic influences etc are chiefly responsible in developing new style in any form of music. Be it Dhruvapada, Khayal, Thumari or any other form of Indian classical/semiclassical music, there are and can be numerous styles of singing and playing of musical instruments. These different styles, when practiced for more than three generations, become a Gharana. In a Gharana, there are some main contributors, who play the important role in developing and shaping that style. These artists are called the originator of that style or Gharana.


 

Evolution


 

The concept of Gharana is very much related to the Guru Shishya Parampara. In fact, music is an art which can only be taught through the system of Guru Shishya Parampara. It cannot be taught through the formal educational methods. Therefore, it is very important that we should analyse this Parampara. It is this tradition of Guru-Shishya which has played a very vital role in the shaping and development of our classical music. In the ancient works of the Indian literature, the importance of a learned Guru has been felt and admired at numerous places and instances; so much so that the Guru has been given the higher status than even the Almighty God. When it comes to the learning of fine arts and especially the Indian classical music, the importance of guru is said to be much more important. That is why, in the modern days too, when there are a lot of means of learning music, the serious learners still look for a learned and appropriate Guru. But for a skilled guru, one cannot learn music in its proper spirit. But our concern is not to discuss the importance of a guru but to look into the aspects of Gharana. As we have mentioned earlier, the Gharana tradition is based upon the Guru Shishya parampara. Now we would explain how the tradition of Gharana evolved and took shape in the initial stages.


 

For this, we have to peep into the history of Indian music and through its glimpses we would try to find some facts and signs about the tradition of Gharana. The history of Indian music begins from the Sam Veda, the most important one of the four Vedas. During the period of Sam Veda, we find that there were around a thousand styles of Saamgaan, which were practiced by the singers of the Sam. Gradually, as the ancient Indian culture got diluted because of various socio-political reasons, many styles of saamgaana were forgotten on account of overlapping of other cultures over our own ancient civilization. It is believed that presently, there are three basic styles of Saamgana. Namely, Kautubhi, Ranayani and Stobhi. What I mean to say that these styles may represent different schools or Gharanas of singing the Richaas of Sam. This is the initial concept upon which the tradition of Gharana is actually based. Therefore, though the Gharanas are said to be the result of the so-called Durbari Sangeet yet the elementary concept of Gharana existed in Indian heritage even during the period of Vedas.


 

After the extinction of the tradition of Saamgaana, the vacuum which was very much there in the field of the Indian classical music was filled by the new tradition of Prabandha Gaan. This tradition was also based upon the several kinds of Prabandhas which were sung in different manners and styl4es. In Sangeet Ratnakar, a separate chapter has been dedicated to the study of Prabandha. This shows the importance of Prabandhas. This form of Indian music was very rich in content as well as in respect of various styles of its presentation. Thus, the tradition of Gharana still existed in Indian music. Though the name for this tradition was different. There were numerous styles of singing Prabandhas which were known as different schools of Prabandhagan. In Karnatik music too, there are different schools of presentation of music popularly known as the Sampradayas. These sampradayas also represent the concept of Gharana. Thus, it is very clear that the concept of Gharana existed in Indian music. There is no doubt about it. However, the word "Gharana" was not used prior to the period of Durbari Sangeet.


 

After the suppression of Prabandhagaan, came the form of Dhruvapada singing. It is believed that the prabandhas were eliminated from the Indian music because of the unpopularity of Sanskrit language amongst the ruling class. We are aware of the fact that during the period of Sultanate in the Indian history, the foreign invaders captured the mainland of the Indian subcontinent. The new rulers, who had come from the central Asia and the Afghan Territory, did not know Sanskrit. They even were unaware of our native languages and dialects. Neither did they have any idea of our cultural heritage. They tried to impose their cultural practices over the Indian culture. This overlapping of cultures resulted in different cultural changes. During this hustle and bustle Sanskrit lost its glory and the same happened to be with the Prabandhagaana, which were based on Sanskrit language. In its place, a new singing form was originated by the scholars of the Court of great king of Gwaliyar, Raja Mansingh Tomar.


 

In this form of singing too, there were different singing styles. These styles were called as Baanis. There were mainly four baanis in the singing of Dhruvapadas. These baanis were as follows:

  1. Dagurbani, 2. Gobarhari, 3. Nauhari and 4. Khandari.


     

    These baanis of Dhruvapada singing were also in tune with the basic concept of Gharana. They represented different singing styles of Dhruvapada. Hence, it is beyond any reasonable doubt that the concept of Gharana very much existed in the Indian music. The only thing was that its name was not Gharana. In Karnatik music, it is still called Sampradaya. In the Northern India, which was very much influenced by the period of Sultanate, the ancient system gave way to the new system designed and imposed by those who had little knowledge about our culture, let alone music. Therefore, it is claimed that the tradition of Gharana is the creation of those musicians who had been connected with the Durbar and the Sultanate. The Sultans and the Nawabs had little knowledge of ancient Indian music. Neither did they know our language. Therefore, they had nothing to do with our traditional arts and musical forms. They did whatever they liked. Therefore, the music of their liking was specially devised by the court musicians. This specific kind of music was later called as "Durbari Sangeet". From this durbari sangeet, many singing styles were originated in due course of time. These singing styles were later called as Gharanas.


     

    The artists of most of such Gharanas try to relate themselves with Tansen or the members of his family. Some of the musicians seem to relate themselves from some prominent regions, which have once been famous for the art of Durbari Sangeet, like Gwaliyar, Agra, and Banaras etc.


     

    The fact of the matter is that every Nawab in the medieval period of our history had a tendency to award patronage to different arts. Especially, music was liked by the rulers of that time and hence it got more patrons than any other form of the fine arts. Thus, the Court musicians of different Nawabs and emperors developed different styles of singing, dancing and playing of musical instruments. This way, different Gharanas came into being.


     

Fall of Gharana Tradition


 

These gharanas or singing styles were practised by almost all the musicians of that particular region. It is note-worthy at this point that there were no quick means of transport and the communications available at that segment of time. Therefore, the style of one place could not easily be conveyed to another place. This led to further enhancement of those styles. More or less, at that period of time, one region had no frequent contact with other regions. The artists of a particular area would hardly ever visit other places. Especially, when the artists were attached to a specific Durbar, they were not supposed to go to another such Durbar. This tendency gave birth to a kind of competition between these Gharanas. This competition though generally was a healthy one but at times, it would get some kind of rivalries too. Gradually, such rivalries became very often and the artists of one Gharana snapped all contacts whatsoever with other Gharanas. This led to many illogical practices like each artist of a gharana tried to let down the artists of other such Gharanas. This leg-pulling developed ill will and hostilities between different gharanas. Followers of one Gharana were told not to listen to the music of any other Gharana. The Guru strictly prohibited his pupils from establishing any contact of any nature with the followers of other Gharanas. Not only this, the Gurus were not impartial to every pupil. They fragmented their knowledge in three broad compartments. First fragmentation of the knowledge group was for the common pupils. These were considered the average kind of pupils. The second knowledge-group was meant for those pupils who were brilliant but were not related to the family of the Guru himself. Other relations like cousins were given training in this group. The most important and the real knowledge were given to the direct relations of the Guru, like his sons, grandsons etc. This division of knowledge was very common in the tradition of Gharanas during the period of Durbar and Sultanate. These and many more sharp practices started in this tradition of Gharana which once had been one of the best traditions. This attitude of the artists related to different gharanas began corrosion in the system itself. Gradually, the popularity of Gharanas started to come down. Presently, the Gharana system is on the verge of collapse.

It is not only the aforesaid factors which can be held responsible for the unpopularity of the tradition of Gharana. There are other reasons too which need to be discussed here.


 

The first and the foremost of such factors is that the present era is the age of information and the technology. In the medieval period, it was difficult for a person related to a specific Gharana to communicate with the artists of other gharana. However, in the modern times, one can listen to any kind of music at just a click of a mouse. Today, it is not just possible for the Guru to seclude his pupils from the music of other artists. The electronic media has made it very easy to listen to music of our liking. Moreover, we can record different kind of music on digital recorders and play it back at our convenience. Therefore, in this era it is not possible for the guru to keep his pupils away from other kind of music.


 

In addition to this, these days, there are several music concerts and shows where one can go as per his/her liking and enjoy the music. The development in the transport and the communication has made it possible for us to travel at ease and communicate with anybody in the world by just dialling a specific code. Therefore, these days, there are numerous options of music-listening as well as music-following. This boon of science and technology has contributed in more than one ways to dismantle the system of Gharana.


 

The new system of institutional education has also played a great role in ending the Gharana tradition. These days, music is taught in the schools and the colleges. There the students learn music from more than one teacher. In this environment, they cannot follow the tradition of just one teacher. They come in contact with the styles of many teachers. Moreover, they get exposure to many famous artists. Thus, it is not possible for them to follow the style of just one teacher. This is the reason that these days, the glimpse of any particular Gharana is very rear even in the traditional artists.


 

Conclusion


 

Thus, we can conclude that in the modern times, the Gharana tradition has lost its relevance. It is true that in the medieval period, it contributed a lot in the preservation and conservation of the tradition of music. It helped prepare high quality artists. In the era when the recording of compositions was not possible and there was not a suitable notation-system for writing those compositions either, this system of Gharanas preserved those musical compositions and it is thanks to that same system that we can be able to listen to those great compositions. But for the present era, it looks that this system has been a bit old-fashioned. The students just do not listen to their teachers. They do not believe anything without verification. In this age, the learners ask for the logical explanations of whatever they are said or preached. Therefore the system of Gharana needs many changes for its own survival.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Appreciating music,The challenges of the present and the future

A connoisseur of fine arts is aware of the fact that without the knowledge of an art, one is not in a position to appreciate the art with perfection and authenticity. As a layman, one can appreciate music; he/she can enjoy it according to his/her capacity. However, when it comes to serious criticism, evaluation of a musical composition or critical analysis of a musical work, solely appreciation of music or the layman’s point of view does not work. It needs something more, a kind of deep understanding of the art, in order to properly evaluate its effects on the audience or its artistic value. Criticism is very important for any art to evolve. Without proper criticism, the negative/positive points of the art cannot come into light. A critique explains logically the strength as well as the weaknesses of the arts as well as the artists. The criticism has some specific features which keep on changing from time to time. This article draws the attention of the reader towards the present status of the criticism with special reference to music. It also tries to look into the future of the music criticism.
Meaning of criticism
First, let us understand as to what the criticism is. It is a kind of cleanliness drive which washes the faults in the pure water of logic and purifies the “subject of criticism”. In day-to-day life, our friends indicate to our faults in order to remove errors from our behaviour. The teachers evaluate the performance of their students and take the remedial measures if required. Likewise, a book review, review of a musical composition etc are also criticism in its broader term.
In The Dictionaries, the word “Criticism” has been defined as:

1. The act of passing judgment as to the merits of anything
2. The act of passing severe judgment; censure; faultfinding.
3. The act or art of analyzing and evaluating or judging the quality of a literary or artistic work, musical performance, art exhibit, dramatic production, etc.
4. A critical comment, article, or essay; critique.
5. Any of various methods of studying texts or documents for the purpose of dating or reconstructing them, evaluating their authenticity, analyzing their content or style, etc.: historical criticism; literary criticism.
6. Investigation of the text, origin, etc., of literary documents, especially, Biblical ones: textual criticism.

Criticism can be classified in many categories. For example, the literary criticism, Music criticism etc. from the psychological point of view, the following information is available on the Internet.
Psychology of Criticism
1 Criticism and the narcissists
Vulnerability with their own self-esteem makes individuals with narcissistic personality disorder very sensitive to criticism or defeat. Although they may not show it outwardly, criticism may haunt them and leave them feeling humiliated, degraded, hollow, and empty. They may react with disdain, narcissistic rage, or defiant narcissistic personality disorder.
Narcissists are extremely sensitive to personal criticism and extremely critical of other people. They think that they must be seen as perfect or superior or infallible or else they are worthless. There's no middle ground.
The narcissist is constantly on the lookout for slights. He is hyper vigilant. He perceives every disagreement as criticism and every critical remark as complete and humiliating rejection: nothing short of a threat.
2 Criticism and paranoids
Individuals with paranoid personality disorder are often rigid, critical of others, although they have great difficulty accepting criticism themselves.
3 Criticism and avoidant
Individuals with avoidant personality disorder are hypersensitive to criticism or rejection. They build up a defensive shell.
4 Criticism and dependents
Individuals with dependent personality disorder are readily willing to "self-correct" in response to criticism.
5 Constructive criticism, or constructive analysis, is a compassionate attitude towards the person qualified for criticism. Having higher experience, gifts, respect, and knowledge in specific field and being able to verbally convince at the same time, this person is intending to uplift the other person materially, morally, emotionally or spiritually. For high probability in succeeding compassionate criticism, the critic has to be in some kind of healthy personal relationship with the other one, which is normally a parent to child, friend to friend, teacher to student, spouse to spouse or any kind of recognized authority in specific field. Hence the word constructive is used so that something is created or visible outcome generated rather than the opposite. Participatory learning in pedagogy is based on these principles of constructive criticism, focusing on positive examples to be emulated over precepts to be followed. There can be tension between friendly support and useful criticism. A critic might usefully help an individual artist to recognize what is poor or slapdash in their body of work, but the critic may appear harsh and judgmental in the process. Useful criticism is a practical part of constructive criticism.
6 Hypercriticism
Hypercriticism is a feature of certain personality types and is colloquially known as nitpicking or nagging. Nitpicking is minute, trivial, unnecessary, and unjustified criticism or faultfinding. Nagging is to scold, complain, or find fault constantly.
7 Hypocriticism
Hypocriticism is criticism by somebody (a hypocrite) who criticizes another but does the same as the person they are criticizing.
8 Self-criticism
Self-criticism (or auto-critique) refers to the pointing out of things critical/important to one's own beliefs, thoughts, actions, behaviour or results; it can form part of private, personal reflection or a group discussion. Most people regard self-criticism as healthy and necessary for learning, but excessive or enforced self-criticism as unhealthy.
9 Criticism of criticism
Notable scholars of the Post-Structuralist tradition have often emphasized the self referential nature of all criticism. Stanley Fish argues that all interpretations are subjective projections and have no inherent meaning; therefore, the critic undermines himself for he undermines only his own interpretation. Thus, concludes Fish, all criticism is self criticism.
Criticism is a process of balancing the merits and demerits, through properly analyzing the facts. However, many a times, it gets personal and hence perverted. One should not take the criticism emotionally. It is seen as fault-finding by many of us. Of course, nobody is free of faults. To err is human. Therefore, when someone indicates to the faults without any prejudice or ill will, this act should be welcomed by those who may be benefitted by removing the indicated faults. Many important personalities and scholars have praised the healthy criticism. Some of such quotations are given below:
Scholarly views on criticism
“Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.”Winston Churchill “You can't let praise or criticism gets to you. It's a weakness to get caught up in either one.”John Wooden
“The trouble with most of us is that we would rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism.”Norman Vincent Peale“I am sorry to think that you do not get a man's most effective criticism until you provoke him. Severe truth is expressed with some bitterness. There is no just and serene criticism as yet.”Henry David Thoreau
Indian music and criticism
If we look into the history of Indian music, we find that most of the ancient as well as the medieval works of music are based upon the two basic aspects. Namely, the theoritical and the practical aspects. Most of the music scholars [wilfully or otherwise] tried to distance themselves from any kind of criticism of other scholars. In the “Guru Shishya Parampara”, there is hardly any scope for a healthy criticism. One cannot question one’s seniors, Guru, or any other person who has got the favour of the Guru. It was through the Western scholars that the criticism in Indian music got a place. Scholars like Teresa Albuquerque, Benedict Anderson, Alison Arnold, J. T. Becker Judith, Titus Burckhardt, Stoddart William, J. Crandall, Alain DaniĆ©lou, Gerry Farrell, Thomas J. Hopkins, Paul Humphreys etc wrote extensively on Indian music. The Westerners presented a new image of Indian music. Initially, their views about our music looked to be “the laymen’s opinions”. However, gradually, these intellectuals took to excellent research on a variety of topics relating to the subject.
In the Modern Period, many Indian artists and scholars too presented genuine research works. Many of these presentations laid the foundation for the appreciation and criticism of Indian music. Pt. Vishnu Digambar Pulaskar[1] Pt. V. N. Bhatkhande[2]etc redefined the basic principles of music and hence started a new discourse on Indian music full of analytical and critical components.
The objective of this essay is not related to the history of music criticism. Therefore we restrict this description to the theoretical aspects of criticism only.
Presently, Indian music is passing through a phase where there are lots of possibilities. Many experiments have been taking place for around half a century now, which have the capacity to give a completely new direction to our music. These experiments are not limited to just one or two forms. Be it the light or the classical music, folk or popular music, countryside or urban music, North Indian or south Indian music, in all forms of Indian music new experiments are taking place.
In classical music, new trends are rapidly emerging. Some of these trends are experiment of bringing together not only the great artists of Hindustani/Karnataka music, but also combining the Indian and the Western musical arts together. Pt. Ravishankar, Pt. Vishwamohan Bhatt, Pt Hariprasad Chaurasiya, Ustad Zaqir Husain Khan Illiyaraja etc are engaged in such new musical experiments. The readers may wonder as to why I am mentioning these great names. My point is that these new experiments with Indian music need a thorough criticism. Listeners enjoy the aforesaid musical compositions. They like them. True. But is it enough? Should the critiques of music come forward to analyze these compositions with a view to properly evaluate the same?
When a book is published, we have many book reviews for that book. Several critiques present their views over the book. But in case of musical compositions, such trend is nowhere to be seen. It is my personal feeling that musicians in general, do not like to be criticized. I am aware that sometimes the generalization proves to be wrong. I am also aware of the fact that fault-finding is not taken positively by most of the human beings. However, in the civilized society. Let us be ready to welcome the real feeling of the appreciator of the art. Sometimes, it may not suit to our taste. Sometimes we may not like it. But that does not qualify us to stop the honest expression of likes or dislikes of a connoisseur. In the absence of a proper criticism, Indian music, especially the popular music has been fully captured by market forces. The sole objective of the companies involved in the production of popular music, [Including movie melodies], looks to be making as much money as possible through it. The result is before us. The quality of our popular music is falling incessantly day by day. The good quality compositions in the popular music category are seldom seen these days. In terms of quantity, a lot of music is coming up but it is the quality and not the quantity that counts.
The communities like that of SPICMACAY (Social Promotion of Indian Classical Music Amongst Youth) “Naad Mandal”, “Sankalp” etc are doing a commendable effort in promoting the classical music. However, there is something missing. The review of such musical performances is full of praises of the artists concerned. The persons, who review music concerts, do not bother to look into it minutely. They generally use the “same old phrases” for the review of almost all the concerts. Thus, a purposeful, objective and critical analysis does not come up. The readers are ousted of a valuable review of musical performances. This is not a good sign for the music of our region. Let us join hands in evolving a mechanism whereby expert review-writers can be made available. For this, we have to include the criticism of music as a part of curriculum of different music departments. No doubt, in most of the music department of different Universities, a paper on “aesthetics” has been included in the curriculum. However, not much endeavour has been made to impart upon the students the skill to critically evaluate the musical compositions.
In the absence of proper criticism of musical performances, the basic rules of classical music are sometimes compromised by eminent artists while performing on stage and there is nobody to raise a finger on it. The result is that there no set rules for the Ragas which are said to be the very basis of our classical music. In the name of different singing styles or gharanas, sometimes, Ragas are twisted to the taste of the performer. It has also been seen that sometimes the artists break rules just to create a kind of strange element in their compositions. This way, they get cheers and a lot of applause but the rules of music are compromised.
Conclusion
I am no authority to decide that the instances stated above are right or wrong. What I wish to state that there should be a healthy debate over what is right and what is wrong. For such debates, there needs to be some scholars who can objectively and without any prejudices could evaluate and criticize the musical performances of great artists.
Therefore, the need of the hour is that we should develop the criticizing skills in the students of music so that they can review the musical compositions as well as the musical performances. By this, we would be able to develop an atmosphere wherein, the good quality music would be available for the listeners and the Rasikas.
About the Author
Dr. Vedprakash Sharma has been teaching music in a Delhi Government School since 1986. He has written extensively on Indian music. Comments or suggestions are always welcome. He is open to new ideas and approaches. Please feel free to send in your valuable ideas, suggestions, likes/dislikes etc about this article.
[1] "An Introduction to Indian Music" by B. Chaitanya Deva (Publications Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government
of India, 1981
Posted on RMIC by Rajan Parrikar as part of Great Masters Series.
For a more detailed account, see 'Pandit Vishnu Digambar Paluskar' by V.R. Athavale (National Book Trust, 1967)

[2] Hamare Sangeet Ratna [Hindi] by Lakshmi Narayan Garg