Wednesday, April 16, 2014

"The Music Room" by Namita Devidayal

Richard Singer has started reading it. My reaction on his timeline " "The Music Room" has some thing that I can only faintly comprehend. My cousins tell me that I have always been anti-authoritarian. So it is difficult for me to imagine that kind obedience and discipline. The author's other pieces are full of cliches, but here she seemed touched by some thing transcendent. It seems to be some thing that Indian music and the traditional practice seems to do. Many of those musicians seem ordinary people but that sadhana, sometimes lifelong, does some thing. They say that some of them achieve their best in their sixties and seventies. Ramachandra Guha thinks that it is one field that Indians achieved greatness. I do not understand but it is fascinating and Namita has been able to convey some of it."
And here is a brief story about Mallikarjuna Mansur:
"Mansur’s first commercial record was released in 1933 and the next two years saw more releases. The repertoire on these records consisted of khayal, Marathi theatre songs, thumris, Kannada bhajans and other songs. These recordings brought fame to Mansur and he was invited to perform in Mumbai every year....In 1935, Mansur unexpectedly met Manji Khan, son and disciple of Alladiya Khan, the founder of the Jaipur Atrauli gharana, who agreed to accept him as his disciple after listening to his record. His training with Manji Khan continued until the latter’s death in 1937. Thereafter, Mansur began learning from Manji Khan’s younger brother Bhurji Khan. When Bhurji Khan moved to Kolhapur with Alladiya Khan two years later, Mansur earned and saved enough money to rent a hotel room and learn from Bhurji Khan in Kolhapur. For many years, Mansur took training for three to four months at a stretch in Kolhapur and returned to Dharwad for a month or so. Bhurji Khan died in 1960, but subsequently, Mansur learnt compositions from Bhurji Khan’s son Azizuddin Khan."

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