I knew Dr Ashok Ranade personally. Our first interaction was when I went to his house to give my copy of the book, Sangeet Raga Kalpataru, which he was looking for. This began a series of wonderful meetings.
His profound lectures and presentations could enhance any music lover's knowledge. He was always the best speaker and added humour to even the most serious subject.
He was a great singer with vast knowledge of voice culture, and knew 254 ragas.
H always said, "I'm a musician first, a musicologist later." He shaped the department of music at the University of Mumbai into a tremendous place of learning.
One of his particularly well-known books, On Music and Musicians of Hindoostan, evaluated the musical richness of the great masters of North India. I consider his 'Concise Dictionary of Hindustani Music' the best dictionary of Indian music.
He knew English, Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Gujarati and even Russian, and owned many Russian books.
He was a friendly and encouraging person. He would congratulate me after a good performance and push me to work hard. I respect him a great deal. It is a great loss to Indian classical music.
(Ramkrishna Das is a Hindustani classical vocalist and researcher)