Let legacy thrive
Her tryst with Indian classical music started at a very young age. Vocalist Rita Dev was only five when she started learning music informally. In city for an evening of thumri, dadra, chaiti, jhoola and the seasonal hori, on the invitation of Triveni Sangeet Sabha on Saturday, the artiste talks about the timeless appeal of Indian classical music and more.chandigarh Updated: Mar 31, 2013 10:35 IST
Her tryst with Indian classical music started at a very young age. Vocalist Rita Dev was only five when she started learning music informally. And, as her interest in the classical tradition developed, she went on to earn a Phd in music from Banaras Hindu University. An exponent of Benaras gharana, she currently teaches music as associate professor in Agra University.
In city for an evening of thumri, dadra, chaiti, jhoola and the seasonal hori, on the invitation of Triveni Sangeet Sabha on Saturday, the artiste talks about the timeless appeal of Indian classical music and more.
Is Indian classical music fading in the din of contemporary genres?
It would be wrong to say that because there are still people who want to listen to classical music but are not facilitated. Media can play a big role in bridging this gap, and I request media persons to give enough time and space to classical music so that the new generation is made aware of our rich culture.
Are you in favour of music-based reality shows?
I have heard many stories about such reality shows. However, I will not like to talk about that. But the very fact that such shows give overnight fame, the younger generation is attracted to them.
What is your advise to the aspiring singers?
They should be ready to spend time to learn classical music. There is no lack of talent, but lack of patience. Also, parental support is vital since classical music does not offer big money straightaway.
Can we ever expect prime-time slot for classical music in mainstream media?
As an artiste I cannot do much about it. Again, media can make it happen. I performed with my Gurumaa Girija Devi at Taj Mahal for the Saregamapa millennium show in 2000 where all greats of classical music such as Pandit Ravi Shankar, Pandit Kishan Maharaj and Begum Parveen Sultana also performed and received a tremendous response. However, since then the TV channels have changed their trend.
Do you think radio can help revive classical music?
It can, as younger generation does follow this medium. The government should come forward and sponsor small concerts, which can be telecast on radio. As of now, DD Bharti is the only channel which telecasts such shows.
You have performed all over India and you teach music. Do you find keen learners of classical music?
I do find them, but the number is very less. In university you just get a 45-minute period wherein you can identify the talent but cannot groom it. Most of the students come to attend the lecture to get good grades, and not to learn music. Parents can play a big role, as they should introduce children to Indian culture.