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A musician with different hues

SHE IS diminutive but carries a huge willpower. She took 18 years to complete her writing. The patience fructified into a series of eleven-volume book documenting the divergent folk cultures of India.

india Updated: Jan 19, 2006 14:04 IST

SHE IS diminutive but carries a huge willpower. She took 18 years to complete her writing. The patience fructified into a series of eleven-volume book documenting the divergent folk cultures of India.

Titled ‘Folk India — a Comprehensive study of Indian Folk Music and Culture’ the series written by Dr Manorma Sharma is probably the first of its kind in the country. All the books, published by Sandeep Prakashan, were released last year.

Dr Sharma retired as a professor in music from Himachal University in Simla. Her well-researched books encompass the folk cultures of different states barring Northeast. Sharma said among the various states she found Rajasthan most colourful.

“I travelled extensively for the documentation and it took me almost two decades to complete the volumes,” the 67-year-old writer observes.

“An attempt has been made through a comprehensive survey of the contemporary folk forms to illustrate the salient features of the folk traditions,” Sharma told the Hindustan Times.

All the various forms have co-existed and are interdependent, she said adding, “In spite of the multiplication of themes, forms and style, folk traditions continue to be a distinct category.” The American Biographical Institute has given an award/ citation to Sharma for woman of 2005 for professional achievement.

On what motivated her to plunge into this venture, she says, “Folk music is the soul of music. I always had a keen interest in the subject and wanted to widen my horizons”.

“Music in various folk forms play an important role and provides the best medium to express feelings and emotions”, she said adding, “The folk songs and ballads have been notated in a manner so that a common man can decipher”.
And this is not the end of it.

She has two more books titled ‘Music Aesthetics’ and Encyclopaedia Dictionary of Indian Performing Arts’ ready for printing. The Canadian Council for Research in Music Education has lauded her work in her book on Music Therapy.
So, who says that innovativeness diminishes with age.

First Published: Jan 19, 2006 14:04 IST