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Pak varsity to store Hindustani ragas

The ambitious project at Punjab University aims to make its musicology dept a hub of Indian classical music.

india Updated: Nov 25, 2006 14:26 IST

Classical ragas of Hindustani music, composed and evolved over two centuries, are to be preserved in the form of notations by the Punjab University in Lahore.

The ambitious project, undertaken by the musicology department of the university under the supervision of William Keith, a British professor, is aimed at storing it in a form that is easy to learn.

Rustam Fateh Ali Khan, son of legendary Pakistani classical singer Fateh Ali Khan, and music teacher Arshad Khokhar have undertaken the project to make the department a hub of Indian classical music, Daily Times said on Saturday.

Rustam said writing down centuries-old classical music would be a major achievement as "musical heritage of the subcontinent has so far been passed on mainly by heart (verbally)" and was limited to pupils and sons of families of classical musicians.

Calling the project a milestone in the preservation of classical music for the coming generations, Khokhar said: "It will be amazing to have the great ancient ragas in a form that is understandable to every musician."

"For example, people who could hardly imagine singing the Raga Darbari because they did not know the composition will now be able to practice and perform all types of classical ragas."

Lamenting that Pakistan had "done little" to propagate music education, Rustam said the university wanted to promote research and was planning to offer doctorate degrees in collaboration with foreign universities, possibly the Hong Kong University.

First Published: Nov 25, 2006 13:24 IST