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The changing face of classical music

Will the new trend of experimentation that is sweeping across classical music make it popular? asks Mallvika Nanda.

india Updated: Sep 11, 2006 17:02 IST
Mallvika Nanda (HT Style)
Mallvika Nanda (HT Style)

Indian classical music has finally hit the right notes. So when it comes to music from Indian shores, there’s more than just run-of-the-mill Bollywood numbers and fringe music.

Thanks to its new variants, Indian classical music is back in the reckoning. Without compromising on the quality, collaborations with electronica, rock, jazz and various other forms of music are fast catching up with most classical musicians.

So while Anoushka Shankar took sitar the electronica way with her Grammy-nominated album Rise, sarod brothers, Amaan and Ayaan Ali Khan explored the lounge vistas with Reincarnation.

Following in their footsteps, santoor player Rahul Sharma, sarangi player Kamal Sabri and others too have treaded the same path. It’s the age of experimentation for GenX of classical musicians.

Amaan and Ayaan Ali Khan explored the lounge vistas with their album Reincarnation.

“Our experimentation with music has helped us pull the younger generation towards classical music,” says Amaan Ali Khan.

Sarangi player Kamal Sabri agrees, “Indian classical music doesn’t have a strong foothold in the international market. If it is blended with other popular forms, it may help popularise its base.”

But will this experimentation pay or will it spoil the very essence of classical music? Sitar player Prateek Chaudhuri says, “Old is definitely gold and today we are trying to blend the two. But at the same time we have to keep in mind that such experiments don’t overstep tradition.”

While few like Khans say the age of experimentation is here to stay, others like Sabri disagree, adding, “It’s a passing phase that will last till something else comes up. But undoubtedly it is playing an important role in building bridges."

First Published: Sep 11, 2006 13:00 IST