Monday, May 02, 2005

I have written a new article

I was today at a Hindustani concert by Padma Talwalkar organised by Spicmacay at the University of Pittsburgh. Seeing the accompanying harmonium unable to keep up with the fluid voice of the singer made me wonder How the Harmonium Came on the Hindustani Stage.

Look forward to your comments!


Girish said...

Hi sri..
interesting to see such a post from u.. and good tht u r keepin ur musical wheels rolling..
Wish to add my 2 cents here..

I dont quite agree on the point that violin and sarangi are less in vogue because they are more susceptible to errors. At the highest level of performances, accuracy is just a byproduct of other ideals like bhakthi, conveyance of the divinity, setting the mood, and might be right about lesser number of students taking up sarangi though.

Also, the harmonium serves a purpose that is quite diferent from wht the violins and sarangis can offer. While they dutifully follow the vocalists and complement his notes subtly, the harmonium plays 'chords',and this is where it difers from a tanpura. For example, when the vocalist sings on and lands at the swara ri at the end of a line, the harmonium player would - in accordance with the Raga - probably switch to and highlight the swaras Ma and Dha along with Ri, completely withdrawing the root notes Sa, pa, Sa. This would highlight the beauty of the phrase being sung, and is something that indian violinists and Sarangi players would not usually do.
Moreover, at the highest levels, from whatever concerts i have attended, the harmonium is not usually used in a way similar to the violin's use in carnatic concerts.. it is more used as a backing support in the abovementioned ways, and is not as explicit in classical hindustani concerts as the violin is in carnatic concerts.. In Ghazal shows, the deal is different though..

Jus my 2 cents... Cheers, proud of you that you are sticking to your roots.
:-) Cheers

Srikanth said...

Hi Girish,

Thanks a lot for the encouraging words as well as the insightful comments. The point about the accuracy as well as the use of chords makes a lot of sense.

I wish to append your comments to the article. I hope I have your permission for it.


Girish said...

no issues da.. honored..

Vijayanand said...

Another reason : Perhaps it is one of the easier instruments that a singer can play in parallel.

Nice to think about you guys again. (Srikanth, girish etc.)

Nice to learn that each one of you have converged to your most resonant carriers.

And last but not the least, it is a joy to read your blogs.