Music Learning in Digital Age

04.22.13

Urgency for conservation and continuation of heritage practices is unquestionably enhanced now, in comparison to even a mere century back. The awareness, better still, concern has always been there.  If all past knowledge is preserved in condensed, usable form, the given discipline is assured of health and growth. When the essence gets buried under innovation, the discipline itself is lost.

1It does not suffice to trace the origin of Indian Veena-s or of Harappan civilization; it is also necessary to examine how the idea and facts  of yore are still relevant. Often, individuals as well as institutions make the mistake of equating the form of practice as its essence. They err to consider completion of act in mere repetition of  tangible patterns.

Of all others, music is intangible most art form. Its teaching and training requires development of strong understanding between teacher and the taught. Indian musicians in past tended to disregard any other form of learning, which fell short of absolute one-to-one teaching. Thankfully, there always have been some unconventional musicians who kept the stream of scholarship vibrant, constantly  documenting, analyzing and directing the  practice of music.

It is scholar-musicians of this timbre who dare to defy the physical contact and move into realm of distance education. It involves intangibility at an extra level – that of not being physically present. Strangely, technology sometimes overpowers existing intangibility in hitherto unimagined ways. Like, providing tactile feedback to fingers of student

From formulating requisites  for teaching of Indian Music in the distance mode to actual innovation and practices, scholars from around the world contribute their ideas and experiences in this groundbreaking compilation –   Distance Education in Music. Edited by founder director of Madhukali, Pt. Omprakash Chouraisya, the volume carries the research paper in original language and its translation in Hindi or English. Published by Kanishka Publishers, Dariyaganj, Delhi this book shall prove useful to planners, educationists, musicians and interested learners. There are a few innovations like Digital Veena and Ome Swarlipi that do not find mention here, but ample information by stalwarts of music that shines benign on pathway to learning of music on one’s own.

Self-learning has always existed, even though it was not encouraged at elementary level. In words of Misrabani exponent Dr. Ragini Trivedi, “I call the instrument my father and after him, my brother used to play, Divya Veena. It is Divya (divine) because it teaches me how to play it.”

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