Since its inception, Madhukali orchestrated its activities, based on music practice, teaching and principles of Dr. Lalmani Misra. In the past decade it has been more concerned with community of musicians and educationists, instead of individual performers. The reason for this shift was due to (initially subconscious) response to change brought in attitude towards and treatment of Indian Classical Music. As the market forces tried to bring it into main-stream, individual musicians were turned overnight into stars and brand-ambassadors. The strategy did not succeed in increasing revenue to any worthwhile level but it did bring in a change in attitude of general public and of the musician – be it a learner, teacher or performer.
Since 2007, Madhukali with support of Omenad, has been working to raise awareness of artistes, teachers and aesthetes about the necessity of safeguarding the knowledge of music that for millenniums has been transmitted orally (but also bolstered with text, even though there are periods of gap). Artistes, composers, craftsmen, scholars, aesthetes and enthusiasts have been approached and informed about the necessity of their active support towards safe-guarding of Indian musical heritage.
It is a matter of understandable pride and joy that community has begun to exhibit response to Madhukali’s exhortation. Music department of a Government College at Indore is the first such institution to examine the idea of conservation as applied to Indian Music. The institution proposes to organize a national seminar, sponsored by Uniersity Grants Commission on January 31st and 1st February 2014. The area to be discussed is, “Raga – Conserving Musical Heritage of India”.
The science or discipline of artistic musical expression is embodied in Raga-s. Raga-s, in turn depend on certain self-evident principles, such as Shadja-Pancham Bhav (Perfect interval ~ Pythagorean cycle of the Fifth) and consonance of ninth-thirteenth Shruti. As after stabilization of Shadja, Jaati-Gan turned to Prabandh, the principle of Raga consolidated into Ten Lakshana-s.
Technology allows multiplicity at all levels. As number of listeners and the variety of music they could now access increased, the area for innovation and experimentation available to composers and artistes too increased several folds. These modern changes began to impact traditional practice of classical music.
The element of “intangible” finds its best expression in music. Most invisible, music is the fundamental art-form that manifests the conscious mind. Safe-guarding, conservation and preservation are all abstract ideas expressed through concrete line of action. Once we understand how to safe-guard the element of intangibility in music, we might have a lead on how to safe-guard its expression in other practices.
The essence of intangibility rests on the attitude or mind-set. While obedience was an intrinsic given, it was the time spent by Guru with Shishya that transferred this from elder’s mind to younger without any loss. It is the intangibility involved in this passage of right attitude, that music exhibits its primacy as vehicle of the intangible. Not only the content, but the form needs equal attention for the art to survive.
It is for its determination to examine the various facets which have contributed to formation, carriage and preservation of Raga that this particular conclave of scholars is worth watching. Madhukali hopes that even as this first show of concern by the Classical Music community is an important step – if only for raising visibility – forward, the discussions too would contribute to better understanding of the act of safe-guarding.
The deadlines are:
Submission of Abstract (only soft-copies accepted): 28th December 2013
Submission of Paper (pdf & doc using UTF fonts only): 15th January 2014
Registration (along with applicable fee) on or before: 28th December 2013
Abstracts submitted & approved within time-frame would be included in pre-Seminar publication.