Diversity is Indian music’s biggest strength: Shubha Mudgal

Pune, Jan 22 (IANS) Renowned Hindustani classical vocalist Shubha Mudgal believes that Indian music is as diverse as its culture and in this era of digitisation, people across the globe should celebrate that.

“I think the biggest strength of Indian music is its diversity. And at times I feel very handicapped that I just know some of the genres and not all of them so I believe that if this diversity could somehow be celebrated, enjoyed and accessed by everybody, it would be great,” Shubha told IANS here.

Born and brought up in Allahabad and trained in Hindustani classical music, Mudgal is an acclaimed singer, known not only for her magnetic and powerful voice in Indian classical music but also in pop and folk music. One of her popular Indi-pop album “Ab Ke Sawan” made her a household name for its title track.

She collaborated with various musicians and bands like ‘Swarathma’, ‘Indian Ocean’, and ‘Euphoria’, among others.

Emphasising the accessibility of music through digital and social media, Shubha said: “Social media should be utilised in a more constructive way to promote our music. I am not at all against pop music as even I am a part of that, but why do people play the same list of songs on popular platforms and social spaces! Discovery and accessibility of old artistes in classical music is important and that is the missing link.

“For instance, today, when you search for Indian classical vocalist you will get 10-20 names. However, what about those artists who made some substantial contribution but are not popularly known? Therefore, the discovery and information has to be accessible and a strategy needs to be made on that. Only creating buzz, when there is a new song, is not enough,” she added.

The singer, who is a strong believer of studying and educating youngsters on the lyrical value of a song, was part of ‘Shabd Aur Sangeet’, a seminar organised by FLAME University on Saturday, where she and her husband, acclaimed musician Aneesh Pradhan, taught song-texts as a course.

Reffering to songs like, “Mathura Nagarpati” and “Piya Tora” from the 2004 film “Raincoat” while talking about the lyrical beauty of a song, she said: “The director of the film (Raincoat) late Rituporno Ghosh loved Vidyapati’s text. Therefore, he adapted that language to write the song ‘Mathura Nagarpati’ and that is how the song text was created.

“On the other hand, in ‘Piya Tora’, we used the tradition of inserting other poets verse to elaborate the feeling on the same context. So the song, and Gulzar saheb’s poetry recitation in the background seamlessly emerged and created magic. I think that is the power of lyrics and thoughts.”

Interestingly, being a traditional musician, she is a believer of the ‘receptive and quality audience’ and ‘classical music is for all ages’ thought.

The Padma Shri-awardee said: “I don’t believe that one has to be classically trained to respond to classical music. Aren’t we going crazy on a peppy Latin song? Isn’t that genre from a different cultural background? On the other hand, you don’t have to have grey hair to become a classical music connoisseur; good music touches our chord … beyond everything.”

–IANS

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