State of Indian Music Concert

State of Indian Music Concert

A typical picture of Indian Music Concert is something like this. The artist of celebrity arrives at the Music Concert or rather his arrival is duly heralded and the audience waiting in baited breath gets a little excited. Before even a note has been sung or played, there is a round of thunderous applause around the Indian Music Concerts. Sometimes the ragas are announced. Often, however, the artist starts with something unfamiliar— this serves the dual purpose of exhibitionism and controlling the listening crowd. Soon after a few movements, the tempo rises and bouts with the drummer start until there is a maddening finale followed by an outburst of applause. Often some of the supporters and chamchas of the artist carefully positioned in different parts of the audience give ‘applauses” during the recital and at the end ask’ for an encore.  The artist then cools down and reluctantly takes up short piece in some accepted and well known raga and finishes up as early as possible without appearing to be scrappy. Then comes the interval of the Music Concert. What follows thereafter is quite the familiar pattern of Bhajans and Dhuns or folk based music, lilting and swaying interspersed with accolades from some of the listeners who had been patiently waiting all this long for this stuff. And so the recital ends.

What is described above is a typical but rather common recital. Once again, it must be said that there are very honorable exceptions where the self-same artists have risen to great heights of melody and music. The point being driven at is that how would the good artist having received proper talim face up to such audiences? Will he perform traditionally and take the risk being hooted out or take the more expedient path shown by the senior celebrities? He too has a future and some ambition. This then is how power-packed music concerts, exciting music full of surprises has gradually superseded and supplanted the music which is sublime and truly classical following time-honoured rules of presentation with enough scope for innovation.

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