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Awareness of Performers’ Rights Under Indian Copyright Act: A Case Study in the Academia

This paper is published in Sangeet Galaxy:



The Indian Copyright Act protects performers against the unlawful use of their performance. Thus, Performer rights are the rights available to a performer against people who are doing illegal usage of performance. These rights are highly vital in the present period, which is dominated by the use of technology. This research paper will go over the definition of a performer, international agreements on performers’ rights, the necessity of giving performers legal protection, the legal status of performers’ rights in India, and challenges in enforcing performers’ rights amidst the rise of OTT. This paper will critically evaluate all these concepts and will demonstrate that the present law is inadequate current origin of OTT platforms. In addition to this, the success of any law depends upon the extent to which the people are aware of their rights. For this, an empirical study will be conducted to find out the implications and awareness of the law among various performers in the academic sector.


The creators are bestowed with right of copyright by the Copyright Act, of 1957, which prevents unauthorized use of their intellectual property or creative works. The category of performers to whom right is given by the law are: producers of cinematograph films and sound recordings, as well as authors of literary, dramatic, musical, and creative works, who are granted this privilege by the law. The copyright protection offered to the works of original authors, musicians, designers, dramatists, architects, and producers of sound recordings, cinematograph films, and computer software fosters an environment that is conducive to creativity, tempting them to produce more work and inspiring others to do the same. In 1914, India passed its first copyright legislation, which was modeled after the English Copyright Act of 1911. Later on, this Act was replaced by a new law ‘The Copyright Act, 1957’. This Act was updated in 1994 and 2012 to reflect the most recent advancements in information technology as well as international standards for performers’ and copyrights. There was no provision for the protection of performers’ rights in the original 1957 Act. Only after the 1994 amendment were certain performance rights recognized, which were then supplemented by other performer rights granted in the 2012 amendment.

Performer and Performers rights

The Copyright Act defines “performer” as “any person who makes a performance,” which includes actors, singers, musicians, dancers, acrobats, jugglers, conjurers, snake charmers, lecturers, and other performers.  The proviso to the definition of performer states that, except for clause (b) of Section 38B, a person whose performance in a cinematograph film is casual or incidental in nature and, in the usual course of business, is not acknowledged anywhere including in the film’s credits, shall not be treated as a performer.

The Act also defines “Performance” as any live visual or auditory presentation given by one or more performers in regard to performer’s rights.[1] In the Act, various rights are recognized to performers in order to safeguard their interests under Chapter VIII,  sections 38, 38A, 38B, 39 and 39A. Thus,  rights given to performers by the Copyright Act, 1957 are called performers rights.

Find the full paper in  www.sangeetgalaxy.co.in.

For Citation: Sharma, Ajay and Kumar Sargam. 2024. “Awareness of Performers’ Rights Under Indian Copyright Act: A Case Study in the Academia” Sangeet Galaxy 13(1): 5-19. www.sangeetgalaxy.co.in.


Reeyaz Techinque of Banaras Gharana

The Gharana system in Indian Classical Music signify a unique style of singing and articulation of vocal technique that drives towards individual and solitary in reeyaz, performance and teaching-learning process of Raga. Among the large community of Gharana of Hindustani Music, Banaras Gharana is one of the prominent Gharana that has established in all four forms of classical music. 

Banaras Gharna is widely recognised as gharana of Tabla, a legacy of Pt. Ram Sahaya where maestro like Pt. Bhairav Sahahi, Pt.Kanthe Maharaj, Pt. Gudai Maharaj, Pt Anokhelal,  Pt. Kishan Mahartaj, Pt. Sharda Shahaye, Pt. Lachhu maharaj, Pt. Kumar Bose were born and established as  international framed artist. 

 In Kathak dance too, Banaras Gharana is one among the four style, a legacy of Janki Prasad , where numerous well established were flourished. Sitara Devi, Shovna Narayan, Aashiq Hussain Khan, Tara Choudhary etc. were notable artist. Pt. Birju maharaj also represent the legacy of Banaras Gharna. 

In Dhrupad and Khyal, the heritage of Banaras gharana was supposed to established since from the ancient time because Kashi- Banaras is a religious heritage and a place for Moksha( self- realisation, freedom from sin & ignorance). Thus the connection of classical music and religious- spiritual aspect can be traces in Banaras since from the Vedic period.  Karma - Moksha are the part of life and it is believed that once in a life a Hindu need to reach Kashi, bath Ganaga and worship Baba Vishwanath that his/her life will get rid of all the sin and proceed towards the heaven.  

With help of old manuscript of  Nepal Darbar found in Archaeological department, Kathmandu, Manuscripts of Calcutta Darbar, available in Bang Sahitya Parishad, Kolkata, and other reference like Stone Inscription, Books, 

Sehanai Maestro Ustad Bismillah Khan and his legacy,  

will update soon...

Happy New Year 2024.... 

Thanking for Reading my Blog   


Why Practical Research in Music ?

Is research means only rediscovering theory? 

Research in Indian music is not an old topic, however PhD was part of the curriculum in few universities in India since 1877 and first awarded in 1920,  university grand commission allowed university to start the doctored programme in music in 1965. A general definition in music research describes about the new finding and re discovering the elements that have been discovered earlier or a defining the new pathway that drives to establish a fundament principle on music theory. The research either can be theoretical or practical depends on the nature of the study. 

Indian Music tradition has a long history and diverse cultural framework which need to study very minutely and carefully that cultural heritage of music tradition can be lighted through research. But it is unfortunate that practical aspect of Indian music is not a part of academic research in any university. D.Mus was introduced in 60s of 20th century but the nomenclature was withdraw and discontinued because of UGC guidelines in early 2000s. At present, theoretical research in music is only the part of academic research in India which is know by PhD in music. 

PhD in Music, few projects of ministry of culture and Sangeet Natak Akademi, ICCR, NCERT and UGC major/minor projects are part of few research in music that exits in India. Except PhD in music, all other project based research are not a intensified and focused research that make difference or some kind of impact in music legacy. The PhD research is more or less confined with theory-history and other theoretical perspective of Indian Music. It has been said by scholars that more than ninety-five percentage of academic research in music is only the documentation and rewrite of material already available in any of the sources like books, previous research or documentation. It can be said that academic research in music is a just a blended form of many work ensemble in one. Only the few intensive work has been done by great scholars that can be said as research in music rest of all is only collection of material from different books, thesis, dissertation and other secondary sources.  

In India, research in music is just an academic work, so no proper training, fundamental practices and proper curriculum is designed for the independent researcher. Lack of proper funding, no substantial support to the artist and traditional researcher, and no attention towards practical works, raga/ tala performance/ finding the nuances of the musical elements lead to deteriorate the huge tradition of Raga Sangeet. There is no interconnection between the practitioner artists and academicians that can lead to innovative work in finding the basic elements of swar, shruti and nuances of Raga development. It is a misconception that research only can be in theoretical aspect only. It is of-course not that no theoretical research can make significant changes in music history but practical research,  research on practical aspect of Raga, Khyal, Dhrupad, Dhamra, Sadara, Trivat, Chaturang, Tarana, Bhajan, Dadra, Thumri, Varnam, Padam, Ragam-Tanam-Pallavi, Kirti, Kirtanam,  and all other existing or vanished style of classical music should a part of research to establish these classic style of Indian origin. If i say, in medicine, business, science & technology practical research  practices are equal important as principles so why not in music ? 

Prabandh, Jati Gayan, Margi- Desi Sangeet, Saam, and all other ancient tradition of Indian music are only know by the name but nobody knows the actual structure and singing of these forms so research, transcription and intensified worked on practical aspect of musical forms can rediscover the heritage of Indian classical music. At present non of the universities, and government bodies  are working on the practical aspect of research which is quite disappointing in the field of Indian Music. The Depth and quality of classical music is being deteriorated day by day and so many musical form are on the process of  vanishing so  all of the music fraternity, concern government agencies, academic institutions and academician need to think twice-thrice that practical work on Indian Music can rediscover and preserved for further generation. 


@copyright reserved  https://youtu.be/wLQjecxo69A?si=aS7PXfdVYW7AFIeq


Nuances of Semi-Classical Music : Trends and Traits


Semi-classical music is a beautiful genre that combines elements of classical music with folk music traditions and creates a uniqueness in Indian Music styles. It holds a unique place in all music genre, blending the complexities of classical compositions with the emotive appeal of folk legacy. Semi- Classical cannot be segregate from the classical music only because it is semi-classical or named as partial classical. It is always shared by many of the renown musicians that singing semi classical need more focused reeyaz than other genre because blending the melody of bandish in various raga itself is a big challenge thus Pandit Channula, Vidushi Girija Devi and many of the renowned artist usually said  in interview, singing Dadra, Thumri, Kajri , Chaiti is not lighter than classical but very challenging to maintain the concept of  Ragadari in multiple Ragas. 


Of course semiclassical music is the part of classic tradition of the India but it has a deep reach of folk and traditional music. It can be said that the Raga Music- Khyal and Dhrupad are more confined and based on single raga and its integrated form but Dadra- Thumri are more profound and excellent to express eternal emotions. Semiclassical singing can be said as the garland of Rasa and Bhav which are webbed in a raga with bundle of similar raga to explore the aesthetical feeling of the literature in various way. 


Hindustani Semi Classical music is the most vibrant form that represent the equal value of literature because the meaning of the lyrics is most prominent part to express the warmth and beauty of the lyrics. In Dadra, Thumri and other semi classical form the lyrics of the composition, what we called Bandishs, plays great role in choosing the raga. Among the Navarasa (Nine Elements of aesthetic ), most of the Rasa are expressed through singing. It can be said that multiple emotions are expressed in Thumri and Dadra. Raga Kafi, Khamaj, Pilu, Tilang, Tilakkamod, Pahari, Desh, Sohani, Bhairavi, Mand, are the most common raga in semiclassical format of Hindustani music. 


Dealing with semiclassical music needs more expertise in sur,  depth in raga and understanding the emotions of the Bandish. Dadra, Thumri, Kajri, Chaiti, Chaita, Hori, Jhula, Sohar, Mangal and numerous form of traditional and folk singing are transformed to semiclassical form but now we are at the stage where folk culture are dying day by day because of lack of audience, lack of proper takeover of folk style by next generation, and lack of economical growth of the folk artist. 

Nov 2023- All right reserved @musicbanaras.com


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