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Man and Music in Punjab

For millennia, Punjab's social and cultural fabric has included music inextricably. The region's diverse and deep population, together with its religious convictions and manner of life, are reflected in its rich musical tradition. This essay will look at how music has influenced the history and identity of the Punjabi people, as well as the interaction between man and music in Punjab. India's Punjab region is renowned for its thriving musical traditions. The religious, cultural, and social practises of the area are closely entwined with its song. Music has long been a way for the Punjabi people to celebrate life's milestones, show passion, and reflect their challenges and victories. 

Since ancient times, devotional music has played a significant role in Punjab's musical traditions. Shabad Kirtan, Bhajan, and Sufi music are just a few examples of the many types of devotional music that are popular in the area. In gurdwaras, devotional singing known as kirtan, largely known as Shabad kirtan is sung, These devotional hymns, poetry are taken form the Shri Guru Granth Sahib, composed in Raga by the various Guru of the Sikh Religion. It is distinguished by its spiritual themes and frequently performed with conventional instruments like the Jodi, Rabab, Sarangi but as time has changes and modern influences disappear the Jodi replaced by Tabla and string instruments are replaced by western but Indianized instrument Harmonium. 

Another type of devotional music that is well-liked in Punjab is bhajan. It has a melodious and peaceful quality and is typically sung in Hindu temples. Contrarily, Sufi music is a type of devotional music connected to the Sufi school of Islam. It is characterised by its mystical themes and euphoric rhythms and is played at dargahs (Sufi shrines). The musical heritage of Punjab must also include folk music. Bhangra, Giddha, and Dhadi are just a few of the folk music forms that are prevalent in the area. The Punjab region gave birth to the high-intensity dance style known as bhangra, which is today well-liked all over the world. Dhol, a double-headed drum, and other traditional instruments are frequently used to accompany it. Contrarily, a feminine dancing style called Giddha is presented at weddings and other events. It is distinguished for its vivacious rhythms and vibrant clothing. 

A storyteller known as a dhadi performs dhadi, a type of ballad singing. Dhadi music is frequently played in rural areas of Punjab and depicts the history and struggles of the Punjabi people. It is distinguished for its storyline and strong vocals. The music landscape in Punjab has also been significantly impacted by Western music. Several Punjabi musicians today blend Western musical instruments and techniques into their music, resulting in distinctive fusion genres that represent the area's modern cultural landscape. Punjabi pop and Punjabi hip-hop are two new genres of Punjabi music created by the blending of Western and traditional music.The identity and past of the Punjabi people have been significantly shaped by music. It has been used to show devotion, commemorate significant moments in life, and capture the struggles and victories of the Punjabi people. As a means of political expression and opposition, music has also been used. For instance, music was used to inspire and express the opposition to British colonialism among the Punjabi people during the Indian independence struggle.

Finally, it should be noted that men and music in Punjab have a rich and complicated connection. Since ancient times, music has played a crucial part in the cultural and societal fabric of the area and continues to do so today among the Punjabi people. It doesn't matter if it's devotional music, folk music, or fusion music—music is a potent form of expression that captures the richness and variety of the Punjabi people and their way of life.


Voice Quality in Classical Music

 Music always emerges out with the goodness and soothing sound  where the intensity and magnitude of the pitch is the factor in creating the different emotions. The loudness of the voice, softness of the voice, praying or appealing voice, roaring voice and much more are the qualities of the voice on what a singer perform or sang a composition or the melody. A flexible and good voice is the signature of good singing but, the term is good is not so easy to define. A good voice for playback singing for film music need to have different quality than a good voice to sing a Dhrupad or a good voice  definition  for Thumri is different than the good voice for Tappa. The quality of good voice is also varies from listeners to listeners and genre to genre of the music. 

In Indian Classical Music Acharya Bharat has firstly described the quality of the voice in his renowned book called- Natyashastra. He describes six fundamental quality of the voice:-

Sharavak – The Sound which is clear audible to audience 
Ghana-  Bold and Perfect Vocal
Snidhag –Gentle and softy even in loudness 
Madhur - Sweet and soft soothing  with perfect pitching 
Avadhanvan – Centered or meditative voice 
Tristanashovita – Sung in all three octave- Mandra – Madhya – Taar ( Lower Middle and Higher Octave 
Further Pandit Sharangdev has added 
1. Madhur Kanth- Sweet and melodic Voice 
2. GrahSamapti Gyan- Knowledge of Starting and Conclusion 
3. Raga, RagangBhasangKriyangUpang ki Gyan- Knowledge of these elements
4. Prabandh GyanAalpti GyanGamak gyanTaal and laya Gyan.. Etc.

Pandit Bhatkhande has defined Twenty-Two Qualities of Vocalist. He has also defined Twentyfive demerits of Vocalist.  His merits and demerits was based on the description of Sangeetratnakar by Pt. Sharangdev

In addition to these qualities, the voice in classical music be able to execute all the types of grace, tonality and vocal dynamics to sing the bandishes or to recite aalap and taan. The quality of voice to recite bandish and its improvisation is totally different that reciting the taan in Khyal singing. The improvisation of Erotics Bandish in Mishra Khanaj Thumri is different than the Aalap, Jod and improvisation of Dhrupad. The quality of Voice collectively can be said as Kaku- Voice Culture and it has a significant role in producing the emotions.  A louder and sharp voice reflects Veer Rasa(heroic) or Raudra Rasa( Furious), however furious rasa is not frequently apply in singing. Percussion Instruments are being used to show the furiousness in drama. Mostly Music is confined with Erotic emotions, Heroic emotions and sympathy/kindness emotions. The Marvellous( Adbhut) can be happened in any of Veer Rasa and Shringa Rasa. By means of Voice culture, Nava Rasa(Nine Emotios) can be produced in Drama similarly in singing but all Rasa are not applicable while sining a Rasa. 


Voice Culture - An Art to Sing Hindustani Vocal Music- Part -1


Voice Culture 

Voice Culture is the process or the training of cultivating voice in order to design a flexible and effective singing. It is the methodology that drives to control the voice as per the aesthetics and the emotions of the human. Voice culture is term mostly used in singing and must to learn by the singer/ vocalist in order to produce and effective singing. 

Apart from Singing, voice culture is also the part of drama and theatre, Acting, Film and Television acting, Public Speaking, narration of story, poem, novel and many more. It is one of the substantial part while rendering the mythological tales and stories like , Ramayan, Mahabharata, Purna, Bhagwat Geeta and many other religious text like rendering the Aayat of Quran, Verses of Bible and chanting in Buddhism. 

Voice culture is one of the essential part of Indian Classical Music where singer produce different vocal dynamics as per the literature, its emotion and the aesthetics of the Raga. In Hindustani Music, the vocal dynamics of Khyal singing is different then Dhrupad and Dhamar Singing, tonality of Thumri and Dadra recital is different than other classical form Dhrupad and Khyal so the articulation of singing in different form of Hindustani Classical music is more or less depends on the voice culture of the artist. The Gharna of North Indian Singing styles are also differentiated in term of vocal dynamics- called Kaku -called as Voice Culture. 

The Vocal dynamics what Dhrupad Singer use to sing is a kind of articulation that one should learn properly from the Guru. It is a proper training process where Guru teaches practically to the disciple, how to practic- reeyaz musical notes essential in Dhrupad Singing. The reeyaz technique of Dagar Vani is different than the Nauhar Vani than the Khandar Vani than Gauhar Vani. Similarly in Khyal tradition, The Voice technique of Gwalior Gharna is totally different than the Banaras Gharana , Agara ois different than Patiala and Rampur is different than Jaipiur Gharana. It can be said that each and every Gharna, even an individual of the same gharna has a unique voice technique as per his/ her grooming. ..

... .... Continue.........  


Understanding Ethnomusicology- A Music of India

 As we all know music is multidimensional subject deals with practical and theoretical aspect and both of these have a strong tie-up as we see as academic and knowledge purpose.

Ethnomusicology is a branch of Music- A Musicology that deals with non western countryside music. Initially it was name as ethnomusicology by Dutch Musicologist  Jaap Kunst after second world war emphasising the study the tribal and folk music outside the Europe. Ethnomusicology is a scientific study of Folk and Tribal Music that transcribe and enrich the oral tradition of rural music. India has a diverse culture and have hundreds of cultural diversity. Hundreds  of tribal communities, variety of ethnic groups and linguistic diversity make the Indian Music rich and diverse. Basically the Music in Indian have two major root-Classical and Folk. Folk part is further divided in traditional, tribal and rituals-religious music. in India we prefer to say the study of Intercultural Musicology rather than ethnomusicology because the term Ethnomusicology sometimes reflects the discrimination  of Europeans vs rest of the world. Asian and oriental music is always called and ethnic music by the musicologist of Europeans forgetting that ethnicity is not part of their culture. The truth is long away from home but these kind of biases polarise the culture, music and entire world because we all are human, no one is superior or inferior. The color, language and the physique are the part of live-hood and the gift of the nature as per the inhabitation. 

Ethnomusicology more or less emphasise on the objective of musical research based on the folk and traditional part of the music. It can be said the study of the Ethnic people and their musical tradition. It can be said as the Cultural-Ethnography and Social-Anthrophology of Man and Music.  Folk music in Indian subcontinent is highly associated with religious and rituals values. The Tribal music is also associated with traditional belief and part of celebration in their day to day life. It is a kind of extempore creativity, living with the music in tribal village, that people celebrates the raw form of music having no predefined pitch or rhythms but have a legacy and the oral tradition that transfer form one generation to another generation. The folk music in India in every 50km distance have different taste and different tune. travelling from Manipur to Guhjrat or Kashmir to Kanyakumari one can encounter thousands of musical variation and colors of folk tradition. 

Ethnomusicology in Indian has a wider scope of research because we have least exposure with cyber pollution in the remote location, however the rapid growth in smart phone and its coverage deadly hit the traditional part of the Indian culture and musical tradition. There is no doubt increasing mobile network in remote location and countryside helps folks in various ways but it severely hits the culture and music. Inter culture transition in India is not a new deal, we live together for hundreds of thousands of year ago and share the day to day life in very moment. Brahmans- Kshitriya - Vaishye- and Shudra were the four major caste in Indian and each of the them were superior in their work and there were no discrimination what we used to hear in present days. The purpose of these title division was mainly as per their work and profession, no connection of inferior or superior. In North Mangol and Kirat, in south Dravid in west Pathan, In East -Tribes, and so may other communities were inhabited and sharing the cross cultural that flourish the Desi and Margi Sangeet at the same time. 

The music of Kirat is different than the music of Dravid and the music of Brahman is different than the music of Tribes. Even in same community the music of one tribe is different than the music of another tribe. Music of Brahman of Mithila is different than the Music of Brahman of Awad. Thus Musicology-Ethnomusicology in India has a different approach of study. we need to understand the people and their life style. day to day life to understand the musical legacy of the people of particular community.  To understand the Cross cultural musicology, one should live with people and need to observe them, their day to day practice and performance of daily life than only one can understand the musical approach, the message and the meaning of the cultural and musical celebration. The rituals and religious belief varies from one place to another place  so bookish knowledge remain frozen when one travel to extreme remote location to observe the musical legacy of the people. 

In general the music tradition of the folks are different than what are taught in the books. Folk tradition does not remain same for longer period. It is like the flow of river and changes with time and location, it recreate its own shape on its flow so folk music transcribed a decade before is not the same, even in last five year so many changes may occurs because society is in rapid transition phase because of several modern impact thats why it is quite challenging to declared the aboriginal form of the folk music. 

Study of Cross-Cultural Musicology in India has a huge potential but also have challenges too.   Because of huge cultural diversity we can find variety of musical forms and its cross cultural connection but is also quite hard to distinguish the nuance of the music. 

Ethnomusicology in Indian should be the part of syllabi in undergraduate and postgraduate students that they could recall the socio-cultural status of their locality. It should be the part par of music syllabi too in universities that more research can be done in this area to know the fragrance and nuance of the cross-cultural musicology. 

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Patron-Musicians:- A socio Imperialism in Sikkim

Patrons-Musicians' relations has been discussed in a variety of context over the years in different disciplines. There are a wide range of study on patrons-musicians' relations in Sikkim. The studies dwell on economic interaction with music between upper caste and the lower caste. In Sikkim there are mainly three musicians caste the Damai, the Badi and Gaine who directly or indirectly provide auspicious music to other castes. However, these auspicious music makers are untouchable from whom the food and water may not be accepted. The musician caste Damai are the musicians cum tailor with whom traditional way of patronage is still alive in the countryside. This study oriented on the social and traditional way of patronage among the Dalit Caste the Damai Musicians. This study is important to understand the social interaction and social transformation of Damai musician in Sikkim. Researcher visited to the remote village of Dalits in Sikkim and study the distinct culture of musician and the way of patronage. After the peasantry become weak and the influence of modern music become strong, the loop of traditional way of patronage become feeble. Because of urbanism and modern influence in music, Damai musicians change the traditional way of patronize and become the professional. The instruments like Damaha, Temko, Sahanai, Narsingha and Jhyali they only used to play for the patrons' in all rituals accordingly in traditional way but after the education empowerment, and the caste system and untouchable means is in declining position, the Damai musicians get more opportunity to spread away. Thus, the so-called impure caste is surviving by means of music in modern ways of patronage. The lifestyle in which they are still living in remote countryside is below than the average and they are suffering from hand to mouth. Dalits or untouchable caste, from whom water may not be accepted but, plays auspicious and pure music in most of the Hindu religious festival and rituals. The orthodox society and the musician caste are still in loop, however the way of patronizing is changing, and the relation between the patron castes and the musician caste is still surviving because of auspicious and pure music among the impurity.

The Research Paper was written when appointed as Assistant Professor(Guest Faculty in Department of Music Central University of Sikkim and Published in EJMC 2020 . Following link is for full paper. 



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