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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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