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. 


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