Hindustani Classical Music vocals and instrumental is an ancient art that originated in the Vedic times, more than 5000 years ago; and it was greatly patronized and popularized by the Mughal emperors. Since then it has been taught through an oral tradition. Nothing is written down the art is handed down orally from grandmasters to students in an ongoing cycle of apprenticeship that links Hindustani classical musicians of today to the ancient masters through an uninterrupted chain.
Hindustani Classical music in its pure form not only serves the purpose of entertaining but also offers a medium for seeking peace through meditation. Societies across centuries have sought to develop mechanisms to achieve inner peace and reduce stress. This search is based on the belief that it increases the mental and physical strength of communities. The rhythm and cycles of Hindustani classical music allows audiences across cultures to experience a deep form of meditation through which inner peace may be achieved.
While maintaining the practice of meditation, the lectures and workshops are also a wonderful opportunity for active audience participation. Both through means of asking questions as well as hands-on lessons, participants learn about the fundamental building blocks, the history, the evolution and the contemporary form of one of the most enduring genres of South Asian music. It fosters listener appreciation and creates an interest in the professional development of this ancient form of music.
Finally, the fusion of Hindustani Classical music to other forms of music, a theme that I stress in my presentations, offers audiences a bridge across different cultures. While Hindustani Classical music is unique in character, it is neither isolated nor static, but share specific characteristics with music from other parts of the world outside of South Asia. Its application to African and Native American music and melding to Devotional and Folk genres demonstrates that despite the diversity in languages, religions and culture, music has a powerful way to unite. Highlighting the spirit of unity in a world where "the clash of civilizations" has unfortunately become the norm is one of the core goals of my musical presentations. That is indeed the essence of Hindustani Classical music.
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