For reasons that I don’t want to touch upon in this post, a lot of excellent musicians remain unrecognized or accessible only to niche audiences. One such artiste who I wish had received more recognition is Lalita Khadilkar, a student of Laxmibai Jadhav’s who lives in Pune. I first chanced upon her Shankara when looking for the music of Laxmibai’s students, a resonant and shining piece that left me breathless. Shortly after, her husband Madhukar Khadilkar posted a number of her private recordings, both of khayal and natyageet.
Another artiste I’ve begun to adore is Aishwarya Rao. She’s a student of Shubhada Paradkar’s and I really hope that she begins to receive more performance opportunities at larger venues. Besides enjoying her singing and ideas, I love how expressive she is in this home recording of an offering in Gaud Malhar she made to her Guru on Guru Poornima in 2016, and the ease with which she navigates this Purva three years later on the same day.
I’ve been a fan of Gajananrao Joshi’s for a while now, but only recently learned that his son Narayan Joshi was a student of Ahmedjan Thirakwa’s. One of Narayan Joshi’s students, Achyut Karve, is starting a Youtube channel that will host many of Ahmedjan Thirakwa’s videos, and educational videos by Narayan Joshi. Karve-ji’s original channel also has some wonderful recordings in it, both of tabla and vocal ICM, so be sure to check it out.
Constructive criticism and suggestions are warmly welcomed.
A. Youtube accounts
- Subrata Chowdhury, primarily vocal music from different gharanas.
- Datta Gumaste, who goes by dattaji and Sangeetveda1 (priceless taleem)
- Raju Asokan, Hindustani+Carnatic.
- sabtak1000 and SamPak, fantastic collections by Pakistani artistes.
- Kansen Sangeet’s and Kiran Bamane’s recordings of live performances
- Suresh Mulgaonkar, tabla and taal-education focused+ local artistes
- tripmonk0‘s archive of traditional dance and instrumental music videos
- Ulhas Kashalkar’s official channel
- A.Deb, A.Samal, B.Mankad, D.Sen, E.Pinto, N.Maitra, Q.Belal, RagaMela, Sgc ICM
- classical bug, excellent collection of tabla lectures and performances
B. Blogs, databases and online radio
- ITC-SRA’s database Raga Online
- SPIC MACAY’s event list and their blog
- Music in Motion and Dunya, both music visualization databases
- Oriental Traditional Music from LPs and casettes
- Flat, Black and Classical
- Raja Pundalik’s blog
- Rajan Parrikar’s archive and articles
- The British Library’s Sounds database
- Ocean of Ragas
- Meera music’s online radio channel
- Music India Online, online radio
- All India Radio’s classical music channel, Raagam
- Sangeethapriya, Carnatic + Hindustani performances (e.g. 1, 2, 3)
- Anthems for the Nation of Luobaniya
C. Documentaries and lectures
- Growing into Sarangi
- Bhinna Shadja, a documentary about Kishori Amonkar
- Clip of a documentary about Hirabai Barodekar
- Interviews with Mallikarjun Mansoor, Bhimsen Joshi and Gajananrao Joshi
- Dhondutai Kulkarni’s lecture demonstration
- Shruti Sadolikar’s demonstration of haveli sangeet’s transformation into khayal
- Taal saundarya of Kathak (parts 1 and 3 of this are great too)
- Suresh Talwalkar and Yogesh Samsi (a, b –> in English!) explaining how to accompany khayal.
- Shruti Sadolikar interviews Azizuddin Khan, grandson of Alladiya Khan.
- Achyut Karve’s short lectures (1, 2) on Ahmedjaan Thirakwa’s bayan technique
- Warren Senders posts on practice.
D. Youtube playlists
Abhogi AlhaiyaBilawal Asavari
Bageshree BageshreeBahar BageshreeKanada Bahar Barwa BasantiKedar Bhairavi
Bhankar Bhatiyar Bhimpalashree Bhimpalasi Bibhas Bihag Bihagda
DarbariKanada Des Deskar DesiTodi Durga
Gara GaudMalhar GaudSarang GorakhKalyan
Hameer Hamsadhwani Hem Hindol
Jaijaivanti JaitKalyan Jaunpuri Jhinjhoti Jog Jogkauns
KafiKanada Kalavati Kamod KausiKanada Kedar Khambavati Khokhar KomalReAsavari
Lalit LalitaGauri LalitPancham
Malgunji Malkauns MaruBihag Marwa Megh MiyanMalhar MiyanKiSarang MiyanKiTodi
Paraj Patmanjari Pilu Poorvi Puriya PuriyaDhanashree
Rageshree RamdasiMalhar Ramkali
SamantSarang SampoornaMalkauns Savani Shahana Shankara Shree ShuddhaKalyan
ShyamKalyan Sindhura Sohni SurMalhar
F. Artiste’s websites
- Aditya Khandwe
- Apoorva Gokhale and Pallavi Joshi
- Gajananbuwa Joshi
- Manjiri Alegaonkar
- Manjiri Asnare Kelkar
- Priya Purushothaman
- Samarth Nagarkar
- Shahid Parvez Khan
- Shubha Mudgal
- Shubhada Paradkar
- Surakshya Deshpande
- Ulhas Kashalkar
- Warren Senders
This is a work in progress and a list that began for myself and for my friends but that I’m now moving online in the hope that more will benefit from it. If anyone that I have linked to here would like a reference to them removed or modified, please let me know.
From age zero to five, I lived with my parents in Saudi Arabia. We moved there from Bombay the year I was conceived, first as an idea in my sister’s head, then carefully forged by my parents. Memories of my time there as a toddler are fragmented, and remain uncolored by the strong feelings I later developed for the life my mother lead there, a life of being swathed in black and exchanging liberty and independence for family and tradition. There wasn’t much to do in the way of entertainment, and over the weekends my father would frequently take us all on long drives cross-country that sometimes lasted several days. Outside the window of our Datsun were miles of endless desert, shifting dunes sometimes peppered with camels and rarely, the camps of Bedouins. Inside the bubble of the car I remember the comfort of my mothers soft hair, cool AC air, and the artistes I later learned were Olivia Newton John and Madonna on auto-replay.
On our annual visits to India I was terrified by the crowdedness of everything. We rode in odd suitcases called autorickshaws, everyone far too close to everyone else. I hated the constant and unsolicited interaction – opening the door for the postman/ milkman/ electrician/ newspaperman, even getting to know all my kind and loving relatives. I wondered as I watched my cousins belong to Bombay and to each other whether one day I would too. It was in the background of this mayhem that I first listened to Khayal, noisy at first when slow and noisier later when it got fast. I dismissed it without pause.
Many of the things that make Khayal a rapturous, spiritual experience for aficionados also make it hard to listen to for the unexposed or westernized ear. It has a steep learning curve, one that the majority of its audience are not even aware of, learning as by osmosis within a subculture in which this music permeates through their lives. Musical structure is heavily rule based, and the methodical improvisation that characterizes most performances is only appreciated with at least some knowledge of the rules. In this way, the genre is a sport, with discerning audience members according points via verbal affirmations like “wah wah” (wow!), “kya baat hai” (what a thing you just did!) and “shabash!” (bravo!) when a musician executes a musical phrase that is pleasing but that also works within the framework of the rules. The scales used often contain notes and transitions that are either rarely or never used in Western music, making them sound weird or wrong to some people.
I began studying Khayal seriously about five years ago, as a way to remain connected to a friend who loved the genre and who I was in the process of losing to cancer. Struggling to understand, then appreciate and ultimately love this music has been a slow and extremely rewarding process.