01 October, 2020

Music Of The Spheres

A work that belies expectations

Music Of The Spheres
We are all aware that improvisation is the essence of Hindustani classical music, and hence the least one expected in a new offering from an author of Mohan Nadkarni's skill and experience was some improvisation on his previously published profiles of eminent musicians. Nadkarni brings a quantitatively impressive collection of over 50 profiles of Hindustani vocalists, preceded by a general introduction to Hindustani music in his recent The Great Masters: Profiles in Hindustani Classical Vocal Music. Indigenous writing on Indian music is becoming quite a rarity. Hence it's with eagerness that music lovers await works by qualified authors of Nadkarni's stature. However, high expectations often lead to disappointment and Nadkarni's book is disappointing in more ways than one. But let's begin by listing the aces.

While Nadkarni may not be rated as the raconteur of the millennium, his anecdotes concerning legendary musicians of all times provide useful information for lovers and students of music. His account of the nationwide collective agitation by musicians in protest...



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