Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Big lineup of senior vidwans debate music traditions

The Academy's first academic session at the mini hall on Sunday was a panel discussion (16.12.12 ) on - Oral Tradition Vs Textual Tradition
All the panel members were stalwarts and so only people with basic sangitha gyanam could fully appreciate members’ demonstrations of handling ragas with respect to yester years’ bani or the original version given in texts and the present days’ performances.
These are some notes we recorded at the exchange -
- Karna parampara or the oral tradition is important whether it is today or tomorrow.
- The gurus of yore did not document their works and some did allow sishyas to take notes.  Perhaps why 3 sishyas of the same guru had different bani.
- Gamaka and anuswaras can be learnt only through a guru.  To interpret the text and use gamakas and anuswaras one should have profound knowledge.
- Manodarma and kalpana swara both can be learnt by oral tradition only and not through text.
- Due to different interpretations of texts there have been many changes taking place in the presentation.  But nevertheless the change in the swarasthnas has occurred towards the higher swara and not to the lower swara.  This may also be due to bringing  in some aesthetics (rakthi) in the rendition.  This may also differ from person to person depending on their pitch and timber.
- Today’s youngsters are educated and so they learn from text, get refined at their guru's feet and use modern media successfully too to enhance.  However only a guru can point out mistakes and correct a sishya. 
All the panel members were in unison in giving priority to oral tradition.  They jokingly said that today’s trend is ‘Guru Tape o Namaha’ in the place of ‘Guru Devo Namaha’.
Sangita Kalanidhi designate STrichur Ramachandran said that guru parampara is the best and the presence of so many veterans in the dais that morning is the testimony for the same.

- Report by V. Vasantha

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