Music and Bangalore

By Parmita Borah, Bangalore [Mangalorean.Com] [ Published Date: December 17, 2009 ]

Bangalore city in Karnataka, better known as the electronic city (thanks to all the IT investors and professionals), has also been privileged with a rich cultural heritage, music being one of its core elements. This widespread love and admiration for music is perhaps triggered by the very fact that the name “Karnataka” owes its roots to the word “Carnatic” meaning “performing art”.

This culturally prosperous land is marked by many musical bards who have contributed significantly to both forms of Indian classical music, the Carnatic and Hindustani traditions. A home to many outstanding musicians, veterans and upcoming, Karnataka prides itself of renowned musical personalities like Purandara Dasa (the father of Carnatic music), Kalakkad Subbiah Ramanarayanan Iyer, Dr Nithyasree Mahadevan, Gingger Shankar, Basavaraja Rajaguru, Gangubai Hangal and Sawai Gandharva.

The newfangled musicians of Karnataka have adapted a modernistic approach towards music and have flawlessly conflated different various genres to create progressive music, yet retaining the ethnic appeal. Some of the names worth mentioning are Raghu Dixit (Mysore), Lucky Ali, Suchetan Rangaswamy, Jim Ankan, Bapu Padmanabha, Pravin Godkhindi, Pravin D. Rao, Shimoga Subbanna, Mysore Ananthaswamy,P. Kalinga Rao, G.V. Atri, C. Ashwath and Balappa Hukker.

While the Music Industry of India has boomed meticulously in Mumbai, Bangalore too had an equally pivotal role to play in the innovation and ontogeny of the music business. The past couple of years have witnessed an immense rise in the flourishing of music and musicians. With outlets like Films, Television, Media, Radio and Advertising, aspiring musicians have found a way to keep their pockets full going after their muse.

The recent past has also seen a significant growth in the number of institutes providing training in Carnatic, Hindustani classical and Western music, especially in the Bangalore city. The Bangalore School of Music in RT Nagar, Eastern Fare Music Foundation in Koramangala, Sumadhura Education and Cultural Trust in Vijaynagar, Shreepada Sangeeta Kala Kendra in Bannerghatta Road and World Music Centre in Malleswaram are some of the institutes who have successfully endorsed Music as a serious business or career option as opposed to its familiar perception as a pastime or hobby.

Apart from the formal training, these institutes offer courses that enable learners to appear for many recognized certificate and diploma examinations. The courses are also down-sized or customized as per individual requirements based on their existing knowledge and skill in the genre/instruments that they are learning. Some of the institutes like Eastern Fare Music Foundation and Unwind Centre provide their students fully equipped jamming rooms to help grow their technical knowhow as well as organize gigs and performances to showcase their musical gift.

Many of these institutions are headed by reputed musicians known for their high caliber and their culture of great performance. While the founder of the Sumadhura Education and Cultural Trust is prominent vocalist Suchethan Rangaswamy, the World Music Centre is an initiative by Gopi (drummer and percussionist) and the singer Sangeetha Srikishen. The Western Music specialist Eastern Fare Music Foundation is operated under the guidance of celebrated Assamese music composer Jim Ankan Deka, who incidentally is the first musician from Assam to maneuver a music institution and a production house in Bangalore.

The year 2009 has been a bumpy ride for music in Karnataka with live performances being banned, but that has deterred the spirit of the soulful musicians of the land. The people of this state have always preserved its love for arts and culture and with hundreds of aspirants joining in the musical brigade every year, MUSIC is here to stay!