Vocal for Locals, Instrumental for Internationals

Vocal for Locals, Instrumental for Internationals

By Ashish Arora on June 30, 2011

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Classical music lovers in Varanasi

Varanasi has given many legendary names to Indian classical music world. Bismillah Khan and Kishan Maharaj are some of the household names, who gave new heights to classical music all over the world. We talked to some of the music gallery owners in Varanasi. They gave us insights on people affection for the legends of their own city, and also for their legendary work.

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Varanasi locals want vocal classical music

“Local people’s pockets don’t allow them to buy these expensive CDs, foreigners have that purchasing power. As the tourist season starts from August, it gives rise to classical music market too. So, this is an off season for classical music market in the city,” says Ravi Chaturvedi, a music gallery owner in the city.

Local people prefer vocal music, and they like to hear the voices of the artistes like Chhannu Lal Mishra as Kajri, Thumri and Bhajans are their favorite in classical format, he said. “Foreigners like instrumental music, and they love to hear fusions by Prem Joshua or Rahul Sharma,” he further explained.

Internationals like instrumental music

Zakir Hussain’s Tabla is evergreen, even when it is played with other instruments like Flute and Santoor, he said. The CD gallery owners agree that students of Performing Arts are the main consumers of classical music CDs. Birju Maharaj’s Kathak Dance and others’ Kuchchipuri CDs are popular among these students.

P Jasraj is preferable among devotional instrumental music lovers. His ‘Raga Symphony’, in which he performs with a crew of 1,000 Sitarits, is getting popularity. According to gallery owners, devotional songs and mantra CDs have a full-year demand.

International music for Varanasi youth

“Local youth goes for international music and foreigners bend towards the classical series,” says Tripurari Singh, another CD outlet owner. Foreigners, mostly, tend to purchase Times Music CDs, he says, adding these are costly but much durable.

They prefer Hari Prasad Chaurasia’s Flute, P Ravi Shankar’s Sitar and Bismillah Khan’s Shehnai. In  vocal they choose CDs of mantra chanting for mediation, he said. In his opinion, local people mostly prefer T-series CDs. This is because of their lower price, and offering a range of classical and devotional local numbers.

Indian classical music for foreigners in Varanasi

“Some of the classical vocalists like Ustad Rashid Khan, Girija devi and Begum Akhtar are liked by the city locals. Yet, today’s youth is crazy about fast Sufi style of Atif Aslam and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan,” asserts Anand Jaiswal, another CD gallery owner. Voices of Bheem Sen Joshi and Jagjit Singh are in demand in the city in devotional song segment, he further says.

Another CD gallery owner Sumit Arora talked on the prevailing slowdown in the music market. “Rescission is responsible for the fading out of tourism business in last few years. Slowdown in tourism is in-turn responsible for less demand of classical music in the city. Local demand is, as it was, still dull,” he opined.

There is a huge fan-following of city youth for Sufi music, but they want fast Sufism of Kailash Kher, and not the classical Sufism of Abida Parween, he explains on the low local demand for classical music Banaras.

In the hometown of big names of Banaras Gharana, people are not much fond of their musical Heritage. They are so captivated by the remix and fusion versions of classical music that it seems they have left no feelings for the originals.

classical music lovers in Varanasi, classical music classes in varanasi, classical music concert varanasi, classical music festival varanasi, western classical music in india, classical music festivals in india, classical music artists in india, classical music singers in india, classical music competitions in india, classical music in india essay, classical music in india ppt

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