Tuesday, August 14, 2012

How can MIT rescue Indian Classical Music Education?

Indian Classical Music does not have a pitch standard and standardized musical intervals like in Western Music. Instead the Gharana in Hindustani Music and Pani in Carnatic Music in Guru-Kula tradition followed their own pitch standard set by the Guru in Tanpura and the intervals followed by the Guru in the Ragas. Computer based investigations had proved that Indian Classical Music follows neither Just Intonation nor Equal Temperament. ( M.Subramaniam , The Maya of Pitch and Frequency,  http://musicresearchlibrary.net/omeka/items/show/2479 )

Prior to 1939 (the year of the international pitch standard) every country in the western world had its own pitch standard. The introduction of Harmonium and Sruti box into Indian music by the western missionaries had resulted in different pitch standards depending on the country of the origin of the missionaries. After 1939, the international pitch standard A = 440 Hz is mostly followed though few Symphonic orchestras follow different pitch standard like A = 435 Hz. The Modern electronic Sruti box follows the pitch standard A = 440 Hz.
( Ancient Music Treasures - Exploration for New Music - Dr.Vee -2006 )

But the negative influence of the above different pitch standards could be resisted by those who strictly followed their own Guru defined Gharanas and Panis. But when the classical music songs were published with Indian music notation, differences in notations for the same song in different editions became inevitable as the notations were by different authors studied in different Gharanas or Panis. 

The demise of senior Gurus one by one as well as the controversy in Gharanas and Panis pose a challenge to the Indian Classical Music Education now embracing class style teaching in schools and colleges with electronic sruti box.

Fortunately there is good number of collection of the recordings rendered by the great Gurus of different Gharanas and Panis. Using the Music Information Technology (MIT) , the pitch standard and the intervals of the ragas in those recordings could be determined. Also using those recordings,  computer aided learning are now possible. I could guide those interested to take up the above project to rescue Indian Classical Music Education. Also students who will undergo my Level 1 & 2 MIT courses could do it.


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