Sunday, May 28, 2017

Workshops   to decolonize the Asian Music;

To regain the due share in the world music education & entertainment market for Asian Music

On reading the previous post (‘HOW MIT & Raga Sputa Method can rescue the traditional Asian Music, & the ‘modernization without westernization’ in the Asian music domain?’; );

my friend M. Arjunamani from Sydney (Australia) mailed the following questions.

1.    Is it possible to use your MIT to recover or re-invent the Tamil PaNNs many of which we have lost?

2.    Will your MIT benefit our Othuvars and people who are interested in rediscovering the ancient PaNNisai?

3.    If so, could you please think of organising a Winter School on MIT for Othuvars and PaNNisai enthusiasts?

Before attending to the above questions, I need to brief on the ‘Colonization of the Asian Music’, which was responsible for the relevance of the above questions w.r.t the rescuing of the Tamil Music, one of the ancient Music.

In the following article, I had explained how Carnatic Music had suffered more due to the colonization of the Asian Music, and Tamil Music had become the worst victim in the process. (  )

The social mechanism of the colonization of the Asian mind, was the imbibing the western style sickness of the social comparison, after successfully implanting social comparison based hierarchy, replacing the social comparison free, social functioning based hierarchy in the Asian societies. For example, the current meaning of the word ‘caste’ as well as the present caste system in India, were mischievously implanted during the colony rule, as I had explained in the following article . (   )

The social history of the colonization of the Asian Mind and the Socio-Musical history of the colonization of the Asian music were interlinked, as explained below.

The following from the ancient Tamil text may provide the key to decipher the above mentioned interlink.

paNivuil chIr
mAththirai inRi  nhatakkumEl, vAzhum Ur
kOththiram kURappatum”.-  nhAlatiyAr 25:2

 பணிவு இல் சீர்
 மாத்திரை இன்றி நடக்குமேல், வாழும் ஊர்
 கோத்திரம் கூறப்படும். "
‍  நாலடியார் 25:2

“ the history of a city and the history of music of the city are intertwined. The growth and decay of a city will be reflected in the music of that city. Also the emerging trends in music may reveal the emerging history of that city. Hence the study of music history includes the musicological details which are related to the changes in the history of the place. Probably this could be extended to study an individual. The music skills, likes and dislikes in music taste of a person may reveal the characteristic of the person. The history of a city is not only the history of the people in the city, but also the history of the music of the people in the city.” ( )

From the above discussion, it is clear that the decolonization of the Asian mind and decolonization of the Asian music were interlinked.

To undertake the above exercise, we need to be open minded and detach ourselves from the emotional bond with the implanted concepts.

In spite of the irrefutable evidences in my book ‘Ancient Music Treasures – Exploration for the New Music’, I had come across emotion based opposition to the fact that the Harmonium and Sruthi box were introduced into the Indian music, after the entry of the Christian missionaries from the Western countries, followed by the colony rule.

I had come across such emotion based oppositions, from both among the pro-Carnatic music & pro-Tamil music circles, most of them unfortunately entangled in the baseless superior/inferior battles. ( )

People like my friends M Arjunamani and Prof.Dr.N.Ramanathan, former Dean of Music, University of Madras, as exception to the above trend, were supporting my open minded research to decolonize the Asian Music & to regain the due share in the world music education & entertainment market.

As part of the above efforts, I mailed the following, in response to the questions in the beginning of this post.

Regarding the prospects of MIT benefit to our Othuvars (experts in the traditional rendering of the thevAram texts of Saivam), and to recover or re-invent the Tamil PaNNs, the following problems needed to be addressed first.

When & how did different styles of rendering the same thevAram text (well recorded in Pondy French Institute) originate?

What are the differences between theory and performances in Carnatic music? 

What was the role of colonization, in causing the above differences?

What were the influences of Carnatic Performance music, a post-colonial development (unlike Hindustani Music) mixing Tamil temple music, folk music, Hindustani music & western music, in the above different styles of rendering the same thevAram text? 

To rescue not only the ancient Tamil music, but also to decolonize all kinds of Asian music;

I had expressed my willingness to my friend M.Arjunamani, to conduct a workshop on the above problems & the required skills one could acquire to undertake the above joint probe.

The above probe, may lead to identify the ways & means ‘to recover or re-invent the Tamil PaNNs many of which we have lost’.

The above workshop may prove to be a good beginning to plan similar workshops to decolonize all the kinds of the Asian Music & to regain the due share in the world music education & entertainment market, for the Asian Music.

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