Celebrating Women Musical Ensembles
Each year when women’s history month rolls around, we review the progress women leaders or changemakers have made. We even fete a few individual women. However we rarely look at teams of women and celebrate their contribution. Women musical ensembles, from percussion teams such as Sthree Taal Tarang led by ghatam artiste Sukanya Ramgopal to Stree Shakti by table player Anuradha Pal and Sakhi formed by Hindustani vocalist Kaushiki Chakraborty, have paved the way for others to follow their lead. Let us celebrate these women through their music here.
Nobel Laureate Tagore’s compositions are a great demonstration of the fact that composers draw inspiration from diverse sources. Whether western music, or Indian classical or folk it is easy to see their influence in Tagore’s works. Two of my favorite include his Baaje Karuno Shore in carnatic raga Simhendramadhyamam and Purano Sei Diner Kotha that reminds us of the popular Scottish song Auld Lang Syne. You can hear these two compositions that exemplify the ability of music to transcend boundaries from the links below.
* Baaje Karuno Shore
* Purano Sei Diner Kotha
Knowledge Knows No Boundaries
Teaching others is indeed one of the best ways to learn. A lesson that’s hit close to home since I began teaching a new course How Music Shapes Cities: Varanasi to NYC at Ahmedabad University. The course requires students to explore the interplay between three distinct fields of study—sociology, urban studies and music. This has helped them to develop critical thinking skills and a creative approach to problem-solving. It is these learnings, from adopting an interdisciplinary approach, that I’ve shared in a recent article for the Deccan Herald.
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