Harry Belafonte, NC Vasanthakokilam, Wind Instruments – April 2023

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In this issue we look at two musicians Harry Belafonte and NC Vasanthakokilam who made a big impact on more than just their professional worlds. Belafonte who passed away recently lived into his 90s while Vasanthakokilam did not live past her 30s. Yet the impact of their musical contribution continues to resonate with audiences and performers to this day. *** Harry Belafonte Harry Belafonte
Some of my best childhood memories was listening to music across genres playing on the radio and LP record player. The moment Harry Belafonte began crooning Day-O I’d run towards the record player in the corner of the room and plonk myself on the floor listening to his dulcet voice. The words made no sense at that time yet Belafonte’s magical voice drew me in. So his recent passing brought a rush of emotions and led to some non-stop listening to his greatest hits. Few people, including myself realize how his music had made an impact on Hindi film music as you can read here.
NCVasanthakokilam A Walk Down Memory Lane
NC Vasanthakokilam was a carnatic musician who had a trajectory similar to M.S.Subbulakshmi. Both women had become popular on the carnatic and film music scene. Unfortunately NC Vasanthakokilam succumbed to tuberculosis at the young age of thirty two. The range of her distinctive voice can be heard in this collection of ten of her songs. Nadhaswaram Image

Wind Instruments of India
The flute is believed to be the earliest musical instrument in the world. The bansuri is the flute indigenous to Indian music. The flute is by no means the only or even the most common wind instrument in Indian music. Classical and folk music traditions feature other instruments such as the shehnai, nadhaswaram and harmonium.
You’ll find a quick guide to different wind instruments heard in Indian music here. ***
Other links that may be of interest: Ninnada (Tyagaraja) – Chitra Srikrishna
Raga Corner: Mayamalavagowla (Carnatic) | Bhairav (Hindustani) ***
Previous Issues | Raga Ruminations Podcast | RaagTime Radio Show
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