Millennium Post

IIT-KGP partners with maestro for preserving classical music

Kolkata: IIT-Kharagpur has partnered with Pt Ajoy Chakraborty to archive the teaching methodologies of Indian classical music.
Explaining the rationale behind the initiative, the lead researcher of the project, Pallab Dasgupta, said there is no "swaralipi" (notations) in classical music, unlike other genre of songs, as a result of which a particular style, adopted by a maestro, usually always dies with him.
Every artiste has his unique style, which he passes on to his students, Dasupta, who is also the dean of sponsored research and industrial consultancy at IIT-KGP, said.
"One particular gayaki (style of singing) remains confined to just one ustad (expert) and his disciples. It never gets shared with others."
Panditji is helping us to create a wonderful multimedia content for our endeavour, Dasgupta asserted.
"We may also need to look at artificial intelligence techniques to understand different ways to learn the ragas," he said.
IIT-KGP Director Partha P Chakrabarti said he was excited about the collaboration with Pt Ajoy Chakraborty and hoped that the project gets to achieve its goal.
"The institute has come up with this unique idea using internal resources, but we welcome external funding for this drive too. We wish to set up a Centre of Excellence on classical and folk arts in the institute to carry out similar outreach programmes," he said in the statement.
Ajoy Chakraborty, on his part, said, "A renaissance of Indian Classical Music can be made possible through a more objective and articulate understanding of the ragas."
Unfortunately, there has been very little effort in the past to "articulate and archive" the structure of ragas, based on intellectual understanding and scientific principles, he rued.
"If something is not done soon, this knowledge may be lost with the passing away of the present generation of musicians," the prominent vocalist said.
A team of researchers, cutting across departments of IIT-KGP, will be helping Chakraborty in the project.
Priyadarshi Patnaik, a researcher in the project and a faculty in the Humanities department, said a conscious understanding of the ragas enables a musician to deliver its emotional content.
"Documenting and archiving the finer nuances of the ragas is essential for preservation of this unique heritage of India," she added.

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